Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you’re enjoying your family, friends, loved ones and pets today.

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Yup, that’s me many Thanksgivings ago. I feel so blessed the word thankful doesn’t feel like enough. As someone in the later half of my 20s I’m amazed by how much I learn and grow year over year. It becomes easier to understand what makes my family tick, why I am the way I am and why the people in my life (both near and far) are so important to me.

In the age of “busy” it’s not easy to stop and take a minute to tune out the digital distractions and tune into you and your family. Among all the holiday chaos today I hope you have the chance to enjoy whatever it is you’re thankful for.

Cheers to the good food, warm hugs and funny stories you’ll share today. I hope you’re able to relax and take it all in.

Autumn Dinner Party

You’re cordially (virtually) invited to my autumn dinner party…

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I hosted a small dinner party for six a few weeks ago to toast the season and informally celebrate my BFF Laura’s birthday. The table setting was one of my best so I decided it was too good not to share.

You probably won’t be surprised to see succulents gracing the table. I used some purple and cream echeveria cuttings paired with seeded eucalyptus and leafy foliage to create a natural centerpiece.

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And some smaller cream succulent rosettes graced the napkins.

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I spent an embarrassing amount of time cutting out some leaf place cards by hand.

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With only four guests (six including my husband and I) place cards weren’t necessary but they added a touch of whimsy to the table. I’ve read that giving your guests a reserved spot at the table eases the worry of where to sit and I think there’s something to be said for that.

We planned to have a fire outside after dinner so I used candles and ornamental kale to give the back yard a more festive fall feel.

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You can easily recreate the rustic candle holders with two terracotta pots, two cylindrical glass vases and some green preserved moss. I’ve had them on my table for the past few weeks through all sorts of weather and they still look great.

I even spruced up the powder room with two stems of succulent rosettes and some extra seeded eucalyptus in a clear vase. Small touches like this are easy and they help make your home feel extra special for your guests.

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On to the important part –the food! I served the meal in four courses to be a little fancy shmancy.

We had acorn squash soup.

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I didn’t use a recipe to make this and just sort of flew by the seat of my pants. I roasted the squash cut side down in a 400 degree oven (smothered in olive oil, sea salt and cinnamon) for an hour until it got nice and soft. I sautéed some garlic in a large Dutch oven and scooped the squash into after it had a chance to cool. Then I added some chicken broth, stirred and let it summer for about 30 minutes. After adding some salt, pepper and a little cream I puréed it with an immersion blender and it was ready to serve! For an added touch I topped it with a few springs of fried sage and roasted pumpkin seeds. Yum!

The second course was a delicious fall salad made with spring mix topped with dried cherries, pomegranate seeds, Gorgonzola, red onion and pumpkin seeds dressed with a lite Italian vinaigrette.

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Next was the main course — prosciutto sautéed Brussels sprouts and stuffed chicken breasts. I got both of these recipes from Skinnytaste. You can find them here and here.

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And to top it all off I made gingerbread tiramisu for dessert served with espresso. I used my friend Laura’s recipe because it’s AMAZING and the flavors scream fall (hello pumpkin pie spice and gingersnaps). You can get it here.

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I opted to serve the tiramisu in individual vintage punch glasses for an extra special touch. They took a little more prep before the party but were super easy to grab out of the fridge and go when it was time for dessert. Laura’s recipe made 10 of these little guys so I had some left over. I wasn’t mad about it.

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It was a very special night and we all decided we should have formal, fancy dinners more often. Maybe I’ll host another for the holidays? Or to combat the winter blues in January? Who knows, but I hope it’s soon!

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Just remember the most important thing is to make your guests feel welcome and relaxed so don’t try anything outside of your comfort zone for a dinner party setting. Rely on your favorite recipes and think of a way to elevate them — like serving dessert in punch cups instead of bowls. Little touches go a long way when you’re entertaining. Now go call your friends and invite them to dinner! 🙂

Sunday Football Baked Potato Bar

Sundays for me mean two things: football and good food. Today we’re hanging out at Mike’s Uncle’s house to watch the Eagles game.

When we get together at Uncle Brian’s we each bring something yummy and always else up having some sort of epic meal. Seafood lasagna, antipasto, steak, fresh caught perch and homemade meatballs to name a few.

