February 2019 - Dimples and Tangles


Oh happy day, the Dining Room is finished, and I have the blisters and hot glue gun burns to prove it!  If you follow me on Instagram you've walked through many of these projects with me, so without further adieu, here's the Dining Room reveal!

It's been so fun (and frantic!) to be a part of the Choose Your Own Adventure (3 week!) Refresh hosted by Jewel of Jeweled Interiors.  You all will be blown away by these 12 makeovers today, be sure to visit them all linked at the end of my post.

(*This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure policy here.) 

Today I'm primarily just going to share the "after' photos with you, because honestly... that's what you're here for, right?  Next week I'll share a follow up post with more details of what I did in the room.  

The room is a good blend of things I already had and a few new things. 

Some highlights of the changes-

I refinished the top of a vintage Thomasville table that I bought off of Craigslist.  The top has a gorgeous burl wood grain and I was excited about the potential to fit more people around this table because of the pedestal base.  I'm thrilled that we can easily fit 8 around the table now, and up to 10-12 if we add in the remaining leaf. 

I kept my vintage host chairs but repainted the frames (tips on that from last week's post).

Rather than the black and white trim around the back that was previously there, I made some new cording out of some leftover malachite fabric

Curtain Fabric  ||  Floral Fabric (expensive, but on sale!)  ||  Geometric Chair Fabric

The most dramatic change in the room is definitely the side chairs.  I just about worked my fingers off this week reupholstering them (remember these used to be in my Breakfast Nook, I stripped them down and painted the frames).  That staple gun and I got to be close friends!  The designer fabric samples that I bought worked out perfectly for the backs of the chairs. 

The other addition that really elevated our limited wall space was the pair of brass Garden City sconces from Hudson Valley Lighting.  The finish is absolutely perfect and they add the coziest glow in the evenings.  But even more than a night time glow, I love looking at them during the day.  They added some dimension, shape, and height that we needed flanking the china cabinet. 

I enlarged a couple of favorite family photos for the artwork but wanted something a tad different, so first I used the Waterlogue app on my phone to give them a watercolored look.  Last week I was debating on frames, however the bamboo pair won out and I stacked them with Blue Willow platters to add a little more bulk.

And since we all love a before and after, here's a reminder from just a few weeks ago.  Definitely nothing wrong with it, I just wanted to make some changes to better suit our family and there's always room for improvement, right?  ;) 

One more look at the room today with just a few dramatic changes!

As I mentioned, I'll be back early next week to share more details about the room, be sure to stop back by. 

We all want to give a huge round of thanks to our Adventure Refresh sponsors, 
our spaces would not be nearly as fabulous without them!  

I can hardly wait to check out everyone else's makeovers today too, don't miss them!

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You guys.  This is truly a Dining Room progress report today, I don't have one thing finished for this space yet!  However, lots of things are in the works so I'll show you what I've been up to and where we are.  (If you missed my "Before" and plans with design board last week, go ahead and catch up here.)

I'm thrilled to be part of the group participating in our Choose Your Own Adventure (3 week!) Refresh hosted by Jewel of Jeweled Interiors.  We've got and awesome variety of 12 stunning projects in the works, I can't wait until all of the reveals next week!

(*This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure policy here.) 

Alright, as of last night, here's where we are.  I took most of these photos yesterday... this project is truly happening real time, friends!


Ta-daaaa, you saw them above!!  I'm in love!  We had one perfect spray paint day on Valentine's Day (the only day in recent history it's been over 50 degrees and not crazy windy) and I took advantage of it and knocked these chairs out.  I sprayed the frames without removing any of the upholstery!  Here's a look at how I did it, and I saved my process with more details in my Instagram Story highlights under "Chair Painting" if you want to see more. (Chair Color here)

I removed the seats (they unscrew from the bottom) and pulled the double piping off of the back side (surrounding the floral fabric) that I planned to switch out anyway. Then I completely covered the upholstery on both sides of the back with tape and plastic.  Needing a way to hold the edges of the foam back away from the wings a bit, I used some strips of stiff foam board and wedged them down between the padding and the wing, then pulled the two pieces together and secured with tape to hold them back a bit.  It ended up working great and my upholstery came out unscathed when I later removed the plastic.  I just need to make and add the new cording to the backs and these will be complete.


