Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dining Room Drama

Buckle up for a long , meandering post about renovation and indecision. You can give me your two cents worth at the end. That's why I'm posting. I need help. And you're all smart and will tell me what you really think.

We're reaching the point where I have to make some definite decisions about the kitchen renovation. The kitchen cupboards are going to be plain white and the bench tops black marble etch. I've  chosen plain cupboards because  I don't want the cupboards being the focal point.  All the appliances will be brushed stainless steel.  Our dining room is connected to our kitchen and I want one big flowing space why is why we're ripping out a bench that currently divides the two rooms.

So these are the before and after shots


After 
 Disclaimer: That may not be the actual view I see outside my kitchen window

The dining room is now my biggest headache. Until yesterday that was all sorted out in my mind  and now I am second guessing myself.


The original plan was to take the top off the kitchen dresser  leaving me with  a three drawer cabinet. I planned to buy  some 3D moulded french looking furniture appliques and stick them on the front of the dresser doors and paint the whole thing warm/ antique white and change the handles to something french looking. The meat safe to the right of the dresser was going.   I've been auditioning tables and chairs for a while and  decided on this oval pedestal table. (I have a better picture of that coming up) The plan was to strip it and paint it white , along with these antique colonial chairs and plonk the re-vamped blackwood chair in the corner where the meat safe used to be , with my circle quilt draped over it.



Enter this piece of furniture which I saw a couple of weeks ago after months of looking for something like this for the dining room and finally giving up and coming up with the plan above. I took it as a sign. I called my Dad and asked if I could ESP this piece, prime it  and paint straight over the top in white, because my Dad is the fountain of all knowledge.  I did a happy dance when he said I could. So we bought it and picked it up yesterday and this is what it looks like in my dining room. Notice please that my awful cedar wall is history.


And here is a better picture...because I want you to see the detail in the cabinet.


My question is ...would it be a crime to paint this dresser white? I'll lose a lot of the parquetry door detail if I do. Would having a kitchen table , chairs , and dresser painted white with a black and white kitchen be too much white for these rooms. What would you do?  The alternative is to keep the furniture for the dining room pretty much as is, get black and white chair pads for the chairs and white crystal beaded tassels for the handles of the dresser to tie it all in and put all my white dinner ware in the top of the dresser. The floors will be a light tile by the time we're finished and I'm wondering if I go to town painting everything in sight white I'm going to go snow blind.

OK, so  hit me with your two cents....

34 comments:

Coloradolady said...

I have really seen a lot of white in rooms lately, and it makes me wish I had done that a few years ago. You can do all white, and I think it would be great, and add a punch of color in accessories. I think I'd love it myself.....but I know it takes courage to paint good wood!!! I cant wait to read the responses you get!!!

Jennifer said...

Why don't you do everything else you wanted to do and then see what you want to do with this piece of French gloriousness last? You might decide that enough is e-well and truly-nuff and just use the white tassels and white dinner ware, or you might decide that your life won't be complete until this piece of furniture is white.

Mary said...

There is a fabulous blogger called centsational girl that has refurbished her whole house by painting older furniture and it is drop dead gorgeous. Go take a look.

Miss Mustard Seed said...

Your kitchen plan looks great! I hope your meat cupboard didn't go far. It is a very interesting piece, but was definitely too crowded in there. Anyway, I would definitely paint that hutch. It has a beautiful shape, but the finish looks a little dated. Why don't you paint the exterior white and the inside of the cabinet an accent color? I don't think it's bad to paint all of the furniture white, but use different shades and make sure you have lots of texture and interesting things in the room.

Coincidentally, I bought a head board just a few days ago and it must be by the same maker. It has the same curves, same carved detail, and a parquet panel.

Michelle said...

Here's my 2 cents (and that's about all it's worth--which I remember really isn't much in Australia given that you no longer have a cent piece): Yes, some would say it's a crime to paint that lovely piece--but you need to do what is going to make you happy. And if white makes you happy, then go for it.

pwl said...

