Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ok, I got the feeling some of you didn't care for my April Fools Day post??  Heehee!!  As I said before, we are not going ANYWHERE!!  I thought I would finally show you our dining room today!  But first, a little tour of the dining area when we bought the house! I've had a few people tell me they would love to renovate but don't really know where to start or how to go about changing the rooms around.  You can honestly do just about anything you want, as long as you always keep in mind which walls are "load bearing" walls.  You don't want to just go knockin on something that is holding up your ceiling if you get my drift.  As far as the layout of our house, we did most of our "room changes" in the back of the house where the kitchen/dining room/laundry/sunroom are.  Ben and I both like open floor plans more than lots of smaller closed off rooms.  Chances are, if you buy an old house, you're going to get lots of rooms, rather than big open spaces.  Some of you may love that.  I personally like to be able to see my little rug-rats from where ever I may be standing! :)  
Here is the dining room when we bought the house.  The room with the windows is the sunroom, and the kitchen is directly on the other side of the fireplace wall.  We knew immediately we would take these 2 walls down.  Both of the walls you see in this picture are gone.  We saved the glass doors (we used them in the study!) and saved the mantel as well.  I may make a headboard out of it one day.

This is the other side of the dining room before if you are standing in the sunroom.  That little room with the concrete floor is now my master bathroom!  We took both of these walls down too.  The door beside the fireplace went to the kitchen.

Here's Ben and his buddies doing some of the demolition.  Keep in mind we checked with a framer first so be sure it was ok to take the walls down!! We knew we were going to need a couple columns to bear the weight after we took the walls down.  The thick wooden beam you see in the right of this picture is the beginning of a column!  Behind all of the sheetrock in the house were walls of wood paneling.  Made it extra hard to get the walls down!

Sorry for the quality of some of the pictures.  Half of them are cell phone pictures!

Notice the floors as well!  There was a brick fireplace in the dining room that went all the way up through the roof!!  My dad and a couple other guys had to stand at the top of the chimney and knock them down, brick by brick.  They were absolutely filthy!!  That led to a giant hole in the floor, and then uneven floors.  The guys spent days breaking all that concrete and scraping layer after layer of floor until we had somewhat level floors!

Here's a better picture of the hole from the fireplace.

Things are starting to open up!!

Here are a couple TERRIBLE pictures of the chimney removal.  That hole goes all the way up people!!!

After all the demolition was done, the floor was rebuilt to be nice and strong.  This is how it looked when we moved in!  Again, the vertical wooden beam is now a nice column.

Here is a shot of the other column.  We had to put one on each side of the dining room, where we removed the walls.  The framed wall you see behind it is the new wall separating our bathroom from the dining room hall.

Finally, the walls were sanded and patched, the ceilings were scraped, smoothed, and painted, and we eventually got floors!!  Then came the fun part of painting the walls and decorating!  The dining room was the first room I put together.  The first week we moved in was absolutely crazy.  We had no floors, no countertops, no sink or any kitchen appliances, and a very dusty house!!  I was so excited to get in the house, I didn't even care!!  Every morning, Ben got up and went to work, and I would put on my tennis shoes and junky clothes and get to work.  I unpacked and cleaned for hours and hours and hours.  I finally cleared the dining room and had my dad paint the wall behind the table our accent color.  We set up the table and I decorated the best I could with the accessories that had been unpacked.  I think the dining room is such an important room in the house.  (Or the kitchen-I just mean where ever your family eats dinner.)  I grew up eating family dinners together around the table every night, and we are keeping with that tradition in this home.  Here is an old picture of the dining room.

Our table came from Southeastern Salvage and was a Christmas gift from my parents.  It's one of my favorite pieces of furniture in the entire house.  I searched lots and lots of furniture stores looking for the perfect table for my family.  I had a vision of what I wanted in my head...and this was it!  I love the distressed wood and how imperfect it is.  It sounds crazy, but I actually got excited when I was wiping the table one day and saw the very first scratch that we had somehow put across the top.  I LOVE old tables that you can just look at and FEEL the history in them from years and years of family dinners, with kiddos packed around it, and dishes being passed.  I wanted a table that will last forever.  When I'm old and gray and see all the scratches and dents, the memories will flood my mind and make me remember the most important moments spent with my family.  Couches, beds, and dressers will be replaced over the years, but not this table.  This is where we share our day with each other and hold hands to thank God for the food that sits in front of us.  Audrey gets so excited for our family dinners that she won't even eat if Ben is late getting home.  She makes us all wait until daddy can be home to eat "all together."  The chairs actually came from a different store!  I hated the ones that were with the table, and didn't buy them!  These came from World Market, and were just what I had in mind!  I got the farmhouse bench there as well.  I knew I wanted a bench from the time I saw the table!

The blue walls are Sherwin Williams "Rain" and the accent wall is "Sandtrap."  It is a close match to my kitchen cabinets, which are directly across the room from the wall.

My light came from Modern Lighting, and was one of the last light fixtures I chose.  It is in our favorite finish, Oil Rubbed Bronze. (Actually, I think the light store called it "Kentucky Bronze," but it's the same as oil rubbed or venetian bronze.  Same color, lots of names.)

So that's our dining room!  We spend lots and lots of time in here, and I'm so happy with how open it all turned out.  Things actually look a bit different in there today, as we have added the hutch and changed the decorations a bit.  But, since this post is a million years long, I'll save those pictures for tomorrow!  Thanks for looking!


  1. Val, I love this SO much! You guys are doing such amazing things with your dream home. I'm thrilled to pieces for you!