Today, we’re having prime rib (!!!) so I decided to make a baked potato bar to go with it.

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For the potatoes, I simply scrubbed them, poked a ton of holes in the skin, rubbed them with almond oil to lend a nice nutty flavor and sprinkled the skin with course sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Then I put them right on the rack in a 350 degree oven for 75 minutes. They were done a bit early so I turned off the oven and left them in there for an additional 30 minutes and they got nice and soft inside and crispy outside without burning.

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I threw together a fixin’s bar using my glass chips-and-dip platter with sour cream, butter, chopped bacon, finely chopped chives and shredded cheddar cheese. Everything you could possibly want to top your spuds!

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Now it’s time to eat. I hope you get the chance to relax and enjoy your family today.

Go EAGLES!! 🙂

#succulentaddict

So, don’t promise to start blogging more when you’re jumping head first into a new job. It leads to yet another blogging hiatus. Sorry about that.

These beauties have been keeping me busy…

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I’ve fallen (even more) head over heels for succulents since starting my job at ArizonaEast (don’t visit our website yet — that’s one of the projects on my docket) and have been learning A LOT!

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The beauty of signing on with a small, quickly growing company is that I’m marrying my PR skills, marketing know-how, branding expertise and social media savvy with this crazy new world of business strategy, logistics, growth projections, business development and product design. Do you have any idea how hard it was just come up with a title for my position? #LinkedInproblems.

But the chance to see a company explode with growth right in front if my eyes is exciting, and the opportunity to get up from my desk a few times a day to put my hands in the dirt and create products from such gorgeous plants is truly soothing to my soul (and my strained eyes). I feel blessed every day at the unique opportunity I’ve been given at such an early time in my career.

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To be honest, blogging hasn’t been what I thought it’d be. I found myself being too much of a perfectionist to post regularly and that’s just not keeping it real. So with the business of starting a new job I opted to ignore the blog rather than posting anything less than ‘the best.’ What is the best, anyway?

I’m realizing every post doesn’t have to be an amazingly intricate DIY project. I have to remember the whole point of blogging is opening up and letting you guys get a glimpse of my (not so) fabulous life whether it’s picture perfect or not. And what IS real is the fact that I LOVE all the DIY projects, crafts, cooking, entertaining and decorating that was my motivation for starting this blog — but there’s more to me. So buckle up and get ready to accompany me on this journey that is La Vie de Brie. It’s not perfect, but it’s me. And that’s a-okay in my book.

If you agree, leave me a comment to let me know you’re with me!

Xo,
Brie

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Holy Hiatus

March 13, 2014. That’s the date of my last post on La Vie de Brie. Ugh! I’m so sorry, guys. Life definitely got the best of me in these past few months and I didn’t keep up with the blog the way I would have liked to. But, I’m back!

Even though I haven’t chronicled my DIY projects for you in these past… gulp… five months, I haven’t slowed down one bit. I have four great projects and some new furniture and design choices to share with you in the coming weeks! Here’s a sneak peek (or a reminder if you follow me on Instagram).

I transformed my stairs…

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…refinished the top of my coffee table. Hello, Minwax shine…
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…gave my closet a sassy navy, pink and gold makeover. Yes, those eagle hooks are vintage. And Ahhhmazing… IMG_5627

…Painstakingly scraped, prepped and painted my backyard fence. What. A. Job…
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…found a new area rug for our living room. Pattern on pattern seems to be my thing right now…
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…refinished these cute benches that were handed down from my husband Mike’s late grandmother. Such a lovely family heirloom…
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…and finally, got new patio furniture, though I’m still searching for the perfect (and perfectly priced) outdoor rug to give our patio some pizzazz… IMG_6279

 

I also wanted to quickly update you on another big change that has happened to me in recent weeks. I left my job at a PR agency to join a friend’s company called ArizonaEast. If you follow the Vitales on YouTube, you may have heard Joe and Laura announce that I’m joining the team, and I’m so excited!

Well, that’s all for now. But I promise to be back soon with more DIY details to share. Until then, enjoy these last few weeks of summer and squeeze in all the projects you can while the weather is gorgeous and the sun is out!

