All posts tagged dining room

our home | the first real dining table

Well, let me just say 2014 is already shaping up to be an awesome year! And that’s because last week, on January 1st, Josh and I purchased our very first real dining table!

I say “real” because, our previous table was a folding card table that my mom purchased for us when we moved into our very first apartment… in 2009. Yes, we’ve eaten dinner at a table with collapsible legs for basically five years! Don’t get me wrong, back then we were psyched just to have something to eat off besides the floor or TV trays, but still, that table’s days have been numbered for a loooooong time.

So anyways, let me introduce our newest family member furniture purchase.parker mid-century dining table from west elmAhh! Isn’t it friggin’ gorgeous! Seriously, I can’t walk by it without swooning. We ended up going with the Parker Mid-Century Round Table from West Elm and I am so in love! I had seen it online beforehand and knew it would be wonderful, but Josh is much more of a “gotta see it in person” type of guy so we traveled to our local West Elm on New Year’s day to check it out.

parker mid-century dining table from west elmWe probably spent a solid two hours in-store looking at different options before deciding for sure on this one. That’s definitely something about us. It takes us forever to make big purchase decisions. Especially in stores. Being broke college students for so long has taken it’s toll and we have a hard time actually letting go of the money and making the purchase. But, the long decision-making time always pays off in the end. We really think through all the options and when we decide on a purchase, we’re left with nothing but certainty! parker mid-century dining table from west elmYou probably also want to know about the chairs, right? Because they are new too! I really really wanted something upholstered; something softer I could sit on first thing in the morning. BUT, we also kind of loved how our old chairs (these from Target) paired up with our mid-century table. Well, I was on the look out for chairs when I went to Target for a few essentials and stumbled upon these babies. They were both modern and upholstered!!! Win win! At $35.00 a pop, they’re pretty cheap for dining chairs and the metal frame is actually sturdier than our previous ones. I decided on two blue and two gray to keep it funky-fresh (or just fresh) and the whole thing just makes me giddy. In case you were wondering, they are from the Room Essentials line, but I couldn’t find them on the Target website. (They were sort of with the ‘rotating home decor’ stuff. If you’re a Target groupie, you totally know what I’m talking about!)parker mid-century dining table from west elmSo, while I have my focus on something other than the sexiest table in existence, let’s run the numbers, shall we?

  • Our table rang in at about $540.00 with tax and everything. We took it home from the store and assembled it on our own: no delivery charge.
  • Four new upholstered chairs from Target came out to about $150. Again, we took them straight from the store to our apartment, so no additional charges.
  • Total was about $690.00

Yes, I mean $690.00 is definitely not a small chunk of change, but we’ve been planning on upgrading our dining table FOR YEARS so it we knew it was coming. Plus, we intentionally bought everything with the intention of keeping them for a long time. As full-blown adults, it’s time to stop buying stuff that’s not made to last.

And, with the new table and everything, I’ve also been planning a little dining room revamp to make the rest of the space live up to the awesome-ness of the new furniture. Here is what’s currently floating around in my head for potential projects:

  • Take down brown floating shelves and repair wall
  • Get rid of most stemware (We never use it!)
  • Buy longer shelves to store plates, glasses, liquor, bar ware, etc? Floating or not?
  • Get watercolor art framed
  • Create a small collection of frames on long wall
  • Sew some new custom napkins
  • Get 2 more place mats
  • Get rid of counter extension bar cart?

I’m still totally in love with our embroidery hoop mobiles, so those are staying, but I do really want to add some color variety in here. We tend to naturally gravitate to that pool blue (see the two new chairs, napkins, art, mobiles). I want to create more of that “mis-matched but totally cohesive” vibe.

 I know it’s only the 9th, but how’s your 2014 shaping up so far? Any new furniture purchases or room revamps on the horizon? Share below!

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The DIY Dreamer

make this | diy embroidery hoop mobiles

Good morning and happy Monday! We’re another week into the new year, and for real, I am blowing through my to-do lists and resolutions. The office is coming along quite swimmingly and we’ll get the details and reveal up towards the end of the week! But today I’m sharing another super easy project that plays up my new true blue obsession! Last weekend, I decided it was time to take down the falling leaves installation we put up before Thanksgiving and replace it with something fresh and new.

And thus, these embroidery hoop mobiles were born! Ya’ll these are so easy to make but they look insanely cool. They’ve got a hint of mid-century cool mixed with a modern, fun color! They play up our big canvas art perfectly and I’m in love with them! So, I imagine you’re now asking yourself how one would go about creating the awesome-ness that is these mobiles. Well, have no fear because I’m going to tell you and in about 30 minutes you’ll have your own!


