The dining room renovation is officially done. Jeremy and I worked steadily to get the board and batten just right, making this project longer than anticipated. In the end, the hard work was worth it, and I’m delighted with how it turned out. While preparing this post, I took a peek at the original listing photos. It’s always fun to take inventory of how much has changed. I had almost forgotten about the original light fixture and the chair rail.
I’ll quickly recap everything we did in this room and the timeline. Not long after we moved into the house, we updated the light fixture to the current long black fixture. It was a welcomed change from the tiny traditional chandelier. For a while, we lived with the white walls and orangey wood. At the end of last year, Jeremy and I decided to start on the massive job of installing hardwood floors throughout our first floor. We decided the dining room and attached living room would be the best place to start (I briefly talked about it here). As is common during renovations, the project’s scope grew as Jeremy and I decided to tackle the board and batten at the same time.
So, not only did we rip out the old carpet and baseboards, but we removed the chair rail, repaired the drywall, and painted the room (upper half Asiago – Valspar, bottom – Ultra White – Behr). Below is a grainy cell phone picture of some of the progress.
There was a lot of planning that went into the board and batten. We had to figure out the spacing, determined the material, and Jeremy spent a few hours cutting MDF down to the right size boards. We installed the top portion of the board and batten before the hardwood flooring was installed. The room sat untouched for a month or two while we figured out some of the remaining questions for the board and batten, like should we install the baseboards first and then the remaining stiles? (this is what we did). Can we use standard baseboards or do we need to use MDF? (MDF) How can we ensure that everything is lined up? (Laser level).
After we had a plan in place, it only took a day to install the rest of the board and batten. You know that saying: Victory loves preparation? Well, that is how we felt because the install was quick and relatively easy.
With all the boards installed, we had to complete one of the most important parts of the project – filling, sanding, caulking, and painting. When we started our DIY journey, I wouldn’t say I liked this part of any project. However, I’ve grown to love it over the years because it makes such a huge difference. Those relatively small and tedious steps can transform things from good to great.
Once the room construction was finished, we moved all our furniture back into the room and styled it (which was relatively minor). So, now we get to the fun part – the after pictures.
The dining room is in the corner of the house and has a large opening to our small living room. Our house faces east, and the dining room’s window is open to the west. When looking into the dining room from the living room, you get a full view of the whole room. The room is grounded with a large 8’6″ x 13′ blue and white plaid rug. It’s actually an outdoor rug, so it’s very easy to clean. Surprisingly, it’s soft underfoot, which is not always the case for outdoor rugs.
The dining room table and chairs are from 10+ years ago. Jeremy and I purchased the set when we bought our first home. It’s a beautiful solid wood set from a collection by Cindy Crawford (yes, the supermodel). I love the Chippendale-style chair backs and the slight curve on the table’s legs. Each of those things makes this traditional table feel modern and updated. It comes with a leaf, but we left it out since we’re not hosting very many dinners at this time. And honestly, I’m more likely to have a couple of people over rather than a whole group, so it works out just fine.
The white dining room hutch belonged to Jeremy’s grandmother. While it’s not my style, I embrace the sentimentality of it. It was originally stained wood, but I painted it white a few years ago. The back wall has green curtains hung high and wide. Actually, looking at the photos reminds me I need to get a longer curtain rod. Not to mention the curtains would do well with some pleats (and training).
My absolute favorite view is from the kitchen. It has the perfect combination of almost all the elements in the room and looks well styled and put together. On the table is a wooden vessel from Target and a glass vase filled with faux fall stems. I kept the styling minimal as this is generally how it looks and operates on a day-to-day basis.
I don’t have a great shot looking into the living room from the dining room. The one above is probably the best. Maybe next time, I’ll try to shoot from outside the window to capture the whole room.
Well, there you have an update on the renovated dining room. This room will continue to evolve, and I’ll slowly change the room up over time. I’ve already mentioned that I want to get a longer curtain rod and train the curtains. I also want to recover our chair cushions with a Crypton fabric (this fabric is super durable for kids). Right now, they are covered in microfiber, which is also a great fabric for kids. However, after 11 years (7 with a baby/child), they could definitely use a refresh. The rug will eventually be replaced. Maybe when my son B is a little older, and there are fewer spills. I’m not in a rush, though, and I plan on enjoying this version of the dining room for some time.