Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dining Room Progress and Plans for the Future

Hi guys!  So it's time to take a peak at the progress I've made in another room of the apartment.  If you're new here, I'm recently moved into a new apartment, and there is a lot to be done.  So what I'm currently doing is going through each room, one at a time, and listing out what needs to get done in there.

After I've made a list for each room, I will then have one massive master to-do list for the whole apartment.  I thrive off of a good to-do list, so I hope this approach will make it easier to tackle the seemingly endless list of things I need to do to turn my apartment into a place I love.

The last time you saw my dining room, it was 50 days after I had moved in, and it looked something like this:

Pretty much a disaster zone.  During the move in process, the dining room turned into one of many 'dumping zones' for things that hadn't found a home yet.  As time went on, we slowly sorted through a bunch of the junk in there and found a place for it.  So up until yesterday things were looking more like this:

It was a million times better, but still wasn't quite there.  There were still a couple mini-dumping zones left that I needed to take care of.  One being this cute little island I bought when I moved into my very first apartment.  It was basically full of junk that we didn't really use, so it just got forgotten about.  And then it just kind of became normal having a bunch of crap sitting on that table, so it stayed like this.  It was like my own in-plain-sight junk drawer.

I also wasn't loving the spot the island ended up in.  It was basically blocking half the doorway between the dining and living rooms, making what should be a large space feel pretty cramped and closed off.

The far right corner was another tiny dumping zone.  It was basically a bunch of dog paraphernalia and a bag full of shopping bags... cos ya know, you never know when you'll need a paper bag... and I can't throw things away...

The other side of the room wasn't looking so hot either.  I really wanted to put something under that window, to really take advantage of it.  I also felt like that china cabinet was just teetering all on its own over there, looking really tall and lonely.  So I also wanted a shorter, longer piece of furniture to kind of balance it out.

Then there was this corner of loveliness.  We basically have been stalling on putting anything up on the walls in this place.  Since everything is still getting settled in, and we're still figuring out furniture placements, we don't want to make any holes in the wall that we'll later regret.  So we have all our wall hangings in various groupings kind of just hanging out, waiting to be hung.  This corner seriously bothered me.

I also wasn't digging the layout of the dining room.  It is a decent sized room, but the way we had originally placed the furniture when we moved in just wasn't working.  It was really hard to get around the table on all sides, and the whole room just felt cramped and disorganized.

So yesterday I got a crazy hair, and while Melissa was at work decided to just tackle the dining room.  Even though the room was much better since the last time I shared it, I just couldn't live with myself sharing that we still had random piles of junk in here, without doing something about it.  So after about an hour of sorting, purging and rearranging, here is our dining room, as it stands right now.

First thing I did was to clear out all my clutter zones.  This includes all the stuff that was piled on the island, as well as in the corners.  Everything got sorted and either tossed or put away where it belonged.  Pretty much everything that will eventually be hung on walls is now sitting under my bed... please don't judge me.  Simply removing everything that didn't actually belong in the dining room immediately cleared up so much space, and gave me a semi-blank slate to work with.

I knew I wanted to move the island from it's original position.  I decided to slide it over under the window to see how it would work there.    This also allowed me to move the table out into the room a little more.  Before, we had to have it closer to the far wall so we could walk between the table and island.  With those two quick changes, I had a brand new furniture layout, and a ton more space.

I'm not 100% sold that this is the final layout for the dining room, but it is definitely an upgrade from what we were living with before.  There is a ton more walking space around the room, and it just feels a million times more open.

I'm also just so not thrilled with the mixed of finishes in this room.  Between the three pieces of furniture we have painted white wood, a light wood and a dark red wood.  This makes the OCD part of me just itch for some matching, or at least coordinating, furniture.  We have been planning on painting and recovering the table and chairs for quite some time now, just have to settle on our exact plans for it before diving in.

I'm also really dying to add some textiles into this space.  This room seems so stark and flat at the moment.  Of course, we need to add curtains in here too (all four of our windows in this place are still naked as a jaybird).  I also want to get a table clothe for the table.  I've been keeping my eye out for one for over a year, but still haven't fallen in love yet.

We're also left with a whooooole bunch of empty wall space in this room.  At this point, I am just drawing a blank on what to do with them.  Obviously some art with be added somewhere, just don't know what or where yet.  Especially since I'm not sure if the furniture layout will stick around the way it is, we'll probably hold off on wall decor until we figure out the bones of the room.

I have also been dying for a coffee/bar cart since we moved into this place.  So I'm playing with the idea of dispersing the dog supplies to a new home, trashing/repurposing the green caddy elsewhere, and finding a thrifted bar cart to stick in that corner.

So that is where I am with the dining room.  This room has definitely been the hardest to really form a plan for.  Everything just feels so up in the air, and nothing feels like 'aha that's it!'.  So I'm really interested to see how this room evolves and where it ends up.  Until then, here is my current dining room to-do list to start tackling:

  • finalize the furniture layout
  • bring in textiles (curtains, table clothe, recover chairs)
  • paint wood parts of table and chairs (the idea of a black table and white chairs has stuck with me, but I've been to scared to really pull the trigger on that one just yet)
  • add bar cart/coffee station
  • add art to the walls

What do you guys think?  Anyone have any suggestions for what to do with this room?  Do you ever just get stuck on a space, and have no idea where you'll end up?  I'm hoping this is one of those "it'll just hit me in the head one day and I'll know exactly what to do" situations.  Until then I'm planning to just make small improvements one at a time until something clicks!


  1. Maybe some plants in front of the window? They would thrive there, & add a bit more color to the room.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I definitely agree this room could use some green. Now to just find something that can survive being cared for by me!