Refinished Coffee Table

You guys!  Thank you so much for all your internet and instagram love for our finished dining room.  I’m so excited to have one room actually finished!  Now we just have the entire rest of our house to finish…someday.  For now I’ll probably be bouncing between finishing our living room and our kitchen, but the first project is in our living room – our refinished coffee table.

coffee table diy

Our living room has been in a state of flux since we laid our new floors, got a new couch, and got a new turquoise rug.  Yes, turquoise.  Or maybe it could be better described as teal or aquamarine.  Not exactly the color I expected upon ordering (gotta hate bad internet photos) but I am still really happy with it.  I consider it a colorful neutral, if there is such a thing.  The only problem with our colorful-yet-neutral rug is that our coffee table was not jiving with it.  Our original coffee table had a fairly dark weathered gray finish.

spring coffee table

I built the coffee table about a year and a half ago to fit our space.  It is a bigger than an average coffee table – perfect for board games, fondue parties, and every day kicking up your feet.  It has held up so well – the faux metal base does not disappoint.

coffee table side view faux metal

The only problem was that once we added the turquoise rug, it made the coffee table look blue.  Blue!  A blue table on a turquoise rug just ins’t my deal.  So I decided to go for a free update by refinishing our existing coffee table with supplies I had on hand. All I used was an orbital sander with several sanding pads, a mix of stains, and sealer. I used the sander to take off most of the old finish. I kept all the gray in the cracks/crevices and on most of the sides. I just liked how it looked that way.

close up gray washed wood coffee table

I’ll admit, the project stalled there for a while. Finally, I ended up finishing the table by using a mix of a light gray and natural wood stains that I applied with a blue shop towel.  Blue shop towels are clearly the world’s best invention. I tested out several mixes on the table itself, just sanding them off after my tests.  Then after staining, I brushed on several coats of a satin polycrylic finish. While I usually like satin, the result was waaay too shiny. So, I sanded the table yet again, taking off most of the satin finish. Somehow what’s left of the finish looks matte but still wards off errant red wine drips with ease. Perfect.

light couch coffee table

So now we’ve got a lighter coffee table that I think I love even more than the original version.

coffee table top view

So that’s it.  A dusty but worth it update for our living room, which is helping this room get on board with the lighter and brighter situation happening in the whole Pierce household.

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ORC: Dining Room – The Reveal! (Week 6, Spring 2015)

Welcome to my very colorful dining room, anchored with a whole lot of black and a splash of champagne on the side.

semi pulled back dining room

french tulips square white vase

black and white dining room with color

I just love Linda’s One Room Challenge because it actually forces me to finish a space.  I mean seriously, we are living with our still unfinished kitchen, our living room window seat and built-ins half-done, and lots of other major unfinished projects around here.  But in the middle of all that mess (literally) at least we have a very happy dining room.

modern pastel gallery wall west elm lamps

modern chairs traditional table dining room

Our dining room floats between our kitchen and living room, with no walls in between.  That came about over a year ago when we tore down lots of walls.  After that, we laid new hardwood floors and painted the walls a bright white.  And that’s where we stopped.  Then I got all over this One Room Challenge and went to work by making a plan (sort of), building a buffet with leather pulls, hanging a gallery wall, rolling out a kilim rug, and picking chairs and painting my French doors black.  Man I love those black doors.

painted black doors green plant

This week I finished up our seating situation by digging into our basement, grabbing a couple of old benches we had lying around, and painting them black (I had already painted one black then proceeded to splatter it with white ceiling paint, thus requiring another coat of black).  I really like how the benches keep the seating a little simpler for this enormous table – I always thought it looked so busy before with all the old chairs.  Now I really like how the benches kind of fade away so the chairs are interesting but not overwhelming.

black table benches natural wood chairs

pulled back dining room

And I am loving how the black table and benches contrast with the natural wood and white leather chairs.  All of it makes a great base for when I eventually get super bored with my colorful gallery wall and want to switch that up.

