Monday, January 6, 2014

My Thrifted Dining Room

Happy New Year!  I hope this finds you happy and healthy as the new year unfolds. 

Today I’d thought I would share a space from my past.  A little background first: due to my husband’s job we move every 2-4 years, which has its perks and challenges.  Since our wedding in 2000, we have lived in seven different houses in five different states.  (phew, I’m tired just typing that!)

The perks are obvious – we have seen much of this beautiful country, met amazing people along the way, we’ve lived in various climates and types of topography, and rented/owned different styles and ages of houses. 

But as a thrifty & sustainable decorator – let me tell you – moving from dwelling to dwelling is not without it’s challenges: too much furniture & too little house, too little furniture & too big of space, paint colors in rentals, ugly 80’s brass fixtures (on a side note: why are these fixtures still available for purchase today??…I think they should be banned from production – just sayin’), odd room shapes, windows without window treatments, windows with window treatments (which usually, of course are not my style), etc. etc.  Sigh.  But I do love me a good challenge and with Mr. MacGyver (aka: my hubs) by my side, I’m usually able to make a space work for us reusing existing furniture and décor, and/or buying used pieces to be transformed.

Which leads me to today’s post: “My Thrifted Dining Room.”  In six of the seven homes we’ve lived in we have NOT had a formal dining room – bizarre right?  But honestly, I’m not really a formal dining room kinda gal, so it has never bothered me.  And yet, in our home (three homes ago), we were met with a very obvious and very unattractive dining room space. 
Please note: this was the previous homeowner's decor.
So knowing that we would be: 1. Leaving this house in 3-4 years. 2. We may not have a formal dining room space again.  And 3. We don’t typically use a dining room…I knew I needed to makeover this room as inexpensively as possible.  Hello thrift stores, yard sales, hand-me-downs, Craigslist, and trash picks!

So other than the paint and the window blinds, this room was completely redone using thrifted finds.

So here's some deets about the space:

1. The table was a $20 Craigslist find.  I intended on refinishing it, but never got around to it before we moved.  I ended up selling it for $100.

2. The white dining chairs were also a Craigslist find.  The set of six ran me $20 each.  They also got sold for $30 each.

3. The hutch was a Salvation Army find for $50.  It's a vintage piece and my hubs and I LOVE it: solid wood, not too heavy, and versatile (it's been used in our entry way, in two different guest bedrooms, as a TV stand, and of course in this dining room).

4. The two slipcovered chairs on either side of the hutch are hand-me-downs from my mom.  They're antique oak dining chairs and are covered with yard sale found slipcovers. 

5. The lighting fixture was purchased with the home and previously resided in the eat-in-kitchen.  Originally it was an orangish-rust color so a little white paint and some thrift store purchased shades and she looks brand new!

6. The artwork above the hutch was a yard sale find: $3.00 a piece.

7. All of the white pottery and ironstone pieces on the hutch were found in either thrift stores, antique stores, or yard sales.

8. The burlap runner on the table is just that, a piece of burlap I found in a bag of linens purchased at a hospital thrift store.  The blue runner was picked up by my mom at a yard sale.

9. The oval mirror was handmade by my great grandfather and passed down to me a few years ago after my grandmother passed away.

10. The "sticks" in the corner were free from mother nature and whitewashed with some craft paint.  They're sitting in a metal bucket purchased from Goodwill.

11. The bird art is handmade by yours truly.  I trash picked the canvas which previously was painted with a-not-so-good version of a beach landscape. I primed the whole thing, painted it with some leftover taupe paint, found the bird silhouettes on Google images (printed, cut, traced, and painted in white craft paint), and free handed the branches.

Handmade and free artwork

12. The three white mirrors were Goodwill finds: $50 for the set of three.  Apparently they're handmade and from Pier One Imports (so says the stickers on the back of them) and were originally painted red, blue, and yellow.  Here's what they looked like when I purchased them:

Handmade mirrors from Pier One purchased at Goodwill
So, all in all, I like how this space turned out and I like even better that I was able to put it together for cheap using secondhand goods.  And now in our current dwelling (house #7, state #5) we again don't have a formal dining room so all these pieces have found new life in either new rooms of our own or passed on to new owners...and the cycle continues! 

Happy thirfting to ya!



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