The Scenery House

    New House First Steps – The Dining Room

    March 20, 2017

    Before moving in, the first room we tackled was the dining room. It was low hanging fruit (that’s a phrase people use, yes?) as it’s a smaller room and one for which we already had the necessary furniture. It’s not quite finished yet but it is the only place we’ve hung anything on the wall. Lemme show you where we started.

    As you’ll remember from this post, this is what the dining room looked like when we first saw it. It was stuffed with furniture and being used as a TV room.


    Here it is all cleaned out. The rug was hiding some dark and pretty scratched up floors. The window treatments had been covering… most of the windows.


    One of the first things I did for our house was to remove almost all of the chair rail. It was not original and was probably added sometime in the 80s or 90s. Chair rail is usually reserved for dining rooms but our home also had it in two bedrooms and the breakfast nook/mudroom. Removing chair rail isn’t too tough, you just slide a blade along the top and bottom edges to break the caulk and then use a pry bar to separate it from the wall. The real work comes from patching the area behind the chair rail where the nails have pulled some plaster out with them. Ready Patch is my go to for all patching and is really the best thing out there to repair small areas of plaster or wood. Our chair rails had wallpaper behind them with raised layers of paint above and below. I scraped off the wallpaper, patched, sanded and patched and sanded again in perpetuity for ever and ever.

    I am a slow and meticulous painter which means it takes me an eternity to finish a room, so I wanted to reduce the number of coats I had to apply. I used Behr’s Marquee paint in Cameo White instead of my favorite white, Benjamin Moore’s Simply White. This paint is pretty amazing. It’s guaranteed 1 coat coverage as long as you use their colors – you can’t have them color match and still keep the guarantee. The paint has great coverage and I only had to go back through and touch things up in a few areas, I’d call it something like one and a half coats.




    There are lovely built-ins with beveled glass doors housed in two corners of the room on the exterior wall. The inside was painted a 90s cranberry shade that was too warm for the stained wood. I painted the inside with Behr’s Premium Plus Ultra color-matched to Benjamin Moore’s Raccoon Fur. This color works so well to show off our black and white serving pieces and our growing ceramics collection.


    [ceramics: yuki vase | arc ceramic bowl]

    [ shapes towel | bowl ]

    Our credenza used to hold our TV in the living room of our apartment but is now being used in the dining room. It’s great for laying out snacks (usually just 10 kinds of hummus) when we entertain. Inside are tons of board games as we are more into game nights in than big nights out.


    Our bright kilim brightens the room and is a favorite piece we picked up from eBay for the apartment. The dining table and chairs were a fantastic $80 craigslist find that have been with us longer than we imagined. I love the ladder back chairs but the table itself leaves a lot to be desired. The top is a wood-look laminate and the legs are some kind of strange shape.

    We swapped out the crystal chandelier for the popular IKEA SINNERLIG. This is a great, inexpensive fixture but I have plans to move it to our sunroom whenever I find the right replacement.

    Although I’d like to hang more art in here, find the perfect table and new chairs, plus find the perfect chandelier, it feels very good for now, even almost done.

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