In the first post about our house, I focused on how we developed our style, found our home, and decorated the living room. Here are details about the rest of the open living space - first up: the dining room. You could see a bit of the "before" in the previous post, and this is what it looked like right before some demo happened.

I  neglected to mention in my last post that once we got the carpet up, we discovered that the floors had been painted white. Why? Who knows. Luckily, it came right up with the sanding required for the refinishing.

As you can see, our house had a pony wall between the dining room and living room, which Dave and our friend Andy took down. While this was an original design detail that was really popular at the time, and we felt a little guilty for not keeping the integrity of that detail, I'm glad we removed it. It makes the whole space feel so much more open. It's funny to think that back in the 50's, it was unheard of not to have any separation between rooms, so at least a half wall was needed and even that was pushing the boundaries! Now we all want everything open. Another funny detail - the top of that wall was actually a planter!

Once the pony wall came down, the extra trim and detailing around the fireplace had to go too. You can also see how dirty the fireplace was - Dave cleaned the crap out of it with Scrubbing Bubbles and a toothbrush. Here's the dining room today!

The buffet and table and (wooden) chairs were found at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. I recovered the seats of the chairs with fabric from an IKEA pillowcase. I found an old exhibit catalog at Left Bank Books and framed some of the art in it for over the buffet. We bought the white Eames knockoff chairs on 

The lamp over the table is really special. I am not a big fan of diamonds, so when we were talking about getting engaged, I told my husband that I'd rather have a piece of art. This classic George Nelson lamp is what he proposed with - literally, he had it with him, a huge box wrapped in Tiffany blue paper, which was a nice ironic touch!

Where the dining room wall once was is now just a little landing strip (that's an official Apartment Therapy term by the way, not mine!), where we keep keys and the dog leash. The shelf is the Ekby from IKEA. The chair is a Bertoia knockoff that I found on craigslist.

apartment therapy landing strip - mindful closet

Luckily for our budget, the kitchen and bathrooms were inoffensive enough that we didn't do much other than serious cleaning and painting. We also changed most of the light fixtures and since it was a foreclosure, most of the appliances had to be purchased. Nothing too exciting here.


On the other side of the fireplace from the dining room is a space that we call the den. Below is the before (with our realtor in the pic) and after. It's just another living space - some people in our neighborhood use it as a dining room or tv room, keeping the living room more formal. For us, it's been pretty much unused space - until now. Since we'll be turning our current office into a nursery, we'll soon be changing this space into a workspace. Here's how it looks now:

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I'm somewhat embarrassed to show our hall bathroom, but here it is. On the left is just after we moved in, and the right is how it looks now, I think painting the vanity and adding the white shower curtain brightened it up so much.

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The last space I want to share is our master bedroom (our "office" is one bedroom and it's a bit in disarray as it's becoming the nursery, and the third bedroom is my husband's teaching studio, so it basically has a bass stool and music stand in it and that's all). As I mentioned in my first house post, we continually make changes, and the master bedroom has changed the most since we first moved in. Here's how I first had it decorated:


Which was very cute, but not "us". (If you're interested, the lamps are (old) West Elm, the furniture is from Costco and the fabric covering the back wall and for the curtains is from IKEA). Here it is now:


...and I love it so much. The bed is a Danish midcentury piece with floating nightstands that we found on ebay. The print on the left is a Thomas Hart Benton lithograph that my grandmother owned, and the print on the right is our wedding vows that I printed on a charcoal background. The ceiling lamp (same as before) and blanket are from IKEA.

On the other side of the room is a Danish modern dresser that I found in the Salvation Army thrift store. The artwork above it is by Rena Wood, an amazing fiber artist, who happens to be the sister of a good friend. It was a gift from Dave on our second anniversary (the traditional second anniversary gift is cotton).


Whew. That was a lot. Thanks for sticking it out, if you did. Creating a space that you love to be in is so rewarding, and it's fun to be able to share it. If anyone has any other design questions, I'm happy to help! Now back to regularly scheduled programming...