Archives for March 2011

The Dining Room Progress Update: The “Before & So Far”!

The Dining Room Progress Update: The "Before & So Far"!Dining Room Before

The Dining Room Before & After

Sometimes being so slow with projects can be a little flustering. You don’t have the instant gratification of a fabulous before and after. You can feel like you are only inching along, each step feeling like things are better than they were, but not quite where you envision them in the end.

Doing a project over time, using mostly what you already have, can be fun but is not always the easiest way to do a room. It takes patience with being “undone,” hanging on through some twists and turns as you try to work with what you have, and a lot of persistence to keep on keeping on.

It has taken me TWO YEARS to arrive where I am today with this dining room. You’d think I was remodeling (HA!) but it was mostly just painting furniture, walls, and rearranging things (and just living life!)! Yes, two years is a slow pace, but I’m on a roll now! I’m not done yet but it feels like it finally has turned in the right direction. In all fairness, even though that before photo is two years old, I did most of the updating in this room in the past 7 months.

Step by Step Dining Room Progress

  1. I had to be patient for 10 long months waiting for my old house to sell so I could move all my furniture here.
  2. I put up my antique stained glass (from a real church) to hide a less than pleasant view.
  3. I painted my old table, chairs & armoire to brighten up the room and unify mismatched, less than lovely wood.
  4. This fall I hung some temporary curtains leftover from my old house (note: new curtains just might be in the works).
  5. Then right before the holidays we painted the walls Behr All in One Studio Taupe Paint.
  6. Then I got a new lantern with lots of character.
  7. And then, I moved the dresser out and put in my baker’s rack.

The Dining Room Progress Update: The "Before & So Far"!

Dining room during —
prior to the walls being painted and the dresser being moved

The Dining Room Progress Update: The "Before & So Far"!

Dining Room Now (lantern from Pottery Barn)

The Dining Room Progress Update: The "Before & So Far"!

The Dining Room Progress Update: The "Before & So Far"!

The Dining Room Progress Update: The "Before & So Far"!

Dining Room before and now.

And finally, the side by side view.

The before and now, two LOOOONNNNGGG years apart.

Since I have felt like I wasn’t making fast enough progress,  it helps to look at what the room looked like when I first set my furniture down and review the step by step progress along the way.

Yep. It has come a long way.


The Dining Room Progress Update: The "Before & So Far"!

Oh, and now it has come a little further! Check out my new dining room curtains post!

Thanks for bearing with me, particularly this week with so many posts and photos in my dining room! Next project for this room: the new curtains made out of my 16 year old fabric!

NOTE: All the furniture in this room was FREE because it was recycled from a previous house, with the exception of the new (but free to me!) Pottery Barn lantern, the paint (Studio Taupe Behr all in one) and the seagrass rug (Cost Plus, $125).

Decorating Tables for Spring

Decorating Tables for Spring

Spring Decorating

When I was a girl, my mom was really into decorating our tables for the seasons. I loved it. I would always be so excited about the centerpieces at the dinner table — everything was all festive and dressed for holidays! Let’s get inspired by SPRING table decor!

Here is what I like to use for a pretty Spring Table:

  • Mix and match dishes (have a few patterned or colored accent pieces to mix in if you have all white dishes).
  • Various pretty containers and pedestals (try baskets, wood and ceramic bowls, flower pots, urns, books, pedestals, cloches, glass domes, cake plates, candle sticks).
  • Natural elements. (gather up things you find in nature in spring, like plants, faux birds (no real birds on the table, lol), fruit, decorative eggs, moss, rocks, nests, flowers, etc.)
  • Napkins (cloth or paper are both fine), tablecloths, place mats, or fabric for your table if you so choose.

Decorating Tables for Spring


Decorating Tables for Spring

 How to decorate your table for every day enjoyment:

I think it is fun to have seasonal centerpieces and decor on my table every day, even when I’m the only one home to enjoy it!

When you are decorating for fun and aren’t worried about people having a conversation over your centerpiece, you can set up something with more height and impact in the center of the table. Sometimes a simple pitcher of flowers is enough, but it is fun to group related things together to create a more interesting centerpiece.

My table is quite small, but I love to put birds, nests, small plants and pretty eggs on my table in the spring, but you might have another collection you’d like to use. It is fun to be creative!


Decorating Tables for Spring

How about setting up a spring breakfast table for two?

