Wednesday, February 4, 2015

We're Halfway There: Dining Room Makeover

A couple weeks ago, Sean started building our IKEA bookcases when I realized: dammit, no time can wait, we HAVE to paint the dining/living room. The cases are intended to be mounted to the wall and it became clear it would be a nightmare to do that, unpack the books and set the whole thing up only to have to do it again when we decided to paint. So, I went to Benjamin Moore on my lunch break one day, came home with samples of two greige colors (Nimbus and Revere Pewter) and told Sean, "We're painting this week."

After cleaning up from our mini kitchen fire, we started painting on a Sunday and after plugging away at it after work and on the weekend, we were ready to put together the bookshelves by Saturday night. I'm so excited to show the progress we've had so far! Let's look, shall we?

Here is the living room the way it looked when we toured the house. Because of the railing and the somewhat large furniture, it felt very small to me!

Another view. I walked in and said: the railing, the carpet and the wallpaper HAVE to go.

When we moved in, it was amazing to see how much bigger the room already felt, but the senseless divider was still throwing me for a loop!

But I definitely saw lots of potential...I realized the wall around the entrance might be perfect for bookcases that look almost built-in.

Two months later, here we are, with gleaming hardwood floors and greige walls! We ended up choosing Benjamin Moore Nimbus, which is more gray than Revere Pewter and seemed to better offset our favorite painting by our cousin Emily. Don't mind my dirty old's a placeholder.

Et voila! I'm so in love with how this came together. We got four BILLY bookcases from IKEA. They're inexpensive and very sturdy. You can buy extender units to make them go almost to the ceiling, which we opted to do. They also doubled our book storage! In our apartment, we had the 4x4 square bookcase from IKEA and it was bulging with books; this is almost all of the same books (save some graphic novels that are going to live in Sean's man room), but now I had room to tuck in some of my little treasures.

 Like my glass glitter Eiffel Tower!

 And my framed photobooth pictures from San Francisco and Pittsburgh!

Fair warning: if you buy the extender units, the IKEA directions recommend attaching an L-bracket to the top of the bookcase and screwing that into the wall. But ours came so close to the ceiling, Sean could barely get his hands back there to hold the screw and washer in place. After debating our options, we decided to place the screws on the side instead, so this is hidden from view, but is doing the job just fine. The cases would stand on their own if they weren't screwed in, but could very easily tip if you pulled on them.

To add some lighting to that side of the room, I picked up this $60 floor lamp from Target and it's a nice modern element next to all the wood. Our next agenda item is to find an affordable, comfy couch that fits nicely in a more formal room and to find the rug of my dreams. I've found myself more drawn to antique Turkish rugs, which means I need to either win the damn lottery or became an eBay savant. I'm hoping for the latter. 


Heather said...

Hey, we have the same lamp!

This looks amazing. It's like looking at a completely different room!

Tallulah Bankrobber said...

I adore what you did with the place, and I'm really glad you documented the process. I'm making mental notes for my one-day home.