We’ve postponed it for so long but some things could no longer wait. While repairs on the second floor are ongoing, we’ve begun redesigning and redecorating the ground floor of the house. The dining room got a makeover, a few Christmassy decor items are up, and the living room should be done in a few days.
While we hired workers to do the repairs, the redesign and redecorating are DIY. The peg? You know the beach house of Emily Thorne in the now-defunct TV series Revenge? I loved the colors of the inside of that house (not the real house but the set used to shoot the interiors) — blues and greens and creamy whites that echo the colors of the sea, sky and sand. Well, that was the peg. So, it’s blue chair covers for the dining area and green covers for the couch and arm chairs in the living area.
For the beach cottage ambience, I ordered rolls of wallpaper online. The design, as you can see, is wood — shabby chic style. Speedy installed them (he isn’t a hundred per cent done yet). Then, he scouted around for new blinds, found some good ones, put them up and, well, he wasn’t so hot about putting back curtains that used to hang on all the windows.
I’m okay with that for now — bamboo blinds do give the house a more tropical feel and this is the tropics, after all. BUT I just bought a new sewing machine and it’s likely that the time will come when I will itch for new projects and curtains with most probably be among them. But that’s in the future yet.
The dining chair covers were likewise ordered online. The chairs need a lot of job — I want them sandpapered and scraped clean, the dark varnish removed and, in its place, just natural wood stain for a lighter look. But we had been unable to find a furniture repair service so, for now, we have chair covers.
The painting is by Alex — a school project from long ago. Another painting, a landscape by Sam, will go on the other side of the window on the left of the photo after we get rid of an unwanted cabinet that is still blocking that wall as I write this post.
Yes, both my daughters paint and they didn’t take formal lessons. I wish I had even a fraction of their talent, but alas! So, I just decorate the house whenever I can.
The funny thing is, I didn’t really plan on writing this post. The wallpaper project was simply meant to hide the orange walls that made a terrible reflection when I took food photos. The blue dining chair covers were intended to give off a cooler ambience and offset and the warm tones of the afternoon sun streaming through the windows. In short, ALL OF IT was just a support for the food photography. So, documenting the process never really entered my mind.
But my sleep was interrupted early this morning and as I sat in the dining room having coffee and flipping through my iPhone, it somehow made sense to take photos. I posted one on Instagram, cross-posted it on Facebook and surprise! — people actually loved the design and decor of the dining room.
That was inspiring. I don’t fancy myself an interior designer or decorator but, you know, sometimes I get ideas. Most times, they stay that way — ideas — but there are times when the images inside my head actually become real. Like the current look of the dining room. And that little Christmas tree in the photo.
The little gold Christmas tree was something I made last year. I took a piece of cardboard, shaped it into a cone and glued rows of old cupcake liners around it. Christmas tree! To make it stand, I took the cardboard tube from a roll of kitchen paper, covered it with washi tape then glued it all the way inside the tree. And, for the base, that’s an empty Pik-nik canister. Painted it to cover the colorful text and stuff then covered it with washi tape. It’s really too big for the small tree, but… well, until I can make a better tree, it’ll have to do for that area of the house.
Aren’t we putting up a full-size Christmas tree? I don’t think so. Not with a dog that will probably nibble on all the hangings within her reach. We haven’t even replaced the baseboards near the powder room that she painstakingly ate when she was teething a couple of years ago. We’re not about to give her a chance to eat more non-food things in the house.