A Christmas Dining Room

As soon as we got home from Ohio for Thanksgiving, I was ready to jump right into decorating for Christmas.  I started off by  cleaning the entire house.  Our oldest son was home for the week by himself so it hadn’t been vacuumed at all.  He did keep the kitchen clean and ran the dishwasher, which is a big feat in and of itself.

After vacuuming the family room, even behind the sofa, I set to work putting up the 10′ tree.  I managed to put it up by myself.  I didn’t put lights on it, however.  I’m not very good at the lights so I graciously saved that for hubby.

Once the youngest son got home and saw me putting up the tree, he got all excited and took his oldest brother down to the basement and made him help carry up all the Christmas boxes.  He then took his little 10-year-old self upstairs with his tree and put it up by himself.  Lights, decorations, the whole works; so proud of him.  The 20-year-old still hasn’t put up his tree but that is a different post for a different day.

Today we are talking about decorating my dining room.

Two summers ago a good friend of mine gave me a dining room set.  It came with a table which seats 6 (or more; it came with 3 leaves but my dining room isn’t big enough for all that) a china cabinet and a sidebar.  I have just loved decorating it and setting it for Christmas.

I started out with a clean slate.

I have 2 leaves in my table and it’s already a little cramped with the sidebar.  I can’t even have the King and Queen chairs at the table.

I then ironed (yes, I did iron them even though they don’t look like it) the tablecloth and runner.

I like to start with a charger.  I have black and gold.  For Christmas I like to use the gold ones.

Oh, so shiny!!

When we were in Ohio, I was in my mother’s dining room and she had made mention of a box that she was taking to Goodwill.  I inquired a little further and found out that she was giving a box of Christmas dishes to Goodwill.  I gave her that “what in the world are you thinking woman” look for which she was like “I thought you had Christmas dishes” all innocent.

This is what I found in the box.

How cute are those???

To think she was going to give them away.  To some stranger that we don’t even know.  It’s a good thing I got there just in time and now they can stay in the family.

Their is only enough for 4 place settings but that’s ok.  They look cute on the table for Christmas.

So, I set the table with the new plates, cups, saucers and juice glasses.

I had seen an idea somewhere of using wine bottles as candle holders.  I thought it was a great idea and wanted to mimic the idea for my dining room table.  I never know how to do a centerpiece and thought this would be a super easy fix.  I was able to collect 9 wine bottles while in Ohio.  I then went to Hobby Lobby and bought candles for 1/2 price.  Since the bottle opening is slightly smaller than the candles, I just used a paring knife to whittle the candle base down a little bit.

Hubby doesn’t like the look but I think it looks neat.  And, like I said, it was easy.

I saw the idea of the stars and ribbons hanging from the chandelier in a Lowe’s Christmas Ideas book.  I did this several years ago.  I tried lighting the candles to make them not look so “new” and almost caught one of the stars on fire.  Guess we won’t be lighting the candles in the bottles this year.

I got this item at an estate sale about a month ago.  I knew right when I saw it that I wanted to decorate with it for Christmas.  I was going to put ornaments in it but when I saw the glitter fruit, I knew it was meant to be that.  I love how it ties in with the dining room table.  You know, fruit and wine; it just goes together. 🙂

So, here’s one more look at the fab dishes I rescued from my mother.

I also decorated the sidebar.

Hubby’s grandmother loved Cardinals and we had given her these pieces in past years.  His dad gave them back to us after she passed away.

My mom gave me the little tiny snowman tea set.

As if I didn’t have enough going on in the dining room, I also added this table in a corner to put more stuff on.  You know you’ve got the decorating bug bad when you have to start adding tables for more decorations.

The manger scene I have had for years. I believe I got it when I was pregnant with my oldest son.  I have put it out every year since.  The lighthouse I got at the same estate sale as the cheese dish that I put the glitter fruit in.

So that’s my dining room.  I really like how it turned out this year and next year I’m sure it will be totally different.  My taste and style is always changing.

I haven’t completely finished the entire house yet, almost, but not quite.  I plan to do a Christmas House Tour once it’s all finished so stay tuned.

I’m linking up to these fab parties…..


Two down, four to go

I finished my 2nd of 6 dining room chairs today.
I do have to say the 2nd chair was much easier than the first.
I kinda knew what I was doing by this point and
I also knew what to expect.
The lady at JoAnn Fabrics, who sold me my new staple gun, told me
that my hand would get sore after about the 4th chair.
Well, I’ve only finished 2 and my hand is sore.
I even took a few days break between chairs and it’s sore.
It probably wouldn’t be too bad if maybe I didn’t have to push so hard on the lever and hold the gun down with both hands to make sure the staples go in.
This is the staple gun that I got:
But maybe if I had something a little more like this:
The Surebonder 9615 Pneumatic Fine Wire Staple Gun from Amazon.com
Now that looks like it would make reupholstering alot more fun. 
Not that I’m not having fun, it’s just hard work.
We all know thats not fun!
It even comes with a handy carrying case.
With this baby, I could reupholster everything in my house.
Well, maybe not everything; but it would be a lot easier to finish my chairs.
Maybe hubby will feel sorry for my poor hands and surprise me with this.
It’s only $40; you never know!!

