Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A dollup of DIY

The story of an eat-in kitchen, aka a very small dining space.

We found our rental on the internet. The photos weren't very high quality, and didn't show every angle of every room. Not good for a slightly neurotic renter. Ahem. We never saw the place before signing the lease. Nerve-wracking anyone?

The realty agent described the floor plan over the phone. "...And an eat-in kitchen." My heart sunk. This meant no dining room and no grand dinner parties that I clearly needed in my life. While the "grand" part is always missing, I do love having people over for dinner and so I was concerned about the future of our social life.

When we drove into town that first night, my heart started beating faster and faster. What will this new place look like? Will it be similar to the pictures at all? What have I gotten myself into??

Thankfully, for the most part we are happy with the rental. It's old and nowhere near a "luxury" rental, but we are comfortable and we even have more space now. A second bedroom! And the eat-in kitchen? It actually has more space than we planned on. And we're making it work.

Which leads me to the pictures.

We found these 2 chairs at West End Architectural Salvage. A lady in another antique store told us this store was picked up for a tv show. We don't know many details but we're planning on being regulars there. We might have to work for those 15 minutes of fame but it's happening people!

They're old school chairs, complete with a few names carved into the wood. Thankfully no gum underneath. We started out by sanding them down.

Then Jason primed them. I stood by the window and waved. Jason has much steadier hand with a spray paint can. That's why I'm rooting for him to specialize in surgery. 

And finally.... we painted them a color. And oh what a color! We couldn't find any appropriate spray paint colors (unless we spent $8 on the can and $10 on the shipping) so we picked out a latex paint at Home Depot and had them mix it for us. It was only after I read a Young House Love article that I felt brave enough to go the paint brush route. After a few coats, they were done. We are thrilled at the bright color! We could have even gone darker, but I was nervous so went with the lighter option. Now I know for next time: try the darker, it's okay.

And before I reveal the complete kitchen, we must talk about the kitchen mat.

We have a blanket that possibly Jason's mom or maybe an aunt knitted for him in black and white stripes. I couldn't get it out of my head for our kitchen, so I embarked on finding a mat with similar black and white stripes. After not being able to find anything, I recalled seeing rug painting tutorials on pinterest. I found the perfect black rug at Walmart for $5 and starting taping on pieces of white card stock to act as stencils.

I already had white spray paint so I tried that first.

It was pretty unsuccessful. I knew I didn't have the patience to do 1500 coats.

Next I went to white acrylic paint. I got a large bottle of the craft type acrylic paint and it lasted for the whole rug. I didn't spend much so I wasn't expecting much and I'm pleasantly surprised with the results. The only downside of the paint is that the texture of the painted stripes is much crustier than the soft fabric rug. Since it's only a mat to catch incoming dirt, I don't mind it.

Here's how our little dining space looks at the moment. We love the mix of color and patterns! We found that table at a vintage store downtown. It's an old desk that had two open drawers that Jason took off with a screwdriver. I'm considering painting it, but I might be done with paint for a while...

Jason also kindly installed some shelves above the table since we lost some kitchen storage space when we moved. Thank you IKEA for making awesome canisters. Also, I miss you already. We used to be 5 miles apart, now it's 5 hours. Sigh.

Also, thanks to my mom for all the lace odds and ends she gives me after she finds them at thrift stores and yard sales. As a side note, we only got 2 chairs since we're cheap and poor but we plan on getting some folding chairs to keep in a closet for when guests come over.

Can you tell I had this pin in the back of my head as inspiration? We had no clue what direction to take our dining space when Jason mentioned colored chairs. This was the image I thought of, and once I thought of it, I checked back on it a few times during the process.
Picture originally from here

It's funny how we started grabbing furniture that we could afford, but were able to take it in a direction of something I had seen and loved.

And now our eat-in kitchen story has come to an end. Or at least a temporary resting spot.


  1. So great to see how this all came together. I can totally see where the inspiration came from.

    P.S. Thanks for your comment about my "Nicole Kidman" profile. Funny thing is that I've been told that before. Maybe we're related...lol!

    Hope your week is going well. :)

  2. I love the color you painted the chairs. I've been wanting to paint something that color, but I don't know what. You have a cool blog and thanks for the comment on mine!

  3. oh gosh i wish i was better at doing DIY projects like this. it would definitely save me lots of money. and would probably be a little fun experiment ;)
    xo TJ

  4. ok seriously can you come decorate my apartment?? I've been there 2 months and just starting to hang pictures! Your "eat-in kitchen" is adorable!!! Very crafty miss Emily...but seriously feel free to come visit me and decorate my apartment :)

  5. Your place is perfect. I love what you've done with the chairs! Room tour next? :)

  6. LOVE it! ALL of it! You are talented my dear... Also, I miss you.

  7. oh my gosh! when i moved i got the comforter that matches your cups!!! we are so cool!