Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry & Bright: My Dining Room Reveal

When I realized that once again our girls wouldn't be home for Christmas,
I decided to make good use of the time between Thanksgiving and our belated Christmas celebration to transform at least one of the rooms on our main floor into a space that's
merry and bright.

I chose our dining room.

In a perfect world, I would have repaired the plaster walls first, but since it's
taken us years to repair the foyer, stairwell, upstairs hallway, and guest bedroom plaster
(including the ceilings), I've come to the conclusion that the dining room and
living room walls may not be repaired in my lifetime!

Our house is 90 years old and her plaster is cracked only because some foolish DIYer
removed a small load bearing wall in the basement in the 70's.  Like a gracefully
aging movie star (are there any?), she's going to accept the lines and cracks in her walls.
No botox.  No plastic surgery or collagen injections.  Just a little lot of primer
 and flat wall paint and the transformation is complete!

I painted the formerly depressing green walls with Benjamin Moore contractor grade paint in
 Palace White.  It covered the walls beautifully and camouflaged the imperfections.

The hardest decision was whether or not to paint the original dark walnut
crown molding and windows.  The tall base molding had already been painted over
by a previous owner, so that helped seal the deal for me. 
 Since I'm keeping the dark wood finish on the interior doors in our house,
 I left the window sashes dark and painted the trim and crown molding
with a creamy white gloss paint.   The crown molding throughout the house is designed to hold
picture rail hooks for hanging pictures, so I'm going to order a few and give them a try.
Maybe I won't have to pound quite so many holes in the plaster walls.  :@

While I had the paint can out, I also brightened up this old window
 which was previously finished with a dark stain.  Years ago, I mounted a mirror
 to the back side of the window and screwed wood brackets and fluted molding
on top to hold my favorite plates.  The vintage red & white transferware cups and saucers
are a recent purchase to add a little Christmas cheer to this wall.

The flip side of this large church window has a pretty maple finish, but I'm trying
to limit the number of wood pieces in the room.  The dry sink may get a
coat of paint in the future, but these hands are tired of painting right now!

I didn't want to muck up this post with dreary before pictures,
 but if you'd like to see the gloomy room as it looked a few weeks ago,
you can click on the green dining room photo to the right on my sidebar.

I found the vintage bottle brush wreath and deer ornament (and the cups and saucers) at
Annabella's in Bovey, MN.  Since the deer is missing a foot and kept toppling over,
I wired him to the wreath where he seems quite content sniffing out dust mites.

If you're ever in that neck of the woods, be sure to make the shop a destination!
  Two main street buildings are filled with wonderful old  junk and a charming cafe where they serve
regional favorites like sarmas.  Last year I was even serenaded by a polka band while I shopped! 
 She's too fat for me.  Too, too fat for me.......

Since I seem to be going with a candy cane color scheme in the room,
I set my Iittala ( ee' ta la , Finnish glass manufacturer)  candlesticks topped by
 red velvet ornaments and an old white pitcher on top of the secretary.

The kitschy deer thing-a-ma-jig is resting on top of my red & white kitchen scale.
 A vintage pop bottle holds a flame shaped ornament like a candle. 
(We call it pop in these parts, but you probably call it soda or coke.)

The vintage silver bottle brush tree next to the bottle
 was only 25 cents at an estate sale a few years ago.

I kept the mantel pretty simple.
(That's part of a living room window reflected in the glass.)

I've got lots of vintage ornaments that I've collected over the years......

and plenty of old Santas in every shape and size!

I had some fun setting up a snowy scene.

I stitched up a table runner from red & white ticking.

The rug has been rolled up and the window treatments, too.
The mismatched pressed back wood chairs will be painted
before they make it back into the room. 

A simple arrangement of old glass ornaments is the centerpiece.

Can you think of a better way to fill the big black firebox than with a small red piano?!
( I borrowed the idea from the very clever Jenny of Everyday is a Holiday blog.)

To the left of the dry sink is a recently installed antique, unsightly and leaky radiator, a fact I discovered just last night!!   I'll be calling the plumber back pronto to do the job right! 

 The radiator is topped by a double-hung window which received the same paint finish
 as the other two.  I've got a craftsman style rad cover which needs a few adjustments
 and a coat of paint before it's installed. 

So, that's what I've been up to while the rest of you have been busy
baking, and shopping and getting ready for your holiday visitors. 

 Now, I know I said
our girls won't be here for Christmas,
 but who knows.......

A special delivery could change everything!

Merry Christmas!

