I recently made some long overdue changes to my dining room. If you’re new around here, it would help to know that my mission over the past year has been to lighten and brighten my home, which has meant getting rid of and/or changing a lot of dark wood for my preferred white, grey or lighter wood finishes. The new colour palette is finally starting to come together but the process has been a lengthly and tedious one.
Here’s a peek at what the dining room looked like before…
This room was particularly challenging because the book case, sideboard and dining table were all dark, very dark. So these were the pieces that needed to either go or be changed completely. I figured the obvious thing to do would be to sand them all down to their natural state. Easily said, folks. The dining table with it’s simple design, void of any fancy edging or detail, seemed like the more manageable project to tackle first. And it really did look fairly manageable. I mean it only required sanding and varnishing. How hard could it be… right? Wrong. I won’t sugarcoat it and say that it was an ‘easy’ job. Holy mackerel, I had no idea of the level of elbow grease it would take to remove such a dark varnish. Muscles I didn’t even know I had were in pain for days.
To add insult to injury, I discovered along the way that the grain of African teak wood doesn’t have a particularly consistant colour and I was rather disappointed with the reddish tone of the top. I had really hoped for more of the lighter wood, as is visible on the legs. After varnishing it, however, the colour started to grow on me and I decided (also read as my financial sensibilities took over and demanded that) it could stay. For now.
Now I’d love to say that I’m a determined DIY’er who was unfazed by the sanding ordeal, but frankly, I am not, and the only thing I took away from this project was the certainty that there would be no further attempts to make over any solid wood furniture. So the dresser found a lovely new home via Dubizzle and the book case was replaced with a simple Ikea counterpart that I transformed into a fabulous gold number. A much simpler DIY project by all accounts. And with great results. See more on that here.
After looking around for ages and not seeing a replacement sideboard that I liked enough to buy, I opted to get one custom made to my own specifications, complete with marble top. I will share the details of this project in a separate post very soon.
The rest of the changes, which were 100% more fun to implement, included a coat of Benjamin Moore paint, new dining chairs, a rug, mirror and various accessories. I am really enjoying the fresh new look and feel of our dining room. If you like it too, stay tuned for a special ‘shop the look’ feature later this week.