Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Our Dining Room

If you had told me a couple of years ago that I would one day decorate my house with bright green and orange I might have kicked you in the shins. I'm the girl who used to live in a placid river of beige and white, after all.

{Moment of Personal Reflection: My pendulum tends to rocket wildly from one extreme to the other. What does this mean?}

Now that I think about it, I've sort of come back to my roots, since my "colors" when we first got married were lime green, bright yellow, and royal blue. (And by "colors", I mean the colors of towels we registered for at Target and Kohls.)

This time around, it started with the orange chair, then the tapestry curtains, and before I knew what had happened, we were channeling Carmen Miranda.

 With an open floor plan, our dining room followed suit.

It's fun thinking about the evolution of this house. I planned and stewed for months and in the end, almost nothing has ended up the way I imagined. What I thought would go here with there instead. This house has a vibe that captured me, not the other way around.

I dig it.

Our "dining room" is actually either extremely small and lacking walls or an eat-in kitchen. I'm not sure which. But the space is tiny and we needed to find a table that would fit since our old table was too wide. I scoured innumerable shops and flea markets for a long/narrow farm table. I tried to tell Cory he could *probably* make us one. I broke down and dialed up my old lover, Pottery Barn.

In the end, we found her on Craigslist. She was listed as a set with 6 pressed-back chairs, but I negotiated way down for just the table, wowing Cory with my gutsiness and scoring us a beautiful table in the exact dimensions we needed for $200.

The chairs have been with us forever, with the strutty addition of the aqua one, scored at a sale for $7 this summer. (The old girls are crying out for a seat re-cover. Can you hear them??)

So. The curtains.

You can't possibly imagine the angst I endured over curtaining our lower level. (In fact, you probably can imagine since I whined and wailed about it out loud for a good three months.)

Through some flukey math/logic, the builder installed windows much larger than what the plans called for.


Except standard 84" curtains would be too short. And we had 4 windows that needed to be outfitted. And I had already played my wild card with the tapestries.

The dining area needed something that would work with the tapestries and not break the teeny, tiny budget. They also needed to be wider than normal, since the window is actually two windows side-by-side, or roughly the width of a garage door.

Driving up to Allegan in August I told my sister-in-law, "My dream find would be curtains in some shade of green or aqua. Haha." That was never going to happen.

Only it did. Roundabout.

Two stops in I spied a bolt of greenish/aqua striped twill. 18 yards. $50. SOLD!

I punched them up by sewing my prized $0.10 garage sale fabric to the top.

I've been pinning plate walls since I was a wee baby pinner.

Wall space is rare around these parts, but this nook was the perfect place to go for it. Swoony!

I love these lights so much I want to lick them.

$35 bucks a pop from Allegan. Don't hate.

And he said he had 15 more and I ONLY BOUGHT TWO.

Go ahead. Hate. 

This shot goes out to Robert, who used to dream about coming over on his 18th birthday to drink out of this cup. Via his last letter: "I never even got to drink out of that cup lol"


So this is home. It continues to surprise me in the weirdest, wildest ways. I can't promise that we'll live under the Big Top forever - there may be a day when I need to enforce a little serenity. But for now, it fits the budget and it keeps me smiling.

We're kept close in this little space and we couldn't be happier.

For anyone feeling the itch to downsize? Do it. And while you're at it, paint something green or orange. It seems to be a fitting combination.