If you had told me one year ago that I would have a dining room or even wanted a dining room I would have told you: "That's ridiculous!!!"
Going back over the years, a dining room was never important ...a small table in a corner of the living room, for four to enjoy a little dinner, was more than we ever needed!!! Who had people over for dinner any more?
Boy.... was I wrong!! It wasn't three months after we moved in, that we were squeezing seven at our kitchen table for our first Dinner Party!!! I could not believe it.......I needed a DINING ROOM.........I WANTED A DINING ROOM !
For years, if a bunch of us wanted to have a nice dinner together.......we made RESERVATIONS!!! Not in this new phase of our lives.... and the biggest surprise of all.... I LOVE IT!!!
Going back a couple of months, after that little dinner for seven, I had a problem. How did I create a dining room in a house that didn't have one....and how did I convince Master Carpenter to go along with this insane idea? Fate! Simple FATE came to the rescue!
I had volunteered to be part of a welcoming group to ...you guessed it......Welcome the newcomers to SunCity! The first couple I visited had just finished enclosing their small "veranda" into a sunroom. They converted the space that we had JUST enclosed with screens, only they used WINDOWS!!! Instantly, the EPIPHANY hit me! Not two seconds passed before I had the entire picture of a dining room in my devious little mind!
Somehow, and I am still a little puzzled at this, Master Carpenter let me proceed with this insanity! I made a few phone calls, and in less than a week the man who had installed the screens was standing in the space telling us how he could replace them with insulated windows without any problem. A carpet store was giving us an estimate for wall to wall carpeting to put over the concrete pad and how to insulate and keep out all moisture. This was really becoming a reality!
Well, the bones of the project were in place....now how to make it a dining room? Without hesitation I thought of the white drapery panels that were in all the other rooms. They would be perfect to cover the windows, and the one existing outside wall of the house!! Decided to worry about the hanging of them later and went on line and ordered the panels. First I ordered 11, then I re-figured and ordered 3 more. In the end we took the three that were outlining the sliding doors and put them in the mix.............ending up with 17 drapery panels! I imagine Ballard Designs must think I am reselling them! I saved a fortune ordering them on line....no shipping charges during a Holiday special...and I had them shipped to our daughter in North Carolina so I wouldn't have to pay sales tax.
Now, enter Design Granddaughter and Patti, my daughter. Patti wanted an idea for a Christmas gift. That was easy....commission Erica to do an art piece to hang on the "drapery wall" (the outside wall covered with the panels). On Christmas morning I was speechless when the piece Erica did was "unwrapped"!!! It's amazing, absolutely amazing! The textures, fabric and materials are unbelievable!
The lighting for the room was another stroke of luck. First of all there are two recessed lights in the bead-board ceiling. Because the space was designed as an outdoor space there was power for a ceiling fan. This was all I needed to have the opportunity to install a chandelier. As you all know I jump at any excuse to add another chandelier to my home! I looked on line and saw the "usual " and found one or two that would fit into my "Budget"......speaking of budgets... this entire adventure never had a budget....it just happened....but to make it appear sound-worthy, I created a budget! That way if I stayed under budget .....I was ahead! Now you understand what is meant by " MY DEVIOUS MIND"!!!! Getting back to the chandelier....I knew of a local lighting store and decided to check it out before ordering the one on line. There it was.....I found the one I thought would add character to the room. It was completely the opposite of the rest of the elements in the room. Elaborate shades, leather trim and curves! Perfect! The price was greatly reduced, GREATLY!!! ...but.... it had a SOLD tag on it. I asked if I could order another one and was informed it was discontinued and this was the last one. But.....the sales associate said that the buyer hadn't paid for it or had come in to pick it up and they had been holding it for over two weeks! I said: "I'll pay for it and take it home NOW." To be fair, and small business people here in Georgia are very fair, she asked if I would wait one more day. She would call the first buyer and give her one more day to come for it. I called the next afternoon and by the close of the business day, it was in the truck on my car!
Moving right alone....we needed some seating! Erica strongly suggested, due to our "budget
demands, we look at World Market. To my pleasant surprise they had great chairs that would fit the room that were priced (with coupons, specials, and you name it!) at two chairs for $79. We bought four. We have four chairs in the kitchen that we can use for the Dinner for Eight!
Now.....I know by now you are asking: "WHERE IS MASTER CARPENTER?"
There is one element that a dining room needs that I haven't mentioned. THE TABLE. All during this period he is designing, planning and purchasing the supplies. I think Master Carpenter will let me share on his genious! He designed the table around a solid wood door from Lowes! Price..$54. Oh, so in that BUDGET!! It is 30" x 80" to fit the proportions of the small room 7.5" x 14'. We can comfortable sit three on each side and one at each end. Perfect! The actually construction went very slowly. I think everyone knows about our freezing weather and that made it impossible for Master Carpenter to work in the garage. Even an electric space heater didn't help! Finally after the table was built, we had to wait for the temperature to go over 50 degress to apply the stain and the polyurethane. The temperature stayed over 50 all this week and yesterday morning it was IN PLACE!....just in time for it's Debutant Ball last night! Ten wonderful friends came over to celebrate our new room and we had a Grand Time!!!
Remember my comment on deciding how we were going to hang the drapery panels? Poor Master Carpenter. We had many plans and ideas. We thought of closet poles, piping ...we were all over the place. We needed something that would allow me to pull the panels back and forth. At night the room is enclosed in white drapes... eating in the clouds! Then, during the day, they are opened, letting in all the natural daylight. He ended up buying regular metal drapery poles. The length of the panels are 96" ....we needed them to cover all the windows and if we went up to the ceiling they would be 6 inches too short. The panels came 96" and 108". When you buy ready made merchandise you don't have that many choices and you work with what you can. Thinking we had the exact height to cover the windows and hang off the floor Master Carpenter hung the hardware. Have you figured out what happened? Yes.....they were hung too low and when we put the panels up they didn't cover the top of the windows. "Not So Happy Master Carpenter" rehung all the rods! A little hint. When you purchase ready mades, at least the ones I did, all the panels are not the same length!! They are "about" 96 inches, none of the 17 are the same. When hung at either side of a window, one would never notice.
About a week ago, Master Carpenter and I removed the two sliding doors and placed them in the garage. That was not an easy job....they are really, really heavy! We are leaving the framework and the shades in place...the screens are in the attic. All I can say at this point is that one Dear Friend suggested we keep them.....saying "Patty, you never know, the next homeowner of this house might want them rehung!"...............................
To sum up the past few months I can attest that this has been the largest and most expensive EPIPHANY I have had! One of the Best and one that so many were involved with! Thank you Master Carpenter, Patti, Mark, Maggie, Erica, and John for helping to bring home the door and lumber in his truck!
Don't think I'm finished..............my DEVIOUS MIND is at work already. Stay tuned!!