My mom was a fantastic cook. She was notorious for cooking huge dinners for any and every occasion. The 4th of July, Thanksgiving, even Back to School. Yup…school was a celebration for my mom! Last year, she decided to start up the tradition of cooking for Juneteenth. Unfortunately, she wasn’t here for the second annual festivities or to see Juneteenth become a federal holiday this year.
Inadvertently, this dining room makeover for The One Room Challenge became an homage to my mom. She’s everywhere in the space: her pictures on the wall and on the bookcase, the lamps she was so excited about, the flower pot that she gave me right before she passed away. Even the dice on the bookcase is a tribute to her. She was famous for her “dice game” that she played with everybody she met. I didn’t set out for the dining room to become a place of memorial for her, but it seemed like it just happened that way. That is the crazy thing about grief; you don’t really understand truly how it’s going to manifest itself. You have to lean in to whatever your heart is instructing you to do. I guess it was just an instinct to put reminders of her around the dining room.
Before the One Room Challenge began, we demolished the former ceiling (bye bye bulkheads!), put in new insulation, and installed new drywall. I’ll detail that in a later post.
When we moved in, this space was set up for a living/dining combination room. It has always been my vision to have a formal dining room for entertaining. The former room felt enclosed and overly formal with the bulkheads trimming out the ceiling, rosette crown molding, and an offset medallion. The entire ceiling was covered in popcorn texture as well. Even the front entryway felt closed off. It all screamed dated. Plus, we wanted the room to feel fresh.
Ironically, we retained the mirror wall. Too many fun memories of loved ones dancing in its reflection! We did not get a chance to build a floating shelf above the mirror like we originally wanted to as illustrated in the original mood board.
The color of the room was to be communicated in the artwork. The white walls really allow the artwork to shine and inject the color in the gallery wall. Colors you find repeated in the dining room are black, blue, white, cream, green, and a touch of pink. I also was very interested in introducing lots of patterns and textures to the space. The beaded leopard print pillows, weighty sheer curtains, and tweed-like seat cushions created depth.
The One Room Challenge is officially over for the spring of 2021! Did we complete the project fully? Absolutely not. But I am satisfied with the dining room’s current state. We enjoy entertaining our closest friends and family. Now, we have a very special place for us to celebrate around food just like my mother always did.