Goodbye Office, Hello Craft Room

Mike and I recently decided to move our office downstairs into the living room for two reasons. One, the living room spans the width of our house and at 21×14 the far end felt empty and lost. Two, we rarely set up shop in the office upstairs because neither of us wanted to feel locked away up there by ourselves. I swear a post is in the works detailing the move and unveiling our awesome little corner-turned-office downstairs, but this isn’t that post.

Moving the Mac, extra monitor and scads of technology down onto the main floor left the office ripe for the picking, and boy did I take advantage of the newly-vacant space. I was so excited to get my crafting/DIY/gift wrapping stuff out of the chaos pantry (though it’s newly organized for the second time) and up into its own space.

Craft & Reading Room

This mix-and-match feel of this room is truly the epitome of me. Every. Single. Piece. is collected/thrifted/salvaged from somewhere. I didn’t purchase any of the furniture specifically for this room. It’s a little disjointed, but I love it.

Craft & Sitting Room

Notice the two nearly identical wingback chairs? One is navy, the other is hunter green, and I successfully made them work — staring right into each others’ nailhead trim…

You may recognize the green chair from our living room downstairs. It sat proudly across from our old charcoal grey sofa. A little too proudly, in fact. It was so tall someone sitting at the newly positioned desk couldn’t see the TV, and that just wasn’t going to work. Another fun fact about our pair of wingbacks is each one came from our grandparents. The navy was given to us from Mike’s grandparents, and the green came straight from my grandparents’ office. The style of both chairs is nearly identical which is why they both work here even though they’re different colors. Another neat feature of these chairs is that each relaxes into a comfortable reclining position, so my goal is to use this as a sitting/reading/writing room when I’m looking for some solitude.

Navy Nailhead Wingback Chair

The Sicilia print is an old linen piece from Mike’s grandmother, too. It used to live in the bathroom of our old apartment, and I think it looks great on the wall in the office. That small chest next to the chair was a second-hand find from my grandmother’s neighbor. She was giving it away and I decided to spray paint it black and cart if off to college with me. It’s been tagging along ever since. When I made this room the craft room, I gave it the new job of housing my plethora of gift bags and displaying my Keyboard Cat and Andy Warhol print — both treasured gifts. A noble task, indeed.

Hiding Gift Bags

Moving to the right of the navy chair, I placed my DIY’d crafting table/cabinet/shelf-like thing-a-ma-bob. This is a TOTALLY makeshift piece. The two white cabinets used to house canned goods and glassware in the kitchen of our old apartment. With an entire room devoted to storage in our new townhouse, I decided to repurpose these into storage space for my crafting supplies. The wooden top is made up of two solid-wood Ikea shelves that I screwed together with brackets to make them extra sturdy. It’s floating on top of the white shelves so it’s easy to disassemble and move if need be. I do want to paint the top white to help it blend in, though.

Craft & Sitting Room

Kate Spade & Craft Paper

Tray & Metal Hooks

Crafting Supply Storage

The black shelf next to it is a hold out from the old office. It was laying on its side housing some office supplies, novelties and the printer. It wasn’t very useful in the office, so I decided to sit it right side up and get some extra baskets/containers to house my crafting and party supplies. I tilted it on an angle a bit to break up all the straight lines in the room, and I took a small globe-shaped light out of storage with a teeny tiny bulb that stays on pretty much all the time to act as a night light in the upstairs hallway since we always leave the door to this room open.

Crafty Shelf Styling

See that graphic black and white pillow up there? It kept catching my eye on Pinterest and in several blog posts so I snapped it up. It’s not the most practical pillow in this space since I already have two other throw pillows in here that work well together and the graphic pattern is a little too much next to the curtains, so I plopped it in a basket above the shelf for visual impact and as an option for future floor sitting. Looking at it makes me happy, so it stays. And those curtains? They dressed the window in our bedroom at the old apartment and I was thrilled to be able to reuse them here. They’re a perfect match with the wall color I chose. What a happy accident.

Gift Wrap

Onto one of my most practical sections of the room – my gift wrap storage. I started keeping all those rolls of gift wrap in that gold bin in the pantry when we first moved into the house and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s so easy to grab what I need in a rush to wrap a stylish gift in no time. And that even more stylish gold bin is a hand-me-down from my Mommom. I know, right? Score!

