Spring 2016 ORC Dining Room Makeover {Week Four: Behind-the-Scene Challenges & Progress Update)

I should know better by now.  When you have a 60-year old house with not perfectly flush everything walls, even what-I-thought would be a straightforward DIY project proved to be quite the time-consuming challenge in our dining room makeover.

Despite some challenges, the focal wall is DONE!  It took several days/weekends, but the wainscoting is up and so is...

removable repositionable peel and stick wallpaper walls need love one room challenge CAD INTERIORS dining room focal wall

...the wallpaper!!!  I LOVE the graphic punch it gave the space.

When I first showed my hubby the paper (yes, I ordered this black floral pattern without consulting him!), I was expecting some protest.  But his reaction was positively unexpected.  He said, "It looks okay" - and I'll take it!  He's either adjusted to my eclectic taste, or simply knows that a happy wife makes a happy life. :)

Here's a look at the finished wainscoting before the wallpaper went up:

molding trim home improvement one room challenge CAD INTERIORS dining room focal wall makeover

If you have ever installed wainscoting, then you know there is A LOT that goes into the process.  I am now less likely to freak out over any exorbitant carpentry estimates down the road.  Because we added cove trim, it meant more spackling, sanding, priming, painting, etc.  BUT the end result is worth it.  It took the millwork from board-and-batten to a true albeit simple wainscoting.

Here is a pre-painted close-up of the millwork with and without the cove molding:

molding trimwork wainscoting diy home improvement carpentry

While we did make real progress in the room, I also wanted to share what's been happening behind the scenes.  This is called the One Room Challenge for a reason.  Challenges definitely arise during the process, and we have experienced our share in this makeover.  Here's what we've been dealing with:

  • The "seams" where the plywood panels meet started becoming noticeable (we experienced a similar issue with the drywall in the family room).  After doing some research, we applied Bondo an automotive product and it seems to have addressed the problem.  A thick coat of Bondo (the pinkish stuff in the photo below), some power sanding, primer, and four coats of paint later (on the lower wall)... problem fixed!
diy patch wall seams cracks home improvement old house

  • My hubby had to fix a hairline crack that we noticed in the ceiling.  It is a messy job that ultimately led to repainting the entire ceiling in the dining room.  Good thing it's a small area!
  • I underestimated the process of hanging peel-and-stick wallpaper.  The process is more tedious than difficult, but time-consuming nonetheless.  Matching up the repeat pattern took a lot of time.  It unexpectedly took us three weeknights.  So fair warning if you plan to hang wallpaper!

Anyway, now that I whined about shared the challenges, let's focus on what's left to do:

  • Install light fixture (in process).  The junction box is being moved/centered to the table, and the existing opening will be drywall-patched.
  • Finalize seating.  The chairs I sourced are not currently available, so I've been on the hunt again!
  • Finalize rug?!

It is definitely going to be a race to the approaching deadline!

Follow me on Instagram @cadinteriors for updates and sneak peeks.  In case you need to catch up, click on the links to previous related ORC posts:  Week 1 // Week 2 // Week 3

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Spring 2016 ORC Dining Room Makeover {Week Three: The Midway Point}

one room challenge mid century farmhouse dining room interior design diy home improvement renovation

We are three weeks into the One Room Challenge, which means we are at the midway panic point!  Here's where things stand:

CAD INTERIORS dining room makeover renovation molding home improvement trimwork millwork

The main DIY project in our dining room makeover is still in process.  The first part of the wainscoting treatment went up last weekend.  My hubby got the chair rail and stiles installed between our two boys' three basketball tournaments!, and I filled/spackled the seams and holes.  I didn't have time to prime and paint the boards ahead of time, so it'll just be done once everything is up.  (Note: Rather than build "picture frame boxes" for the wainscoting, I opted to coordinate the wainscoting with the profile of the adjacent kitchen cabinetry.)

Cove molding will also be added to beef up the wainscoting "box" detail.  They weren't installed at the same time because they hadn't been purchased yet I was undecided between a cove or quarter round inset.  Anyway, it will soon be added, and I hope to be done with the wainscoting this weekend!
crate and barrel light fixture gold mid century modern decor design dining room lighting
Next up, I will be tackling the wallpaper install (can't wait to see it up!) and hopefully finalizing the dining chairs and rug.  I have been scouring thrift/antique shops, online sources, and retail stores for budget-friendly, but good quality options!  The new pendant light fixture will also be hung once the dust settles from the wainscoting project.

