Usually when I succumb to the urge to redecorate a room, I have an “inspiration room”. Whether from a magazine, a blog, or a televised decorating show, I usually see a room and think to myself, “There’s something about that room that strikes me.” From that room I will gather ideas to create my own version of whatever inspired me about it in my own home. Recently, I knew I wanted to re-decorate the kitchen and dining room….only, I didn’t see any room anywhere that had the “feel” I wanted for these two (attached) rooms.

One day I sat on the dining room floor and closed my eyes and thought long and hard about what I wanted out of these rooms. Here’s kind of a scattered list I wrote myself at the end of that meditation:

1. Peace and Tranquility – life is too HECTIC lately.

2. This is where the family gathers at least once every day. It should be soothing and warm.

3. Earth and Sea – a combination of effective feelings of both while not being “overdone”.

Then I began a list of what things bring me peace.

1. Walks in wooded areas.

2. Sitting on the lake shore watching the water move in the light.

3. warm blankets on sleepy cold mornings.

Okay, so it wasn’t a long list, but in effect I wanted to achieve those “senses” from those things without overdoing a theme. Understated. Shortly thereafter I began recklessly pitching away all of my old decor items in a box for Goodwill.

So here’s kind of the “before” of the room (which isn’t totally done yet, I just decided I couldn’t wait to start this blog). As you can see, I had kind of a REALLY (I say “kind of” in a snickering way, p.s.) bright yellow room. Not sure what I was thinking…. I guess I started out with a kind of bohemian idea that turned very, very bad…


So when I started out with thoughts for wall color, I decided that since overcast days are my most relaxed, creative days, I’d go for an “overcast sky” wall color, combined with white trim. The ceiling color in the whole of the dining room and kitchen is a lighter shade of gray. Kitchen walls are the lighter shade, and dining room walls a darker shade. This gets a little complicated in some areas since my layout for those two rooms is like this:


…Due to that, I had to choose some “defining areas” to begin/end the wall colors (more on that in a post at the end of this project).

Anyway, rather than collecting items that had any kind of “theme” to decorate, I decided just to make a hodge podge of things I loved. This turned out to be an okay idea because a lot of those things were natural elements, and what wasn’t meshed well with the natural elements – nature and architecture together is a design scheme all it’s own. Here are some pictures of the things I have done thus far to give you an idea of that combination…


And then, of course, there’s just some fun things like this little guy – our “guard dog” in the corner of the room…

In the kitchen, I repainted the cupboards all a nice, stark white. I haven’t been able to replace them yet (they’re metal) but this will do for the time being…

I also ordered some vinyl accents for the door of the closet in the kitchen…

Much of the kitchen work isn’t done yet because I’ve also chosen to try out one of the kitchen countertop transformation kits (paint) rather than replacing the countertop, opting to save countertop for a time when cupboards are replaced also. Of course, it has to be a certain temperature for a certain amount of time to be able to use the kit, and it hasn’t been yet. Soon, though.
In the meantime, I’m taking my time working on the dining room… which still has a lot left to do. I’m currently painting my Craigslist find table and chair set and still need to add some glaze to the desk and hutch, as well as find one more large element for wall decor in the room… I’m also painting the wood chest in the room and making some throw pillows for the top of that as well… for now here’s the “thus far” progress comparisson…

Until next time!