Tuesday, September 20, 2011

(Amateur) Decorator on a Budget

When we moved to this house, for the first time in our married life, we had a separate dining room.  In our first apartment, we had a little dining nook.  In our townhouse, the dining room was an extension of our living area, but in this house, the dining room is its own separate room. 

When we moved here, I had no vision for the space.  I knew this room needed to function as a dining room and as a school room, yet I still wanted it to look pretty. The pictures we had on the wall in our townhouse didn't fit the space here and the curtain I had planned to hang in the window was about an inch too short so I left the room bare all through May and June and July. 


In August, I had a little birthday money to spend so I began scouring Etsy for ideas.  This pennant made with vintage handkerchiefs was my first find and since it couldn't hang in the window alone, I robbed one of the curtains from my bedroom and paired them together. 

A-ha!  So I now had a color scheme and inspiration.  Next I needed to cover the empty walls.  I found this un-framed print (also on Etsy) and paired it with a Walmart frame.  That fit well on a small wall between the window and the corner. 

I still had the problem of the long bare wall by the table, but it needed something large-- something to make the wall "pop"-- and I didn't think there was money in the budget for a large piece of art.  Plus, I was at a loss for what to choose anyway.  

Instead I turned to the dining room hutch.  This piece of furniture was in the kitchen in the house where I grew up.  When we moved here, my parents gave it to us.  I gathered vases, pitchers, bowls, teapots, and other glassware that I already owned and arranged it on the shelves.  The unsightly stacks and piles of school supplies are tucked away behind closed doors! 

Just when I was content to leave the large wall bare for a few more months, I came across an idea that I knew was doable.  I bought nine cheapy (think $2) frames from Walmart and spray painted them white.  Then I framed nine pieces of scrapbook paper and hung them on the wall in a grid pattern.  Of course, attaining  the perfect grid was more than a notion and  involved a tape measure, two levels, a hammer, nails, and an good sport of a  husband. 

And voila!  The room is clothed! 


(And now that my bedroom is a curtain short, it looks like that room is looking for inspiration next.)


  1. the room looks amazing! i love the hutch and the grid design is great! very inspiring! xo

  2. I love how much you were able to hide in the hutch. I've already decided that if at all possible in our next home all of the homeschool materials will be stores in our main schooling location. Taking things up and down the stairs is driving me crazy.

    I also completely love the vintage bunting.

  3. I love it! That scrapbook paper idea is brilliant! And it looks great!


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