Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dining Room in a Rental

What? It's been almost three weeks since my last post? Really?? My, where have I been and what have I been doing? Well, just two things. Work and travel. Oh, yeah, and a little project, too. It's been kind of a whirlwind between working ( too much) and I've been to Tampa, Denver, Seattle and back to Chicago.

I realized this week that we moved into this townhouse rental one year ago. It's been a bit of struggle for me settling into and decorating this place and I'm just now feeling like I'm at home here. I've had to decorate on a very tight budget and use my hodge podge leftover furniture that we didn't move down to our Florida home. For months I've felt like we were living in an apartment much like the one we put together as newlyweds- sort of a mix of mismatched hand me downs.

Over the past year I've unified most of my furniture with a coat of white paint. This past week I painted the dining room table. The table was purchased for this very small room and it's the perfect size. It's from the Better Homes and Gardens collection that Walmart sells.

I lightly sanded the top and primed it with a tinted Behr primer/paint in Promenade 400f-5. I painted a second color called Irving Heights 10573 by Walmart paints.

Then I used a creamy white I've used on the other pieces I painted throughout the house.

(Whoa, what the...? I don't know what happened here. I've painted hundreds (lots) of pieces over the years and I've never seen anything like this before.)

...nothing, though, that a little sanding and another coat paint couldn't fix. Then, a schmear of dark walnut stain and lots more sanding and distressing topped off with a coat or two of satin polyacrylic.

I didn't have any dining chairs so I bought a couple of slipcovered chairs from Ikea. They were only $79 each. I love them! These will easily be incorporated into our Florida home once we move there. I'm using a garden bench in the dining room too. I don't have any outdoor space for it, so I'm using it inside. The bench color was the inspiration for the under colors on the table. I wanted the table to look old and worn with a history of different colors peeking through.

So, although we're in a rental this place is feeling more cozy and homey. There are still some changes I'd like to make if our landlord allows.

What about you? Any of you renting and having a tough time making the space feel like you and your haven? I'd love to hear what you've done to make the place "yours".

Tomorrow is the official start of summer! Any plans? I know blogland has a tons of parties planned and I'll be visiting a bunch. Hope to see you around!

Linking to the parties:


  1. I'm a renter also and good thing my landlord allows me to make this place my own. I've changed out light fixtures (but saved the old ugly ones to put back before I move), painted the walls, and of course added lots of decor through thrifting and making them my own on a very tight single mom's budget. Hmmm, I think I just summed up my blog right here. LOL Your table looks great!

  2. Great job on your table! I also love the pillow on your bench - so pretty!! Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

  3. There's just one word for your dining room, charming. I love the way you styled the basket, it's the perfect finishing touch.

  4. The bench is awesome! The chairs OMG 79.00! I so need an IKEA near me. Are they comfy?

  5. The table is beautiful and I love the chairs that you picked up. Ikea is so great. :)
    Enjoy your weekend!

  6. Wow, what a great job you did on the table! Lot's of hard work that was I bet. It looks beautiful. I love the chairs and bench as well! Your rental looks like home sweet home to me!!


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