Remember, I bought a vintage Thomasville table off of Craigslist that was in good condition, it just had a couple of water damage spots and scratches on the top, and the finish was way too shiny.  I sanded down the top enough to take off the glossy finish and the edges where they were scuffed, then just finished staining it yesterday.  I will be starting to put the final top coat of polyurethane on it today and finish with a second coat tomorrow.  I didn't touch the legs at all, just freshening up the top.

I'm loving the table, the lighter color is a nice change from my former super dark one, and you can see how big it is with all of the leaves... We'll be able to fit 10-12 people around it!  For every day I'll just keep one of the leaves in and seats for 8.  That photo is after I sanded but before any staining.  I'm doing that inside since it's continually so cold outside, but we ended up having to move it in the Study where I can close the doors.  The cats occasionally hop on it to look out the window, don't want them doing that when I'm waiting for the poly to dry!  ;)  We'll run some fans in there also to help cut down on the fumes and keep them contained.


I hired my son to strip off the upholstery and it was worth. every. penny!!!  (He was happy to get some extra cash and with the school holiday this week and an extra snow/ice day we had, he had plenty of time to knock them out.)  I'm getting new foam for the seats since the old wasn't that good and had really broken down and that will be ready to pick up tomorrow.  Today we're having one more decent weather day, thankfully!, so I'm planning to get the frames all sprayed white today.

Last week I shared that I'll be adding more Chiang Mai Dragon fabric to the backs, and I wanted to give you a bargain tip today.  This is an expensive designer fabric, so I always look for remnants at a discount online.  While searching, I came across some 17"x17" sample pieces for sale.  They were the perfect size to trim for the back of my chairs, and they were only $13 each!  (Way less than purchasing yardage.) This is such a great option if you'd like to have a touch of this fabulous fabric.  It's not quite big enough for a good pillow, but I could see it running down the center of a lumbar with another color blocked on the edges.  The only drawback is that you don't really get to choose the design on the piece you're getting, so I ordered one extra just to have an option if I needed it.

Here's the big change of plans from last week/surprise for this week...  I said that I would probably use a pretty chambray colored solid chenille for the inside back and seats of the round chairs, but I couldn't get super excited about it.  After searching hours online and coming up empty, I checked out a few local fabric stores one more time, and hit the jackpot!  As soon as I saw this navy and green geometric fabric, I knew I had to use it.  Granted, I hemmed and hawed for a few days trying to decide if it was a sensible choice- even though my heart was totally in it- but finally decided to go for it!  I've never seen this fabric before and there wasn't any identifying information on it, so I know nothing about it, sorry!  The color is a bit off in the photo, it's a true kelly green velvet/chenille mixed with a smooth navy.

Floral Fabric sample  ||  Floral Fabric yardage  ||  Dot Curtain Fabric

My biggest drawback when trying to decide whether to use it or not was that it's such a strong pattern, it might be difficult to work around with all of the tablescapes that I do.  Ultimately, though, I decided I'd rather have something exciting to look at every day than design around an occasional tablescape that's set up!  ;)


We haven't had a chance to install the new Garden City sconces from Hudson Valley yet, but I have a feeling they'll be one of my favorite parts of the room!  There will be one on each side of the China Cabinet.


Although our group is super grateful for our sponsor Minted,  I wanted to use some personal artwork in my space.  I would have loved to select some abstract art, but since my DIY abstract painting is just across the hallway adjacent to this wall, I didn't think it would work.  I spent plenty of time looking, though, and these beauties caught my eye!

I'm planning to do something a little different with a couple of family photos, but am still trying to decide which frames and arrangement I'll use.  Here are my options (with a rough photoshop of the sconces added in):

I have a pair of bamboo frames (pic on floor is same frame as top, border edge just isn't painted black like top one) or a pair of the chunkier, plain frames.  I really want to use the bamboo but am trying to decide if they're big enough.  If I use the bigger frames, I'd probably paint that dark wood toned inset another color. Regardless of frame, I'm planning to use a white mat for the photo I put inside.

(Total rabbit trail... that framed picture on the floor was by Joni Eareckson Tada.  Did anyone else grow up hearing her story and reading her biography like I did? She was paralyzed as a teenager from the neck down after a diving accident but learned how to draw and paint by holding a brush in her teeth.  She has lived such an inspiring life!  I bought the picture at a thrift store because I knew I'd want the frame some day, but it was a neat surprise to find her label on the back.  I didn't even realize until I dug this out to the attic that I already had the exact frame hanging in my bedroom with my kids' picture in it, must have been another thrifted purchase!)