*I'm joining the holiday parties at:
Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday
Cedarhill Ranch Cowgirl Up
Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special


  1. Very pretty - I love red at Christmas and adore the table runner :-)

  2. Hi Vickie! Oh, your dining room is beautiful. Looks like pages from a magazine! I love the old leaded glass window with the glass behind it and the little shelf. You've Christmased it up so wonderfully! Just looks so pretty.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  3. I love the snow scene in the glass. That works really well. And I adore the red piano. I think it's just fine right where it is! I'de love one of those for Christmas!

  4. If this doesn't cheer you up, then I don't know what will! This room is a happy place, Vickie. I'm coming over...what are you cooking? ;)

  5. Great job Vickie! it looks fabulous, love all the bright and cheery pops of fun Christmas red. My fave is the little conservatory filled with goodies!!

  6. Vickie, that was a lot of vintage eye candy! Everything looks beautiful. I love your candy cane color theme. What a wonderful place to entertain your family.

  7. Vickie your home is lovely and I adore the simple red and white! I think it's all very festive! A 'special delivery' oh how exciting! hugs, Linda

  8. That mirror you made with the shelf is one of the prettiest things I have seen in a long time. And it fits perfectly in the space above your buffet. LOVE IT!

  9. I love your room. It looks perfect to me. My daughter and her family won't be home and that's okay. Hmmmmmmm a new baby one it's way, how exciting. Again, your room is just beautiful.

  10. Oh, wow, LOVE the reveal! The white and red is so fresh and cheery!! You have been busy, busy! Love all of your vintage holiday bits and I cannot pick a favourite. Love the pop (we call it pop too) bottle candle, the red & white truck, the newly painted window/shelf, the deer... I love it all. The piano is perfect too -- just right for a little Liberace. The booties on the scale was the cutest. Fabulous job Vickie!!

  11. Oh yes, and the wee trees in the tea cups!!!! Love that display too! :)

  12. Vickie your room is so pretty and bright! LOVE the Christmas decor and pops of red too!I am coming over to take that church window....darn you live to far away! Your floors are beautiful too! What a beautiful transformation! I am sure you are happy too.Oh well nothing you can do about lines and cracks in the walls.Our home is only 6 years old and we have those too!
    Merry Christmas I hope there will be a special delivery soon to make it an even Merrier Christmas!

  13. OH are a girl after my own heart! Your home is what my home wants to be when it grows up! I LOVE every. single. thing. I can't even pick a favorite...although that Santa holding bead garland...

  14. Oh Vickie, I LOVE your dining room with all it's pretty vintage Christmas charm! You have a beautiful home!! Wishing you and your family a wonderful and Blessed Christmas and I hope you get that special delivery!! Hugs, Gail

  15. Wow, MOM! It looks so good!!!! And if all goes according to MY PLANS, baby will be here by the 25th! ;) Hehehehe. We all know how well those kind of plans go. Those little booties are so cute!!!! And I love the piano in the fireplace!

    Looks REALLY nice painted white. :) Love it.

  16. your paint job looks so fresh and pretty, vickie! sweet runner, love the gothic window, and the little trees in the cups, esp.:) oh, and the chandy--can't forget that! wouldn't a christmas baby be awesome?!

  17. Your dining room looks so fresh and pretty. I'm LOVING the church window and the mirrored window with the shelf. Fabulous focal points! Your Christmas touches are adorable, as always.
    Merry Christmas, Mary Alice

  18. Oh Vickie,
    Love it all. Your dining room so so pretty and bright. Love the pops of color here and there. Love your red farmhouse truck and trees. I love the color of the walls. I am going to remember that color. Not too white and not too cream just perfect. Vickie love it all. Merry Christmas.

  19. Vickie,
    The dining room is wonderful! Personally, I like the imperfections of plaster in an old home - ours was built in 1909, and there are plenty!
    All your architectural features add wonderful character. The window you backed with mirror is gorgeous, and the way you decorated it is wonderful.
    Beautiful, beautiful.

  20. I agree with Carol, I love the imperfections of older houses !
    Your dining room looks so lovely Vickie, I'm so glad you got some decorations out, it's all looking so pretty. The red with the newly painted room is the perfect colour combination.
    Even though your girls may not be visiting, it looks like this could be a very special Christmas !

  21. I love your decor. The pointy window is amazing and looks so darn cute with the deer wreath on it. I will go check out the green version of the room and let you know if you need to start repainting it green again any time soon.

    1. OK, back again. No need to get out the paint brushes and start painting it green again. I love the lighter and brighter version. And I can't believe what a difference painting that window/mirror made. Great improvements!

  22. So much to love. I love the bright white walls. I love the arch window and lead glass mirror. Your decorations are fun. The Santa with the red beads, the old toys, the terrarium and its contents, and the old scale with deer. I don't even notice little imperfections. I love old houses.

