I used to be quite proud of my decorating abilities. I could look at a room and see what I wanted to do with it. I could arrange furniture to make a room look its best. I nearly went to school for interior design and my background in theatre stage management certainly helped me along. While I have many happy corners in our house and can see good progress, there are quite a few places I’m not happy with at all and I’m totally at a loss. It’s not even decorating on a budget or my bed rest–it’s that I simply can’t envision how some rooms could look or where to even start.
I’m rather embarrassed over how much of the house I simply don’t know what to do with right now. To start with, all of our flooring is in terrible condition. The carpet is almost as old as the house (if not original!), super stained, and just worn through. However, replacing it isn’t in the budget right now, so we need to make do. It’s hard not to notice how bad it is as I’m working on other things. I had the idea of covering up the worst spots with rugs, but we’re limited on that. The worst spots are also in places that can’t be covered by furniture placement. Sucking it up and moving on seems to be my only option right now.
We had all of the main rooms of the house painted as soon as we moved in. The walls were in terrible condition with badly done patch jobs and colors that just weren’t us. In hindsight, we should have waited longer before we chose colors. We picked a neutral for the majority of the house with the idea that my love of color would brighten any room up. In the dining room, though, I had them do the neutral on top and asked for a quite dark grey on the bottom, under the chair rail. My thought was that I would stencil a fun design on top of it in a bright color. The painters talked me out of my first choice because they said a lighter grey would turn out quite dark and that the color I had chosen would look black. I’d never worked with anyone else doing my painting for me, I was feeling unsure with decorating such an empty slate, and it had been a fair while since I’d been able to really go for something. And, of course, the lesson is that I should have gone with my gut because I hate the color. It won’t work for what I was imagining, so I either have to repaint it after I deliver or just figure out something else. The dining room is quite blah right now, and it’s the first room you see from the front door so I really want it to pop. One idea I had was to take down the light fixture and paint it a bright aqua. I have the paint, but have to wait until Matilda is here. Sensing a theme yet? The three pieces of furniture in there are quite dark and I want bright artwork on the walls. I don’t know what look I’m after. I just know that I’m not happy with the current state of it. Also, can I just point out how ridiculous it is to have carpet in the dining room, especially with kids?!
So here’s the thing. I’m going to call these my before pictures. I’m also asking for your help. What would *you* do with this space? I can see a lot of painting in my future. I may possibly make fabric covers for the chairs. The table and two buffets will be off limits for painting. The flooring won’t change in the near future. I don’t think I want curtains because I love the light. I may discover some pieces that would be perfect in there since we still have a lot to unpack, but I can’t think of anything I may have at this point. I’ve also been hunting through Pinterest for inspiration, but I can’t say that anything has really struck me yet.
We use the dining room daily and I want it to be a happy room. I’m not feeling it right now. Is anyone up to the challenge of helping me out?