Guest Blogger Before and After: Jennifer from The Newlywed Diaries


Hi everyone, it's Jennifer from The Newlywed Diaries here to show one of my favorite spaces in my house. First off, I just want to say that I am by no means a professional designer. I'm just a young newlywed with a desire to create a beautiful home on a real budget.


We're coming up on two years in our house, and the dining room is just now feeling "done" -- it started out as blank as it could get. It is between the kitchen and the living room, so we spend a lot of time there and wanted it to be multi-use space that was pretty and functional.

My mom found this barley-twist table at auction for a steal and gave it to us has a housewarming gift. Having a table in the room was definitely a step up from the months when our old sofa was against the wall (luckily no pictures of that exist).


Also in the room is a pair of chairs that my great-grandmother bought in the 1960s. They are in a great condition as they sat for years in a living room that was seldom used and then in an out-of-the-way corner in my family's lake cabin. I rescued them from being sent to the Goodwill when the house was redone and I love their French-inspired lines and don't care that they were mass-produced. Before: The pea-green chenille upholstery left a little to be desired.


After: I had the chairs were recovered in a simple linen with blue paisley embroidery and I cannot even express how much I love them now. (Photo by Becky-Luigart Stayner).


The other big piece in the room is a simple dresser (which also came from the lake house -- I'm not one to turn down free furniture!) that we use as a sideboard. Before: It was pretty dingy and the square drawer pulls were strange.


After: I cleaned it up and added a few coats of paint (Benjamin Moore's Stratton Blue -- leftover from my mom's living room). Oh and new hardware, though to be honest, I think I'm ready to replace those already (whoops!).

Having extra storage here has been essential. Our house is without a defined entry, so the table becomes the dumping spot for mail and whatever else. Those drawers hide a multitude of sins, and Lauren, I'm waiting on you to do a drawer clean-out so I can join!


So this is how we lived for a while. Totally fine, just nothing special. The walls are painted the same color as the living room (Benjamin Moore's Grant Beige), and my handy husband even added crown molding (painted BM Bennington Gray). Oh, and there's our dog, Maddie, can't leave her out!


Things really started to come together when we found an old lantern at a local antique shop -- exactly the kind we'd been looking for! The brass had been painted with a steel blue-gray color that went perfectly with the adjoining living room.


We had it rewired and wow! It really made a difference in the room. It was definitely the biggest single expense in the room, but was around what you might pay for a new lantern that size (believe me, I've looked at them all!). For us, its an investment that will definitely be coming with us to the next house (sorry, future home owners). The mirror was a Christmas gift from my mom last year (Brayden Arch by Uttermost, if you're interested).


Here is the room today. I hate to say "finished" because I'm like Lauren -- always moving things around -- but all of the big things are in place and we're quite pleased with how it's come together. The white upholstered chairs are our first Ikea purchase. They are super-comfortable and you really can't beat the price. It was a little scary to eat on white at first (though I actually served a red sauce the first time we used them!) but the slipcovers are machine-washable and can be purchased separately if one gets ruined.


The chairs sit under my "ironstone" platters which came from HomeGoods (my favorite!). The seagrass rug is another great HomeGoods find that really helped the room come together.


The top of the blue chest gets changed with the seasons (and according to my mood) and right now it is holding some meaningful things: the ceramic candle holder was Wes' grandmother's, the books are on my favorite subjects (decorating, collecting, cooking, old houses), the pewter pitcher has some grocery-store tulips, we picked up the old books at yard sales and flea markets, and the ruffled bowl holds Werther's candies -- Wes' favorite! I bought the marble lamp on a shopping trip with Eddie Ross in Atlanta, and the shade is from Martha Stewart's collection at K-Mart, which I dearly miss!

Whew! I think that was the longest post I've ever written -- hope you're still with me! Lauren, thank you so much for including me. I hope to meet lots of new blog friends!