If I end up using the bamboo frames, I could add a platter over the artwork to fill the space a bit more.  Decisions, decisions!

So, there you have it, a whole lot is happening but nothing is complete.  My goal to be finished by Tuesday so I can style and photograph for Thursdays reveal.  I'd say I have my work cut out for me, don't you think?

To Do:
*Make cording for side chairs and host chairs
*Side Chair Upholstery, seats and backs
*Complete table refinishing with 2 coats of polyurethane
*Select family photos to frame, cut mats, and assemble
*Assemble and install Hudson Valley sconces
*Freshen up China Cabinet Styling
*Style the table and photograph!

We all want to give a huge thanks for our sponsors, can't wait to show off my installed sconces to you next week!

Now, head over and check out the progress from these other lovely ladies.  I'm sure everyone else is farther along than I am!

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You all might know that I periodically decorate tables for large events at our church.  I always try to share those with you since I know that some of you do the same for various activities.  And, even searching Pinterest, it can be tricky to find simple centerpiece ideas that aren't too extravagant or expensive when you're working on a lot of tables.

A few times throughout this year, I'll be decorating for a luncheon for all board members of our state's various entities of our Baptist General Convention.  I'm responsible for a large centerpiece on the serving line, and about 15 regular table centerpieces.  My goal was to create a simple yet classy setting, but still on a budget!

As I considered ideas I looked around at all of the blue and white I have scattered around the house and remembered images I love like this one, and inspiration struck!  I counted and determined I had enough things to spread around all of the tables.   I don't really set things up before I get to the venue to decorate, I just take what I have and wing arrangements when I get there.  Since I wanted to make sure I had enough, I put in some of my milk glass and white pieces to fill in if needed, but I wanted the main focus to be the blue and white pieces.

I wanted to add some greenery but try to consider things that don't involve fresh flowers since buying enough to look substantial can get expensive.  I love to hunt outdoors for whatever I might be able to use, but at the first of February there are not a lot of green options to clip!  I knew that magnolia leaves would be a perfect mix, and an added bonus is that they aren't fussy at all!  They can be cut early and really don't even need water to stay looking nice.  I was able to clip a few branches from a sweet neighbor a few days before the event, and they just sat in the back of my car until I was ready to trim and arrange them for the tables.  I had a few blue and white pots that already had a green plant in them, so I used those as well.

Here was my car loaded up to go, the front was packed too!  (I used some tubs and large baskets to transport a lot of the smaller things, but the bigger ginger jars and pots I just hand carried in.)

Bowls of oranges rounded out the centerpieces.  I watched the grocery ads for a few weeks before the event for a good sale (they store well), and found a steal on 3 pound bags so I loaded up.  That ended up being the only thing I really had to spend money on.

My stash all laid out and ready to pick from...

I chose to keep the linens simple and just used black cloth tablecloths and napkins.  My sweet Mom volunteered to help and sat and folded almost 150 napkins for me.  She's an expert at the pyramid fold now! 

The caterers came in after I left and added dishes, drinks, salads and desserts, so the tables looked much more full when finished.  Wish I had a photo of everything all together!

In a separate room there's a serving line made up of two long tables with a round in the middle for a centerpiece.  I saved some of my larger pieces for that table and just played with it until it looked nice from every side.

I had a few extra pieces left so we also added a bit to the table where a coffee bar would be set up.

 If you'd like to something similar but don't hoard blue and white pieces like I do, you could get a similar look with all white pieces, or brass... I think the key is to just keep the pieces fairly consistent on all of the tables.  Ask friends who might have collections if you can borrow some things, too!  I rounded up some of my milk glass collector friends for these tables and we had plenty when we put our collections together.

I'm so happy with how everything turned out, and everyone was very kind with their comments.  Now... to come up with another great idea for the next luncheon in May!  Hmmmmm.....

For more event decorating ideas that I've shared, click here.

I'm often asked where I get all of my blue and white pieces.  A good number of them are finds from Ross, but that's a "right time, right place" kind of deal.  Several are from Homegoods and I've found a few on FB Marketplace or thrifting.  Here are several that are easy to order online if you'd like to start building your collection. (Affiliate links used)

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I'm so excited to be spilling the beans about a new project that kicks off today!  I'm joining a fabulous group of talented, sweet bloggers that are working over the next few weeks to each refresh a space in their home.  Everyone is choosing whatever space they want to work on, hence the "Choose Your Own Adventure Refresh" theme!  (Anyone else remember those books? They were a childhood favorite of mine!)  Today, each of us will be sharing the space we plan to take on, as well as some before photos and our plans for the room.  Next week, we'll share our progress, and at the end of the month we'll share the reveal.  Whew!  This is a quick one!  