All you need are embroidery hoops in 3 different sizes. You actually get two pieces from one embroidery hoop, so these are super inexpensive to make. I think the whole project cost me about $5.00.

So, I bought 6 embroidery hoops total from my local craft store to make four orbs and everything else, I already had at home. But, to complete the project, you’ll also need a hot glue gun, ribbon (for hanging), and craft paint and a paint brush


First up, I took the embroidery hoops apart, removed the little screw that keeps the two hoops together, and hot glued the split hoop so it was one complete circle.

Next, I painted one of each size in a bright blue. I wanted to leave the majority of the hoops with the natural wood finish and go with just one pop of color for each orb but you could easily paint all of the hoops one or several colors depending on the look you’re going for!Embroidery-Hoop-Mobile-(9)-copy

Then just hot glue your hoops together. I tried to make sure the brackets were at the very top of the orbs so you wouldn’t be able to see them jutting out while they hang. Start with your biggest hoop and hot glue the next size down to the very top at a perpendicular angle. Go down to your smallest hoop and turn it in a different direction so you get the orb effect.

Then just string them up! Keeping the brackets on the tops of the orbs makes this super easy! Just string ribbon of your choice through and attach to a dowel or shapely stick!


Now, you’re ready to hang and admire! Another easy-peasy, inexpensive project in the books!

Since we’ve moved into our new apartment, 816, I think I’ve swapped out the hanging decorations in our dining room more than any other décor! It’s just so fun to think up new things to hang! First we had our no-sew paper strip mobiles, then the falling leaves, and now these fun embroidery hoop orbs!

What kind of hanging décor do you have in your house? Mostly light fixtures or do you get creative? I’d love more ideas and inspiration so share below!

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apartment progress

An alternative title for this post would be “Unedited photos of our apartment that will make the finished product look even more awesome.”

I thought it would be fun to start off 2013 with a quick snap-fest of our not-so-new-anymore apartment, 816. They are unedited and mostly a representation of how our apartment looks on a daily basis. Except for the few junk piles that I photographed around, but who hasn’t done that, right? Right?!

First up, the living room. The view hasn’t changed too much. We’ve still got our awesome Ikea bookcase and the bold striped curtains I whipped up out of bed sheets. The biggest change is the addition of my hot pink desk and the gorgeous computer that now sits on top of it. This area doubles as my blogging headquarters and our Netflix theatre!

2013 Home Tour (2)

The dining room looks a little less put together now that our Christmas cards and the hanging leaves have been taken down. But we’re still loving the big, bright canvas art that I made last year. This area is also getting a little makeover, so have no fear! It will be returned to its former glory.

2013 Home Tour (5)

There is definitely nothing super exciting going on in the kitchen. In fact it looks pretty lame. The only difference between this current photo and the one on our (largely outdated) home tour page is that it has all of our kitchen supplies in it (and a pineapple!)2013 Home Tour (7)

I’m hoping to add some style to this space this year with art and some creative customizing solution0s for apartment dwellers like us.

2013 Home Tour (8)

Still empty hallway. Super boring. Soon to be fixed.

2013 Home Tour (10)

After the living room, the bedroom has made the most progress. We hung our graphic IKEA curtains and tackled a DIY upholstered headboard. I also added a pop of purple to our white lamps with ribbon borders on the tops and bottoms. The best part? It’s 100% removable. I just hot glued the ribbon to itself so nothing is actually attached to the lamps. It makes a nice difference but can be altered down the road.

2013 Home Tour (18)

We really want to spice up this room with some big colorful art. We’ve got a lot of neutrals in the room and it’s just begging for color!

2013 Home Tour (20)

And, lastly, we arrive in the office. I shared these photos earlier this month to explain exactly what we’re working with. This room has been getting the majority of our attention for the past two weeks and we’re hoping to finish it up soon. Details and photos are on the way!2013 Home Tour (11)

2013 Home Tour (13) And that’s how our apartment looked on the first day of 2013. We’ve made progress but there’s a long way to go and with any luck, that will be wrapped up nicely before the summer! (Well, that’s the goal anyway.)

Do you kick off the year with a photo home tour to see how far you’ve come? What are you home goals for 2013? We’re still in January so it’s not too late to make them!!

diy: falling leaves installation

Yesterday, I shared our fresh take on fall décor and now we’re back to share the tutorial on the amazing Falling Leaf installation we created to celebrate the autumn months! Seriously, this is probably my favorite holiday project to date.