In the end - you should do what is going to make you happy. But personally, I'm partial to the look of wood. It provides a warmth that white furniture doesn't. I like your idea of adding the chair pads and tassels to tie everything together.

You did ask. :)

pwl said...

As an afterthought - can you live with the furniture as it is for a while with black and white cushions, etc, and see how you like it? It's easier to change your mind later and paint everything white, than it would be to paint everything white now and later wish you hadn't.

Just my Canadian 2 cents. :)

Jenn said...

go for the white!!!

P. said...

I really like the new china hutch. So is that wall going to be the gray (not sure if I'm seeing the true color in the pic) that it is now? I would paint the pedestal table white, the chairs around it black, and put black/white striped cushions on the chairs. I'd leave the hutch as is for a while. I'm just not sure about painting it white. But if I were going to paint it white, I'd paint the wall behind it an accent color to make the white pop (yellow or red comes to mind). But that's just my idea and the bold statement may not be what you're going for. I'm sure whatever you do, it'll be lovely!

Deb said...

I say go for it and paint it white but that is my personal opinion. I adore that type of look. Then that is where you bring in the colour with your accessorises to balance it all out. I just adore crispness and cleanness of all white.
Follow your gut hun.
hugs deb

Shevvy said...

Firstly, love the kitchen design, its just like mine, although mine is a narrower galley. Its so easy to look after and still looks really fresh after 3 years.

I personally would leave the new cabinet as it is as I love the wood on it and like the contrast with the old and new, wood and white.

With the table and chairs lighter, then the unit would be the only thing dark at one end of the room so it would be a nice feature.

Liked the idea above about leaving it as if for a while and then seeing if you want to change it. Thats what I would do.

Baa-Me Kniits said...

I think I would be doing the rest and leaving that to last and then see how white everything is and if it is too much or not. Don't you also have baby PJs living with you? Remember how toddlers like to put their sticky/dirty hands everywhere....white will be like a magnet :-)

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

The furniture police will not beat down your door if you paint the dresser (we call that a China Hutch in South Carolina). Don't second guess yourself! Be brave and slap a coat of paint on it. Your vision of your rooms sounds beautiful. Make it a reality and love that you did. Looking forward to seeing your completed room. :o)

Lorraine said...

I would definitely paint it white......I would do that to my dresser but I am too lazy....well..don't have time will work as well.....I love the all white look...I did that with my last kitchen and it worked a treat...Loved it...

Kris said...

Lol! You put too much faith in us I think! ( "And you're all smart and will tell me what you really think.") Of course, we will tell you what we really think!

PAINT IT! It is gorgeous and will only be improved by paint! (Great find!) The all white look is wonderful and you can inject colour with accessories and fabric. As for the small children thing, I have 8 kids and cream couches. Works for me cause I have removable covers. White is not off limits with kids. (And Loz's white kitchen was truly gorgeous!)

PS - Are you sure you want to redo the kitchen? If the slack tea Thursday thing really takes off will you need one? Just trying to save you a heap of time and money! Lol

Sarcastic Quilter said...

personally, I'd wouldn't change that cabinet and would keep the table but redo those chairs to match the table and cabinet. I am not an "all white" person, though and like warm woods so you have to take my opinion with a grain of salt.

If you were envisioning and want white, I'd keep the lovely wood for another part of the house and do what your original plans were for the existing hutch.

Again, though, I'm a wood loving person so I'd say it would be a crime but one I couldn't punish you for since I know you have your own opinions. :)

Sarcastic Quilter said...

personally, I'd wouldn't change that cabinet and would keep the table but redo those chairs to match the table and cabinet. I am not an "all white" person, though and like warm woods so you have to take my opinion with a grain of salt.

If you were envisioning and want white, I'd keep the lovely wood for another part of the house and do what your original plans were for the existing hutch.

