Home Improvements #2 - Dining Room Sneak Peek


After what seems like too long, I'm ridiculously excited to share a cheeky glimpse of our dining room! I don't want to give away too much yet as we're still waiting for our table and chairs, curtains and prints for the walls ;o)

Below's a little reminder of what it looked like before and you can revisit our extensive stripping back process. Hopefully this taster alone proves just how far we've gone to transform what was a depressingly dark room!



Aside from stripping back the old wallpaper and carpet, one of the biggest and most rewarding jobs was getting rid of the cat-puke-yellow which all the woodwork, cornices, door and radiator had been painted in. It took a lot of sanding, multiple coats of white paint and even professional stripping of the door, which we then varnished to match our other downstairs doors. 




My personal favourite transformation has to be the fireplace though! We found it quite ugly and very out of place with what we had planned for the room, so my boyfriend came up with an inspired idea to make it look more sleek and contemporary. I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I seriously love how it looks now!




So why has it taken us over two months to decorate just one room? I know it sounds like an age, but we were mostly slaving on it during our free weekends, as we both work full-time. The stripping is relatively fast, but once you get to the decorating, there's a lot of waiting in between coats of paint to dry! And as usual, we had our fair share of disasters that cost us precious time (days) to rectify, including:

  • Picking an Exorcist green for the lower walls, but being in denial until one side of the room was painted. We had to wait for it to dry, cover it with white, wait for that to dry and then start again with our new colour.
  • Thinking we were done with the mantle-piece only to have to 'peel' off the original five-ish coats of paint we'd applied! This heartbreaking blunder was due to the fact that we thought we could get away with just one coat of undercoat. The wood/varnish kept 'bleeding' into each layer of paint, staining the white. We ended up applying too many coats of paint, leaving the mantle-piece tacky. It took us an entire afternoon to strip the whole thing back again!
  • Applying two coats of varnish to our newly painted floorboards, only to watch in disbelief as they turned nicotine-stained. Without wishing to sound too dramatic, this was pretty soul-destroying! We had to sand down the varnish (by hand), spend time investigating better products, spend more money on a more suitable one and re-varnish. 

All these hiccups aside though, I couldn't be more delighted with what we've achieved in this room! And  I can attest that hiccups make for good lessons learned!

So, what do you think so far? I hope you're as excited as me about the big reveal...

52 comments:

  1. Looks lovely! Can't wait to see the rest- I love a good before-and-after!

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    1. Hehe, me too...love a transformation!

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  2. Love that rug! It's so exciting that you're getting to do up your house. Our house isn't in desperate need of a makeover but we have done a few small things. I totally feel your disappointment in having to re-do parts.. I find it's really hard to envision what the finished product will look like and can be such a disappointment when it doesn't look how you'd planned. And it's not cheap!! Looking forward to seeing the whole room :)

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    1. Yep, you hit the nail on the head...but always such a rush when things turn out well!

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  3. Wow, can't wait to see it all done!

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  4. The room looks terrific! Love everything, especially the fireplace! Very modern!

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  5. As a home renovator I can totally relate to your disasters! We've been at it for 24 years and we have learned a few things along the way. I hope your home doesn't take this long. Your dining room looks amazing and I love the fireplace. I don't think there is anything wrong in contemporising (new word?) something old to make it fit in with new ideas and furniture. I think the transformation is simply gorgeous and can't wait to see the big reveal!

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    1. Yikes! 24 years?!? You must be experts by now, but I do hope ours takes less time ;o)

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  6. I'm so glad you rescued the floor! I love the end result of redecorating but man I hate the process. Undercoating woodwork is my particular nemesis as it's so much effort that no-one is ever going to see! That and sanding between coats.
    The little glimpses attest to a seriously beautiful room though! You both have a beautiful eye for this!

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    1. Yes, you've stumbled upon my two pet hates in the decorating world! And thank you :o)

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  7. FABULOUS! Your patience (which I am in awe of) has been rewarded - well done you.

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    1. Thanks! We defo felt like giving up on occasion ;o)

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  8. Looks great so far - so much lighter and airier. Can't wait to see what else you've done!