By the way, thank you so much for the positive support.  The bold wallpaper pattern was definitely a gutsy design decision. :)

Need to catch up?!  Here are the links to my first two Spring 2016 ORC posts:  Week 1 // Week 2

Sharing with: Thoughts of Home

5 Things Around the Web

black and white kitchen interior design

black and white kitchen design

#1:  It's no secret that I love black in interior spaces.  So when I saw Audrey painted her kitchen walls (and dining room) black, I was blown away.  Now that's design gusto!  Her home is pure mid-century eye candy too.

one room challenge interior design makeover

#2:  I'm really looking forward to seeing this treehouse makeover at the end of the One Room Challenge.

#3:  What an accomplishment!!!

#4:  Check out this practical DIY storage solution that won't break the bank.

cactus garden plants rock garden

#5:  I'm enjoying seeing glimpses of this backyard come together.  The drought-tolerant landscaping is serving as good inspiration for our own backyard makeover.

Images: 1 & 2 / 3 / 4 

Spring 2016 ORC Dining Room Makeover {Week Two: Creating A Focal Wall}

The DIY tornado has landed around here, with power tools, building materials, and plastic tarp serving as the current dining room decor.  Thanks to the One Room Challenge, our dining room makeover is moving right along!  We are definitely in the messy and chaotic stage of the process.
wainscoting paneling moldings mid century farmhouse dining room interior design decorating

We were away on vacation this past week, so I've been playing a little catch up in the room.  BUT before we left, my hubby and I had ripped apart the dining area in preparation for the room's main design feature: a focal wall.  There is one "real" wall in the space, and it is only 11 feet long.  The plan is to clad the wall with wainscoting and wallpaper to give the room some architectural dimension and design interest.  The focal wall will also help define the area as its own space (since it is not a separate room).

CAD INTERIORS dining room makeover one room challenge diy wainscoting mid century farmhouse dining room interior design decorating

Since our walls are slightly textured, we first covered the entire wall with 3+ sheets of "luan" plywood paneling.  The paneled base provides a flat, smooth finish for the wainscoting.  The wallpaper should also adhere better to the non-textured surface.  Taking this extra step, however, proved to be quite the process since our house comes complete with uneven walls. #oldhousequirks

CAD INTERIORS dining room makeover one room challenge diy wainscoting mid century farmhouse dining room interior design decorating

We spackled, filled, and sanded all the nail holes and seams.  The paneling has also been primed (and painted since the above photo was taken).

CAD INTERIORS dining room makeover one room challenge diy home improvement

My hubby also added base shoe molding to cover the minor gap between the baseboard and hardwood floor.

CAD INTERIORS dining room makeover one room challenge diy wainscoting process mid century farmhouse dining room interior design decorating

Next step in the makeover will be installing the chair rail and trim molding then more nail filling, sanding, etc.  The light fixture is also scheduled to arrive next week, so I'm hoping my hubby will be able to install it shortly thereafter.

Did you miss week one?!  You can catch up by clicking on the image below:

orc dining room interior design decorating makeover mid century farmhouse

Follow me on Instagram @cadinteriors for sneak peeks and updates!

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The Case for Black Trim Finishes

Have you ever considered painting your window trim or casements black?  While I wouldn't necessarily paint over solid wood (although you certainly can!), I would definitely consider painting over any non-wood surface (like metal or vinyl).

painting windows black interior design tips inspiration

Black has a way of making things look more refined, stylish, and elegant.  See how the window moldings above pop because the trim and casement are painted black?!  They really elevate the overall design of the room.  The wainscoting and dental crown moldings are somewhat overshadowed not in a bad way because they weren't painted black.

painting doors black interior design tips inspiration
Lauren Liess Interiors

painting doors windows black interior design tips inspiration

I LOVE when french doors or sliders are finished in black.  Black adds a modern sophistication to something so ordinary, like doors or windows.  Guess what color I want our future new sliders/french doors to be?! :)

In case you're still not sold, here are a few more inspirational examples that make the case for black trim finishes:

black interior design tips inspiration

painting windows black interior design tips inspiration
Martha O'Hara Interiors

painting windows doors black interior design tips inspiration
original source unknown

There is no denying the power of black!

