Dining Room: From Dungeon to Daylight

Dining Room: From Dungeon to Daylight

I bought my 1950's ranch style home a little over three years ago and have spent thousands of hours redecorating, rearranging, pinning ideas, etc. I swear, each one of the rooms have undergone complete revisions minus two: our master bedroom and the dining room. The master bed room is limited due to the layout and honestly, I have yet to grow tired of my king size bed and Pottery Barn linens. 

The dining room. Good grief that room has been a source of agony for thirty six months. Why you ask? Well, the room came with original wood wainscot that I couldn't bear to paint over. Side note: I come from a long line of antique lovers and have a deep appreciation for authentic wood work. But the beautiful wainscot combined with hardwood floors, a light tan wall color, and antique furniture just screamed "Sahara Desert", which is how I've always referred to the room.

I'm also a fan of tablescapes and subtle holiday decor so I've chosen to ignore the gloom and focus on my lovely seasonal accents. A few months ago, I was so tired of contemplating painting the wainscot that I took the plunge while my husband came home for lunch. I waited until he was home so I would be held accountable for my decision (or he would paint a strip so I couldn't turn back.)

Do you see all of that {gorgeous} wood?!? Before the transformation reveal, here are a few pictures of the Sahara Desert in all of its glory.

I'm assuming this was taken in the Fall at some point.

I'm assuming this was taken in the Fall at some point.

Clearly taken at Easter time one year

Clearly taken at Easter time one year

Spring time. Hey Ruby!

Spring time. Hey Ruby!

My beautiful cabinet my husband bought me for Christmas on year. It appears I took this picture as soon as it arrived because the shelves are BARE, 

My beautiful cabinet my husband bought me for Christmas on year. It appears I took this picture as soon as it arrived because the shelves are BARE, 

Christmas 2014. How did we ever get in the holiday spirit with this gloomy space?

Christmas 2014. How did we ever get in the holiday spirit with this gloomy space?

With every single light turned on to illuminate some sort of brightness. 

With every single light turned on to illuminate some sort of brightness. 

So you see how the darkness was ever so present regardless of my attempts to distract? 

We were not prepared for the monstrosity of a task that painting the dining room would be. After the experience was over, I am beyond knowledgable of wood tannins, various primers, and the patience required to wait for each.single.coat to dry. 

Our last Sahara Desert tablescape. 

Our last Sahara Desert tablescape. 

I'm now a self proclaimed expert on shades of white. 

I'm now a self proclaimed expert on shades of white. 

Once we decided on the two colors (SW Dover White on the wainscot and trim) and (BM Linen White) on the walls, we started priming the wood and trim. If you stop reading at this point, assuming you've gotten this far, PLEASE TAKE NOTE: When painting wood, use Shellac Primer. Period. Don't listen to the sales associates when they guarantee an all inclusive primer will do the trick. Liars. Shellac primer is the ONLY thing that will prevent wood tannins from bleeding through (causing white primer and paint to turn dirty yellow) and is the ONLY primer that will not peel or scratch off on wood or paneling. We learned this the hard way. 

FYI: Shellac Primer has a strong odor and I'm pretty sure I got a high off of the fumes (or maybe the mimosas). 

Regular primer will do just fine on the walls. 

Those aren't streamers! Half way through painting the window sashes, I was requesting to just buy new windows, 

Those aren't streamers! Half way through painting the window sashes, I was requesting to just buy new windows, 

Almost ready to post reveal pictures but first a little background story on my dining room set. It has been in my family for as long as I've been around but my sister has the matching chairs: cane back chairs that I refuse to pay $300 each for. I've passively been on the lookout for cane back chairs and came across this entire set at Goodwill a few weeks ago for $150. What!!! I did not hesitate for a single second, bought the entire set and called my husband to ask he pick it up after he got off work. 

Excuse the background mess. I was too excited to take a picture that cleaning up was not a priority 

Excuse the background mess. I was too excited to take a picture that cleaning up was not a priority 

I recovered all six chairs and put the table it came with in our study to use as a writing desk (another room for another post).  Without further delay, here is our updated dining room. 

You can never have enough blue and white chinoiserie. 

You can never have enough blue and white chinoiserie. 

I found this frame at my favorite store, Finders Keepers and knew exactly what to do with it,

I found this frame at my favorite store, Finders Keepers and knew exactly what to do with it,

This is my favorite corner in the house. It reminds me of the original Cinderella film when Lesley Ann Warren sings "In my own little corner in my own little chair".  This piece of furniture is an antique radio that opens up with speakers inside. It used to be my parents end table in their bedroom and they would hide my oldest sister's car keys when she got grounded back in high school. 

This is my favorite corner in the house. It reminds me of the original Cinderella film when Lesley Ann Warren sings "In my own little corner in my own little chair".  This piece of furniture is an antique radio that opens up with speakers inside. It used to be my parents end table in their bedroom and they would hide my oldest sister's car keys when she got grounded back in high school. 

The view from the den. Oh the brightness!!

The view from the den. Oh the brightness!!

Whew. This project was intense. Not to mention in the midst of priming, we had tornadoes and lost power for four days. I'm so happy with the outcome and now it makes every other room feel Sahara desert-ish!

Feel free to ask any questions about paint colors, primers, decor, etc.!

 

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