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  9. Gorgeous Marie! I'm still trying to decide what to do with the downstairs rooms in my house - they are ok (read every room a different, very bring colour), just not really 'us', but we haven't yet decided what is us, so all this inspiration is great! Looking forward to seeing the rest of it!

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    1. Thanks! Take your time and use Pinterest...it's so great for ideas and inspiration!

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  10. Very exciting and such a transformation! I can only imagine how hacked off you must have been with every part of the process you got stuck in! - sounds like there were some cases of one step forwards, two back. Eeek!!but it's worth it- love the fireplace transformation too, so much cleaner and crisper, a real simple focal point.

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    1. So hacked off Winnie! But luckily all's well that ends well ;o)

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  11. The room looks great and the fire place looks really lovely, well worth the effort. I love the rug.

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  12. Your hard work has certainly paid off it's looking lovely, I love how you've done the fire place it fits right in.
    I feel your pain with disasters to, it seems like it can't be just one thing to go wrong but several - the joys of being a home owner lol!

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  13. Looks great! I have the smaller version of your rug. Black and white for the win!
    Your fireplace is so beautiful!

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  14. Looks really lovely Marie, well worth all the hard work and frustrations I would say. I love the colour scheme.

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  15. What a difference some paint (or a lot of paint) can make! It looks so much brighter and calm now. And I personally like the fireplace update.

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    1. Thank you Becky...it's just so much brighter now thank goodness!

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  16. I absolutely ADORE the color scheme you've chosen!! It recalls the slightly off the wall color pairings so popular in the late victorian/edwardian periods, but is still completely modern with the hues that you've chosen. Can't wait to see what the whole thing looks like!

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    1. Aaaw, thanks Evie...this is a great compliment indeed!

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  17. Wow, it looks great so far! You did a beautiful job with the fireplace. I can't wait to see the final result :)

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  18. This looks so beautiful! There is nothing more satisfying than finishing a project like this and knowing how good it looks! The fireplace looks fantastic!

    Etta
    x

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  19. Wow, what a transformation! There's so much more light and the room looks way bigger, too! What a big job!

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  20. Wow, what a great transformation!
    Do you have Zinnser undercoat over there? It is great for stopping varnish seeping through, it paints over anything. It is fabulous. I recently renovated a place that had varnished doors, windows, skirting and architraves, I used the Zinnser on all of them and didn't need to sand. It's great stuff (and no I don't work for them) :)

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    1. Oooh, will have to look that up...thanks for the tip, hope we have an equivalent at least!

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  21. Oooo - this is looking gorgeous! Your house looks like it's exactly the style of house my husband and I are currently looking for (but have yet to find...at the right price, in the right location) so I love these home improvement posts of yours as I get to live vicariously through them! Sounds like you had quite a few nightmares but based on these photos you wouldn't tell - everything now looks fantastic. Can't wait to see the finished room!

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    1. Thanks so much lovely! Take your time and don't rush into anything, you've got to find a house that you truly love...otherwise doing renovations like these won't seem worth it ;o)

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  22. This. Looks. Fierce.
    As a lady at the beginning of renos this is inspiring!

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    1. Thanks Amanda! How are yours coming along?

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  23. Can't wait for the big reveal. But all of the "small" details are really huge feats of effort & time. How wonderful to have your room back in order and looking lovely - from what I can tell. It already looks so much fresher and bright.

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    1. Thanks so much Liz! You're making us look like lightweights compared to what you're undertaking though ;o)

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  24. Your dining room looks gorgeous! There is always so much work to do in renovating a house. I know this from first hand experience, and I made a few mistakes too. I absolutely love the fireplace.

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    1. Thanks Lynne...it's definitely a learning journey!

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  25. Oh this is looking good! As someone who is also in the middle of renovating, I completely understand that these things take quite a while, and I've certainly experienced a lot of the hiccups you mentioned, too! Had plenty of colour choice issues in our previous house, and I'm sure it's not going to end there! Our house is still quite far from being finished, so will be a while before I am ready to share photos. Good luck with it all and looking forward to seeing the finished photos!

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    1. Thanks for the words of wisdom and good luck to you too!

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  26. This looks like it is straight out of a magazine!!!

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