Reupholstering dining room chairs

It’s Saturday morning,
hubby is off to softball practice with our daughter and
the youngest son has a friend over.
So, what’s a mom to do?
Start reupholstering our dining room chairs, of course.
A year ago last February, a friend gave me a dining room set. 
She had it in her basement in storage for like 5 years.
It belonged to her ex in-laws and when she moved from her house, she gave it to me.
We have been looking at dining room sets for about 15 years but hadn’t found anything we really liked.
We just love the pieces that our friend gave us; and you just can’t beat the price of FREE.

According to my friend, it’s about 50 years old and was moved down here from New York several years ago.  It has been protected very well and is in great condition.
It has 6 chairs, a china hutch and a rolling sidebar with fold-down sides.
It’s been great for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
The material on the chairs is in good shape but it’s just not my style.  It looks a little “country” to me.  I like my dining room to have a more formal look.
When I was visiting my mother the end of July, we were going through her material and I found a huge piece of fabric that would be perfect for the chairs.  I brought it home, hoping to get to this project very soon.
Last saturday seemed like a great day to do that; so I jumped right in.
Now, keep in mind that I have never ever ever reupholstered anything before.  My hubby is so handy though that I just get started and know that he can bail me out if need be. 🙂
This is the first chair I started on.
As you can see, the material is in good shape.

I started by turning the chair over on the table to take out the screws.
Or, what I figured would be screws but, they were actually these.
I personally have never seen these screw type things before.
They were very easy to get out and I was able to remove the entire seat.

The underside of the seat was also in great condition.

The hardest part was removing all these staples.

I think that part took me almost an hour.
Once I finished removing the staples and took off the old material, I laid out the new material to cut my pattern.

I just laid the old material over the new material and used it as a pattern.  I just made sure to cut the material plenty big enough.

I laid the now naked seat onto the new fabric
And then after much pulling and stapeling (and purchasing a new staple gun) and my hubby helping me with the corners, which were really tricky, we finally got the first seat covered.

And here is the finished chair.
I love it. 
The transformation makes it look formal and it fits in with our decorating style a little better.
Here is a side-by-side; the old chair and the new chair.
Which do you like better?

Now I just need to get busy and finish the other 5 chairs.
Hope I can get them done before Thanksgiving.
I’m linking up with Beth at Home Stories A to Z

Dining Room Renovations over the years…..

We live here….
We bought our home in June, 2001.  This picture was taken in July, 2001
as you can see from the date stamp.
It looks pretty much the same on the outside today as it did then;
the inside is what has changed drastically from the day we
bought it.
I am very lucky in that my husband can and will (after I nag him for a thousand
days straight) do home renovations.
I think the only thing he might have some difficulty with would be
plumbing.  We haven’t had to do much of that (thank goodness)
so I’m really not sure what he can do.
Other than that, he can do pretty much anything.
This is my dining room:
I (bold, capitalize and underline) wallpapered.  By. My. Self.
I was so proud!
It looked like this.

Nothing fancee, nothing major.
This table is the first piece of furniture
we purchased together.  It is solid pine and I love this table.
I was very content with my dining room. 
It stayed exactly like this for many years.
It’s always been a dream of ours to not have carpet in our house
and to put in hardwoods.  Between the dogs, cats and kids, we were over
the carpet and how dirty it always seemed.
So we did it! We just took the plunge and decided it was time.
Pulling up carpet is one of the nastiest jobs ever.  I couldn’t believe
the smell of the padding underneath and the fine gritty dirt that was underneath
the padding.
I couldn’t believe we had been living on top of all that dirt.
But, lets not go there!
More carpet padding.  This took forever!!
The kids call themselves helping.  I guess they are making sure the
new wood doesn’t go out the window.
Everybody pitched in to open the boxes of wood and sort it by size. 
The moment I have been waiting for…..
the floors start to go in.
I’m a terrible person to do home projects with,
I want everything done Yesterday!
The completed floors.  So Happy!!
The furniture went back in and looked great.
One of my girlfriends moved this past Summer.  As she was packing
up her house and sending things to storage and her new condo, she found this in her basement.
It had been there for about 5 years she said.
She asked me could I use it.
Could I use it!
Heck Yea!!
Check out this hutch.  It is just gorgeous.
The table, along with 6 chairs and 3 leaves; I only use 1, my dining
room isn’t that big.
This is my favorite piece.  An old serving table. 
My plan is to redo the material on the chairs but for
now; they are just fine.
I cannot wait to decorate for Christmas!