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Oh.my. goodness.  Jennifer thank you so much for for sharing your gorgeous dining room with us. I think I can safely say that we're all crazy over that chair fabric!!  Your style is so beautiful & I love seeing how your space came together with things you already had & were able to completely renew.  Thank you for sharing!!

xoxo,
lauren

ps-  Don't forget to vote for Eddie's Bloomingdale's Window!  ( link at the top of the right sidebar) Dave & I are headed to NYC to celebrate (fingers crossed!) Eddie & Elle Decor's win and I'll be sure to take lots of pictures!

44 comments:

Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

What a beautiful transformation. I have seen that chair fabric either in the Hickory Chair or Hickory White fabric options (in fact I took a picture in a showroom recently as I liked it so much). Do you know who makes it?

I am off to check out your blog.

Tina said...

Hi Jennifer & Lauren! I loved your guest post Jennifer - your home is just beautiful and how divine are your chairs with that new linen fabric!!!! Congratulations on creating such a beautiful home. I love the fact that a lot of your pieces have meaning for you - somthing I try to do in my own little home. I have found your post so inspiring Jennifer, thank you:) Wishing you both a lovely day - Tina x

pve design said...

What a nice and well mannered guest today!
Love her style and that she keeps "changing" things up! Pretty home!
Be my guest, and come over and see my give-away today!
pve

Jennifer said...

Love the post! Seeing how the room has come together is such an inspiration.

Jen

Melissa said...

What a great room-- it's got such a "Cottage Living" vibe-- straight up Anne Turner Carrol style! Adding her blog to my reading list!

Gooooooooo Team Ross!

nannykim said...

I just love the way those chairs turned out! Thanks for sharing all the changes.

nannykim at http://spindlecottage.blogspot.com

paula said...

so happy you posted this lauren. I just adore jennifer and her style. Our side board is stratton blue too and I love it.

cityfarmer said...

i love the "today" shot ... but there was something simple and genteel about the "before"

white flower design said...

Hi Jennifer, you sure look like a professional designer to me! Gorgeous space, Lori

Laurie Jones said...

Beautiful room and it just goes to show the best designed room evolves over time!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Your dining room is just gorgeous and your chairs are stunning. What a lovely fabric you chose. It was so interesting to see how you walked through the whole process. Great job. I went to your blog but didn't find a follow button. I hope you add one. Hugs, Marty

Tessa said...

Hi Jennifer! Thanks for sharing the lovely transformation. If I am not mistaken, I think you are based in/near Atlanta? If so, would you please share where you had your chairs reupholstered? I have a set of chairs that are in desperate need! Thanks in advance.

Kris and Jen said...

Jennifer & Lauren,
Love the post and like everyone else LOVE those chairs and the lantern is perfect!!! I think your dining room is BEAUTIFUL and share your love of both Homegoods (if only I had more time!) and the Ikea slipcovered chair(sitting on one now that I just had embroidered with my monogram in chocolate brown,yum!)You both have amazing style and thank you for the inspiration! Jennifer
http://inyourbackpocket.blogspot.com

Deb said...

Love the guest post, those rooms are gorgeous and I love the chair fabric!

Isabella & Max Rooms said...

The chairs are DIVINE!! Great redo! Janell

Kathysue said...

Lauren thankyou for introducing me to Jennifer. Jennifer, your home is lovely and it was so fun to see the steps you have taken to make it look so inviting, nice inexpensive ways. I like that nothing was overly expensive but has the look of quality. I love the finished chairs of Grandma's you gave them a whole new life, great job!!!Kathysue

LindsB said...

Such a great dining room, I love how everything came together over time and it all looks perfect now :)

Cottage Dreamers said...

Very nice! I love the 60's chairs, they turned out incredible!

Gary said...

I think you need to case out the opening into the dining room. Copy another door frame in the house. That opening just screams that it was added later than the time the house was built.

Tammy@InStitches said...

Jennifer, your home is beautiful. I love how everything came together !

Andrea said...

SO INSPIRED!!! LOVE THE CHAIRS and the meaning behind all your accents!

Emily A. Clark said...

