Our house is a funny little house. It used to be quite small consisting only of a living room, dining room, galley kitchen, two bedrooms and one bath. Then down the road the unfinished “attic-type space” caught on fire. When being repaired the current owner added onto the house and created our bedroom and another full bath which you can see here (this is it pre-HGTV, of course). A bit later another previous owner finished out the basement. From the outside our house looks small, but once you get inside it’s plenty roomy, although it is a bit of a maze. The main level is the same and now we have our beautiful and roomy upstairs bedroom and bathroom (which also has a sitting room) and the basement which has our laundry room, a workroom (where I get my build on), family room, my office, a large closet for storage and another full bath. Although we have filled out this house we definitely have room to grow.
We have on of those houses that when you walk in the front door you are in our living room and our dining room. It’s one big, long room. Can you picture it? (I’d've taken a picture to make it easier on you, but at the time I took these pictures our living room was trashed with Charley-ville.)
I struggle doing what I want to do with our living room because I feel limited with it being in the same room as our dining room. It’s kind of annoying actually. For example, I’d love to paint the walls a different color in our living room, but I don’t want that same color in the dining room. I would like darker and cozier in the living room, lighter and airier in the dining room. Oh the struggles in life … (rolling my own eyes at my own self) ..
The dining room:
Let’s start up, down and then left to right. : ) The light above the dining room table …
The first six months we lived in this house we had a hideous gold and cream colored fan above the table. I understand the purpose of having a fan in this space (it can get hot with the sun shining in), but the look of a fan above a dining room table looked silly. For the longest time I could not find a light I thought was cool looking at a price we were willing to pay. And, we looked everywhere! Finally, one weekend when my mom was in town she was actually the one who pointed out this light one day at Lowes. It definitely made me stop and think and so we took a chance. It cost a bit over $100 and was meant to be a foyer light. But, still it works and I love the statement it makes above our table. Lesson learned: think outside the box even with lighting.
Our table is from World Market. I love having the bench on the one side because it allows up to four people to sit as opposed to two. This works out well when both of our families in town at the same time.
On the table I keep a hefty stack of napkins stocked and coasters so that we don’t get any ugly rings on our pretty, wooden table.
I pieced the flowers (they’re unfortunately fake, obviously), rocks and vase together at Hobby Lobby one day. They go from the center of the table to the guest room closet. I much prefer live flowers over fake ones, but sometimes live flowers aren’t in the budget (although I do make excuses for them as often as possible!).
Below the table is a jute rug we bought at the Pottery Barn Outlet shortly before moving to Cincinnati from Memphis (man, I miss having one of those a ten minute drive away!). It has somehow proved to be the most durable rug ever! It is in a very high traffic area and has had a ton of food spilled on it, but somehow I have almost always managed to keep it clean. I will say I give it a good dustbusting love a couple times a week which helps keep the dirt from building itself a permanent home.
The rug was quite cheap because there was a stain on the jute (looked like wine maybe?) which is under our table and a tear in the fabric that outlines it. The tear, although noticeable when pointed out, is definitely not when not pointed out. But, just for fun (because that’s what I am: fun) I’ll point it out:
Moving to the left of the room …
Our buffet is from Hobby Lobby. I spotted it one day and with it’s $299 price tag I was sold. It’s big and solid wood and heavy! And, it holds a crap-load of stuff which is so nice because our kitchen is tee-tiny. It’s not as dark/red as the picture above is showing it. This picture is a bit better …
I’ve considered painting it a dozen times, but that natural wood sure is pretty. We’ll see .. Moving on!
Long ago I had this idea of adding two, simple shelves above our buffet table. I didn’t want it to feel “heavy” though so I opted to use glass. I thought it would be easy enough to find glass shelves, but I was way mistaken. I looked all over the place, including all over the World Wide Web. The only ones I could find were made for bathrooms and were too shallow, too short or the hardware too ugly. I finally did what I always do when I can’t figure it out myself and asked my dad. He quickly said, “no problem!” and his next visit up included two glass shelves, cut to the exact size I wanted.