(*This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure policy here.) 

For the next two weeks I'm going to be working feverishly to refresh my......   DINING ROOM!  Here's how the space looked on Monday just before I set the table for Valentine's Day:

Let me start by saying I think this room is great as is!  I had zero plans for a makeover in the Dining Room until about 3 weeks ago.  Here's how it went down...

I always have an eye out for vintage furniture that I like.  I lean towards a traditional style of furniture, but updated with color, new fabric, or styling.  For quite a while I have been wanting to find a set of cane back chairs.  Well, a few weeks ago this showed up on Craigslist-

I loved the shaped and size of the chairs and they were in great condition so I bought the set.  However, I like to mix and match my chairs with the table (I don't like having a matching set), so I planned to re-sell the table.  But, the more I got to thinking about it, I decided that I needed to keep the table.  We entertain often, especially with family, and we always have at least 8 adults that sit around the table.  Well, with my current table, trying to fit 3 chairs on each side between the legs is impossible, and we all end up squished around the table.  So, the pedestal base on this table won me over since it will allow for more chairs around the table.  And, it has 2 leaves to extend to almost 120" if needed!  I will also say that I had tired of the super dark finish of my current table.  Even if I had continued to use it, I had already been thinking about possible ways to lighten it up.

Now, the table looks nice enough in the Craigslist photo, but the top had some water damage and blemishes in the finish.  The rest of it was in great shape, though!  I also didn't like how super shiny the topcoat was, so my plan is to lightly refinish just the top to clean it up and give it a fresh coat of poly, with a slightly less shiny finish. 

That decision created a domino effect (as often happens in decorating!).  Remember when I just said that I don't like to use matching sets?  Well, if the table is going in the Dining Room, then the cane chairs need to go in the Breakfast Nook.  And the more I thought about that plan, the more I liked it because I currently have 6 side chairs in the Breakfast Nook that would be perfect to move to the DR so I can use 3 on each side of the table.  

The cane chairs have 4 side and 2 arm chairs so they wouldn't have given me the seating I wanted in the DR anyway (I'm keeping the wingback host chairs there so the 2 cane arm chairs wouldn't have been able to be used).

OK, that's a big rambling background on how and why this makeover is happening, but I wanted you to follow my train of thought (are you confused yet?)!  Some other time we'll talk more about using the cane chairs in the Breakfast Nook.   ;)

Long story short...  we're playing musical chairs, changing a few things, and keeping a few things in the room!  Things that will be staying are the green china cabinet, host wing chairs (but they'll get a color change), curtains (fabric here), and current crystal chandelier.  I'll be selling the tufted chairs, relocating the mirrors, and storing the old table for now, someone in the family might possibly use it. 

As mentioned, I will move the round back chairs from the Breakfast Nook into the Dining Room, and they will get a total makeover.  They currently have a semi-rustic wood frame and that wasn't the look I wanted with the new table, so I'm going to paint them white and change the fabric on them. These are a few images that inspired the white chair/wood table combo- (I pinned a lot more on my Dining Room Pinterest Board here!)

Source:  bhg.com

I know for sure that I'm going to add a bit more Chiang Mai Dragon fabric to the backs of the round chairs, but haven't completely decided yet on the inside back/seat fabric.  I was originally planning on a blue geometric pattern, but instead think I'm actually going to go with a solid, maybe a soft chenille or velvet type fabric.  I'll know by next week and fill you in! 

One of the new additions I'm most excited about are these gorgeous sconces from Hudson Valley.  I've been fond of these library style sconces for quite some time, and thought they would add some nice ambiance and soft lighting when installed on each side of the china cabinet.  I'll be sharing more about that next week.  

Here's a rough idea of how the plan is coming together!

I've been thinking I had all kinds of time for this makeover, but after actually mapping it out these two weeks are going to fly by!  I have a table to refinish, 6 chairs to paint then reupholster, 2 chairs to paint the frames on, artwork to figure out and lighting to install.  And everything in normal everyday life in between.  Yikes!  I'm so excited about the end result, though! 

Here's a full list of everyone participating in this Adventure Refresh, make sure to hop over and see what everyone is up to today.  I can't wait to see what spaces my friends are taking on, they all love color just as much as I do!

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