Monday, March 18, 2013

What I made!!!

I've been wanting to give our dining room a makeover for awhile now.  I loved our dining room the way it was, but it definitely needed to be freshened up.  A good friend asked me why I would re-do the dining room since it had only been a few years since I did the first makeover...uhhh, that was 12 or 13 YEARS ago!!!  Originally, January was going to be THE month that I tackled the make over.  But, then someone decided to empty our bank account for us, so it wasn't possible. (Have no fear, the problem has since been fixed and funds returned!)  Then I scheduled a Super Bowl/ baby shower party at our house, so I just didn't have the time. (Such a mature decision for me!  In years past, I would have tried to frantically finish the project forgoing sleep and sanity.) 

I didn't take any 'before' pictures.  I know!!!  For shame!!  But, to be honest, one day after dinner, Jay ripped a piece of chair rail off the wall to see what would happen and so the project began.  And by began, I mean that the glue from the chair rail ripped off chunks of plaster leaving a strip of disaster in its wake on our very unevenly textured walls.  Uh-oh.  Once I fixed that problem with a bucket of joint compound, children's paint brushes, and an electric sander, it was on to the painting.  Of course I wanted to paint horizontal stripes on an uneven wall.  Our house has to be the most crooked house ever...if you ever drop a blueberry or bouncy ball, I know just where to look! (under the china cabinet!)  The stripes turned out beautifully!  BUT!!! The most exciting part of the project was my window boxes/valances/cornices...whatever you call them, these were my 'piece de resistance'!!!

You guys!  Pretty much everyone thought I was crazy to tackle this project by myself without any real woodworking experience.  I promise you, the guy at Home Depot tried mightily to talk me out of this project with a smile and condescending tone.  He may have even given me a grandfatherly wink at one point.  Since I don't take kindly to be being told that I cannot do something, I went ahead and bought all the wood and trim and headed home.

I have a whole 'nother blog post about how great my father-in-law is.  He's a great resource of tools and fix-it wisdom.  He came over and helped me measure correctly (as to hit the studs when hanging the box) and miter the corners at the correct angle.  Plus, he bought me a whole container of water putty, which is my new favorite putty!!

Again, I didn't take pictures of the process because I had set my expectations pretty low.  I knew I could do the project, I just doubted how well they would turn out.  I didn't want any evidence of wasted time, wood and money (I feel like there's a joke in there somewhere).  However!!!  They turned out way better than I expected!

Since we were hosting a huge birthday bash this past weekend, I didn't have any time to hang stuff on the walls, but here are some pics....
Here's sort of a 'before' picture...the room was yellow above the chair rail, dark blue below the rail.  I like the blue because we did vertical stripes of the blue in satin and egg shell finishes.  Thank you Trading Spaces!  Please excuse the child with no pants on...

My helpers!!  They really did a good job!

The taping of the stripes!!!  Yikes!  Do you like my "x's" to remind my feeble brain to NOT paint in that space?

I love these so much sometimes I just stand in the dining room and look at them.

I have some ideas for art projects and a new cabinet/shelf...I promise that I'll try to remember to take pictures!


Courtney said...

I'm coming to see this tonight!!

Crafty P said...

AH-mazing. Still in awe of those cornices. You did a FABULOUS job. I should come see them in person ;-)

I have a request... when you add pics to your blog, could you make them bigger? like choose medium or large or whatever is bigger than what they are at first load? I want to see MORE!!!!

Happy said...

I am pretty sure there isn't anything you can't do, Rachel! Just reading this post, I felt empowered! Wow! Love the striped walls and those cornices! Amazing that you did that with your own two hands! Beautiful!

What's funny is I have cornices in my dining room and living room, but they are super ugly! Feeling inspired to paint them now!