Over the past couple weeks I've been trying to tackle some projects on my to-do list around the house. Usually January and February seem to be the most convenient times to do these things.
While it doesn't quite feel like it just yet, spring is coming soon. I don't know about you, but to me, Springtime around our home brings with it thoughts of gardens to tend to, spring cleaning, and organizing. Hopefully, if I can accomplish many of these projects now, that all might seem less overwhelming when March and April roll around.
So I've set to work, one room at a time.
The first room I started on was the dining room.
I recently read that the average home in Canada is around 1950 square feet, and about 2200 square feet in the United States.
Our home is considerably smaller at about 1250 square feet. In it's original state it was even more modest. Previous owners have opened the attic space and created a second floor with two bedrooms and a small bath. They also added a sun room off the kitchen, opened up the living and dining room areas and began finishing off the basement. So while that number might seem rather small, we do in fact have a comfortable home for a family of four.
There are just some details about our home that make it more of a challenge when it comes to layout and functionality. I joke that it's like a puzzle; if I could just crack the code and figure out the perfect placement of everything, it would feel as though I've gained an extra 200 square feet.
One of these challenges is the dining area. It's actually half of a long, narrow room with the entrance and stairs in the middle, and living area on the other end. Due to the size, we cannot fit a normal dining room table. It would entirely fill the space, making it impossible to walk around, which is necessary for getting to the kitchen and back of the house. This means that our table must either be smaller or round, and it has to sit off center in the corner.
For a year now we've had our dining room in the sun room. It wasn't bad, but it still wasn't the most practical. As well, the original dining room area had become sort of wasted space. And in a small home, it's necessary to maximize space and use it as efficiently as possible. And so, back the table went into it's original spot.
I was pleasantly surprised. We had never used our current dining room table in that space before. It's small, but it extends with a leaf to a larger square giving us lots of room at the table, and ample space to move comfortably around it.
The next issue was that there was no light fixture. After much searching, and sourcing and trying to decide on a fixture, I found this chandelier at Home Depot.
I had searched online and in local antique stores for a beautiful antique one with not luck. At least not within my small budget. I also loved the look of a farmhouse style lantern, but again, nothing I really loved the shape of, except a beautiful Pottery Barn lantern for $399! And that was before shipping. I also felt that a black lantern, while stylish, would have just been too much for this small space. I felt that it would have drawn too much attention, and added too much weight. I wanted something that was lighter, and blended rather than become a focal point.
I felt that this glass chandelier achieved that. It's not antique, but I think it lends to the space quite well. Being glass and crystal, your eye tends look beyond it. This makes it feel lighter and less obtrusive in the space. It was also $199, and I had a $50 gift certificate. This was a lot more practical than the other lanterns I had sourced, and the expensive antique chandeliers, most of which needed crystals replaced and rewiring at additional costs.
Another issue with this space is that we do not having wiring to allow a fixture to be hung from our ceiling. It has to drape over to the corner, and plug into the wall outlet. It's possible for us to have an electrician come in and fix this, but for now, Ryan purchased all the necessary parts to make it plug in. The only thing I still need to decide is whether or not I am going to paint the candlesticks. They are silver and I don't know if I should paint them white, or dark, or even keep my eye out for antique covers I could replace them with. Ryan also needs to add a few extra links to the chain so it reaches the floor.
In the end, I'm very happy with this space. It's bright and airy, and that's what I was hoping for.
The only other pieces in the room are this buffet, which is to the left of our front entrance, and a large antique cabinet that I use to store all of my extra glassware and dishes and entertaining things in. I'm still looking for a painting to go in my antique frame on the wall. Until then, I think it's beautiful enough to hang on it's own.