And finally, to keep it real. This is the office-turning-craft-room transition that I started with. Yeah, a lot of work when into getting this room organized. The closet is even spic and span now. What a relief.

Craft Room Before

Second Craft Room Before

And to go back even further, this is the office I started with.

Office

Book Shelf

Do you guys have a dedicated space for crafting or gift wrapping? Even just a dedicated closet, perhaps? I’m pretty lucky to have a third bedroom at my beck-and-call, that’s for sure. And I’m basking in the glow of extra useable space for now.

Vintage Shopping at Reminisce

I found myself with a few free hours last Saturday afternoon, so I jumped at the chance to explore a new vintage store that just opened in a neighboring town. I mentioned in a previous post how I wished to have a list of go-to thrift and vintage stores, and I’m slowly starting to uncover a few local gems thanks to my friend and fellow thrifting enthusiast Natasha.

Reminisce

Enter Reminisce in downtown Pitman, New Jersey. Pitman is a unique small town in that it still has a bustling main street full of quaint restaurants, boutiques and even a thriving theater scene. Reminisce was opened in January by owner Jessica who has curated one of the best collections of vintage decor and novelties I’ve ever come across. I’m used to walking into a thrift store and digging through junk in the hopes of finding a rare diamond in the rough. At Reminisce, I nearly squealed with excitement at every turn. A vintage Hershey’s Kisses tin, upcycled guitar-turned-shelf, glass door knobs and an array of old glass bottles were some of the first treasures I encountered. And that was just in one small corner of the store.

Jessica truly has a vision for her burgeoning store, and I have a lot of respect for the mom of four who is working hard to make her dream come true. I love that she hasn’t rushed to fill up her shelves with less than stellar goods just to make the place feel packed, but instead chooses to sell only the pieces that she truly loves. I snapped a few of my favorite finds to share with you.

Join me for a virtual tour of Reminisce.

Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage cream and gold plate at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Shabby chic molding and tins at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage glass bottles from Philadelphia, Pa at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage Tetley tea tin at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage Pepsi bottles in carrying crate at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

A variety of old novelty items in a vintage Pepsi crate at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Poppies chalk paint at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage clutch and shabby chic bowl at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled cane back chair and guitar-turned-shelf at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Coral Tom Thumb 50s typewriter from Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled table and vintage Coca Cola print and tin at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled cane back chair and vintage Barbie print at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled chest of drawers at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Are you hopping in the car and heading to Reminisce yet? Isn’t it amazing! I felt like I died and went to heaven, and my mind was racing with inspiration. It was so difficult to choose what I wanted to take home out of all this great stuff.

After about an hour of admiring every nook and cranny of the store I landed on four items that I couldn’t leave without.

Vintage coral Tom Thumb 50s typewriter

As soon as I saw this vintage 50s Tom Thumb typewriter I fell in love. Writing has always been a passion of mine and I’ve wanted to own something like this for a while. When I saw the Tom Thumb in this perfect coral color I almost couldn’t believe it was real. I mean, c’mon. That’s MY COLOR! I have pops of this color throughout my house. My living room pillows, a frame, a glazed vase, books, prints… The list could go on. I nervously asked Jessica how much this typewriter would set me back, and when she said $20 my jaw dropped. It was SO going home with me.

Jessica’s mission to make these vintage goodies affordable is the icing on the deliciously sweet cake that is Reminisce. Everything in the store was priced to sell and much less than I’ve seen both online and in other stores.

Vintage glass bottles, ball jar and coral Tom Thumb 50s typewriter

I also decided to take home two glass soda pop bottles from Frank’s Nectar and Hires root beer. Not only was the color spot on, but the bottles were from Philadelphia so I loved the local tie. Don’t they look great on the shelf above the Tom Thumb? They fit perfectly in the square shelves of the Ikea entertainment center in our living room.

Vintage Palmolive soap ad fits perfectly in the master bath

Last but certainly not least I snapped up this vintage Palmolive soap print that already came with a navy mat. The old soap ad was aptly themed for a bathroom, and the navy mat worked perfectly with the navy, gray, cream and light blue color scheme of our master bath. The wall above our towel bar had been previously bare, so I thought this was the perfect finishing touch.

