Last month I shared our vision for the dining room and some inspiration photos. Well, since then I've been concentrating on building the dining room table, which is a knock off of the Salvaged Wood Beam Table from Restoration Hardware. I used plans from Ana White (although my table is a foot longer than the plans) and also referenced the build notes and tips on Shanty 2 Chic to make sure I was doing everything right. This was only the second piece of furniture I've built by myself, and although it's not 100% perfect (mostly due to warped wood), I'm really happy with it so far.
I won't go into a huge amount of detail on the build process, because it is covered really well in Whitney's post that I linked to above. Just a few progress shots of the build...like the cut 4x4s for the legs. Fun fact about 4x4s in our area, Lowes and Home Depot don't stock untreated 4x4s for some reason. So I had to call around to multiple lumber yards to find one that had the untreated 4x4s. And then when we got there, there were only about 10 to choose from, so I had to make do with the least-warped ones I could find.
Even with some warped wood to deal with though, the frame came together pretty easily. Note that I said easily, not quickly! I am still super slow at carpentry, especially when it comes to screwing in large pocket screws--my arms and shoulders were sore for days. In this picture you can see that I followed Whitney's suggestion to use Gorilla Tape instead of clamps on the diagonal pieces, which worked wonderfully. However, one place where I did deviate from the plans is I flipped the table base upside down to screw the diagonals in from the bottom, instead of down through the top, as it was in the plans. I wanted to make sure that I had no screws showing that I'd have to patch with wood filler, because I'm still having issues in a few spots from the wood filler on the coffee table I finished last month (which I'll get around to posting about at some point).
And the completed table base, other than the side 2x4s that the table top will be screwed into. Yes, our garage is a mess. Just keeping it real, building furniture isn't a very clean and tidy activity!
Next came the table top. Which was a big PITA, wrestling the really heavy pieces of wood into place with a million pocket screws.
The upside down completed table top, where you can see all of the pocket holes.
And then an hour and a half or so of sanding later, with several passes of 80 grit, then 180 grit to get a nice smooth finish on the top.
Unfortunately, I wasn't done there. Due to the warped 4x4s, once I had the table top on top of the base, it had a bit of a rock to it, like a teeter totter. Dang center piece was warped up, so it was higher in the middle and my table top wouldn't sit flat. So I got myself a new toy, a Power Planer, to shave off the warped section.
Also, in this photo you can see the addition of the 2x4s that are parallel to the center support of the table base, which the table top is screwed into. It's not called for in the plan, but I added two additional pieces of 2x4 with glue and pocket screws to bridge the gap between the side 2x4s and the center, just to make things a little more secure and supported, since I was adding an extra foot to the overall design of the table.
Once I got the table base frame shaved down a bit though, we had a mostly finished table! I've still got to stain and seal it, but that shouldn't take too long since I don't have to do any wood filler. And we are waiting until the table is brought inside to actually attach the top to the base, since this thing is heavy and it will be much easier to carry it in through doors with the two pieces separate. So, almost done, but not quite. I don't even want to guesstimate how many hours this took me to build. About a month of weekends and some evenings and around $200 in wood...but still better than paying the $3400 full retail price of the Restoration Hardware table!
In other dining room progress news, my husband installed our new Pottery Barn light fixture last weekend. And I am in love. LOVE! We hadn't had a light in here for over a year, ever since we took the hideous one down that came with the house when we scraped the popcorn ceilings. No way I was putting something that ugly back up, so we've just lived without a light since we moved in. Considering the dining room has been practically empty, it hasn't been a big deal. But this week I've found myself going in there multiple times, just to look at the pretty new light!
My husband had to use a piece of wood spanning these two old shelves to hold the heavy fixture up near the ceiling, so he could wire everything, and then attach the plate to the ceiling. Apparently (from his Engineer perspective) it is a dumb design, because the glass pendants all come attached to the cords, so it is really heavy and awkward to install--he would have much preferred to have the glass shades separate and attach them after the fixture was in place on the ceiling. But he did agree that the minor annoyance of the install was still better than trying to make a similar fixture ourselves, which I'd originally considered as a cost-saver.
Here's the fixture with the lights off.
Seriously, so, so in love with these glass shades and their subtle texture.
It puts off a neat pattern on the ceiling too. It will be really interesting to see how this effect looks when the walls and trim are painted, since everything is looking pretty beige at the moment. But I might need to reconsider my desire to do a beadboard ceiling, since the lights already give off a textured look, which is what I was craving for the ceiling.
The walls in here are still kind of crazy though. My husband removed the wallpaper for me (while I was out of town on a girls weekend--so sweet of him!), but now we've got a ton of puttied patches that still need to be sanded. But soon the dark trim and the area below the chair rail will be painted bright white, we'll add wainscoting detail and the top half of the room will be painted a dark blue.
I've got my paint samples up already, to see what they look like in different lighting, and I'm really undecided, so may have to make my husband pick the winner. The left is Vermont Slate, which is on the same paint chip as our adjacent kitchen and family room color, just darker, and the one on the right is In The Midnight Hour. I really love the more grey undertones of the Vermont Slate, but also like the richness of In The Midnight Hour. However I hesitate to pull the trigger on Midnight Hour because it definitely feels a bit nautical to me, and nautical is not what I'm going for in here at all.
At night, lights on.
Daytime, lights off.
I feel like I like Midnight Hour more with the lights on and Vermont Slate more with them off! Decisions, decisions.....
Anyway. Last dining room update, we've got all 8 chairs now, which were put together while watching football this past weekend. The side chairs will eventually be painted a medium/light grey and reupholstered with a dark blue geometric print. But you can't see the larger end chairs because they're covered to minimize cat hair exposure. Bonus points if you can spot the two cats in this photo!
Have you been working on any home updates that need to get done before the holidays start? And I'd love to hear if you have any opinions between my two paint swatches!