Do you use your dining room?

Wow, it seems like forever since I have posted anything.  I’ve been so busy the past few weeks I haven’t had time or really the desire to  work on projects.  Although I have been to some yard sales and have a few great items that I will share with you tomorrow, if I can get decent pictures.  It’s been so gloomy and dark here, I think Virginia is the new Seattle.  I am so ready for some sunshine and warm weather!  But I have been to some great concerts the past few weeks…Zac Brown Band, Neko Case, and Court Yard Hounds.  So much fun!

So, do you use your dining room more than once or twice a year?  I know most of you out there have beautiful ones, but are they used?  I love my table that I found last year at a yard sale and refinished (see that post here), but honestly, I don’t think we have had one meal at it since I finished it.  Now, it is used daily as a drop off for mail, purses, bags, etc. because you basically walk into the dining room from my front door.  But we never eat at it.  I know, its sad.  And, we shouldn’t eat on the sofa in front of the TV, but we do.
And, keeping it real, I don’t see that changing.

Pay no mind to the “Living on a Dime,” my blog’s old name.

Now that I have lived with the table for several months, I’m thinking I would rather use the room for a sitting room instead.  I have been longingly (is that a word…guess so, spell check says it is) eyeballing antique settees lately, but right now I have no where to put one.

Source: None via Gloria on Pinterest


Source: via Gloria on Pinterest

Aren’t they gorgeous.  Sigh. I’ve seen them all over the place…yard sales, flea markets, Craigslist, etc.  I want one!  I’ll even reupholster one if needed.

I could even pose like this.  Yeah…wouldn’t be that pretty.  haha

I would love a place to sit and read and work on the blog that is away from the television and not closed up in my bedroom. With this velvet one, I know my daughter wouldn’t sit on it.
She can’t stand the feel of velvet. 

Even if I did have guests or wanted to eat at a table, I have a nice folding one that I could pretty up with a table cloth.  I could also either keep my chairs or find other ones and have them around the house until needed at the table.
I could even use the settee as seating at the table.

See, it can be done.

So, what do you think?  Should I keep the dining table or get one of these lovely ladies? 
Linking up to these and other parties listed in the Linky Parties Tab


I knew she would be gorgeous

She’s finally finished and just gorgeous.  I’m so sad I won’t be able to keep her, but she is too big for my dining room.

You may remember when I first posted about picking her up at a local flea market.  She was just sitting there, under a pile of junk other treasures and I just had to have her.

She had great bones and was very sturdy.

I knew she would be beautiful in my dining room and thought she would fit perfectly.  Sadness…I was wrong, about the size of my dining room any way.  But, someone out there will be happy to have her.

Here is some of the process she went through.

First, the top got a good sanding and the bottom and drawers a good cleaning and a coat of Kilz primer.

Then I painted the bottom with 2 coats of Behr Cotton Whisper.  I just purchased a sample and I still have some left.

 Now, it was time for some stain.  I used Minwax’s Red Mahogany and it turned out just gorgeous!

At this time, I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to stain that top ledge where I guess a mirror was attached.  I didn’t know how I was going to hide those holes.  But, I finally found a solution.  I found little square carved wood appliques at Lowes that fit just perfectly.  So, I glued those babies on and,  voila, problem solved. 


Beautimous stain.

Then, I decided I wanted to put add a little color and highlight the details.  I chose to use my free sample I got from Valspar in Mermaid, which is kind of a turquoise color.  So, I painted it in the lines on the drawers and then lightly washed the entire bottom in the color.

It’s subtle, but I liked it.  Then, it still needed something, so I used Valspar’s Antiquing Glaze in Asphaltium to give it more of an antique look.

Again, not real heavy.

And it was finished with a few coats of Wipe-On Poly from Minwax.  Love that stuff, by the way.  It’s so easy to use.

And, there she is, in all her glory.


Linking to:

Wow Us Wednesday over at Savvy Southern Style



Treasures Found

This past weekend I was a bit restless and didn’t want to hang around the house, so I ventured out on my own to a little town about 45 minutes from me…Floyd, Virginia.

