One-room makeover: the dining room

This year I’ve gotten really interested in home decorating, remodeling, and all that stuff. I’m not sure how it happened exactly, since until recently I would barely notice if you’d painted your bedroom or what kind of flooring you had in your kitchen. But now I’m super into it, especially the kind of redecorating where you spend maybe $100, tops, but dramatically transform a room.

The most recent change occurred in our dining room. I call it the dining room, because it’s right off the kitchen and it’s where the dining table is, but it’s always been a hodge-podge space. Dining table, JD’s desk, JD’s stationary bike, and a bookcase: this room has generally operated more as an office than anything.

dining room2
This is an old picture. The multi-bulb lamp that just screams COLLEGE!!! has been gone for a long time, thank jeebus.

A few months ago, JD started biking to work every day, and the stationary bike became irrelevant. Couple that with the fact that our hand-me-down dining table has always been a little big (both for the space and for two people), and I was anxious to make a change.

I visited a friend’s apartment a while back, and was struck by the bar cart she had in her dining room. It wasn’t anything fancy, just a multi-tiered cart with a bunch of bottles of cordial and various liqueurs. But damn, it was so cool and grown-up, and I wanted that! And with the exercise bike being out of the house–a task in which we accidentally fucked up the main stairway trying to get it down the stairs–we had just enough space for a bar.

After a trip to Brown Elephant, and to Jewel for some store-brand alcohol, the glorious result:

our bar

I now officially have a booze problem, but in a really classy way.

We also replaced the oversized dining room table with a table that looked almost identical, but at about half the length:


Now we have more space and more ways to entertain our guests who come by five times a year or whatever. Success!

The final result:

FullSizeRender (1)

A few tips!

  • Buying IKEA furniture from a secondhand store on a day when they are having a 25% off sale means that you can, potentially, buy two solid pieces of furniture for less than a hundred bones.
  • Buying a handful of nice decanters from an antique store means that you can buy the $8 bottles of store-brand alcohol and no one will ever know the difference.

I’ll talk about our summer bedroom refresh next (oh god, isn’t “refresh” as a noun just the worst?).

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