  23. I love everything you did, Vickie, but I think you are a total genius for putting a mirror behind your leaded glass window, and I do mean genius. I also love how you managed to bring in your collectibles and it still looks uncluttered. Are you teaching a class by any chance? I could use one.

  24. Vickie,
    When you get in the mood to paint again, come on over! Your dining room turned out amazing, so light and bright! Everything is fabulous, especially that church window!! Love all your Christmas decorations, when you get tired of them, just send them my way! Red and white is so classic and fresh, perfect for Christmas!

  25. Vickie, This is the most charming room I've seen this season! I love it - thank you for sharing!

  26. Vickie, I absolutely love everything about your dining room. The table runner, vintage windows, the snow scene over the fireplace. You did a fantastic job-I'm going back to look some more. By the way-I have the same red piano-it's next to my fireplace, I wanted to put it inside, but we have gas logs in the way.

  27. Love this post, looking forward to seeing those booties filled.


  28. I love your darling dining room Vickie and how lucky are you to have a fireplace in your dining room! Everything looks so perfect. Love your decorations.


  29. Oh Vickie,
    Everything looks absolutely beautiful. Love, love, love the pop of red. Oooh, and hope you'll have exiting news for us soon :-) Cute little booties.


  30. Vickie, Sound like we have similar houses. Our cottage is 90 plus years and the plaster has lots to cracks too, but I kind of like the cracks. Everything looks beautiful, I love all the red and white. I hope you have a wonderful holiday, Laura

  31. Merry and bright is right...I love this room!!
    You have the magic touch when it comes to putting vignettes together!

  32. Vickie,
    I love what you have done here! It is gorgeous in every way. Have a very Merry Christmas!

  33. Beautiful! I love an old house, despite their cracks and imperfections. Yours is lovely and especially so with all of your painting efforts. I think my favorite thing in the room is the leaded window with the mirror behind it followed closely by those velvet + sequin ornaments. There's just something about those... Merry Christmas!!

  34. Just wanted to let you know you are on my Saturday favorites- have a happy holiday!

  35. Your dining room is really fantastic Vickie! You did a great job. It looks so fresh.
    I love the church window, those candlesticks, the sweet deers...everything is so beautiful.
    Merry Christmas!
    Besos, Silvina

  36. Your Christmas decor is utterly charming. I love all the vintage goodness!! Happy, Happy Christmas to you :)

  37. Vickie,
    It all loks all the vintage decor. Merry Christmas!


  38. Your home is so warm and welcoming all dressed for the Holidays. I love all the little touches of whimsy ♥
    Merry Christmas.

  39. love the dining room and all the vintage decorations! house and my face are from the seventies and both
    wishing you a very merry and blessed christmas.

  40. ok...and note: i am laughing and kidding with you now.....i BELIEVE i recall something said that you weren't going to do much this year. VICKIE!!!! i am in love with your room and all of the wonderful vintage decor. from the table runner to the scale to the red truck...oh my! i am in love with your collections and how you put them all together. the white background with the fresh paint really allows your collections to pop. love the dry sink in it's original wood..good contrast. but LOVE all of the other snowy whites.

    merry chirtmas dear blog friend!


  41. Your dining room looks so beautiful! I love the lighter, fresher look and it especially looks pretty decorated for the holidays. Merry Christmas!

  42. Everything looks lovely, my but you have been busy.
    Wishing you a happy and blessed new year.

  43. Vickie, your dining roo looks lovely, like the paint it makes it bright!

    Love the pretty vignettes too!

  44. I love your blog. I am your newest follower and your dining room is fabulous.. Stop by my place (blog) and shop... @ The Rusty Pearl.. Would love to have you and.......Congrats on the new baby

  45. Vicki it looks great! This was indeed a lot of painting. I think our houses were built around the same time - but my someone painted my woodwork a long time ago. I really like the red accents - especially the red piano! I would kill for one of those! I will be interested to see how you fill the color void after the Christmas decorations are down. When I get my living room painted red will be my accent color. Your dining table is gorgeous and perfect for the shape of the room. Are you still going to paint the sideboard? The white you used on the walls looks warm - what color is it?

  46. Oh, and I have tried hanging pictures from my picture rail with little success. I haven't been able to get the pictures to hang nicely. I do use the picture rail above the fireplace to hang or secure some of the stuff I use when I decorate the fireplace, so they are useful.

  47. Your dining room is absolutely gorgeous!

  48. Oh, Vickie, your blog is just fabulous. I love your sense of humor and your sock monkeys. I desperately want to make one! I pinned your table runner - have to make it - I love the ruffle and ticking. What a pleasure to read your blog! Congratulations on your new grandchild. We have our first coming in April. Am following you now.

  49. I LOVE everything about your Christmas post...the red and white runner, the mirror you refinished...everything!! Love, love!


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