safavieh richfield natural teak white leather dining chairs

natural wood leather dining chair

Extra bonus, these chairs are low enough that they don’t distract when looking across our open house, between the kitchen and living room.

low chairs

I finished up the area around our newly painted black French doors (I cannot quit the black paint!) by adding some quirk with a bell brought home as a gift from India and a painting that I am pretending is me reading on a beach on a permanent basis.  A girl can dream.

black french doors copper bell

copper bell

Lady Reading art

I can’t decide if this area looks too boring in contrast to the gallery wall, but I figure I can always add to it later.  In the meantime it is a nice simple look next to our black French doors.

black doors kilim rug plant

In putting the room together we also made the decision to ditch our rug underneath our dining room table.  We are nothing if not rug rebels.  The rug just wasn’t jiving with everything else in the space and I didn’t like it competing with the colorful kilim.  Plus, I totally dig the look of bare floors under a dining table.  The only drawback is that when installing our floors, we purposely put some of our not-so-favorite pieces of wood in the middle of the dining room thinking they would always be covered by a rug.  Apparently our rug rebel status is a newfound thing.

pulled back dining room

When I started this space, I had no official plan or mood board or anything so organized as that.  I just wanted the space to be done and to like it.  Even without a plan, I really like where our dining room ended up.  Maybe I should quit planning more often?  No, of course not, that would ratchet up my spontaneous factor far too much so that I would no longer recognize my list-loving-control-maniac self.  Speaking of lists, here are the sources:

coral turquoise dining room

champagne tray tulips background

bright cheerful dining room

Finally, a sincere thanks to everyone who has been so engaged and supportive throughout this whole challenge and those who have been following along on Instagram, my social media of choice (fine, Pinterest is a close second).  I really have loved watching everyone else’s rooms, both designers and participants, and appreciate more than words can say that you have come to check out my space too.  Let’s keep being friends.  :)

P.S.  You can check out my last year’s One Room Challenge here.  Can’t wait to do it again this fall!  In the meantime, I’m hoping to keep the motivation alive to get the rest of this main floor party ready – summer’s almost here and that means time for all play and no work.

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ORC: Dining Room – Chairs and Stuff (Week 5, Spring 2015)

Okay, how about finally dealing with the chair/table situation.  After all, that is kind of the point of a dining room.  Yet I’ve really had fun ignoring those things and instead dealing with our buffet, gallery wall, and new rug.  But I guess it’s time to chair-up.  And here’s where we’re at.
safavieh dining chair

Pretty fun, right?!  Maybe I should preface this by saying we decided to keep our huge, black dining room table? Well, we did.  And we’re cool with it because we just can’t quit this table.  So, I spent about a trillion internet hours searching for chairs to jive with our ultra-traditional table.  It can be tough for a traditionalist-dude and a styleless-but-trying-to-not-have-no-style girl to come to an agreement on dining room chairs.

natural wood dining chairs

I don’t know how I found these and we liked them, but we did.  And of course by the time we decided on them they were pretty much sold out of every site – One King’s Lane, Wayfair, Overstock, Savafieh, and more.  So I ordered the last 4 on Overstock, then I learned they were discontinued everywhere (lame!), but I checked Overstock obsessively and 2 came back in stock.  So I bought two more.  While we only have 6 chairs, I have a plan for how we are going to add more seating to our huge table.  Stay tuned.  But in the meantime, I’m loving how these chairs add a lighter element to our otherwise dark, heavy table.  And better yet, leave plenty of walking space around the table.


dining living room walk way

So now I’m gearing up for the finished dining room next week.  Hope I make it!  In the meantime, not only am I digging our new chairs but I am also really, really digging our newly painted black doors.  Did you catch our painted doors on Instagram?  Do people say “digging” anymore?  Okay, check them out on Instagram here and in real life (aka photos) here:

painted black french doors

And can I just say that every week I kind of feel like I am waaaaay behind in comparison to all the ridiculous talent happening not only from the designers but also all the participants in the One Room Challenge hosted by Linda?  The pressure is on…

Update:  check out the finished dining room here!

