The Dining-Almost-Al-Fresco Reveal!

Spring 2019 ORC: Week 6 {Green All The Things}

Dining almost al fresco: embracing the great light we get in our eat-in kitchen and filling it up with plants so it feels like we are eating outdoors year round. Lofty goals, I know.

I actually didn’t think we were going to finish – BUT WE DID. Which feels only slightly embarrassing when you think about what we set out to do in here. Let’s take a little trip down memory lane from the past few weeks.

If you’ve landed here from the One Room Challenge, Welcome! We’re currently working on our second home, a gloriously 80’s contemporary, located in Upstate NY. She just needs a little TLC to bring her back to her former glory. If you’d like to see some of our past work, start here.
Need a refresher? Week 1 ~ Week 2 ~ Week 3 ~ Week 4 ~ Week 5 ~ Week 6

I wasn’t sure if joining in the ORC this season was realistic, given my new career workload and social obligations that were occurring within the 6 week period. So we picked a room that I felt only needed to go from 75% to 100%. How hard can that be, right? Ha. Hahaha. Ha.

When we started the hardest parts were already done: we took down some cabinetry between this room and the kitchen a few months prior (but I never blogged about it or showed it on social media) and we hung up our chandelier that we brought with us from our previous home. All I planned to do was to remove some standing shelves and try to get my growing plant collection onto the walls and hanging from the ceiling. Add some shimmery paint to get some “quiet electricity”. Reupholster the chairs.

Easy peasy, right? Let’s put it this way – I’ve had complete gut renovations of kitchens and bathrooms go smoother than this room.

But instead of dwelling on the mishaps (catch up on the whole series, including a complete resource list and budget breakdown) – let’s focus on where we ended up!

I’m an accountant by day, so it pleases me to tabulate things I am proud of:

Times walls were basically painted white: 3

Macrame Hangers Made: 6

Chairs Covered: 4

Holes in wall behind mirror: Too many to admit (we persevered so I’m proud of this too!)

Parties thrown during the challenge / Guests hosted during the challenge: 3 / 80+!

Plants currently LIVING.THEIR.BEST.LIFE. in this room: 15!! 4 staghorns, 1 teddy bear fern, 1 lemon button fern, 1 bird’s nest fern, 2 maidenhair ferns, 1 glacier english ivy, 1 christmas cactus, 1 calla lily, 2 succulents, 1 pathos, 1 snake (and 1 fake succulent and 1 fake fiddle leaf fig!)

Lest we forget from whence we came:

This is pretty much when we first moved in and dropped our stuff down.

The above shot the most true-to-regular-life shot of this room before we started this little makeover. Not bad, right? Like I said, we were at 75%, but I knew it could be better and look more intentional and styled.

I’mma shut up now and let the pictures speak for themselves. If you have any questions check Week 5 for my resource list or leave a comment below!

This side of the room came together easily enough. I had never re-upholstered anything as of 6 weeks ago. Boom, now I have soft, luscious, hunter green velvet chairs.

We added a shelf and started filling it up with plants.  I just can’t with this little cat planter. #plantladyisthenewcatlady

I knew my plants would be happiest in front of the window, but didn’t want to drill a million holes in the ceiling. These simple dowel rods with some macrame loops are the perfect solution. I can add or move or change as I like.

The ceramic wind chimes add a nice dose of black and some whimsy.

The fiddle leaf is a pretty good fake, but I’m planning on buying a real monstera for this corner. I want to make sure I’m keeping my other little biddies alive before I invest in a bigger, more expensive plant. As a former black thumb, I’m taking things slow for a while longer.

What you can’t really see in any of these photos is the iridescent glitter in the matte white paint. I’m going to do a separate post on my trials and tribulations with glitter paint and additives. The glitter is very subtle during the day, but at night, it feels like the whole room is glowing and it’s exactly what I had hoped for!

This side of the room was another story. I had originally planned for a wall of shelves and was going to let the plants be the stars. But after realizing there are no studs in this wall, due to the stained glass pocket doors, I had to get creative.

I was nervous and probably overly cautious about the weight  of planters and wet dirt. I knew I had to think of something that could stay up with just a screw or two and anchors. I stared at this wall for the past two weeks and a few days ago it came to me – we needed a mirror in here. Luckily we already owned this multi faceted mirror that I salvaged after a panel was broken in our move.

The white semi-sphere planters arrived Tuesday night. I divided an extra plant into these and I love the way it will start to overflow over the sides as it grows.

I had to remount the staghorn that I had purchased online and added some moss to make this look cleaner and more intentional.

The most last minute project came on Wednesday (as I’m typing this) as I realized the wall to the left of the mirror was still blank and empty. I needed something light that could be held up with a command strip or a really short screw (remember, this is where the pocket doors recede into.

I took a cue from the watercolor print on the other side of the room and decided to make a simple rope and dowel wall hanging of my sons’ watercolors I had been saving from pre-school. Best part – these are held up by clear thumbtacks – no studs, no problem!

I knew this would either look completely cheesy or, if I was lucky, like some high art house fa-shun.

I am in love. I can be a sucker for trends (hello plants, white and brass, mid century modern home!) but I am also a sucker for the little quirks. The sentimental items. The stuff with a story. Some might look at these and laugh or even cringe – but to me, they are the most important things in the room. My boys made these paintings, and to me, they are priceless.

My heart feels happy. This got mushy fast, eh?

I think we did alright in here. I’m looking forward to all of the messy meals and birthdays and holidays in this space.

75% to 100%. 110%.

Gah. All the stress of the past few weeks was soooo worth it. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Linda for creating such a fun, challenging, and positive environment for so many DIY and interior design bloggers. Thank you to all of the featured and guest participants, and to the all the spectators that have left so many comments here and on IG, encouraging us all along as we march through all of our design dilemmas and come out on the other side. I LOVE this community.

6 replies
    • Kayla
      Kayla says:

      Thank you Angela! We are really enjoying this little corner of our home. It almost makes me want to cook! Ha.

  1. Jen @ Noting Grace
    Jen @ Noting Grace says:

    WOW WOW WOW! This is so much more open and brighter! I love all your macrame – I’ve always wanted to try to DIY some for myself and this truly inspires me! Congrats on a stunning reveal!

    • Kayla
      Kayla says:

      Thank you Jen! Your kitchen came out great too! Macrame is so easy – I think I’m going to try to video/photograph a tutorial soon…


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