When we moved into our apartment, the dining room had just been painted light green. A few months later, I recovered the dining room chairs with green fabric. I didn’t go looking for green, it was just serendipity. But it sparked a trend. I moved a green chair into the corner of the room. Then I sewed a green curtain to hide the litter box and our bikes. And then I bought some green lamps and rewired them. The dining room has officially become the green room.
Here’s what it looked like in 2008 when we moved in.
New Piano Bench
When I plucked this piano bench off a neighbor’s porch (she didn’t want it anymore) it was in sad, sad shape. The blue fabric was stained and dirty, and the foam underneath had dissolved into several cupfuls of orange powder that rained down on my feet when I ripped off the cover. I thought about keeping the bench dark wood, but someone had taken a router to make a groove around the edge. That part was raw wood. So I decided to paint the underside of the bench lid and the raw strip green. I thought it would be funky. Nope. It was ugly. DIY fail. (I forgot to snap a photo.)
My next move was to recover the bench. Instead of replacing the foam, I made do with a thin layer of batting. I had big plans to put a large plant on top of the bench and I thought the foam might make it tippy. I also used a stain pen to cover some of the worst scratches. Ta da!
I love that fabric. It’s Pocketbook from Heather Bailey’s Nicey Jane collection. It’s just thin cotton, so it may not hold up well, but it has been a great temporary solution. Here’s the inside. I’m using it to store tablecloths, and you can see the green I used for the botched paint job.
If I really wanted it to look professional, I’d trim the fabric on the underside of the lid and glue some green gimp or piping over the staples. But let’s face facts. I’m a busy lady.
The dining room gets more light than most of the other rooms, so it holds most of our plant life. Plus, plants are green. A while back I added some dangling air plants. And the latest addition is a planter full of succulents. I really love how they look, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they survive.
For a long time the wall above the credenza held just one thing — a map that portrays how many men Napoleon lost in the War of 1812. The thickness of the line corresponds to the size of the army. The tan line is the march to Moscow, and the black line is the retreat. It’s a pretty cool graphic, but it looked lonely all by itself.
I knew I wanted to do a gallery wall, but I couldn’t find a pleasing configuration. The extra art we had laying around was the wrong shapes and colors. It just didn’t fit. So I collected a few things and bided my time.
And here’s what it looks like today. It could still use some work, but I consider it a huge improvement. The reflections make it difficult to see, but the wall now holds the Napoleon graphic, an old map of Montana (my husband’s home state), an even older map of North Dakota (my home state), a picture of a buffalo that needs a new frame, a photo of my grandparents, a Picasso print that doesn’t quite fit, and a random old photo of a police officer (garage sale find).
The dining room fan has never been quite right. The blades drooped like the petals of a wilted flower. And when you turned the fan on, the whole fixture shook and shuddered. So we kept it off. Then one day I had a flash of insight. What if I removed the fan blades? I thought it might look cleaner. And so I took out a screwdriver and got to work.
It looks . . . better, I think. But it’s still odd. If it were my house, I’d pick out an entirely new fixture. But, of course, it isn’t my house.
My next project involves sewing new green placemats. Our current ones are orange, and they look horribly out of place in our very monochromatic dining room.