BEFORE & AFTER
On the left is the breakfast nook several hours after closing on the house. The prior homeowner had left a table and chairs for us, which was nice and helpful during the transition while we cleaned and ripped out carpeting and painted for a month prior to moving in. As you can see, the before decoration was pretty, but was not my style. The blinds which had been firmly closed during our visits to the house were now pulled all the way up to reveal the windows and the light. As I remember it was a gorgeous day to have the windows open with a breeze to air the house out. I wish I had a picture with the blinds closed. As the prior owners kept all natural light blocked for some reason, just the act of flinging the windows open and pulling the blinds up had already made such a difference in the appearance of the room.
Another view of the before. My dog, Ramsey, had just been taken for a walk when we snapped the pic so please don’t worry about him, he was quite happy. With four of us in the house, someone was walking him or he was on the deck happily surveying his new kingdom. Just as my husband came back from walking him I asked him to take the picture, so this is what he does, loop the leash, then snap the picture. Where was I at this time? I was standing on the kitchen counter cleaning out the upper cabinets with a bleach solution. I actually cropped myself out of the above picture!
The first thing we did after cleaning was paint. We painted and painted and painted. None of the rooms, not a single one, had ever been painted. This was great as there were no drips to contend with, but the paint sucked right into the walls, requiring several coats.
The color we used on the kitchen and foyer walls was this:
We changed out the trim color from Benjamin Moore -White Dove to the brighter Sherwin Williams – Snowbound in semi-gloss.
Not sure why it looks so gray (at least on my screen) but I promise it is a very pretty shade of white that is just right. The pic above the swatch is how the area looks in winter, with the light off and with 8 chairs. Unfortunately you can only see half of the chairs in the snow picture, and I would redo it for you, but I took the picture back during our first snow, before we even started this blog.
I really want to replace the tile, but with everything else we have going on in the house, it just has not been a priority. It is actually in good shape and is an off-white, which has been brutal with a black dog, but is easily cleaned.
In this space I added a chandelier I purchased on Hayneedle. The chairs were also purchased via Hayneedle and match the breakfast bar stools I already had purchased for last house (and intended to use in this house). The table is from Ethan Allen and was my big splurge as I wanted a 60 inch diameter table. The buffet table is actually a vanity with the mirror removed. I purchased the vanity several years ago for my daughter’s bedroom from Bombay Company and got it at a great price just as they were going out of business. I also added a the clock from Ballard Designs and used two vases I purchased at yard sales for $1.50. Placed a woven vine ball from Michaels with a spiral of moss added to the top, also from Michaels and a small boxwood ball from Homegoods. The arrangement was from an Alice in Wonderland themed book club I hosted and liked it so much I left it.
The chairs are currently selling for $109 for two chairs, I think at the time I got them for less, but maybe I used a 10% off coupon. They were easy to assemble and are Avario Parsons Chairs in off white leather from hayneedle.com. The Livex Chesterfield Chandelier in Venetian Golden Bronze was from Xcess limited through amazon.com for only $230.00. Medallion also through amazon.com from The BT group for $28.66. It is made by Westinghouse and is 16 inch bronze colored and called Paris. Everyone asks if the medallion came with the chandelier so I must have matched them pretty well just eyeballing them on my computer.
I love the chandelier so much that I may purchase another larger one with more candle/lights for the dining room. It is truly spectacular in person, with just the right amount of crystal to suit me.
The centerpiece bowl and woven place mats are from Homegoods as well. I paid $12.99 for the bowl and the place mats were on clearance for $8. The place mats became a necessity as we use this table daily and I did not like how many scratches and marks were appearing. I try to look at it as if my family is simply “antiquing” it, but still…
One of these days I will either replace the flooring or put in a round natural woven carpet, like the one below, to complete the look. As I have both 2 kitties and 2 kiddies still at home, this does not seem like a good time to purchase that. Although this one for $86 on Overstock.com looks good…hmmmm.
Hand-woven Braided Natural Jute Rug