where we eat (a year in the making)

Whoa boy. This one has been a long time coming, but I’m thrilled to share another perfectly imperfect project. Warning: long-winded post ahead.

When I moved into my new place, the very first thing I bought were some dining chairs. It was a complete impulse purchase and I only sort of loved them after I put them in place. Part of the issue was that they were with a table that I only sort of liked because it wasn’t mine and well, the whole dining area situation looked a little sad.

Next, I bought some old windows and refinished those during the summer and put them on the wall. I really liked them there, but then I decided I only sort of liked those hanging in that spot as well. That’s when, one day, I was browsing Pinterest and saw someone had used an old barn beam for a shelf. It just so happened that I knew of a spot where I could find an old barn beam. So, the first official project (after the windows) in this space was the beam. I loved it the moment I saw it. It’s so very authentic and perfectly worn. I had the prickers to prove it after we dug it out of it’s old home.

My dad had the best idea ever to lighten the overall weight of the beam so we could hang it without pulling down the wall between me and my neighbors. That would be bad. Once we had it cut the right length and semi-hollowed, I sanded and sealed it. I didn’t want to do anything to take away from the original color or character so I kept it simple. I’d found another grand idea to hang a board on the wall that the beam could essentially sit on. That was actually the tougher part in installing it because once that board was in place, the beam fit snugly (and perfectly balanced!) over it. Done. And guess what? I love it (not even sort of).


new-to-me barn beam

With the introduction of the shelf, I decided I really, really needed a table I could love as well. I’d debated on making one from barn wood as well, but then I found a wicked-awesome deal on a table at World Market and in 17 easy steps, Connor and I had a new dining table.

But then? I really didn’t like my chairs anymore. The color seemed bland and the original distressing was too much for my 2013 liking. (Maybe I’ll hate them again next year. Who knows?) So, one day, I unscrewed the cushions and started painting. Over the course of three days, I sanded, primed, painted (twice), distressed and then waxed my chairs. Oh. So much better.


The chairs also had a canvas type cushion that was an off-white so unfortunately, that no longer matched. Naturally, I went to Pinterest to figure out just how hard it would be to re-cushion the chairs. It didn’t look that hard so I found a fabric I adored on Etsy and ripped the old cushions off, bought myself a staple gun and cut the new fabric to fit each. I will add that the measuring and cutting was a complete guessing game. Thankfully, it worked out okay, but I didn’t really have any idea what I was doing. It was late on a Monday night and I really wanted to finish them before Connor came home again. So, they don’t look professionally done but that’s okay, because I only had to pay for the fabric and a staple gun. Call me cheap.



I struggled when it came to the top of the table. I’ve been eyeing lots of table runners but I figured for now I could just opt for a seasonal tablescape. I present to you, Easter. I found these adorable pitchers at Meijer for wicked cheap and flanked artificial peonies with white plastic eggs. Which, by the way, I’m so glad I found. I was trying to decide if I could paint colored eggs and was dreading it. I’m quite confident God did mastermind Hobby Lobby.



Finally (finally), I found myself a rug. It’s a beautiful gray and the white design matches exactly to one of the openings on the chairs (I only had to choose between eleventy billion different styles. That one fact ultimately sealed the deal).

I don’t normally get this geeked about a dining area, but I love this one. Every piece is ours and I put a lot of love, sweat and even some blood into pulling it together. Thanks again to my very handy, very helpful dad for his constant patience and help with bringing these ideas to life.

where we eat

where we eat

2 thoughts on “where we eat (a year in the making)

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