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ORC: Dining Room – Kilim Rug (Week 4, Spring 2015)

So far in this One Room Challenge only one wall in the dining room has been getting any color, so to balance it out I wanted to have something colorful on the opposite wall, in front of the French doors.  Kilim time!

kilim rug coral turquoise

Our dining room is not so much a room as it is a big open space between the living room and kitchen.  The dining room only has one wall and the only other “wall” is filled with the French doors leading out to our deck.  Here’s a very basic sketch of the layout since we tore out all the walls.

main floor layout

And if you’re confused by those weird little dark rectangles, those are support posts that we couldn’t get rid of without tearing down our house – so they stay.

For purposes of this challenge, I’m incorporating the area in front of the French doors as part of the dining room.  As usual, I need an excuse to finish that area, too.

kilim dining room

I had been hunting for a rug for this space for a long time, and because I love our other kilim so much, wanted to go for another one.  Kilims are also great because they come in non-traditional sizes, which worked best for our space.  Ultimately, ebay had the winning rug.  I love how it is colorful but has a lot of coral and turquoise, which is great considering I had no official plan for this room but the new/old rug works pretty well with the new lamps and art.

kilim close up

And all the color is a nice contrast to our white-on-white kitchen.

colorful kilim white kitchen

As is usual with a kilim, the rug is thin and wants to wrinkle.  But a deluxe-o rug pad underneath has really made it lay much flatter.  And because it is already old and worn, I have no problem putting it right in front of our high traffic back doors.

Now that I’ve been spending all my time on the walls and floor, I guess it’s time to deal with the main part of this room – the dining table and chairs…

P.S.  I’ve been considering painting the French doors black.  See the photographic evidence and the debate on Instagram here (and follow along @houseupdated while you’re at it!). 

P.P.S.  I’m having the hardest time picking favorites in the One Room Challenge – the designers are so great and so is everyone else joining along!

Update:  check out the finished dining room here!

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ORC: Dining Room – Gallery Wall (Week 3, Spring 2015)

Dining room gallery wall.  Boom.

dining room gallery wall bright

Hello color.

Art really isn’t my thing – I have a hard time with committing to it, with spending time searching for it, and with spending the money on it too.  So I went all one-note on this wall and got everything from Minted (nothing sponsored, just easy).  I liked how I could see what worked together before I ordered a single thing.  And I am totally cool with not spending a fortune or trudging through thrift stores for a great find.  I mixed a few different frames and laid out everything on the floor before committing.

laying out gallery wall

I measured before putting holes in my freshly painted wall.  But somehow I screwed it up and the first two pictures did not end up where I intended (glad I don’t have the same problem when I am measuring lumber cuts).  Luckily, the wall turned out okay.  Guess I could have skipped all that pre-planning – ha!

gallery wall turquoise coral yellow

The buffet got topped off with a pair of lamps from West Elm and a few other items.  Hopefully the end result isn’t too busy?


turquoise coral lamps gallery wall

I’m really not a “more is more” person when it comes to decorating so, this much action is outside my comfort zone for sure.  But because we have so few walls in our main floor for art (lots of openings/doorways/windows) I really wanted to max out the interest and color for this wall.  It is so fun to have a wall to play with, now that the wall isn’t taken up by our old buffet/hutch!

gallery wall buffet

gallery wall buffet credenza

And I like how the color balances out the super simple DIY buffet below.

Gah, I can’t believe the One Room Challenge is halfway done already!  Should I be mildly terrified that I haven’t finalized my pick for dining chairs yet?

Hope you are checking out all the great rooms in the One Room Challenge here!

Update:  check out the finished dining room here!

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