Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Dining Room Re-Do

So, while we were on vacation, I still did a little decorating and I thought to take some before and after pics to share!

I've sort of stayed with the paint/re-arranging things side of my home and haven't forayed into the fabric/window treatment side of things. I just needed to take the plunge and what better place to try it out that on my parent's unsuspecting dining area???

My parents have been gradually updating their home and it looks great - but I spotted this awesome window treatment post on Young House Love (Have you seen this blog? If you haven't read their story, check them out!) and when I saw it, I had the motivation I needed!

So, here's the before:

I'm not sure why the walls look peach in these photos - they are actually a nice warm taupe shade. Taking photos of this room was a challenge for a photography-newbie like myself. All of the light coming in through the windows makes for a beautiful room - and hard for pictures. OK...moving on.....

Those valances were on all three windows, I just forgot to take the before pictures so we threw one back on. Ha ha.

Now, the spray-painter in me wanted so badly to spray paint those wooden dowels and finials with some oil-rubbed bronze or metallic spray paint! But, I really wanted the rods to look as if they were one solid bay-window rod. (Which I know they sell but I couldn't find any available THAT weekend and the Ikea rods we used were maybe 6 bucks a pop??!?)

So, we took down all of the existing stuff, figured out where we wanted to hang the rods. We chose a spot about halfway between the tops of the window and the ceiling and just got them up there!

Next we got some crown moulding (or is molding? Google isn't sure...) and painted it white (to match the baseboards and windows) to add some definition to the tops of the windows. This was inspired by a photo in the post I linked to above at Young House Love. It was the simplest thing to do - they cut it to length for me at the store - and made the biggest difference! (Well, see below for yourself!)

We got four panels (two packs of two) of Vivan sheer panel curtains at Ikea. And the curtain rings to match our rod, all purchased at Ikea. Then, the difficult part - getting the curtains the right length.

I'm sure this comes easier to MOST people (most things do!) but the hemming tape and I had...issues. But, after a lot of measuring and remeasuring (we wanted the curtains to barely reach the floor), the iron and I reached an agreement and somehow got the seams to hem.

For those of you (like me) who don't know what hemming tape is - the curtains from Ikea came in a standard length. You then measure how long you REALLY need them, fold the curtains to that length, and then insert this nifty tape:

in the fold and iron. Now, I'm totally guessing, but the heat from the iron kind of melts this tape and it forms a sort of no-sew hem.

I think I was afraid I was going to melt the fabric (not that I've ever done that ironing before *ahem*) so I didn't apply quite as much heat for as long as I needed to. But, we got it figured out and got the curtains up.

So, here's the AFTER!

We also cleared off the vinyl tablecloth to show the beautiful wood underneath, and left just one pot of sunflowers for some color.

Now, mom, the one thing we talked about but never did was get you a new dining room light fixture!!!!!!! Let me know when you get one so I can post a true after picture. Thanks for letting me experiment!!!

Working with fabric and window treatments was actually so FUN. I may even do it again.....

I'm linking this project up to Kimba's DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land. Go check out what other DIY-ers here in blogland have been working on!


  1. Oh, wow! MUCH better!!! :) I love the "after." So crisp and clean looking. Visiting from Kimba's party! :)

  2. Great job! I'm a big before & after fan myself. Check out my blog! :)

  3. looks great! i love before and afters.

  4. It looks great! I just put up curtains in my bay window too.