Ok, long story short, I loved the colors of my "before" dining room and really didn't have a problem with it, except for that I just felt it was a little bit formal and didn't really fit the flow of the rest of our living areas upstairs... which are more family-ish and fun and funky? Does that make sense?
Well, I didn't actually have any plans for a re-do any time soon, but one day I posted a picture of my living room on Instagram because, well, it was clean and I needed to document the occasion and show off my new $30 robins egg blue thrift store chair. One of my friends commented and asked me if I followed this blog, which I had never heard of, but when I went to her Instagram page and then her blog and I saw her giant chalkboard in her dining room (swoon!), I knew this was the direction I wanted to go! So I started with the jumbo chalkboard idea and just went from there! Isn't Little Miss Momma's chalkboard TO DIE FOR??
Now, just as a reminder, I'll show everyone the BEFORE PICTURE:
Like I said before, there was really nothing terribly wrong with this dining room and I still LOVED it! But there was no sense in having such a formal room right off our main living area that the kids weren't really even allowed to set foot in because it was only for parties and special occasions. I needed it to serve us better. So the first thing to go was the paint. (And FYI, I'm pretty sure the first color was called "Appletini" but I can't remember who makes the paint!)
I went with a very light gray-ish blue, because I wanted to be able to add lots of colors to the room without feeling like they would clash with the walls. The new color is Behr's Limelight. I love it.
I painted it myself one morning while the kids were at school, and I could tell right away that the color was going to be a good fit!
Once the walls were painted I began to decide on exactly what else I wanted to do.
I bought these 4 Pier One rattan dining chairs (pictured below) from a picker in my hometown; they were sitting outside his building and still had the Pier 1 stickers on them (they retail for around $150 a piece!) I asked him about them and after confusing him by telling him they were from Pier 1 ("I never got nuthin' from no pier!" he said), I convinced him to sell all 4 of them to me for $75. Total. So there ya go. Pickin' at its finest. They were brown but the paint was coming off and they needed a paint job. I had not planned on painting them a bright color until I saw this spray paint at Lowes. Rust-Oleum's "Lagoon." Be still my turquoise-loving heart. I just knew I wanted that color. So I primed and spray painted the seats and backs of the chairs.
And because I do love me some shimmer, I painted the legs gold. I love how they turned out.
Next came the chalkboard. I pretty much followed Little Miss Momma's tutorial for a jumbo chalkboard. My board is smaller than hers though - it is 4 feet by 3 feet. I bought a large 4ft x 8ft piece of MDF board at Home Depot; had them cut it to 4 ft x 3 ft. Then painted the entire board with magnetic chalkboard primer, followed by chalkboard paint (2-3 coats of each, drying in between.) I also bought 2 long pieces of crown molding, enough to frame my entire board. Instead of actually framing the board, I just sawed the pieces of molding to size, and glued them ON TOP of the chalkboard. So it's not actually a framed chalkboard, it just looks framed - does that make sense? I also didn't want to worry about having to miter the corners of my molding, so I just cut the pieces straight and bought 4 little decorative molding squares and put them in the corners. I nailed all of the molding down with nails and used glue for the decorative corner squares. I used latex caulk to seal all of the cracks and holes, including the crack between the MDF board and molding pieces, which runs all the way around the outside. Then I gave the frame and outside border a coat of paint (BM's White Dove, leftover from kitchen cabinets.) I used the 200lb Hangman brand mount from Home Depot ($14.99) and it was a breeze to mount! *Don't skip the caulking step, because it won't look finished and won't look like it is actually framed!*
Once the chalkboard was hung, it was time to start bringing in my happy things.
This little side table used to be in our den, and I decided to use it as a sort of mini-bar type entertainment area. The mirror is the same mirror that was in the room before, I just painted it gold.
The curtains were a fun and new project for me. I hung a set of white Ikea panels first and then felt like it needed a little something extra. I bought this orange patterned curtain panel at Target and decided to make faux Roman shades... using... my glue gun. That's right. I don't really have a tutorial on this since I just sort of winged it, but there are hundreds of DIY Roman Shade tutorials on Pinterest that use mini blinds. I just didn't want to buy mini blinds. So mine look like shades that you can pull, but actually the folds are just glue gunned down. Ha! (And I probably wouldn't try this on fabric that wasn't patterned with some sort of lines, because it would be nearly impossible to get your folds correct! This was easy because of the pattern; I was able to get them all even.)
Here's a picture of the finished product, plus my little model.