When I started the One Room Challenge, I fully expected to have a redecorated dining room at the end of the six weeks. What I didn't expect to have was a better understanding of my design tastes and a clarity of what I want my home to look like and how I want to live within its walls. Deep thoughts!
The wallpaper came down and the curtains went up. It was strangely freeing to have the walls lay bare a few days, with just a hint of paint (Lunenberg by PARA Paints). I've come to realize that... wallpaper is just not my thing. It requires too much of a commitment and my tastes are fickle. Removing it required a heck of a lot of work and I don't know if I can love another wallpaper that much to be willing to go through that arduous process again.
But I love pattern and texture very much and time and time again, I've come to rely on window coverings to bring the special 'something' my rooms need. The Naga Blue curtains from Tonic Living are perfection. Paired with the bamboo blind, they bring an organic and natural quality that wasn't there before.
That need for natural elements has taken a strong hold. All of a sudden, I've become my mother and filled this room with tropical plants. I have clear memories of Dieffenbachia and Palm plants tucked in the corners of our 1970's home. I held off getting the ubiquitous fiddle leaf fig (as photogenic as she may be) and instead brought home this leafy Schefflera Amate. No guarantees I'll be able to keep her alive until reveal day ;)
My tastes at the moment are leaning increasingly towards a clean and minimal look. I could never be a true minimalist (my hoard of design magazines alone would disqualify me) but I'm craving breathing space... less visual chaos... beautifully designed simple objects. These candle holders will flank the print from Minted and I hope bring just enough interest to the walls.
Which brings us to the chandelier. I had a few more funds left in my collaboration with eBay Canada and knew I wanted to spend it on lighting. I love eBay for lighting. You can often find new products for a fraction of the cost you find them in stores. This Hinkley Lighting Harlow 6 Light Chandelier was just what I was looking for. HandyMan is not a fan of exposed lightbulbs and I didn't want a chandelier that would obscure the view out to the back porch so the light and airy design and opaque shades of this light were just right.
But now I had another dilemma: brass candle holders and chrome light fixture? Not sure I want to mix those metals so spray paint to the rescue. Krylon Metallic Brilliant Gold is on the left. Design Master Premium Metals Gold Medal is on the right. The Krylon is more of a muted brushed finish and the Design Master is more of a true brass. Only question is do I go ahead and spray the chandelier?? I feel so weird painting something in 'new' condition.
Aside from that one potential project, I could leave the dining room as it is right now and be perfectly happy with the transformation. But there is one more DIY I'm considering. I might be overly ambitious but I think I will try and reupholster at least one dining chair over the next few days. I've picked a ticking stripe for the back of the oval back, and a nice heathered grey polyester for the inside back and seat. The chair has piping which scares me so this is one DIY I may or may not complete by the deadline. Only one week left to find out!