1 In Home Reno & Decor

A casual dining area {and the process of buidling a home you love over time and on a budget}

Ever since I was a little girl I have always loved rearranging furniture. 
Which, is totally saying a lot since I was the runt of my mother’s litter and most of the things I moved around were bigger than me. Think, couches, heavy metal desks and full armoires.
Somehow I acquired the nickname Mighty Mouse, and Betsy Wetsy.
Today, in my own home, I am constantly rethinking the furniture we own and the house we live in and how I can move things, take things away and add pieces in to make our house work better for us.

Which brings me to this picture of this $10 Kijiji table!
I guess I have been forming this house switchover, in my head, for a couple years now. Last Christmas I even rearranged our main level and moved our long dining table in the blank area that is our “landing”, which is right across from our kitchen.
I figured then, like I figured a few months ago, that having a table in view of the kitchen meant that I could serve the kids breakfast at it (Seeing as our island only sits two and we now have THREE children) I also figured it would make a great spot for the kids to do homework when they come home from school.
The desk we had in our space was great, but again, it only served one child when we have two now in full time school. (Yes, my kindergarten daughter and I are both fine and adjusted now, thankfully. We also kept KLEENEX company in business. ;))
This is what we started with four years ago. 
One long living room with the kitchen to the left and beyond that a dining room to the back left.
Our home has evolved so much over time. As you can see from the above picture.
I like to call our first attempt at decorating this house, the “dark days”. 
Even before this picture, I had painted all of the walls a deep chocolate brown (You can spy it in the pictures below.)
We recruited my sister for some painting. 
Seeeee? Lots of dark and lots of projects.
PS: we also had dark brown curtains. It was the era of burgundy, reds and dark tones. When we moved in, we fully embraced the trend.
Phase One also included building up this wall and moving it over slightly.
And here is another view point of the first version of our main level. 
This picture proves that with time, some bargain shopping and some DIY, over time you too can redo a space and do it on a shoestring budget.
It also accurately shows that the area I am referring to, is super close to our kitchen.
When we first moved into our house we used what we had to utilize this corner and turn it into a little desk/organization area.
Phase one was this desk, a storage bench and a lamp I had since I was 15.
For phase two of this space, we added a rug that we later sold, and a comfy chair and re purposed filing cabinet and some glitzy pulls.
Although it served its purpose as a homework area for our son, once our daughter wanted to practice writing her letters and numbers, I knew we needed to really rethink this space.
With a little ingenuity, some paint, some elbow grease and that little round table I showed you at the beginning of this post, we went from this which was our lower levels second phase…
To this…
Current and third phase. 🙂
I took a chance on that ten dollar table and went to pick it up. I cleaned it up, took it apart and spray painted the iron base in a glossy white and primed and painted the top in some left over white paint I had on hand.
The light above it is an IKEA orb-ish light that I also found at the thrift store for $9. (Update: these pics were taken a few months ago #badblogger and we now have a new light in place. I will tell you alllllll about that deal in a future post.) 
Since this area wasn’t typically made for a table, there was no electrical above where our table now sits. 
Not a problem. 
I simply bought a little white hook from the hardware store and attached it to the ceiling, then I swagged it over until it was centered over our table and wired the whole thing in. Later on down the road I’m sure we can do some electrical work to make it look a little better, but for now, all I did was install the fixture, step back and smile.
I paired the round table with a long bench from Homesence. I couldn’t wait to see them together and to prove to my husband that this little set up wouldn’t take up the whole space like he had thought. 😉
Remember our kitchen island with the two painted Target stools that the three kids always fight over?
Well there is no fighting any more! (in that department)
If we want to sit as a family at the more casual table, the kids simply pull up our Target stools from the island making room for everyone.
Now, we can see each other from the kitchen and they can see me from the table and bench, or, we can all it together.
I added some layers for coziness to the bench. (All thrifted)
Our bench was the only splurge in this little area and I am so pleased with how well it is made.
Also, those little wheels! Eeek! Love them. I also love how they tie in the black curtain rod that frames this space.
And I cant forget the nail head trim! Love!
Also guys, would you ever guess that this woven wicker “tray” is actually a lid to a laundry hamper?? I like to re-think and re-purpose everything around here. 😉
Finally, after being in our home for four years, we are able to really utilize this space.
And do you know what? That is what I love most about living in a space. Changing it up on the fly and on the cheap!
What about you? 
Do you have a space in your house that could work even better for your family, a space you would love even more, if you changed it slightly??
If you keep a vision for your space at the forefront of your plans and remember that a home goes through many different phases, you will truly enjoy the process of turning your house into a home.
You dont have to move or break the bank. The space that comes to mind when asked that question CAN be changed. 

So, stick with it!
I hear Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your dream space. Remember not to sweat the small stuff, to be thankful for what you have in the moment, to change things around, to sell what you don’t love, to shop your home, to look at all those things at the thrift store with a critical and creative eye and to believe in the power of paint.
If you remember those few things you will love your house and the process.
I promise you, if you are embarking on the journey of building a comfy nest that your whole family can feel relaxed and thrive in, that with time and some shuffling every once in a while, you will end up falling in love with your home, all over again, all of the time.

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  • marty (A Stroll Thru Life)
    December 2, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Great post and I love all the changes you've made. The table and bench are definitley keepers.