Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Let's discuss my dining room, part 2

Today I am going to inundate you with pictures of my dining room as it looks right this very minute because I am OBSESSED with my new antique birdcage! It's turned out to be the piece that was missing all along - something unique and beautiful, something to give the room that extra Oomph! I really wanted to place the birdcage on my buffet, but it would have covered up one of the mirrored wall sconces and I just love those a bit too much to hide or take down. So I played around a bit, and I ended up placing it next to the buffet, on the antique marble-top table (passed down from Nate's great-grandma). I LOVE it.

But as promised, I wanted to share with you the story of my dining chairs. As you all know, a single chair typically goes for at least $200 a pop (even Ikea's chairs start at around $100 a piece, unless you're looking at their folding chairs). Naturally, I did not want to spend more than $400 on chairs. Enter Craigslist. I found the chairs above listed at $90 for the four of them. I think I paid $75.

I tried out a few fabrics that I thought could work with the brown graphic rug that I had already purchased for the living room - knowing that the two spaces opened up to one another. This one was TOO similar to the rug.

I loved this one from Calico Corners and still think I might get throw pillows done in it. It's called Tilbury Lapis. But ultimately, because I wasn't sure what colors I'd want in the room, if any (remember, I had plans for a completely neutral space), I went with a soft neutral striped fabric my mom had sitting in the basement that she had bought on sale but never used. Say it with me, "Yay! Free is good!"

Busted out a few cans of my favorite brand of spray paint in 'Granite' Satin finish... cover up this god-awful glossy veneered wood.

And voila! The aforementioned striped fabric. I did all the other chairs back in December, but for some reason never got around to finishing off the last one until a week ago. Hence, there is one dark chair in all the pictures I've ever posted of my dining room. Well, NOT ANYMORE, folks! I now have FOUR grey chairs. Hooray!

And remember this beauty I got from the Brown Elephant Thrift Store on Halsted for $25 or so?

...and recovered in this fun pink geometric fabric?

Well, that got a spray paint facelift too this past weekend.

And because I got a little camera happy... here are the two rooms as they are now!
I LOVE how the teal lamp and birdcage compliment one another. Add a dash of pink and some soft gray-blue accents, and you have the Domino cover (which you'll see in the previous photo sits perfectly atop my coffee table further complimenting the teals in the room).

So pretty! Just need to figure out what to do above that chest... 143 of you voted to hang four different prints. But it was a VERY close vote!

Don't you love that marble-top table?

Love the whimsy of the mushroom salt and pepper shakers, courtesy of you-can-probably-guess, combined with the whimsy of the birdcage.


Here you can see how the two rooms flow together. All I need is this rug from CSNrugs in the dining room, some white drapes, a new coffee table, two accent pillows in the aforementioned Calico Corners fabric, and I'll be happy as a clam.
Do not hold me responsible for the horrendous light fixture on the dining room ceiling. Apartment rental, remember?

I loves!



  1. I love discussing your dining room! Gorgeous rooms, both. I especially love the lamp-birdcage combo.

  2. Beautiful work! I love the birdcage! Great find!

  3. the color combination makes for such a clean, open space b/w the dining and living rooms. plus, looks like there's great functionality which we all know is SO important in apartments. nice work, missy!

    ps the birdcage? really is spot. on.


  4. LOVE IT!!!
    You did a great job girl:)
    Thank you for sharing!

  5. You did good! Love bringing in the birdcage, it does add a bit of oomph to the room. What colors are you going to bring in with the prints? Can't wait!

  6. It looks lovely. I love all colors!

  7. This belongs in a magazine. It needs to be in there stat.

  8. You're so talented! I love the entire look! It looks like it came from a magazine

  9. I love it! It looks really really good. I think the rug from CSN compliments the shape of the birdcage. Good job!

  10. I think it looks great! The combination of colors is so fresh and feminine but still modern.

    I love that grey rug thats in the living room...where did you find it? I've been looking for a graphic rug like that for my own living room...

  11. job well done!!! love that scandinavian style chair and the color palette overall

  12. I absolutely love how everything turned out, especially those chairs. They look marvelous in gray!

    I have a couple of questions for you though, how much design input does your live-in boyfriend generally have? Do you guys find that you agree on decor and accessories?

    I'm always curious to see how couples design their spaces together.

  13. That birdcage is frigging incredible! I love it!

  14. Your rooms are really coming together! Love the aquamarine accents--and yes, I think you need to repeat that color in the living room. Pillows of TILBURY in Lapis from Calico Corners would be perfect. They have enough neutral tones in the pattern to relate to the rest of the furniture there. Happy decorating!

  15. Like the Aqua birdcage especially with your lamp. Your rooms are really looking great.

  16. Looks fantastic. I am in love with that birdcage. It is amazing.

  17. Alaina, if you are missing that birdcage tomorrow - it is because it is at my house!

    What a talented and creative girl you are! I would LOVE to go shopping with you. And you are really talented when it comes to putting rooms together. Love everything - current, chic and yet personal and inviting!


    ox, Mon

  18. It all looks amazing! Will you decorate my house?

    Especially that incredible birdcage. I think I know where you got it because I almost picked up a pink bust that looks verrry similar at Randolph! =)

  19. AHHHH......I AM DYING.....i am sooo in ROCK Alaina, ROCK...LAlove it.....

  20. cheerful, happy, bright, amazing darling!!
    great choices all along!!

  21. Your apartment looks awesome. I love the striped fabric you picked for the dining chairs.

  22. umm.. LOVE!!!!!

    It's so fresh and beautiful and the pops of turquoise make it. just love your style!!

  23. I adore your new birdcage! And house! You must be so happy with how everything is coming together! Looks beautiful!

  24. You have a perfectly well-appointed house -- new reader here. :)

    Would love to hear some of your tips/guidelines on reupholstering chairs. Yours look incredible! I'm supposed to reupholster an office chair, but I'm completely flummoxed by books and articles online. Seems highly complicated.

    Need some encouragement from an expert! :)

  25. Spread the word! you were featured on Apartment Therapy's Re-Nest!!

    PS - you should solicit nominations for the Homies!

  26. Hello again! Absolutely thrilled to have found you via an image on pinterest! New Follower!!!

    Regards, Whitley Adkins Hamlin
    come see me sometime...

  27. Love this room! Where did you get your couch?



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