Again, though, I'm a wood loving person so I'd say it would be a crime but one I couldn't punish you for since I know you have your own opinions. :)

lw said...

There's another option. You could pickle the wood with whitewash so that the parquetry and wood grain still show, and the hutch would be a warmer white than the rest of the kitchen.

Shirleymac said...

I love your kitchen. I had mine done with white cabinets about 5 years ago and I absolutely love them. What colour are you going to paint the walls? I'd pick a gray from the marble veins just to tone down the white a bit and then your idea of black and white will look lovely and not overpowering. I love wood and painting it horrifies me but I think the cabinet that you bought might look better painted white. It won't fit in the way it is because it is too drastic a difference. I'd paint it white too or idstress it (whitewash). You can then use bright colours around the rooms and it will tone down the too black and white. Bright accessories, vases, plates, quilts or photos. I think it will look lovely. But as the others said it is your decision ultimately. It is your home and you have to be comfortable in it.

Kirsten's Cooking said...

first of all, I love the new tile floor..is it slate? I agree with the poster that said to paint it white with an accent color inside. I also like the idea to keep it natural until the rest of the kitchen is finished and then make your decision....I love the before and after pictures and the plea for help!! And, you're right, your followers are smart and opinionated :)

JKP said...

Personally, I love the look of wood, and I hate to paint over it, though sometimes I think it does make the piece look better. Of course, you are talking to a woman who has slate and wrought iron coffee and end tables in her living room, and cheap (did I mention cheap) dining room furniture that can withstand multiple (meaning many) teenagers and dogs. Nothing pretty about it. Straight up practical, for now.

Ultimately, I recommend you do whatever makes you happiest. I love the white and black kitchen with the brushed stainless appliances. I think it will look very clean and modern, so you have to decide what will work within that for you and your dining room.

Was that helpful? Probably not.

AnnieO said...

Not being a fan of the all white look, I'd leave the wood. But I agree with the person above who said to leave it until you live with the white kitchen and black countertops a while. I like your idea of tying in the black and white kitchen with chair pads and displaying your white dishes in the cupboard. That is a beautiful wood piece, just as it is. No need to decide this minute, is there?

Barb said...

I love the white kitchen....makes everything so clean and fresh looking.

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

Thanks guys for all your comments. I thought you were all very tactful in your replies! I was half expecting at least one of you to say "paint that wood - are you insane?"

I'm going to live with this for another week or so before I make a final decision but I'm leaning towards going with the original vision. Of course I'll have to change my mind 8 times between now and final decision time.

P the wall is going to be a neutral warm colour to match the rest if our house-it's a weird colour and hard to describe. You will have seen it in some of my other posts.

Yes Kris - I've been living with this ugly kitchen forever, and just think - if Slack Tea Thursday does take off I'll have a pristine new kitchen forever!

Kirsten, that's not my floor. It's the floor of the people we bought the dresser from. I used to have slate floors and loved them but they're too dark for this house.

JKP-I have had cheaper furniture all my life for the same reason. I'm ready for some lovely things.

Jenni, Yes Littel P is still with us, but wont be at some point in the next few months. I did think about the white and sticky little hand prints...I'll just wipe a lot until he moves!

Susan Entwistle said...

Paint it white. Been there, done that. I've been living with an oak piece in a white room for a year now, and I wish I had painted it back when I had the energy to do it. Now it's just one of those pain in the butt projects that get back-burnered in favor of more fun stuff.

Brenda said...

My daughter had been painting everything that she can get her hands on and it all looks fabulous. Go for it! (Your kitchen is very clean)

Elizabeth said...

White paint on that hutch is a huge commitment and one I wasn't sure I was prepared to give you advice on. But I see that 24 other people have dared to speak up and say what they think, so now I'm a little less timid of saying, do what makes you happy :D.