Vintage Palmolive soap ad fits perfectly in the master bath

The print cost just $12 and I found the grey 11×14 frame at Christmas Tree Shops for $6 – a steal for this perfectly-themed art.

Natasha and I also visited a few other thrift stores the next day close to her home in Salem County, but I didn’t have much luck. The visit made me realize just how special Reminisce is, and I know I’m going to be a regular. Do you have any vintage pieces you’ve uncovered while thrifting? Have you pined for a typewriter like my prized Tom Thumb? Any furniture upcycling stories to share like the awesome repainted and recovered cane back chairs above?

Psst… This is in no way a sponsored post and all opinions shared are truly my own. I fell in love with Reminisce and wanted to shout it from the rooftops! None of the links included in this post are affiliates. 

Psssst… If you love Instagram like I do and live in the Philadelphia area, follow Jinxed Philadelphia @jinxedstore for some awesome vintage and thrifted finds. They’re constantly posting new merch for sale on Instagram as soon as it hits the store and you can purchase right from your phone. But act fast, I totally lost out on my dream coffee table because it went in less than an hour. Happy thrifting! 

New Couch & Chair

If you’ve been following us on the vlog, you know we’ve been shopping for new living room furniture for about six weeks now. The couch we had was less than a year old, but it wasn’t quite big or comfortable enough to make us happy. After weeks of saving and searching for just the right thing, it’s finally here!

Neutral sofa and paint with pops of persimmon and yellow

Isn’t it beautiful?! It’s much better than the old couch. Let’s compare, shall we? Pardon the crappy-quality iPhone photo, but you get the gist.

Living room before

Let’s rewind even further back to what this room looked like after we first moved in.

Old living room layout

Yes, this living room has certainly come a long way. But let’s get on with the tour of the new furniture! Take a look at the new chair, and don’t mind the blurry Cody in the photo below. He loves being in the middle of anything new.

Long living room layout

The chair is so comfortable, and its low profile allows for full visibility of the TV from the desk behind it. This is the view you see down the hall when you walk in the front door, so I’m loving all the visual interest this chair brings to the space. I know the print is busy and probably not the ‘safest’ pick, but I have a feeling I’m going to love it for the long haul.

Check out the living room now from a few different points of view.

The layout makes this long living room work

Long living room layout

I’m sure there will be some tweaking happening over the next few weeks as I get settled in. Our coffee table could really use a refresh (the wood top is pretty beat up) and the stain on the side tables doesn’t match perfectly, but I think this room has really come a long way. It feels comfortable, eclectic and collected to me, so it really represents my design sensibility, even if it’s not perfect.

See those yellow pillows on the couch? They’re looking extra fluffy, right? Our couch came with these throw pillows that just aren’t my style.

Ugly throw pillows

Totally not me, right? But these pillows were much better quality than my original yellow ones. So a light bulb went off in my head. I could take the stuffing out of the yellow pillows and throw the cover over these fluffy-but-ugly new ones.

Check out the ho-hum stuffing in the yellow pillows.

Poorly-stuffed yellow pillows

Pillow stuffing

Bad, right? No wonder the pillows always looked a little lifeless no matter how much they were fluffed and straightened.

Here they are now. Proud as a peacock.

Yellow and red throw pillows

So don’t count out your old pillows. Some new stuffing can work wonders!

Well, what do you think? Doesn’t the lighter couch color make the room feel bigger and more airy? I can’t get over the way a new piece of furniture can make the whole room feel so different!

Easy Art

I’m always on the quest for new odds and ends to decorate shelves and tables, and I wanted to share a quick 10-minute art project that I threw together Monday night while I was putting the finishing touches on my dining room sideboard. I’m a big believer in keeping old papers, posters and even wrapping paper because you’ll never know when you can reuse them. I wanted to replace my Valentine’s Day printable with something more neutral, so I went digging in my crafting supplies to see what I had on hand. This is what I came up with.

Easy Art Not bad for being free, eh?