How to decorate a table for two:

If you are setting a pretty table for two (which I must say is way more romantic than eating in front of the TV!), you can have fun with off-center arrangements. Keep the center piece low for easier conversation and put taller items to the sides to give visual interest around the table.

Decorating Tables for Spring

How about a sunny table just for you?

Decorating Tables for Spring

For entertaining larger groups, if you are limited on space like I am, you might need to get creative when it comes to how you use your space. At my house, I prefer a buffet style set up with various food stations around my home. I stack dishes on my table, put silverware in my caddy, and a few appetizer style dishes, or fruit and rolls for brunches out on my dining room table.  Then the rest of the food is set up in the kitchen, potluck style. Sometimes I put desserts in my dining room (to create more of a fun dessert destination!), salads on my kitchen table and main dishes on the kitchen counter.

Separating the meal into “stations” helps with traffic flow and makes it feel more festive and party-like!

Decorating Tables for Spring

spring brunch

How to decorate your buffet tables:

Even if you are limited on space, you can still add a few purely decorative items to a buffet table. I like to mix in some seasonal decor around the food or dishes, utilizing creative containers and pedestals. Use items that take up minimal space but still allow you to add a spring touch.

I find candlesticks, hurricanes, pedestals, vases or spring accessories to tuck in and around the food and dishes. I vary the height and sometimes put small items up on something to give it more importance among the dishes.

It is OK if the table looks full, more cluttered or more decorated than you normally would like, it is a PARTY so you can be more festive if you want! When you aren’t actually eating at the table you can use every available inch for food and decor.

Decorating Tables for Spring

Tuck in little spring surprises like birds and greenery

What if you don’t have a formal table or dining room?

You can still decorate and entertain even if you don’t have a formal dining room or table … you can use a coffee table, ottoman, or side tables for the food stations or festive decor. Set up card tables of food and dishes in the bedrooms if you need to, you don’t have to have a formal dining room in order to entertain!

Decorating Tables for Spring

Spring party in a basket

Spring party in a basket

Another spring party idea I like is to gather up a “spring party in a basket” (a basket or tray filled with dishes, spring napkins, drinks or whatever you want) and set it on an ottoman or coffee table. Somehow putting things in a basket like this makes even a simple get together feel more special. You could also create a wonderful Spring Breakfast in Bed basket for your sweetie!

Decorating Tables for Spring

This is a really simple spring table decorating idea: put inexpensive plastic craft eggs in a hurricane and fill with spring sticks!


Decorating Tables for Spring


Table decorating rules:

I don’t worry too much about the rules, my idea is for it to look fun and pretty, not to be perfect according to someone else’s standards. I used to think there must be a lot of rules I should know to follow and it would intimidate me from just being creative. Honestly, when I look through magazines, I see everything under the sun when it comes to HOW to decorate a table. Some of it I like, some of it I don’t.

A lot of decorating really comes down to personal preference– so just get creative and do whatever works for you!

Decorating Tables for Spring

A pedestal is a must have for your table and year round decorating. This pedestal is from DaySpring and it is SO BIG and STURDY, I LOVE IT! And the pedestal is 50% off this month so it is a great time to get one of your own or for a gift!

Here is a round up of some other decorative table items I really like from DaySpring (featured in this post):

Wooden Caddy
Ever Grateful Collection dishes: Yellow / Taupe Dishes
Wood Pedestal
Glass dome ,$15 off
Glass Hurricanes
Life to the Full Collection dishes, 30% off (not featured today)



The great people at DaySpring are offering The Inspired Room readers a “First week of Spring Giveaway” to celebrate the arrival of this long awaited season! And because DaySpring is so generous, they are going to give away MORE than ONE prize!!

For every 100 comments on this post, one prize of your choice from the amazing list of decorative items above will be given away! That means more chances to win!!

And, because it is FINALLY spring and the sun just might be shining again soon, our friend Saul at DaySpring ALSO wants to give away a GRAND PRIZE of a $100 DaySpring shopping spree to one lucky commenter! YAY SAUL!

So, if you win, what item would you choose from the list above? Leave a comment to enter! Winners will be selected on Friday 9PM PST.

If you are reading this post via email, you will need to click “Leave a comment” in order to enter. You do not have to have a blog or website to win.

The giveaway is closed!


Decorating Tables for Spring was shared at Centsational Girl!