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5.21.2021

farmhouse may-keover: dining room & kitchen

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go ahead, you can sit and stare at that beautiful view...
i sure did while i was there! 

the view from my friends' front porch is stunning, 
and that's what you see when you look out the bay window in her dining room - 
also visible from the living room. 

today's post shares the things we did to start refreshing her dining room,
and moves into the very simple ways we gave her kitchen a fresh look... 


continue reading for some 'fast, cheap, & easy' decorating ideas!
again: i forgot to take ANY 'before' photos. (insert eye roll here)
so i'll describe the 'before' situation as best i can...
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the dining room sits at the front of the house, along the front porch.
this bay window overlooks the porch and the front drive & lawn.

previously, the window was dressed in a swag of mint-green sheer fabric
that looped around and over the curtain rod then dropped  to the floor on each side.
it was a very dated look, so we removed the fabric - and left the rod.

Miss K had six panels of these sheer curtains with gray 'fretwork' design,
so we grabbed two of them and placed them at the sides of the window.
we thought about also putting panels over those wall sections where the windows meet - 
but that would have closed off more light and more of that VIEW,
so we went with the simplest solution.
(and the golden evening sun streaming in those widows is glorious!)

there are pull-down blinds on each window for privacy and sun control,
so this sheer and open window treatment is just enough.

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the dining room is 'in process' and will be for some time...
my friend is searching for a new table and chairs
and is mulling over the idea of using this space as more of a library.
she's also planning to get a new light fixture for the room.
.
while she makes those decisions, we lightened up the look as best we could
and came up with some 'temporary' solutions that can easily be changed.

one of them is this wall arrangement...
the mirror was already there. and it's heavy. so we left it. 
the clock in the entry hall was hanging on the left side of the mirror,
and a small painting was hanging on the right side - we took those two things down.

we needed a piece of furniture to sit under the mirror to make this wall seem finished,
and this IKEA bookcase was in an upstairs bedroom.
i've used these fixtures in displays in retail stores, trade shows, and my own home,
so i knew that it would look good lying on its side.
(if she knew she was going to keep it here,
she could even add some large finial feet to it to make it look even better!) 

for the time being, i filled it with some items from the kitchen
to connect the two rooms:

four vintage bar glasses with blue accents

three vintage glasses with gold accents, used as votive holders

a white tea set and a white pitcher that i added some gold paint to

vintage books with great covers in colors that coordinate with the new palette

a ukelele that my friend bought because she wants to learn to play!

AND that tall ceramic vase & lid, decorated with gold dots
it coordinates with the painting in the living room -
she found the vase at Tuesday Morning on Sale for less than fifteen bucks!!!
 
the large piece there serves to balance all of the small ones below it,
and it is PERFECT for holding some early spring branches from a tree in her yard.
as summer arrives, she can get some big ol' sunflowers to put in it,
then swap those for tall grasses in fall and pine boughs in winter!

if she decides to move forward with setting this room up as a library,
those cubbies can easily be filled completely with books.

the existing dining room table is a beautiful Eastlake style wood table, with six chairs.
they are lovely - but the style isn't hers, and the chairs aren't very sturdy.
so she's on the hunt for a new round table and possibly mis-matched chairs.
the bay window makes a round table a great choice, as there's plenty of room for it,
and a mix of chair styles & colors would add just the right touch of whimsy to the space.

the only money spent in this room was for the ceramic dotted vase and the fresh tulips!
she already had everything else, in other places in her home.

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on the last night i was there, she invited her girl gang over for 'the reveal' of her 'new' home,
so we set the table up for a buffet of the treats everyone was bringing to share.

Miss K laughed at me because i managed to find TONS of beautiful glassware
tucked, stuffed, stashed, and hidden in the kitchen cabinets & pantry.
she had no idea some of that stuff was in there! (it was her Mom's)
but i pulled it all out, played around with it on the table on top of a length of sheer fabric,
creating pedestals and 'lifts, levels, and elevations'* to make the buffet interesting.
some things are used upside down, some are stacked, and
everything is clear glass or white ceramic - so it all goes together.

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i even found some napkins with a color palette & design VERY similar to her living room art,
tucked into the kitchen pantry!
a vintage glass with sweet blue forget me not flowers on it holds a votive candle...
and the tulips came from Trader Joe's Market. 
(they're my #1 stop for cut flowers - always a great selection, and they last a LONG time!)

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they are just so pretty, i had to share one more photo!