Floyd is best known for bluegrass music and I knew there would be some antique shops there.  Not being a huge bluegrass fan, I was going for the antiques and beautiful drive.

I hit the jackpot and went into all the shops, there were three great ones.  Chic’s Antique Mall, Finders Keepers, and one other that I can’t for the life of me remember the name of, but was right next to Chic’s.

Here is what I found…

This set of silver.  I’ve never bought silver before, so I wasn’t really sure about my purchase, but it just spoke to me and so I got it.  It needs a good cleaning, but its so pretty.  It’s stamped 1947.

I also got this set of ironstone salt and pepper shakers.  (Excuse the brightness of this picture.)

What have you found lately?

Linking up to:


Dining Table Reveal

I’ve been working on this table for months and have finally finished it.

Here’s the before…

And now, the after…

The chair on the left is what goes with the table, but I only have one finished.  The other chairs here are from my old table.  I painted the bottom with Valspar White (off the shelf) and the top is stained with Dark Walnut Minwax stain.  Then two coats of Wipe On Poly.  This was my first time using it and it was so easy to just wipe it on with a cloth and I love the finish.  I’ll also remind you, this table and chairs only cost me $40 at a yard sale last Fall.  I probably spent about $10 in supplies to finish it. 

As you can see, there are still some spots on the top that wouldn’t take the stain.  I did like four coats of stain, and it still wouldn’t take. So, I decided to go with it and call it distressed.  😉

I’m still dtrying to decide whether or not to distress the legs.  What do you think?

One more view from the staircase…

My next big project is that buffet over there to the right.  It turned out to be a little too big for this room, so this will be my first piece to sell.  I wish I could find a place for it myself, but its too big.  But, luckily, my sister found a gorgeous piece on the side of the road that she is giving to me.  Yay!! I love free stuff.  It’s hard to believe what some people will just throw away.

Have a wonderful day, and until next time.


Linking up to:

Savvy Southern Style’s Wow Us Wednesday


The Thrifty Home’s Penny Pinching Party

504 Main’s Tickled Pink Friday
504 Main

Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday

 A La Carte’s Junkin’ Finds Friday
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What I’m working on…

My posts have been few and far between lately.  I have no excuses…its mostly because of laziness.  This winter has been so cold and dreary, I think it has made me want to sit on the sofa curled up with a blanket rather than work on projects in my cold basement that I have to actually go outside to get to.

But, I do have several things that I’m working on. Here’s a sneak peak at some of them.

I did get my bedroom painted, and the sunburst mirror made,

a new headboard made,

and 1/2 of my first slipcover sewed.  I’m very happy with how the top turned out.  Now to figure out how to connect the back part to the seat part.  Yeah…that’s the pink nightmare underneath. 

All these things are just for my bedroom.  I’ve been searching the thrift stores for cute accessories that I can use as-is or attack with a can of spray paint.  

Last weekend, I finally started painting my dining table.  I finished up the legs and have the first coat of stain on the top.  Something is a little weird with the top as the stain isn’t taking to certain spots.  I swear there was nothing left from the old stain or varnish.  Not sure what’s going on, but hopefully the next coat will help or I will have to figure out something else.  Don’t you just love all those curvy legs? 

While waiting to get a tire plugged last Saturday (it took 3 hours!), I trotted over to a local flea market and had a look around and found 3 great old books.  Tennyson’s Poems, The Rose of Sharon, and a History of Music from 1908. (I didn’t get a picture of the music book.)  It’s cool because it has the student’s notes in the margins.  They are in pretty rough shape, but really old.  The Rose of Sharon is dated 1847. 

I also finally found a buffet for the dining room for only $50!  I can’t wait to get it all fixed up.

Well, that’s about all I’ve got for now.  I’m hoping to have some finished projects to show you next time along with details on everything.

Stay warm and lets hope Punxsutawney Phil makes it out of his hole tomorrow and isn’t buried in snow or ice.


Winter "Fantle"

What’s a “Fantle” you ask?  Well, I don’t have a mantle to decorate, so I use my fake mantle (hence, “fantle”) instead. 

