In a Type A house, you will have a formal dining room (as presented above). This is a room that is completely walled off to itself. It's got a big table, a lot of chairs, a chandelier, and maybe a China cabinet. It honestly serves no purpose except to store a bunch of really expensive furniture and crystal. Very few people actually use their formal dining room except for holidays. Even then, if you're serving Thanksgiving there, half of your guests will be itching to get back to the NFL game.
|A little home-ier.|
In a Type B house, you've got the informal dining room (depicted above). The "informal" bit is mostly due to the fact that your house has an open floor plan and you just kind of stick the table in a free space. Any decorations in this dining room have to match the rooms around it, so it loses its individuality. However, since the table is located in a traffic area, more homeowners will be apt to use it on a regular basis.
I've got a Type B situation. My dining room is off the kitchen, in a high traffic area due to the adjacent living room, master bedroom, laundry area, and sliding glass door leading to the deck. I've got one large wall and then the outside wall with the sliding glass door to establish the room.
|The dining room, before move in.|
Fortunately, the dining room is large enough to house our oversized dining room set. I'm obsessed with my table and chairs. I may or may not have a problem. Ten years ago, I was strolling through Crate and Barrel with my mom, and spotted it. I declared right then and there that one day, I'd buy it; and sure enough, I did. It's durable, it's simple, it's beautiful, and it can seat 10 with the leaf. You can even host a professional ping pong tournament on it. Overall love.
|Triad Extension Dining Table and Pullman Chairs from Crate and Barrel|
My goal was to create a fun and vibrant, but sophisticated dining room. I wanted it to have the elegance of a Type A formal dining room, but the practicality of a Type B room. So... I went bold. But, first things first.
Due to settling, we had a lot of little cracks in our walls. They looked like spiderwebs, and mostly appeared above and below the corners of doors, entryways, and windows. Our inspector told us that these weren't a cause for alarm -- that they were the result of the builder placing the unit onto the wall with a crane upon installation. Our home is a modular home, meaning that it was built in a factory and then shipped via truck to the location (the foundation, of course, was built onsite). You've probably seen those "Oversize Load" trucks and escorts on highways. Well, our house had been on one of those trucks once.
The inspector suggested to repair the cracks using paintable caulk instead of traditional spackling paste. The trouble with spackling, he said, was that you could cover the crack on a Monday and then the crack would be right back on Wednesday due to fluctuations in house and outside temperatures. Paintable caulk, on the other hand, is flexible enough so that it will adapt to these temperatures without cracking.
|Not so cool.|
So, I bought some paintable caulk and a caulk gun and kind of went crazy with them, filling in every crack and hole I could possibly find. It was actually fun, and I felt powerful.
It especially helped with some shelving units that the seller had in his kitchen, which left gaping holes once I yanked the dozen or so screws out of the studs.
|Say hello to my little friend!|
|Bye, bye, shelves.|
Once it was dry (I let it dry overnight, just in case), I sanded the residue on top down to the wall as best as I could. Then it was ready to paint.
Like the kitchen, the dining room had these dingy white electrical outlet covers that needed a little pizzazz. I spray painted the outlets with Rustoleum's Oil Rubbed Bronze. The doors to my laundry area had the same brass knobs that the kitchen did, so I spray painted those, as well.
Remember when I said that I wanted to go bold? Well, this is how bold I got: Olympic's "Apple-a-Day" red.
I have to warn you: Every little rumor you've heard about red being a terrible color to paint is true. I don't know why. You could paint a room dark blue, dark green, even black, and it wouldn't take more than three coats. But red... be prepared. This dining room has been my most expensive project thus far simply because of how much paint it required. It also took me the longest out of all of them, because I'd paint three or four coats, get tired, and still see splotches, streaks, and an unpleasant pinkish / reddish color despite all of the work.
It took me three gallons and 12 coats of paint to get it to the correct shade of red. But man... it was worth it.
The rug is from Lowe's. They've got a great deal on rugs. The curtains, too, are from Lowe's. They're wispy and fun and aren't too girly for Evan. I bought an extra panel and am planning on making kitchen curtains out of it so that the two rooms will coordinate.
We also plan on hanging some pictures and eventually buy a sideboard, a cabinet, a bar, or something for the large wall. We're thinking the Steamer Bar from Crate and Barrel. Again, my obsession.
|Crash likes the rug. Obviously.|
|I don't think I'm going to have a white outlets again.|
|It goes from this...|
Despite the open floorplan, I believe that the red creates a distinction of "this is the dining room" versus other rooms of the house. We joked that having a red dining room and a green kitchen would make it look too much like Christmas, but hey, at least I won't have to decorate so much for the holidays.
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