Here’s what you’ll need to create a similar version!

  • Dollar store silk leaves (Since you’re painting them, they don’t have to be high quality. I just looked for a shape that I liked.)
  • Craft paint (I used a plum and burgundy color)
  • Paint brushes
  • Mod podge
  • Glitter
  • Fishing line
  • A cool looking branch (You could probably get a nice, smooth decorative one from a craft store, but I just tracked mine down from outside. You can’t beat 100% free.)

The first thing I did was paint the leaves. Most have two coats so they show a solid color but I did leave a few the prettier ones with just one coat to get that marble-y colored goodness.

 For the glittery ones, I used a foam brush to apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the leaf and then pressed it into a plate full of glitter. With this, you’ll want to make sure to push all of the edges into the glitter to make sure everything is covered. I stopped here, but if you wanted to add a layer of anti-glitter rain protection, you could use a clear spray sealant to keep the glitter in place.

After all my leaves had dried, I used a needle to thread a length of fishing line through the leaves. I tried to mix up the location of the string so that the leaves would be ‘falling’ in a more whimsical fashion (not just all point straight down).

 Once you finished stringing your leaves, you can start tying them to your branch. The easiest way to do this is to hang the branch somewhere temporarily and then add the leaves. Less tangling and it’s easier to see make sure your leaves are spread out.

Now, it’s time to hang! We used our track lighting to our benefit and hung the branch from there using more fishing line and binder rings! They just slip right over the light. You could also use ceiling hooks to create the same affect. The whole project weighs less than a pound so it’s not creating a huge strain on the light fixture and it can easily be removed after the season ends.

 Isn’t it lovely? The leaves sway lazily in the breeze from our AC and the colors just scream autumn!

The only purchase I made for this project was the leaves which I snagged from the Dollar Tree for $2.00. Everything else I had on hand. It took a few hours total and, since I’m pretty lacking in the height department, my super awesome husband helped me with the hanging steps.

 And it’s done. A pretty easy project with a huge payoff.

 Do you ever use outdoor materials like branches, leaves, or maybe pine cones in your home for decoration? What are some big impact projects you’ve done with tiny price tag? I’d love to see them!

summer pinterest challenge: bright, flowery art + our dining room

Today is the day! All week, I’ve been working hard to complete our dining room with lots of Pinterest inspired projects for the awesome Summer Pinterest Challenge being hosted by some seriously awesome bloggers! And not only am I thrilled to show you what we’ve been working on, but also that our dining room is 100% completed.

Picture time!

This is what our dining area looked like when we first moved in:

And this is it last week:

And here it is now!

We put up floating shelves to hold our pretty stemware, hung a huge 4’x4’ original canvas painting *painted by yours truly*, added fun no-sew paper strip mobiles from the ceiling, and added a large frame on the opposite wall that is for interchangeable art! Phew!  And the best part is that all of these projects were done on-the-cheap and they weren’t difficult at all!

For the challenge, I decided to first tackle the biggest feature of the room: the painting. A true Pinterest-inspired project. I knew that I wanted something huge, but buying a piece of art that large is certainly not in a recent grad’s budget so it was the perfect opportunity to go DIY. I picked up a 4’x4’ canvas from Michaels with a 50% off coupon to bring the price down to 40 bones. Not too shabby.

My original pin-spiration for the art was this dining table makeover,

So I also picked up a can of Krylon’s Metallic Gold spray paint and some 2” blue painter’s tape.

Basically it came down to measuring, taping, and more measuring, but after I painted and started removing the tape I realized that the pattern was way too harsh for that large of a canvas in a space that is already predominately beige. I thought something large painted over the stripes, making them an awesome background, would soften up those lines.

So, I scoured my Pinterest boards for some inspiration and found this ceramic dish art.

I loved the shape of the flowers and the layout so I sketched it out on paper and went to work transferring it to my canvas. I used brushes and bright paint colors that I already owned to fill in the sketch and add details.

And finally, here is the up-close-and-personal finish!

Looove! It’s bright and bold with awesome metallic stripes in the background and even a pop of neon on the canvas sides!  It is the perfect pop that the dining room needed! Needless to say, I’m pretty darn pleased with it!

Tomorrow, I’ll be back to share the rest of the project details like the colorful paper strip mobiles (a no-sew version!) and the frame for interchangeable art! So be sure to check back in!

Did you do a Summer Pinterest Challenge project?  I would love to see it so share below! It seemed like DIY art was a popular choice and I’m loving all of the finished projects!

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