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Monday, April 16, 2012

Dining Room Diva

Two posts in one day.
There's just a slim chance I need a new hobby.

At Thrifty Decor Chick, it's a Show Off Your Dining Room party,
and at Between Naps On The Porch, it's Metamorphosis Monday.

So, the dining room at That Old House.
We buy the old gal in March of 2008, and here's what we get in the dining room:
heavy pinch pleat stiff flowered draperies, a rusty-look contemporary light fixture,
and flesh colored walls, heavily stencilled.

Loads of indecision about color, and a painting crew later, we have this by April '08:

There's nothing wrong with the metal chandelier, but I'm hearing the house ask for crystal in this room.
Yes, for a humble farmhouse, she is quite the diva, our home.

In May of 2008, I buy a crystal chandelier online.  It's delivered in 3 boxes, in 9000 pieces.
With almost no instructions, and just a few diagrams.
I decide this is not a do-it-yourself Happy Homeowner project.  I am right.

It takes two electricians pretty much all of a day to assemble and hang it.
And I'm sometimes still surprised when I walk into the dining room and see it there.
She's a big gal, our chandy.

Our first furniture purchase for the dining room -- a vintage pine breakfront
from an estate sale at a Manhattan apartment on Central Park West.

Next, a very beat-up sideboard that needed major refinishing,
although its marble top was thankfully pristine.
Also a big vintage cast brass mirror from a New Jersey moving sale.

Also in the room -- my grandmother's French Empire china closet,
its finish restored by me more than 30 years ago, in our Pittsburgh apartment.

We buy our first-ever "good" rug for the dining room, and move a too-small dining table
and 6 chairs in from our former house, and I cobble together simple draperies.
True confession:  They puddle because I didn't hem them.
 This, above and below, was Christmas 2008.

Now it's . . . Summer 2009.

And Thanksgiving 2009;
our Turkey Day dishes waiting on the sideboard.

 In February 2010,
we buy a vintage Henkel-Harris mahogany dining table in a seedy garage near Newark Airport.
During a snow storm.
Howard and my brother-in-law Bill put it together; it replaces the smaller table, which we sell on Craigslist.

Finally, a table big enough to fit the extended family!

 I do love a beautiful table, and even more so when it's a bargain.

Tablescaping the new table.

These chairs end up being sold with their partner, the smaller table.  Hooray for Craigslist.

Our beautiful big old table ends up with a screwball assortment
of mismatched dining chairs in three styles and woods.

October 2010 -- as we redo our kitchen, the dining room handles some of the overflow of stuff.
No dinner parties during those weeks!

By Thanksgiving 2010,
the kitchen is done, and the "grownup" table in the dining room is nicely filled.

 June 2011 -- the dining room gets spiffed up for a wedding, as our daughter Alida and Josh are married.
Any excuse for over-the-top flowers, right? 

In the Fall of 2011, a big gorgeous blue and white bowl turns up on my doorstep,
a gift from Martha of Lines From Linderhof.  Woo-hoo!

We like us our blue and white china, Martha and me.

December 2011 -- and it's staging time for Christmas,
as the boxes of decorations are unloaded and sorted in the dining room.
The Christmas magic starts in this room.  Possibly because it is red.  

March 2011 -- and this is the dining room as it usually looks.
Fairly tidy.  Only one leaf (out of 3) in the table,
and the usual wackadoo collection of chairs scattered around the room.

I have new fabric for the windows in this room.  Ask me if I've sewn the new draperies yet.
No, don't ask.
You already know.
And now you also know way more about our dining room than you ever wanted to.

Visit the websites for Thrifty Decor Chick and Between Naps On the Porch for their Monday memes.
Enjoy! -- Cass


  1. Wonderful room. Thank you for showing us its history!

  2. I love your dining room, especially that gorgeous chandelier! Uhhhmmmm, I'm sorry to ask a rather rude question, but how long have you had that drapery fabric now? LOL! You'll get to it when the time is right!

    1. I got a new sewing machine last May, and it's SO slick and advanced that I am scared of it! I may have to get my old Kenmore refurbished in order to sew again. I've had that fabric for more than a year! Yikes.

  3. I really loved seeing the progression of this room. I didn't know that you had only moved in in 2008. For some reason I thought you had been there a LONG time. You've come a long way,baby! Very nice! xo Diana

  4. The new table is the bomb diggity Cass. I need to send you Joe's chandy story and how he made a French friend named Gigi.

  5. Cass,
    Love the dining room history. Beautiful table and I love the color. Do not be afraid of the new sewing machine! I have the same one and it just purrs!


  6. Thanks for taking us along on the journey that is your dining room. I snickered when I saw the first photo, because the light fixture is exactly the same one we used when we remodeled the kitchen in our last house. (It came from Home Depot, I think.) The people who bought that house loved it. :)

  7. So happy to have found "this old house"!! The room is simply divine-following you from TDC-stop on over for a visit!!

  8. This is a great posting I have read. I like your article. Thank you

  9. Hi Cass...

    I'm just doing a little catching up while I'm over visiting you today. I had to leave you a note to let you know how much I enjoyed this post. I loved getting to see the fabulous metamorphosis that your beautiful dining room has gone through over the past few years! It's a gorgeous of my favorites! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    Love ya,


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