Here it was at Christmas.


And now…

It’s all pretty self-explanatory, I just rearranged some things from around the house, and wrote a new quote on the chalkboard.  It’s a Japanese proverb.


Quick Before and After

Here’s a quick little before and after of some built in shelves in my dining room.

After we moved in back in March, I just put a few things here as kind of a temporary place for them, and it drove me nuts because it looked so messy all the time.

 This is the only before I have with the top covered in burlap.

So, one day, after doing some thrifting and yard saling and starting a little collection of white and blue dishes, I got an idea.  I decided to treat the shelves like a china cabinet and display the beginnings of my collection.  I also wanted to add some texture and a contrasting color to the back of the shelves so that the dishes would POP.  This is when I purchased my first piece of burlap and fell in love. 

Here’s the finished project with the very beginnings of the collection..  Much better.

Styled for Fall.

And a little change up for Halloween.

Linking up to Savvy Southern Style’s first Before and After Party and The Shabby Nest’s Frugal Friday!

Spreading a Little Fall Around

The weather has finally cooled down and that makes me want to warm things up with some Fall decorations.  This is my favorite time of year.  I love the crisp weather, watching the mountains turn from green to orange and gold, chili and other comfort foods, football, and of course Halloween.

I’ve still got a few more things to do, but here’s what the house is looking like so far….

Here’s a little vignette I have on my dining table.  Notice my knock-off hurricanes made out of Dollar Tree vases and candle sticks?  Yep…$2 each!  I picked up the little birds at Michael’s.  They are part of their Tuscan line and were on clearance for 70% off.  Score!  The little pumpkin I already had.

I have also changed up the built-in shelves in the dining room to include a little Fall.  The frames I got at Dollar Tree, they were 2 for $1 and I just used some scrapbook paper and chipboard letters that I already had.  When it gets closer to Halloween, I will change that up with something more Halloween-y.

The living room also got a few little changes with a few yard sale finds.  I just loved the shape of the clock.  I haven’t decided if I want to paint it or something yet.  For now, it will do.  The candle-stick also came from a yard sale, I think for 50 cents, with a little white pumpkin I picked up at Dollar Tree. Hmmm…I need something else on there in the middle.

And, of course my lantern from my last post.

I’ve also made a wreath for the front door, but I want to get some mums this weekend for that area before revealing it.  Check back…I’ll be adding more things over the rest of the week and this weekend. 

October is almost here…have y’all been spreading some Fall around?

Brass – Yuck; Heirloom White – Ahhhh

I was rummaging through our local Habitat Restore recently and went in the lighting section.  I’ve been looking for a cheap chandelier for my dining room because the one there now is hideous!  Yes, its a rental and yes, I shouldn’t change it, but I can NOT live with this thing.  Could you?

So, I look down and find a simple brass chandelier with some ugly frosted glass globes on it, but the lines of it are what I was looking for.  I took off the shades and put them on the shades shelf for somebody else to take and off I went with my new chandelier for $10!

Not the exact one I got, but similar.

Ok…I’m new at blogging and I get excited to start a project and completely forget to take before pictures.  I need to get better at that. 

Anyway, I found a picture of a similar one, so this is kind of my before.

By the way, I also need a better camera and some photography lessons.

So, as you can see, I painted that bad boy my favorite (and everybody else’s) Heirloom White to go into my dining room.  A few of the plastic posts (not sure what they are called) were chipped on the top so I decided to cover them with some scrapbook paper.  Gotta love all the uses for scrapbook paper we can come up with.  I also used some antiquing medium to highlight some of the details in the swirls.

So, now all I have to do is hang it.  I’m also thinking of making a cord cover for it, maybe out of some of my leftover burlap.  hmmm.

Doesn’t it look much better than that ugly lantern looking thing?  I think so.  Ignore the fact that only one of my dining chairs is white…that’s another project in progress. 



What do you think?  Major improvement from the old ugly one.  Don’t worry Mr. Landlord, I saved it for you in the basement.  I will put it back before I move out.

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