I so enjoyed this post and I love that dresser in both the before and after pics. Great eye!

duchess said...

Beautiful room. I love how everything came together piece by piece. I especially love the mirror & may have to look into getting one of my own since my son is named Brayden - kind of appropriate. Thanks for the tour.

nkp said...

What a truly lovely room Jennifer. You are lucky to have inherited so many great pieces. I wouldn't have turned any of them down and the fact that they come with a history makes them all the more special. The barley twist legs on the table are gorgeous and the transformation those chairs underwent is simply divine. A really wonderful room that has evolved beautifully over time. Thanks for sharing your inspirational space!

My Notting Hill said...

Looks terrific. Love the paisley print and that lantern was a great investment!

Grace said...

Jennifer, I've been reading your blog for ages now (I think you were just about Day 365 when I found you) and love your house and your inspirational photos. You have great taste, as is evident in your lovely dining room. Thank heaven you rescued those chairs - they are stunning!

Greg said...

Jennifer,

What a beautiful room! I love your chairs- they are as many have already said...STUNNING!!! Where did you find the fabric? It is just beautiful.

Great room :)
Melissa

Jennifer said...

wow, thanks everyone! your kind words definitely made my day!

for those interested the fabric on the chairs is by Suzanne Rheinstein for Lee Jofa. I believe it's called Paisley Linen.

Adventures in Dressmaking said...

Such beautiful things! You have great taste!

Maria Killam said...

Hey she has a moss ball too :) (Lauren you are an inspiration to us all) Beautiful job on the styling and the recovering!!

angela | the painted house said...

What a beautiful after! I love that she has so many meaningful pieces.

style chronicle said...

Amazing job! I want to know where she found the mirror?? I love the shape!

Blueprint Bliss said...

I just adore Jennifer and I love getting to see inside her home. She has great style and I love seeing her move things around/change things up from time to time!

The DIY Show Off said...

I'm new to Jennifer's blog and love her style. Her dining room is beautiful.

I've been voting for Eddie too. I hope you have a great trip!

Roeshel

Jennifer Sergent said...

What a transformation. Thank you for sharing -- I especially love the new upholstery on the old chairs, and the ironstone above them.

Linenqueen said...

Just a great job. My heartfelt congratulations.

May I suggest from a purely 'picture' point of view - your placement of the the two white chairs, the two white platers on either side of them on the back dining room wall - the balance would be further supported if the walls on the entry to the dining room were also balanced. Either another picture and chair opposite the one that is there or another bookcase on the left side. I personally like book cases in which one can endlessly rearrange one's small delights.

You really have done a terrific blending of your things. Please do keep up the blogging it is so interesting to see how you grow. Ann

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Oh, how fun to see this! I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer at the Eddie Ross blogger's dinner & we had fun chatting it up. Jennifer, you're doing a great job in your home, I love your style & how you're putting it all together. This is a gorgeous DR, love that lantern!

Jennifer said...

Linenqueen -- I thought the same thing the first time I saw this photo! I'm trying to gather some frames to add to the wall on the left to balance the bookshelf, just haven't found quite what I want yet! Thanks for the suggestion.

Rhoda, I loved chatting it up with you, too!

simply seleta said...

this was beautiful! loved every part. so soft and elegant. the white plates on the wall were a fav too.

B said...

I loved this post, and will certainly become a reader of the Newlywed Diaries! Thanks so much for sharing!

C.J. said...

the chairs turned out great! Room looks comfortable and inviting.

Haven and Home said...

Jennifer I love your dining room, it is perfection!

Saara @ GEORGE Interior Design said...

Jennifer - The dining room turned out beautifully! I love both of your grandma hand-me-downs. The chairs turned out so well, how lucky to have those! I have to admit, though, I really liked the dresser's "dingy" color and square knobs....maybe it was just the picture. :)

Heather said...

So pretty! I love the fabric you recovered those chairs with. Beautiful!

Heather @ REOlisticRenovation
http://www.REOlisticRenovation.com