I cut the middle image from a poster I had in my bedroom in college. The edges were ruined from sticky, oily poster tack (since I didn’t want to spring for a frame back then) so I didn’t mind cutting it up. I sliced it down from a poster size to an 8×10, and I think it looks great.

Italy poster

 

Cutting poster to fit frame

 

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When I fished the poster out of it’s round holder, a few pieces of leftover wrapping paper also fell out. I purchased it at a boutique while I was living in Philly (also during college) and kept the scraps because I love the print and colors so much. I chose two of my favorite flowers and cut them to fit my frame. The frame is double sided so I can reverse it depending on where it ends up in the house.

Floral wrapping paper

Wrapping paper scraps

White poppy art

Red dahlia art

What an easy, stylish update, right? I think this art will definitely come in handy to fill in some empty spaces while I search for more ‘forever’ pieces. To quote an anonymous pin, I think a room should feel collected, not decorated. So these easy art pieces will serve well in my collection for now.

Have you repurposed anything old into something new lately? What are your cheap and easy art tricks?

 

 

New Dining Room Chairs

I’m so excited to share my latest update to our dining room!

Dining room layout

Don’t mind the veeerrrryyy bright light. I guess I didn’t realize it was on full blast when I snapped these shots. But doesn’t this layout make the dining room feel so much more open than it did when I posted my house tour?

My new, smaller dining room chairs fit so much better around our table than the older, more weighty set. My nana graciously gave us her set of five Ballard Designs dining room chairs and they served us very well during our first few years living together — especially since we didn’t have the budget to purchase quality chairs like those on our own. Even though the chairs are beautiful and very comfortable (the two against the wall in the photo above are leftovers from Nana’s set) one of the chairs was pretty badly broken and it always annoyed me that we had to break out a folding chair to accommodate a sixth dinner guest. Not to mention the fact that the big chairs took up all the extra space in the dining room making it feel cramped. Needless to say, I was constantly keeping my eyes open for a deal on new dining chairs in the hopes of getting something more functional for our space.

As I’m sure you know, dining chairs aren’t cheap. So, when I stumbled upon a treasure trove of SEVEN brand new still-in-the-box dining chairs at Ikea in the as-is section marked down to $35 a pop, I almost had a heart attack. Picture me guarding them hoping no one else would discover this awesome deal while I flagged Mike down to come take a look. He wasn’t convinced, but I loved the style and said, “trust me, this is a great deal!!!” And in the cart they went. Just four of them, that is. I hope those other three beauties found a home.

$35 Ikea chair steal

I’m sure you can guess what I did that night, right? I spent what felt like a lifetime putting all four chairs together. Damn Ikea furniture. So cheap but such a pain in the butt. Oh well, it was worth it. I even bought a hex drill bit to speed the process along, but of course my drill couldn’t fit in the teeny tiny space they left to tighten the screws. So cranking them by hand was my only option. Here’s a look at my setup:

Chair assembly tools

Chair in box

Half assembled chair

Chair assembly

See that enormous stack of trash in the background? Yeah, that didn’t get cleaned up until the next day. I was up into the wee hours of Sunday morning finishing the fourth and final chair, and by the time I finished it I was at my wits end. But boy did it feel good to have gotten all four of these chairs for $150.

Just to refresh your memory, this is what my dining room used to look like. So sparse. So lacking in style and interest.

Dining Room

The foundation was there, but it just wasn’t quite hitting a home run. But the new look is starting to fit the bill. I’m psyched!

Dining room layout

Dining room layout from right

Dining room layout from left

Dining room sideboard

The sideboard used to serve as a sofa table in the living room way back when the sofa sat in the middle of the room. When I switched up the living room layout for the holidays the sofa went up against a wall and the table sat awkwardly on the opposite wall. Another recent living room update (post to come) kicked the table out of its awkward corner position and my brilliant husband said, “hey, let’s use this table as a dining room sideboard.” Wow, does he surprise me sometimes. It was perfect!! I love the way the white breaks up the heavy dark chairs and table and plays into the light color in the art above. And it will be perfect for serving food or drinks during a party.

Do you have a war story from the Ikea as-is section? Did you try to hide your finds from fellow bargain hunters when you couldn’t get those deals in your cart fast enough? Commiserate with me!