In this post I share the progress we’ve made converting the formal living room into a dining room.
Converting the Formal Living Room to a Dining Room
When we first moved in, we knew we wanted to open up the wall between the kitchen and front formal living room to create a large multi purpose dining room. The front room there was very large and separated from the rest of the house. It just didn’t flow well.
Excuse the mess in the photo below, but that’s just real life sometimes.
The room was yellow with yellow shag carpet. I really didn’t like the shag at all! Ellie, our dog, apparently didn’t really like it either because she used it for a potty break a few times in the first couple of weeks we were here. I think she was nervous from the move. That made me dislike it even more… if that’s even possible!
We had plans to open up the wall eventually, but my dad had a week where work was slow so he was able to do it sooner than we planned. That made me one happy girl to see that wall come down. It was a lot more work than just taking out the wall because it was load bearing. Because of that a support beam had to be installed. Thankfully my dad knows how to do all that fun stuff!
We left the shag carpet down until the dirty work was finished. Then Ben cut that thing into strips and took it out the front door. I was sure happy to see that ugly beast leave the house.
Adding Some Much Needed Character
The 70’s ranch is a far cry from the old farmhouse I’ve dreamed about owning for years. It’s just so bland and boring. In fact, the first couple of months we were here, I was really struggling to like the house at all. In my mind I knew we could add in character and charm, but it just felt like it was years away.
I showed my dad what I with hoping for when the trim work around the door frame. Of course, my dad made it look even better than I had hoped. Just doing that one little thing helped me see the potential to make this place special even if it’s not my dream old farmhouse will all the natural charm. It adds just that little bit of character I needed to see.
Prepping The Dining Room For Paint
No project is ever as straight forward as it seems like it should be. Prepping the dining room for paint was a huge process in itself. Because my dad had done work on the wall, we needed to sand and prime some of the new drywall he put up. We also had to sand all the trim and the windows. We wanted to paint them white, and because they had a glossy finish on them they needed to be sanded down. The finish was peeling on the wood windows so they needed a lot of extra special sanding attention.
Once all the sanding and clean up was done, we needed to put a coat or two of primer on everything. The trim needed two coats to cover the wood tone. It was quite the project.
Thinking about all the prep work that went into that room and doing it over and over again for the rest of the house is very daunting. I need to remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and my house won’t be either.
Picking Paint Colors for the Dining Room
I have been wanting to try painting a room white for sometime now. I just didn’t know what white I wanted. So I looked at pictures on Pinterest a lot. I went back and forth over what white would be best. I even deviated from white for awhile because I got scared that white would be too sterile.
In the end, I went with a soft creamy white, which is exactly what I wanted to begin with. I just needed to see it on the walls to know it was the right choice. We decided on White Dove by Benjamin Moore and Simply White for the ceiling and trim. Because we can’t afford hardwood floors right now, we decided to paint the sub-floor. The floors are painted the color Accessible Beige by Sherwin Williams.
Seeing them all together now, I’m just really happy. It looks so fresh and clean to me! We hung a hammock swing, we gave the girls for Christmas, in the doorway. It’s fun and cute!
Future Plans for the Dining Room
We have yet to move our dining table into the dining room. Part of the reason is the girls have had so much fun playing in the giant empty room it seemed sad to crowd it up with furniture. Another reason is there is a dangerous light above where our table currently is. And by dangerous, I mean dangerous for tall people who constantly forget the light is there and hit their head on it. We need to put in a different light there asap.
We want to install built-in bookshelves around the piano. I found this inspiration picture on instagram a while ago. Our ceiling aren’t this tall but I think even a shorter version would be lovely. Also, think how fun a rolling ladder would be. I don’t know if we will do that because of space but I’d love it if we could!
Adding built-in bookshelves will add some needed storage. We are not sure when we will do the built-ins, but I’m hoping for sometime this spring. I will definitely write an updated post about it when it does happen though! I mean look at this wall, it’s just calling for some built-ins!
Here are a few more angels to enjoy. The natural light in this room is a dream! Now with the cased opening, the light is able to be released into the dark kitchen!
Painting the kitchen and living room are the next house projects we plan on doing. I can almost see the dark kitchen made bright and beautiful!
For now, I still need to finish painting the windows so I can retire my paintbrush for a bit. At least until I can’t ignore the itch to paint the living room and kitchen. Maybe I can distract myself by focusing all my energy on planning my future garden and chicken coop.