My next problem to solve was finding a way to secure them to the wall. And, again – nothing. All of the brackets I was finding online were ugly. I wanted something vintage-y and simple, feminine, but rustic. Anthro had the perfect ones, but they were a bit pricey and the reviews weren’t good since everyone complained about the “little nob that sticks up, preventing you from having any type of normal looking shelf on top.” But, after looking for months (I didn’t even sleep I was looking so intently ; ) I decided to bite the bullet and go with the Anthro ones that were oh so perfect. The obnoxious nob-by thing? I just sent them to my dad and he managed to make them go away. (So, I’m thinking I probably should have had my dad write this DIY post …)
The circle art on the walls …
…are embroidery hoops securing dishtowels from Anthro that my mom bought me for Christmas. I simply (and simply is for real – this was the easiest DIY ever!) placed my hoop around the area that I wanted to show, secured the second hoop, tightened and then cut the extra napkin hanging out the back off.
Often I have had people ask me if I made the art myself. “Ummmm … yes. I am a master embroiderer and can do the same for you for only $1000.” And, moving on from Geekland …
The vases you might remember from Charley’s luncheon. I got those from the same antique store I mentioned so many times in the first Casa Cudzilo post on Charley’s room. They were $12 for all five and the fabric around them is left from when I decorated them for Charley’s luncheon. Inside is dried lavender. The bird house is from Hobby Lobby, the clock my dad had made for my sister and I from wood from our family home in Banner Elk and the picture from this series I took of Charley enjoying strawberries for the first time. On the buffet is a set of salt & pepper shakers, our modern day boom box which gets used on a daily basis (this family has some moves you’d only be so lucky to witness) and a basket, also bought from that same antique store, with cloth napkins stacked inside.
(I just re-read this paragraph for proofing’s sake and almost fell asleep. Sorry for the DIY borefest. Now, sip that coffee and let’s do this thing!)
Moving on to the curtains …
But first look who came to visit!
It’s my Goose on the loose with her ever-growing pixie cut and NINE teeth! And, truly that girl is on the loose nowadays! See ya later!
Back to the curtains …
I stalked those curtains for *months* at the Pottery Barn Outlet waiting for them to go on sale-sale-sale. I would walk in the door and not breathe from my car to the shelf where they were until I saw the price tag. And, then in total sadness I would let out a giant sigh, hang my head and walk back to my car in defeat.
I said goodbye to that dream and we moved above the Mason-Dixon to Cincinnati. And, guess what! I found those curtains on CLEARANCE at the REAL store! I bought those suckers up as fast as possible and skipped-to-my-Lou to my car. The next order of business would be hanging them!
Unfortunately, any rod that is the length of our entire room cost like a million dollars. Boo-hoo. That’s when I got the idea to DIY myself a rod and that I did! (Am I redeeming myself from the “my dad did all of this” section and the “snoozefest” section?) I’ll spare re-writing all the details again because I typed it out in detail a year or so ago over at TCM which can be read here if you’re oh so interested.
And, if you’re curious to know the curtains do drag on the ground and the one on the right is right next to where everyone comes in and out from the backyard. And, somehow … somehow … they are still as white as snow on the back. Honestly, I don’t know how that is because I have never once had them cleaned. See for yourself:
I love those curtains so much. And, this says a lot because typically I grow old of things every few years. Those curtains were worth every penny and I love how heavy and elegant they make that space look, without making it look or feel too fancy or stuffy. Pottery Barn makes some cheap furniture in my humble opinion, but their fabric pieces (quilts, curtains, rugs, etc.) have always stood the test of time in our house.
Charley and I spend a lot of time each week sitting at that end of the table, next to those curtains, eating and looking out the backyard. It’s our way of enjoying the outside without dying from a heat stroke.
To the right of the curtain holds my beloved ladder.
This, too, was found at that antique store (I may or may not frequent it often and I may or may not bring something home every single time) and this, too, I have written about in detail (including showing how it was made) over at TCM. That post can be read here if you haven’t gotten enough of me yet.
It has become the best and easiest place for me to put a few random photos I am loving. The clips I bought from Anthropologie. (Gah, who knew this was going to be an ad for Pottery Barn and Anthro?)
Our fridge is right inside the kitchen door and leaving most of them in the bucket means less hang out on the floor:
And, for any of you worry-warts out there, like my Aunt Sandra, you’ll be happy to know that that ladder ain’t going nowhere. The best way to leave your house as is, but still baby-proof it is to L-hook the heck out of everything.
Now, let’s chat. Who else has a dad who solves all their problems? Who else loves PB and Anthro as much as me? Who else has a maze for a house? Who has any comments or questions? Who even made it to the end of this post?
p.s. Perfect day to toot my dad’s horn because TODAY is his birthday! Happy birthday, dear ol’ dad. Love you so so much! Even more than those PB curtains (which says a lot)!