Personally, I L♥VE white furniture. I have this whole vision for my kitchen which involves painting the plain, boring oak cabinets white. I already have a gorgeous white table (bought on clearance for $55) and chairs (the chairs were, unfortunately not on clearance and the lot of them was more than the table twice over). I say, go big or go home!

I would, however, make one suggestion regarding the floor. The floor is where people walk. And there is dirt down there. Our kitchen floor has this light grey tile complete with light grey grout. Only the grout isn't light any more. Dirt gets ground into it and it looks really bad -- all you can see are the dirty, dirty grout lines. Even the most fastidious housekeeper (which I am not) would be spending all his/her time safeguarding the cleanliness of this light colored grout. May I humbly submit that you might want to darken the flooring choice just a tad? Perhaps to a shade that is more harmonious with dirt? Like grey? It would look really smart with your black bench tops. Less time cleaning the grout on the kitchen tiles = more time quilting in your pyjamas.

With much love and affection,
Queen of cleaning smarter, not harder, -E

vawriter said...

Never one to let an opinion go unexpressed, especially when someone asks for it, I will say the hutch doesn't seem to match the feel of the other furniture as it is. I like the other one better for this space--straight lines. Can you line the back of the hutch with a a graphic design paper--I, too, love red with black and white. If you can get a fabric that you love for chair pads, you could take a piece of that, cover a heavy piece of cardboard with it, and prop it up behind the white dishes to see how you like before committing yourself. Just a thought. The kitchen layout looks great!

The Flabby Ninja said...

Ok, so first maybe the picture was complimentary but I *kinda* liked the cedar wall (please don't throw a chair at me). As for the cabinet, that's a tough one. I love white painted furniture and how crisp and clean it looks, but the detailing on that cabinet is stunning! So my two cents really are only worth about a penny and a half, but there it is! PS...can't wait to see the new kitchen actually done because it looks to be fantastic!

The Flabby Ninja said...

Ok, so first maybe the picture was complimentary but I *kinda* liked the cedar wall (please don't throw a chair at me). As for the cabinet, that's a tough one. I love white painted furniture and how crisp and clean it looks, but the detailing on that cabinet is stunning! So my two cents really are only worth about a penny and a half, but there it is! PS...can't wait to see the new kitchen actually done because it looks to be fantastic!

Nanci said...

Paint it! Either that or darken the wall behind it. when dark furniture is put against a light wall it sticks out. While the reverse is true of light to dark.
It's wood...I'd paint it light colour and wouldn't accent it at all.
Love, love the kitchen...it's a shame to cook in it and mess it up!
You are doing great, but just noted that there is a blue wall...if that's in the dining room, you need a warm inviting colour for eating...so they say.
I've been busy so haven't blogged.

Jenny said...

The kitchen looks so much more spacious with what you have done - fantastic work!!!

I actually think that painting it a warm antique shade of white would look fabulous. My personal opinion is leaving it as is would not look nearly as good as it would painted white. If you have the patience for it you could always try to paint the detail work in a different shade which might enhance it some.

I think that your ideas are great though - I can't wait to see the finished project, so you better keep us posted :-)

Also, I like Elizabeth's idea for the flooring being a gray color but you do whatever makes you happy! You are the one that has to see it everyday and all the posts I have read on your blog show that you are extremely talented!!

I am sure that it will turn out lovely!

Alisa said...

While I suck at the decorating advice I am quite a good cheerleader. Try not to lose your mind, but if you do, please blog about it because I'm sure it would be funny as heck.

Lisa said...

Tyler would definately be one of those "paint the wood!?!?!?" types, but I think painted furniture is great. Brightens thigns up a bit, and they can be other light colors besides white. I'd take your old 3-droor cabinet, you might use it in your craft room- it looks quite handy!
I do think the new cabinet looks nicer, and the wood wall gone is an improvement. Have fun with it all, and BTW- those little sticky fingerprints come of easy with baby wipes!