current state of the dining room + a project fail

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With this blog, one of the things I wanted to make sure I did was to share progress pics.  Not just the before and fully styled out afters.  And since I’m being honest, I have never been one to fully style rooms out for photos.  I absolutely love looking at styled photos of interiors, but 1) I suck at it, and 2) I ain’t got time for that.

Anywho… back to what I was saying about sharing progress pictures.  I realized yesterday that I haven’t shared much of our dining room because it was never “finished”.  Well that goes against what I wanted to do here!  Things around here are always never finished.  That’s just how it is.  So today I’m showing you guys our dinning room in it’s unfinished and unstyled state.

| Sources: table . slipcovered chairs . side chairs (family pieces) . chandelier . DIY pressed botanicals . glass vases . dough bowl (Round Top) . bamboo blinds . drapes |
Now if I could walk by and only see this shot of the room I would be thrilled.  BAM.  DONE.  We bought a new table last year and then earlier this year purchased the head chairs.  Absolutely love those.  But, it’s the other side of this room that feels blah and in need of TLC.  And of course that’s what my eye is drawn to whenever I look at it.
Que the falling flat fart noise *pfff*.
This is where the head chairs sit when not in use.  It’s pretty boring over there.  The head chairs need some pillows to keep them from fading into the wall.  I should probably get a new mirror, but I’m not planning on it anytime in the future so I just need to hang this one already.  Overall I’m feeling pretty uninspired on what to do with this wall.  I’m waiting for inspiration to hit.  I’ve been waiting months and nothing has happened.
This photo will show you the full room, which is a booger to photograph.  It’s a really dark space despite having three windows.  It’s a north facing room.  I had to ramp up the settings on my camera to get anything to show up. 
Now onto my project fail:
I wanted to keep our old dining chairs.  I liked the lines and honestly didn’t want to fork over more cash for new chairs.  I had them covered in slipcovers I made back in 2005, but it was time to say goodbye.  You can see the dark stained color in this photo from when we first moved in. 
I ended up putting on a coat of Annie Sloan’s Pure White paint and then wiping Minwax’s Classic Grey stain over it before sealing with a coat of clear wax.  They sat like this without the cushions on for months.  Then I saw this image.
| via |
Pretty awesome, amiright?!!!  That was what I wanted for the seat cushions.  I immediately ran out, got my fabric, and a boat load of black dye.  I was pumped!!!  And then this is what I got.  Whomp, whomp, whomp, whoooompppp….

Ugh.  At this point I was too frustrated to try again.  And I really hated not having cushions on the chairs.  So I just slapped them on anyways.  I’ve got to come up with a better option.  But until inspiration strikes, I’m just gonna walk away any try to ignore it.  Kinda like that one side of the dining room.


  1. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper Avatar

    so i honestly love the seats but i know it's not what you are going for. 😉 i think a giant leaning mirror would be amazing between the chairs on the wall! 🙂 and a black and white otomi print for pillows would be cool. not that you asked for opinions, but you get mine anyhow… oh and i am SO with you on the non fully styled shoots. when you see our rooms they are pretty much how we live in them minus the mess i moved out of the shot. 🙂

  2. Katie Avatar

    I actually like your chair covers more than the inspiration pic. Also, I love the head chairs and would leave them at the table all the time! You can use the existing wall art in your "before" picture on the walls again until you decide what you want there. Overall, I think this room looks great!

  3. Bella♥Storia Avatar

    Aw, man. I hate when plans go awry. Especially plans that take a lot of time or money to execute! I know it's not what you wanted, but the chair seats really DO look good! I'd worry about the wall first, then move back to doing something about the chair seats that you'll love more.
    That wall does need *something*. I like the idea of having a mirror over there, but I think it needs to be a different one, maybe more glam. A huge ornate gold one, perhaps? Then, I might hang some cool vintage wall urns with greenery on either side of the mirror; add a little color and life to the space, ya know?
    That's my two cents! And just so ya know, I'm totally jelly over your light fixture and table – ugh! SO fabulous! =)

  4. Jennifer@ClassicStyleHome Avatar

    The chalk paint looks amazing on those chairs and I'm so jealous over that artwork. I have something similar in mind with those high ceilings if I ever get around to it. I love your inspiration chairs and have admired them too, but I really like the more subtle look of yours just as much. I didn't realize what a hard room this would be until I noticed there was not one, but TWO walls with super tall ceilings to fill. I just ordered a buffet for one, but what to do with the other??? It's always a matter of moving things around and constant tweaking until it just feels right.

  5. Lonestarmommy Avatar

    You need real procion dye from Dharma Trading Company to get a really dark color. We tie dye a lot and their dyes are the best and stay vibrant through hundreds of washings

    1. CrazyWonderful Avatar

      I will totally check that out! Thanks for sharing!!!

  6. Lisa @ Shine Your Light Avatar

    I'm impressed that you tried that die job Shelley! The fabric came out really cool, maybe sell it on Easy if it wasn't the end result you were going for because that grey will be perfect in someone else's house!! I love your black botanicals statement art in here. I have hung grids before (super fun), so virtual fist pump on how perfectly you installed that!

    1. CrazyWonderful Avatar

      I have no idea how the grid came out so well. I measured, but as well all know, you can measure your heart out and it can still turn out like you put it up after doing a sit and spin. Somehow this time it worked! And I've completely forgotten about replacing the fabric on those seats 😀

Meet Shelley

Hi, I’m Shelley! My belief is that with a little creativity and elbow grease, you can make your home look like a million bucks without spending it.

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