Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Staged to Sell: Formal Dining Room

When decorating a home for yourself you can do any wild and crazy thing you want.  That is your space.  When staging, you are decorating to appeal to the masses.  Embrace your personal style.  Unless your personal style is ugly then you need to change everything.  If your style is trendy thats fine so long as its a current trend.  

Unlike this dark and dated dining room (say that five times fast).  This room had great bones, but was suffering under a pound of pretentious design, and an unfortunate flat paint job.  

The first order of business was remove the stuffy, fluffy curtains.  I don't mind an overly formal space, but this was the 1990s overly formal space and it just wasn't working anymore.  That and my home is a large home, and perfect for a large family.  A room that is both beautiful and more child friendly makes better sense for this home.  So keeping that in mine I decided to ditch the curtains.  They were very high quality draperies, but the pattern and overall look made the room feel dated.

Another bonus I didn't realize we would have is how much bigger the room would feel after we ditched the drapes.  I debated putting something a little more minimal back, but decided against it in the end.  The bay window already had nice blinds.  So I decided, in this case, less was better.

This is the only picture I have of the paint change.  We painted right over the maroon with Benjamin Moore's Wythe Blue in a semi-gloss finish, and by we I mean that our sister missionaries and fabulous young lady from church did almost all of this for me.  The color is a super relaxing and beachy blue, and with the semi-gloss finish making it way more washable and kid friendly.  I would also like to confess that my new paint pants are my christmas pajama pants that I cut off.   They are fun, sturdy and not sporting a gaping hole on the left butt cheek much like my old paint pants.

I understand that not everyone is a fan of the shine you get with semi-gloss, but this is the dining room that is lite by a single light source in the ceiling so the glare is minimal.  Its also completely worth it for the ability to wash the spaghettini sauce that might end up on the wall when your kid knocks over her plate when you refuse to pile a full cup of parmesan cheese on top of her noodles, or so I would image.

image courtesy of google
Speaking of light sources.  The light fixture looked like a classical shabby chic design, but then dripped with crystals.  Giving it a super awkwardand confusing feel.  It made me think of someone you see that is obviously much more suited to wearing sneakers trying to pull off a stilletos for the first time. 

 Ours needed a little bit of a rework.  Originally it was dripping with crystals, but they never really looked like they were meant to be a part of the fixture.  So much like the shoe problem its a pretty easy fix.  So we removed the dangling crystals (I reused them for another project), and with about 5 minutes spent the light fixtures identity issues seemed to be fixed.

My next step was then to dress the walls.  The first thing I hung was this dreamy big mirror that I bought at a thrift shop for $18.

Then I followed that up with the vintage distressed window (that was actually part of a group of 4) that I bought at a garage sale.

Then I hung this fun mirror on the wall.  When we lived in Mesa Arizona many moons ago (like 13 years ago) we spent an afternoon in Nogales Mexico just looking at all the cool things in the tourist shops there.  This was my one and only purchase, and I still love it.

The I decided to make this little arrangement of fun plates and saucers.  I got the frame from a garage sale (with the windows).  The saucers I've bought here and there over the years.  Mostly garage sales and thrift stores.  I didn't pay more than a quarter for any of them.  The silver platter I'm pretty sure in a former live was a dollar tree tray.  It looks so good here though. 

I love the small cracks that these have.  It makes them feel like they have a history.  I feel like the basis of a shabby chic style is to highlight the imperfections.  So with these plates I used a sharpie marker, and liberally scribbled all over the front.  I then removed the excess with a cotton ball of rubbing alcohol.  It leaves the marker color behind in the find cracks, and removes it from everywhere else.  I love it.

The full impact is pretty impressive.  Bonus points if you remember when I refurbished this awesome dresser a few years back.

I kept things simple in here.  I made sure that all the decor I used was complimentary to the other rooms that this is open to.  I love it way better now, and I feel like it is much more appealing to potential buyers in the current incarnation.  I'm just bummed that I put off doing this for so long.  Why did I allow the ugly to hang about for so long?  I'm sure there is a lesson in there somewhere.

The total cost of things used to dress this space was less than $50, but the over-all impact made is spectacular.  With a quick color change, and the addition of vintage aged decor this now feels like a warm and welcoming place to spend meals with the family.  Don't feel like you need to give every room a huge overhaul.  Sometimes with the addition of a few key items, and being smart about kicking the clutter you can have a space that will appeal to buyers

So get out there, and make something pretty.

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  1. Wow, what a transformation! It doesn't look like the same room. I'm not a fan of coloured walls for my house but that blue looks fantastic and light.

    1. Thanks Allie! I'm not a fan of bold wall colors, but do favor mellow colors instead.