At long last, I’m ready to show you the progress I’ve made in the breakfast nook! There are a few things I still want to do in this space, but for now I’m really happy with the way it’s coming along.
The ‘after’ in this post is coming to you in two parts. You might recall from the inspiration post that Chester and I had a debate about the table. We both love it, but to me it just seemed like too much wood with the floor and bench seats. Chester, who rarely expresses an opinion about decorating, liked it just as it was. Then this fall I found a tulip table (from Ikea–not the real thing. I wish!) on Craigslist. So, version 1 of the ‘after’ includes the original table and version 2 is the tulip table.
This is what it looked like before:
Looking at this sunny picture from the depths of darkest January makes me yearn for light! But, apart from the lack of sun, the nook is looking a lot better now. Here is the ‘after,’ Version 1:
And here is Version 2:
The rug is an eBay find. With two dogs on constant high alert snack-patrol, it’s holding up well. I made the bench seat cushions with 2 inch foam. I’ve done enough upholstery projects now to know that cutting foam is a boar, so I went ahead and bought this electric carving knife and it made a huge difference. The electric knife cut the foam like warm butter and left a nice even edge. The fabric is canvas-like utility mattress ticking. I sewed a zipper onto the back edge of the cushion covers so that they can be easily removed and washed when the inevitable hairball/muddy dog nose/marginally potty trained kid/coffee splash accident happens.
I also bought a Rust-Oleum cherry stain touch-up pen to repair and conceal scratches on the wood benches, and it worked wonders. Most of the scratches can be traced back to the incorrigible Winifred. I am happy to report that her behavior has improved considerably, especially in the table-cruising category. It’s been at least two months since I’ve caught her with all four paws on the table–progress!
Oh, and at last the walls are white! This has made a huge difference in the whole living room–I can’t wait to show you changes that we’ve made there too!
Here’s a breakdown of the differences between the two versions and the various things I did in each.
The chair in Version 1 is another craigslist score, and I’m not sure whether it’s the real thing or not, but it’s got a solid metal base and seems like it’s a quality piece of furniture. It was covered in hideously stained burgundy suede when I got it.
Because this is where Opal usually sits, I reupholstered the seat with easy to clean oilcloth.
The artwork hanging in the corner is a pair of cross-stitched pansies that I found at a thrift store. The reddish-purplish pillows are from eBay (they are the “Morroccan” pillows mentioned here that I got for a song because of a fortuitous (and embarrassing) misspelling on my part and the part of the seller). The blue pillow is one that I sewed from my fabric stash.
Now for the specifics of . . . VERSION 2:
This version includes the sweet old bentwood chairs that I picked up at a thrift store a while ago. I love bentwood, and I love caning, and these chairs have both. I gave them a little rub down with Restor-a-Finish and they look much revived.
The artwork in the corner is a card from Carol Bryner that she gave to me when I got married. The portrait of Steinbeck underneath the shelves is another eBay find.
I have to say that I think the tulip table looks better, but the wood table is more solid and more tactilely pleasing. What do you think? Which version should we go with?
I’m still working on a pendant light fixture, and I’m trying to figure out blinds or curtains so that I can filter those glorious rays of sunshine that are coming our way in a mere 90 days or so (cue close up scene of a chapped wintery lips heaving a heavy sigh).
Thanks for reading along, have a great week everyone!