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Spring 2016 ORC {Week One: The Space, Before Photos & Design Plan}

The spring 2016 One Room Challenge is officially underway!  Linda at Calling It Home rounded up a talented group of featured designers and bloggers who kicked off the ORC yesterday.  I am excited to be taking on the design challenge as a linking participant every Thursday.
guest participant calling it home
For those of you who are new here, I'm Carol, wife, mom, designer/blogger, and home renovator!  This is where you'll find me sharing design tips and inspiration, as well as talking about our ongoing home renovation.  My husband and I have been gradually updating our home, a fixer upper that we purchased nearly three years ago. Welcome!

Last fall, I participated in my first ORC with our family room makeover.  It was a challenging yet wonderful experience, so I thought I'd "subject" myself to the process again. :)  The ORC challenges interior designers and bloggers to design and transform a space over the course of six weeks while documenting the progress every week.

Recently, we have really been focused on updating the "great room" parts of our home - with the exception of the dining room.  Our dining area is actually a transitional space that is sandwiched right in between the kitchen and family room.  It is a small space, but a highly visible one.  A couple months ago, I mentioned plans to makeover this room.  Well, there is nothing like the ORC to kick things into gear and push me to finally pull the room together!

Here's a look at the space:

CAD INTERIORS dining room makeover one room challenge orc

CAD INTERIORS dining room makeover one room challenge orc

As it is now, the room is "fine" to my hubby, but bland, uninspiring, and "personality-less" to me.  It has been deprived of any real design attention.  But it does have a good starting foundation, thanks to some renovations we did to the "bones" of the room (see below).  The hardwood floors and natural light are nice inherent features.  I'm hoping to take the room from blah to wow by layering in some interesting design elements.

The dining room currently houses furniture/decor from our previous home.  I intend to work with most of the existing furniture this will be a budget-friendly makeover, yet I am undecided about the chairs.  Because of the open floor plan, any new elements that I bring in will need to visually connect and flow with the adjacent rooms.

Here is a true before photo of the space prior to the renovations:

CAD INTERIORS dining room makeover original dining room
View of dining room from family room

We had three weeks to do some improvements before we first moved in.  In the dining room, specifically, we replaced the ceiling tiles with sheetrock, installed recessed lights, and painted.  Last year, new hardwood floors and baseboards were installed (this was done throughout all the common living areas).

Here is what I hope to accomplish with this makeover:
  • Create dimension and interest with a focal wall.
  • Add a ceiling light fixture.
  • Add seating with "host" chairs.  Possibly replace side chairs?
  • Ground the space with an area rug.
  • Accessorize and HAVE FUN!!!
dining room makeover interior design plan mid century modern farmhouse

This mood board helps show the GENERAL direction I'm planning to go in the room.  I'm still finalizing the decor details, so as usual, the design will unfold in real time!

I'll be sharing the transformation progress right here on the blog, so I hope you'll check in and follow along!  You can also follow me on Instagram @cadinteriors for periodic sneak peeks.

Q1 Top 10 Blog Posts

Hi everyone!  How is it already April?!  We are finally on spring break this week!  Yippee!!  We have been SO anxious to go on our annual spring getaway.  It has been our family tradition to vacation at the same spring break destination every year.  Nothing grand; just special for us!

With the first quarter of the calendar year in the rear view mirror, I thought I'd revisit my top ten most widely-viewed blog posts between January and March in case you need to catch up!  Just click on each photo and it will take you directly to the original post.

interior home decorating and design tips

interior design and decor

interior design and decorating tips

I shared ten design tips for how to pull off a dark bedroom.  It seems that many of us crave dark and cozy spaces when it comes to our sleep environments!

interior design e-design mood board master bedroom

My e-design for this master bedroom project was quite popular!  Thank you.  Contact me for a free quote if you would like some affordable design assistance.

DIY kitchen subway tile backsplash installation home improvement

My hubby had never tiled a thing in his life, until recently.  He DIY'd our kitchen backsplash, and he did a fantastic job!

home renovation improvement interior design before photos

Work has actually begun in the dining room.  I will share an update soon!

interior design and decorating tips

european oak engineered hardwood wide planks

I shared the details of our new hardwood floors, along with some "before and after" flooring shots.

interior design and decorating

The popularity of this post caught me by surprise!  Colored bookcases would certainly make a bold design statement.  I'm partial to navy, but black or charcoal is right up there too. :)

CAD INTERIORS home renovation improvement classic modern farmhouse transitional kitchen design

Thank you all so much for the kind words and feedback on our newly renovated kitchen!  The room has definitely come a long way from its origins.  It was an honor to share the space over at Shine Your Light, and have it featured on Hometalk!