Do you ever hesitate to make a big change, and then when it's done, you think "why in the world did I not do that sooner?"
That could be the alternate title of this post.
We loved our dining room, and we sat in it to eat a few times per year. Other than that, as I've mentioned before, it often became a holding ground for "stuff."
Here's a basic idea of how it looked -- table, chandelier, beverage station.
And just to paint the whole picture for you, here's how it looked when it was staged to sell when we purchased.
Adding another sweet bambino to this family means needing a new nursery. We had a combo guestroom/office situation going on in a back bedroom which will now be where the new baby will sleep after transitioning out of the bassinet. So, if we are losing our home office, where does it go? Having one is essential in our home, so we decided to turn our dining room into an office.
Here is where I really pushed for two separate desks (I was done with sharing!), and I also really wanted to keep the chandelier in the room. It made sense with this set-up to situate the desks back to back in the center of the room!
So let's take it step by step. First of all, I sold the dining room table. The chairs are sentimental and definitely usable in a future home, so I am using one for my desk and the other three will go into storage.
Secondly, we had a French door installed on the doorway leading to the kitchen. This (somewhat?) helps to keep Camille out of the room when Ian is trying to do some work from home.
I bought the unfinished wood door from Home Depot, and our handyman matched the knob to our other household knobs and painted the door for us after installation.
And a quick note on larger purchases from Home Depot -- don't underestimate the power of going through Ebates to purchase online and pick up in store! It may not be worth it if you just need to pick up a few screws and bolts or a new plant, but if you are planning on spending some dough at the Depot, just purchase your item online and choose the "pick up in store" option. They will do your shopping for you, let you know via message when it's ready for pickup, and have it all ready up at the front of the store for you. Then you earn a percent back on your purchase through Ebates. Crazy easy, right?! This door was $147.00 and I earned back almost $3 on the purchase. Not enough to send me to the mall for a new pair of shoes, but a savings nonetheless, and it was up at the front of the store ready for the easiest pickup ever!
I like having a fairly uncluttered desk, but having these fun gold binder clips and a letter organizer holding bills to pay and a few correspondence cards is really helpful.
Both the binder clips and correspondence cards are designed right here in North Carolina, which is pretty cool. The company is called UPstudio and they carry dayplanners, stationery, calendars, pencils, and desk accessories. A cool thing about the planners, other than the fact that they are 40% off now, is that they let you download a weekly template for free to see if it jives with your style! So smart and a great way to try before you buy.
One neat set of cards they have for any of you Raleigh dwellers or NC State grads is this set of cards designed after the streets of Raleigh. They can be found here.
So, for our desks, I wanted something that looked nice but definitely not something that would break the bank. We hope to move to a larger house at some point, and I wasn't sure that we would be able to use these exact desks again in a new home. So dropping $500+ each on them was absolutely out of the question.
I checked out a few of my favorite sites for well-priced home decor and ended up finding these distressed white desks with drawers at Wayfair (found here). The price was great, and I read through a ton of the reviews to make sure that most people were really happy with the product.
I did read that many folks said the time to put it together was very lengthy ... some people taking up to four hours. I'm not even gonna lie, I hired our handyman to put them together for us! HA! Our time is limited, Camille probably would have swallowed a screw or something, and I honestly didn't want to have to deal with the added frustration of desk assembly. Our guy knocked out each desk in an hour and with zero cusswords. Score.
The only stumbling block we hit is that the top of one of the desks arrived cracked in half, but I hopped on the phone with Wayfair and they had a new piece drop shipped to me in no time.
The rug (a years-ago purchase from Tuesday Morning) is repurposed from our old office, and I already mentioned that the chair was already being used in our dining room. I did replace the standard wooden knobs on the desk with matte gold knobs that I bought 50% off at Hobby Lobby.
The gallery wall stayed the same, and I purchased two black Crate and Barrel bookshelves that flank the big open doorway to the living room. They were secondhand finds on a local Facebook group, and I got them for $80 for the pair. We moved the little beverage station that was in the dining room to an empty corner of the living room so that both Ian and I have our own set of shelves. Mine was a little too cluttered to fully photograph this time around -- but you get the idea. :)
So, there you have it. Southern Living and Martha Stewart Living won't be banging down my door begging me to photograph this room at any point soon, but that's okay with me. It's functional, it has made room in our house for a sweet new yellow and green nursery, and it has us sitting under that pretty chandelier every day -- the same chandelier we cut our wedding cake under almost five years ago!
If you want to see really old-school photos of the dining room, click here.
And for anyone curious about the paint color, it's Wet Pavement by Valspar.