We needed more space to paint furniture, which my parents' house provides. We also needed some space to practice our home improvement skills. You know, when it's not our house we're practicing on. Besides, my parents are semi-retired and rarely in Charlotte anyway, so they won't notice, right? Seriously, though, everyone knows it's not the right time to sell a slightly outdated house, so we're hoping to be the best renters ever and make much-needed improvements to the house while my parents wait for the market to improve. We will be honored to have you come along with us on this journey of transforming a classically 1990's house (complete with a Vanilla Ice poster in my brother's room) into a home fit for a more 21st Century pop princess (for example, 30-year-old Britney instead of "Baby One More Time" Britney.) You get it.
The first room my sister and I tackled (over my mom's objections) was the dining room. I'll let the pictures tell the story -
Here's a close-up of the wallpaper, in case the magnolias weren't obvious enough -
We wanted to bring the room into this century, so we did the following: took down the wallpaper border (with glee); painted above and below the chair rail with a lovely gray color, sweet-talked my dad into hanging a newly-painted chandelier (we found a hideous brass one at Habitat for Humanity ReStore and painted it black); and staged to perfection. Oh, we might have evicted an oversized plant and a couple of really country-kitchen accessories, too. Sorry, Mom. They were fashionable in their day.....we think.
At last, the AFTER pictures - it's a room you can eat in without stirrup pants now! No perms required! (Note: in 1991, when this room was first decorated, both my sister and I had spiral perms. We were hot.)
Also, astute readers of Dumped and Discovered will note that we replaced the more traditional buffet with the one that we just painted - lovely! Nothing like a new paint job to make you want to replace all the furniture in a room, right?
One question for you lovely readers - we are having a battle with my mom about whether or not to take the "inserts" out of the windows. We took them out for these photos, but it turns out my mother is rather attached to them. What do you think? Inserts or no inserts?