Sunday, November 24, 2013

House Tour: Dining Room

A special thanks to Jane for choosing our bathroom as an inspiration!  Do you follow Modern Jane?  You should.  She's good.  And she's in the middle of renovating Canada's Ugliest Bathroom...her words, not mine...

Next up on the house tour, post renovation, seen here on this little old the dining room.  There was a little sneak peek of this room's former color on the last post with the real befores of the living room.  As opposed to the fake white ones.

Because there's nothing better than the real deal before, especially when it's ugly. 

Get ready for ugly.

View from the Living Room

Purple!  Yes, that is a purple dining room.  Deep purple.  Like royalty.  Except no royal would paint a wall, much less a room, that color.

Bay Window in the Dining Room

Forgive this mash up of two pictures.  Back then I wasn't snapping away with the intent to show anyone, much less everyone.  But here you can see the focal point of the room.  The bay window.  Attractive selling point for a semi-detached home.

But not an attractive color!  I still can't believe we lived with it for seven years.  SEVEN YEARS!  Well, until this room changed to...

Next Color

...Sage Green!?  In here, too?  Yes, before we painted everything white, we painted this room to match the living room.  Lesson learned.  Then came time for the reno.


Whoa!  Did you catch all that?  Me either.  Let's break it down.

First of all, those cabinets.  They define the dining room space, but flow from the kitchen effortlessly.  It's all in the countertop. 


We used the same caesarstone (Pure White) from the kitchen countertop and extended it into the dining room.  The credit for this one goes to Kirsten, the brains behind the layout of this renovation.  Now that dining room built-in not only compliments the kitchen but also functions as an extension of it for entertaining.


And the cabinets themselves...


Ikea cabinets, the same as the kitchen.  But these are uppers, installed on their sides.  I know... I KNOW! 

Now you see it!

Perfect for maximum storage capacity.  Obviously, right now these hold whatever needs to be hidden.  Mostly placemats, paper, markers and other art items...all kid related.  I need an organization intervention here immediately.

Since the doors aren't meant to hang down, being pulled by gravity, we made some adjustments.  There are chains to support the hinges in case a door slips out of someone's hand (happened already).  They will absorb the drop instead of a handle denting the floor.  There are also magnets installed at the top of each door so it "catches" each time it closes.  Good safety feature for kids...and adults with butterfingers.

Home Base

Here's my favorite part of the storage.  The media "home base."  That's the cable box and IR extender which allows us to store the box away from the TV, yet still control it behind a closed door.  To the right of the box we keep our modem, router and all other media related boxes and plugs and wires...all of which are connected to the TV through a conduit (plastic pipe) that we hid in the wall.  It's not very pretty, but I love that we can keep it all BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, yet access it immediately when needed.

But enough of all that.  How about some more before and afters...

...Then Green...
After (by Justice Darragh for AT)

We bought those white chairs before we decided to renovate, in an attempt to upgrade our kitchen without blowing the bank.  We loved them, so they stayed.  Comfortable enough to sit in long after dinner is over...and clean up with Fantastik or Magic Eraser.  How family friendly is that!?

Green Before

And that table was a pre-renovation purchase, too.  I found it at Guff.  It was lonely because after many requests, the chairs were sold separately from the table.  So it was marked waaaaay down.  And was the perrrrrfect size for our old eat-in kitchen.  When it came completely apart so I could throw it in the trunk of my car, there was no way it wasn't coming home with me.

From the Entry - Before
From the Entry - After

The biggest thing that blows me away now is how much space we have and how we use every square inch of it.  Previously, the dining room was dead space for us.  We ate in our kitchen and watched TV in our living room.  The dining room was a place we walked through but never spent any time in.

Kirsten made a point of maintaining negative space in the dining room - between it and the kitchen as well as it and the living room.  You can see how much space there is in the picture above.  But there are no gaping holes asking for extra furniture.  Our family of five can easily move around -even all in the same room- without tripping over or bumping into each other.

Off Center

But maintaining that negative space & balance between "rooms" means our table is off center.  The good news is, you'd have to look for it.  This picture is taken standing on my tippy-toes looking over the basement staircase railing.  Not a view you'd normally see. 

The table is centered in the space, which doesn't center with the window.  And since we couldn't move the window, we decided to forgo a chandelier over the table...which would accentuate the off centered-ness even more.  Instead, the table is centered in the space and the potlights are centered over the table.  And all is right with the world.

Green Before
After (by Justice Darragh for AT)

All in all, our open concept space is working wonderfully for us.  We have no dead or repeated space.  The flow works for the size of the footprint.  And we even created storage without taking too much square footage away.

While there's not much to it, the dining room might be one of my favorite places because of how well it works for us.  But wait, we haven't discussed the rest of the house up close.  Stay tuned! 


  1. It looks so much bigger and brighter now. I like how the spaces all flow together.

  2. great job. Where did you get your new table?

  3. We purchased the table at GUFF in the Leslieville neighborhood of Toronto. Turns out they have a twin for sale!

  4. love the open plan. must be great for entertaining and daily life.