* if that phrase 'lifts, levels, and elevations' is familiar to you,
i know what tv show you used to watch!
and guess what? Christopher Lowell is BACK!!!

he's not on tv, but he has a whole new website, social media presence, and mission:
to help you make your home work for you for the way you live now.
he's calling it his 'Lifestyle Lab' and you gotta' see the resources he's compiled
to help all of us live better and happier in our homes.
(i can really get behind that, as i embrace my 'create . decorate . celebrate home' theme ) 

he's still the same charming, funny, theatrical, entertaining guru we love,

so get over there and check out his new groove 
at ChristopherLowellHome.com and ChristophersLifestyleLab.com

ok, let's move into the kitchen for a few quick re-styling tips:
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previously, there was a large heavy white lace valance over the window
and a plethora of silk plants and assorted ceramics on top of the kitchen cabinets.

the minute she pulled alla' that stuff down, 
she said 'shoulda' done that a long time ago'.

my friends, clearing off your cabinet tops is the FASTEST way to make your kitchen look 
cleaner, bigger, brighter, and more updated.

ditto for your fridge - get the stuff OFF of there!
if you seriously have to use that space on top of the fridge, 
get a big basket to store things in so all you see is the basket.

elsewhere in the room, i added some small groupings of interesting things on the counter:

a breadboard was paired with a pitcher filled with wooden utensils

a plant by the sink was raised up on a pedestal
then paired with a ceramic tray holding the dish soap, hand soap, and towel.

the kitchen mixer was paired up with a bowl of fresh fruit

the toaster oven was topped with a wood tray holding colorful ceramic bowls

one of the 'refreshed' trays i made sits with a large white stewpot

all of those items can be easily moved for cleaning the counter,
and because they are actual kitchen items the work as decor accents
that don't seem contrived or out of place.

and i didn't touch one single thing on her fridge. 
nuh uh. that's special memoriabilia!

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i created a new window valance using a new vintage-look dishtowel
that my friend's sweet son brought her from Magnolia Silos,
and two pieces of a vintage tablecloth.

the tablecloth was square, with 'tea party' themed embroidery on each corner -
but the whole center of it had been stained and damaged beyond repair.
i cut it up and made use of the areas that were least damaged.

these three pieces of fabric are simply folded over the existing curtain rod
to create a fresh new look with vintage style.
they could be easily changed any time my friend gets the urge!

years ago, another friend created a similar valance for her infant daughters' nursery,
hanging tiny little baby dresses and bibs on a 'clothesline' of ribbon across a window.
it was a sweet way to display those darling baby clothes,
and a really easy way to dress the window.
don't get stuck thinking you have to use actual 'curtain panels' or blinds!

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on the large island, i created a small vignette in the center
using a glass cake pedestal and some white ceramic dishes.
on those, a vase of tulips, a white pitcher with a plant, a candle,
and a gathering of white ceramic houses make a charming scene.

this is the perfect kind of area to place a seasonal display -
very visible, and easy to change up.

holiday & seasonal decor doesn't have to be spread all over a house...
designating a few places for it (island, entry table, mantel, dining buffet)
makes it easier to decorate, change, and keep tidy.
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this desk was 'command central' in my friend's Mom's use of her kitchen.
my friend uses it differently, as the drop zone when she comes in the back door.
 to help her keep it all under control,
i tidied it up and made it a bit more decorative...

on the shelves, i tipped a few cookbooks on their side and sat the binoculars on top.
they had been kinda' shoved onto the shelf before - this looks more purposeful.

the top shelf now holds my friend's Mom's special cookbook
and an assortment of vintage dishes and kitchen ware in blue, white, and yellow.
a small silk plant tucked in the back softens the edges of the display.

this area always seemed dark to me,
so i found a tiny lamp in the garage and gave it an update:


i sprayed the base gold, then covered the shade with the floral fabric
that was used on the art chair in the living room.
this brought the blue/yellow/gold palette into the kitchen in a vibrant way - 
when that light gets turned on, the florals just GLOW!!!
my friend really likes the warm lighting effect in the evening.
 i stacked up a few cookbooks and sat the lamp on top,
so that it is up higher than the mugs near it.

a few small bits of art hung on the wall (with pushpins!) add more personality to this area
(and since it was her Mom's desk area, that sign just seemed to belong there)

the desktop got a quick organization system with trays and baskets:
a large tray holds mail and paperwork just coming into the house,
that needs to be dealt with then filed away.

a wire basket (removed for this photo) holds a few small boxes for keys, etc.
and mail that's ready to go out, invitations, etc.

a metal tray corrals mugs holding pens, scissors, pushpins, etc.


all of those containers make it easy to sort, deal with, and move items for cleaning.

everything we did here was to make the room look better,
but i also wanted to make it
work better for my friend as much as i could.
while she'll certainly establish her own organization system in the coming months,
this gives her a clean, fresh, happy home to look at 
while she tackles those hard tasks.

links to previous related posts:
boho style,,farmhouse style,coastal style,decorating,diy decorating,DIY,color,color palettes,colorful home,FREE,furniture,room makeovers,makeover,on the porch,outdoors,spring,spring home decor,spring decorating,use what you have decor,farmhouse makeover,MAY-keovers.

farmhouse may-keover: diy 'artful' chair

farmhouse may-keover: living room

farmhouse may-keover: front porch & entry


shared online:

funky junk interiors | new upcycled projects to make #579

coastal style,color,farmhouse style,decorating,room makeovers,colorful home,diy decorating,FREE,spring,makeover,DIY,furniture,color palettes,boho style,grandmillenial style,entertaining,spring home decor,spring buffet decor,dining room makeover,IKEA furniture

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