We haven’t been posting much because we’ve been working on the dining room nonstop. We’re really stoked to start demolishing rooms again — our favorite part of renovating! — so we’re hustling to get the dining room finished. Bradley finished plastering on Friday night, and on Saturday morning, we whipped out our paint brushes and rollers.
In case anyone’s wondering why it took us so long to plaster the walls, it’s because we’ve decided to do smooth, sleek walls rather than textured walls. We had to spend a lot of time making sure our plastering was 100% perfect because we can’t just hide the flaws under stucco or spackle. We also did trimless windows, which means we can’t just hide imperfections under trim. But all the work we put in upfront paid off, because we ended up with walls that are perfectly smooth:
Like a baby’s bottom.
On Saturday morning, we vacuumed all of the walls and floors to make sure no dust was left on anywhere. We scrubbed the brick wall to get rid of any lingering plaster and loose bits of mortar:
We love our raw brick walls, but we hate how much they shed. A few months ago, we tried a brick sealer for the walls upstairs and they’ve completely stopped shedding. We picked up another gallon for the wall downstairs:
What we love about this sealer is that it doesn’t look glossy when dry. It darkens the brick a little, but it doesn’t look like it’s been sealed or painted. And it stops the wall from flaking. Here’s how our brick looked after one coat:
Exactly the same as before, but better. We plan on using it on our concrete sills to protect them from stains.
We spent all day Saturday painting the brick and priming the walls. On Sunday morning, the room was ready for some color:
We went back and forth on a lot of colors for the walls. At one point, there were easily 30 paint chips hanging on the walls. The one we both agreed on was this:
SW6204 Sea Salt is a cool blue-green neutral from Sherwin Williams. We went with a low luster finish — it’s sort of a semi-gloss, but without too much sheen.
Before we decided on the color, we hung a paint chip in the room and checked on it at different times throughout the day. We loved how the color went from a subtle greige in the morning to a calm blue-green in the afternoon, and then finally a more dramatic green at night. We were a little panicky when we looked at the same chip in the Sherwin Williams store and it looked white. But that just goes to show you that paint color really depends on the lighting of the room.
Here’s Bradley getting the paint party started:
And now for the fun part — the before & afters. Remember how fugly this room used to be? No? Feast your eyes on this:
That’s how the same corner looks today. Boom! Not fugly anymore! Here’s the set of doors that lead to the basement (left), the front entrance (middle) and the living room (right):
The most obvious change in that corner is that we got rid of the basement door (we have another entrance outside). Can we talk about how hideous our paint color choice looks next to those orangey-brown doors?
We considered removing the doors completely because we like the open look, but we kind of need them. In the winter, we use the doors to direct heat to rooms that we’re using. For example, if we’re in the living room, we can shut the door to the hallway so the air has to flow into the living room. And when we go to bed, we can open the hall door and shut the living room doors (there are 2) so heat bypasses that room and flows up to the bedrooms.
Instead of getting rid of the doors completely, we’re going to replace them with something much more elegant. The door on the left will be a glass sliding door. The one on the right will be a glass pocket door that tucks away neatly into the wall when not in use.
While we’re on the subject of ugly doors, this is what the dining room entry used to look like:
And this is how it looks with our new door, trimless windows and concrete window sills in place:
We went with a basic door and hardware from Lowe’s. The little window above the door was a custom order from a local glass company (the same one we use to get our custom cut mirrors and glass for frames). It cost about $22.
We love how the crisp white looks next to the sea salt blue. It’s such a happy, beachy color.
We’re really happy with the way our windows turned out. The sills have some plaster residue on them that we need to wash off, but we’re really digging the way the textured concrete looks next to the smooth walls.
Here’s a project that we completely failed to photograph and share on the blog:
Bradley whipped up this cabinet one weekend while I was out of town. This is going to be part of the radiator cover that we’ll make next weekend. Check out the bottom shelf:
Routers are total eyesores, no matter how well-designed they are. So we decided to make a cabinet to hide ours — plugs, wires and all. Bradley built this cabinet with a plug-in on the back. Once we have the door on, we’ll never have to see that tangle of wires again. We can store things in the cabinet that we would use in the dining room but don’t necessarily want to see all the time (our pile of boardgames, for example). Gotta love functional built-ins!
If you want to see some more before pictures of our dining room, check out this post. We’ll be back with more updates from the home front. Stay tuned!