Friday, September 20, 2013

The Dining Room

Oh, the dining room. That place where you get to put all your pretty stuff. That place where family dinners are held for special occasions and happy memories are made. The table gets set, the lights get low, and it makes something already wonderful just a little better.

I really like a dining room. Almost as much as I like a living room-- but very close to how much I love my pantry.

The dining room is still a work in progress, but it's at a place where I feel comfortable sharing it for the millions tens of you out there who are curious as to what this turquoise room looks like.

This is what it looks like from the foyer:

There are heavy bi-fold doors that separate the space between the foyer and the dining room. That white door on the right of the picture leads into the kitchen (we won't be there for a while). The dining room table is new to us-- having been in my in-laws dining room for an eternity. The old table that stretched out to seat 64 came from "the old family homestead" according to my father- which means it could have come from a yard sale in '72 or it could have been hand-crafted by my great grandfather's great grandfather from timber on the family farm back in Berzalia around 1844. My money is not on the yard sale as I have seen it in too many old pictures and have scurried underneath it and seen the handcrafted nails. However, he weaves a tall tale sometimes.

That being said, one does not need to have a table that stretches out to seat 37 people when one does not have 37 chairs. Good rule of thumb, people. When an invitation is extended for supper- typically people want a place a to sit.

So, I left the table at my parent's house when FIL offered his table. It took me more than a second to understand which table he was talking about.

My eyes squinted with concern, "You mean you're table from you're dining room? The one that I have had dinner at? That table."
"Yes, that table."
"The one that is on the farm? That table?"
"Yes, that table. It's not on the farm anymore, it's in the warehouse."
"The one with the twists on the edge? That table?"
"Yes. Do you want it?"
"To keep?"
"Yes. Do you want it?"

It's really pretty and simply ornate. It's an oval shape and seats six quite comfortably. We could do eight in here and maybe 10 if we stretched it. Ten place settings would just mean less in the place setting. It's no seating for 45, but then again... I don't have to go out buy those 45 guests 45 chairs.

MIL saved the day and the money when we bought the house. She found her way to Hobby Lobby and bought silver leaf. She spent the next four days silver leafing the brassy (note that they were not brass) chandeliers in the dining room and foyer. They look a whole lot better than the 1964 numbers that came with the house when it was built.

Not bad, right? She's pretty dang handy and pretty dang handy to have around.

This is from the other end of the dining room, looking towards the foyer and the living room. Please note the grand piano in the background with the fabric on it. Once I find another four yards, I am going to get a sofa recovered and you will get to see that room. It'll be a while. Imperial Treasure by Braemore was on turbo-clearance the other day for $12/yard. I cannot find it for less than $20 now. Originally... $40. Ouch.

The picture of LMC hangs above an old sideboard I bought before Husband and I were married. This, too, was kept safe at Brother's house. Niece and Nephew had a great place to store toys in their playroom. The chair sitting next to it goes in the kitchen, but it's broken. So please don't sit there.

This is from the corner cabinet looking towards the window. That's my DC china! It makes me smile and as I sit here and type, I glance up at those six plates and think about how happy they make me. Something worth noting is that beautiful chest. We will get to that in a minute.

I was really happy to unpack my china from days long gone.
And my crystal.
And my silver goblets.

While we are on the subject, I have a confession to make.
I have a lot of china.
A Lot.
Like, maybe half a dozen patterns?

White, Wedgwood, for everyday
Fish, Vietri, for fun
Mottahedeh, for sass and fahn-cee occasions
blue Georgia plates, because- well, you need those.
red Georgia plates, because- well, if you cannot decide between the two... you might as well get both.
Blue lace chargers (or Thanksgiving plates, because they hold more) (and green Lace chargers- six of each. We'll count these as one pattern and not two.)
Augusta National/Masters plates
China Blossom, because they were a good price on eBay and my mom has eight or ten of those in her many cabinets.
Christmas Spode, because... well, when you get married, you think you need it.

Okay, so that's nine. That's a lot.

DC china!


I have ten patterns. Let's not point this detail out to Husband; he will kill me.

Back on Raymond Ave, we bought this china cabinet to hold all of our my (who am I kidding?) china and crystal. In the corner, you can see my wedding shoes. My SIL thinks that's just, well, crazy. I get it. It does look kinda silly, but I really like it. What else are they going to do? Sit in a box? My closet-- because, surely, I will have a need for white sparkly open toe low heels again, right?

All of my highly starched and ironed cloth napkins sit safely in the drawers. Some of my table clothes are in the bottom drawer (firmly un-ironed) and the left cabinet holds my Christmas china, while the right cabinet holds dessert plates and some crystal. Just in case you were curious.

All right, let's talk about that chest now. It's bodacious, right? It might not look like much to you, but to me it sings of love, happiness, and fighting for life. Since we got married, Husband has been on the hunt for a silver chest for me. Over the years, I have told him things that I like about silver chests... just in conversation. I had no idea he was on the hunt. My tastes were specific; his love of details intense. The silver chest- hard to find.

So he had one made.

On his way home from DC for good, he took a five hour detour and met with the carpenter he had been talking to and showed Husband his progress. Down to the littlest detail, Husband picked out pieces of wood, inlays, finish, even the color of the key. This was my "I Love You and Thank You For Standing By Me Through This Hard Time While I Trained and Trained and Made No Money" present. It was shipped to us about two weeks later.

It's mine.

He had a silver chest made. For me.

Who does that? My husband, that's who.

When we got married, we received two pewter Senate bowls as wedding gifts. They were safely placed in Brother's attic for three years. When they came out of the attic in June, I made the very sad discovery that both bowls had warped in the heat. DOH! So, I have them on display, just at an angle. And now I know- pewter does not need to go in an attic in the South. Lesson learned.

The last project was finished just a few days ago. The chairs. These chairs were SIL's mother's and I fell in love with them when she offered them up for sale. I recovered these with the help of Husband's staple gun and that same turbo-clearance where I found the fabric for the sofa. The two end chairs are in the stripe pique fabric, while the side chairs have a complimentary floral pattern. It brightens them up quite nicely.

Last thing- we are replacing the windows. They leak both hot air in and cold air out. They leak water in. They are rotted. They have got to go... and they do not give those away. The Money Pit has not been kind.

That's the dining room.

We took down the mural, hung four can lights and put the carpet that was always too big for the biggest room in any house into our dining room. We painted it turquoise. Against all the advice I received. Against what the interior decorator said. Against the painter's suggestion.

And I get so many compliments on it. Maybe it is lip service, but I don't care- because I love it. People look at it, a little bewildered as their eyes adjust and say things like, "WOW! This color... it really pops... It looks great.... I would not have thought of that." Maybe lip service, but whatever. It makes me smile.

And just a reminder as to how far we have come:


Kristen said...

Looks GREAT Rachel!! Way to go!

Kristen said...

Look GREAT!!! Way to go!!!!!!

Kristen said...

Looks GREAT Rachel!! Way to go!

Anonymous said...

That is the most exquisite silver chest I have ever seen. Bar none. --nbb