Progress in my dining room (and some new goodies)

Posted on Tue, 26 Aug 2014 by KiM

I have been trying to enjoy summer, especially since it is winding down and frigid temperatures are right around the corner (it makes me nauseous typing that). Funny, my younger sister and her family, my husband and I and our parents were hanging out in my parents pool on the weekend talking about maybe going to Hawaii, and our typical trip to Puerto Vallarta in February…and we started laughing because it was 35 C out and we are already talking about what we plan to do to survive another Ottawa winter. Anyway, I have been spending time at their pool instead of getting much done around the house but given how much we love this place, I think we will be here a while and will have tons of time. We did venture to Montreal one day a couple of weeks ago and managed to score the coolest credenza/sideboard and light fixture for our dining room. Gawd I love them both!

The night before we went to Montreal I mentioned on Instagram that if anyone had any tips for Mtrl shopping to shoot them my way. Jennifer, my saviour, suggested checking out Benjamin Curran‘s wares. Am I ever glad I gave him a call to check out his storage space! We scored this amazing vintage walnut credenza with a Brutalist pattern for an awesome price, along with a matching highboy for my husband’s dressing room. Good bye craptastic metro shelving! I am so excited to finally have a dining room again with proper storage for dishes and whatever else I don’t want in the kitchen.

I pimped out the top of the credenza in a white and black colour scheme…for now. I always change things up.

Vintage West German vases, Green Light District Wonki Ware dessert bowls, platter and pasta bowls (my favourite dishes of all time), small bowl bowl by Don Cormier from General Fine Craft, Catherine Holm bowl from Samantha Howard Vintage, Tillandsia plant from blumenstudio, short candleholder by Normann Copenhagen from The Modern Shop, tall candleholder by John Ward from General Fine Craft

More vintage West German vases, Menu salt and pepper grinders from Greyhorne Interiors (highly recommend these grinders!!!), more Wonki Ware, pot by Hay from The Modern Shop, vintage hand-forged metal rose from the Gore St. flea market in Perth

Say hello to our new funky light fixture! Damn I love this thing! We found it at Phil’z 20th Century Furniture. We had to fold it all up to get it in our car, so when we went to install it, it took us about 20 minutes of fiddling to figure out how all the lights should be aligned.

It’s so hot. I even went and stood out on the sidewalk the night we installed it to see how it looks to passerby. *dork*

We need a bar cart. I’m over the crate filled with booze. And jeezus this room needs paint desperately. I still don’t know what colour…..

Before heading into Montreal we stopped at the flea market in LaChute. It was pretty much a waste of time – which is a disappointment because there are NO decent flea markets within several hours of Ottawa. WTF?!?! We did find a few measly items. Like this fireplace screen for $30. We haven’t had a fireplace in 7.5 years so I am determined to use this one every now and then this winter. (Gawd that brown tiles is GROSS)

A few small things – a glass serving bowl, a preserved butterfly/moth/whatever it is, a shaving brush (says GERMANY on the end of the handle) and an iron bug that I figured might be meant as a door stopper.

Bug in action under my bedroom door.

New dish for the cats’ water.

Found this super cute hanging pot at Galerie CO. What a fabulous store. I was drooling over the NLXL wallpaper sample books.

My birthday was Sunday, and my husband took me to The White Monkey, one of my favourite retro furniture stores around. Sadly, all I picked up was this mirror.

This vintage wooden toolbox from Highjinx has been on my dining table for some time, but now with a busy credenza I thought it needed a new home in my kitchen. I love it here. I just need to get some scrap wood from the hubs to line the bottom so the contents are raised up a bit.

loulou ste-adele says:

Two gorgeous purchases for sure and they will need to stand out. Must find some cohesiveness, unity. I would place the two white chairs in another room. And take out the rugs on floor, chairs. I would try to make the credenza space as a niche; cozy; texture; maybe grasscloth wallpaper. I agree for taking out the thing on top of the built-in armoire, would immediately make it more modern. Maybe I would line the back of it with same grasscloth wallpaper to create cohesion. Also, the wood of the window above credenza is kind of clashing; I would paint the window wood in a dark neutral – charcoal? navy? depending on wallpaper chosen. Maybe the wallpaper should recall the metallic of the stupendous light?
I really love your new house. Funny, I sold my house last week and contrary to you will be learning to live in a smaller space. Lots of editing in the future weeks…. not easy!

Elisabeth says:

Of course you make yourself vulnurable when showing a house in progress…. But I agree with Deon ….
Perhaps iT is wise to enlist one of your favourite interior designers. I would certainly consider iT myself! Ideal, to have a professional sparringpartner .

Groetjes , Elisabeth , Leiden the Netherlands

peggy says:

I love your new credenza! And I love the West German pottery on it. I'd like to see the top of the credenza edited a bit – but you know that's just me. Can't wait to see what you come up with for a new table and chairs.

Jess says:

I'd like to add that I enjoy seeing your house IN PROGRESS. It takes time – and, of course, money! – to change/add finishes and furniture, and it's a difficult process to nudge a house in a different design direction while respecting its own existing style. Please don't let the critics keep you from sharing these interesting steps with your readers!

d of dogland says:

Kim, Please don't get bullied into painting your woodwork by the paint brigade. I have spent many hours, days, weeks and months removing paint in old houses. It's a horrible job. Once painted, there's no easy way, if any, way back.
I have found there to be FAR LESS MAINTENANCE with unpainted woodwork. Seems like painted millwork needs constant cleaning and paint touch-ups. The same with most wood floors. I have NEVER seen newer paint wear to a perfectly, imperfect worn paint patina. That beautifully worn paint look occurs when milk paints or other old-school finishes were used and through the passage of time. It usually looks just looks it needs work and a new paint job. I can tell you my dogs nail scratches look FAR WORSE IN PAINT than on the unpainted wood.
You have a stately old home. The woodwork remained unpainted this long and there's something to be said for that. I see so much crappy painted millwork in newer homes because it's MDF, plastic or some other craptastic faux wood and must be painted. I've seen a so many homes where the real woodwork was ripped out and replaced with the painted faux stuff. UGH.
You're doing it the right way…living with it a while, work on the things that make it YOUR functional, livable, lovely, happy home. It's looking SO GOOD ALREADY! If down the road you decide to paint, okay. Around here, painting millwork is something peeps do as a fast freshen up before listing a house for sale…because the realtor (not designer, not architect, not artist or potential buyer) told them to.
Long live ECLECTIC, COMFORTABLE, TRULY LIVED IN, homes. There's a fine line between cohesiveness and matchy, matchy poo-poo.
I know there are some people want there homes to look like "model homes" that show no originality or personality. That's fine for them, they can have it. But, not everyone has to join.
It reminds me of those people who come to YOUR house to CON/CONVERT you to their religion.
It's as if they know what's BEST or RIGHT FOR YOU and WORSE STILL…they are so convinced that if you're not doing what they are do, that you are wrong. Wha huh???
By the way, there is something freakin' fantastic about the way the chandelier looks in your lovely old home than it would it a matchy "model" home.

oregonbird says:

Why am I suddenly thinking of the 'turtle table' from 'Regarding Henry'?

KiM says:

Thank you all for your comments/thoughts/advice. I have no problems with people not liking my design decisions. I just wanted to point out that I am nowhere near done so commenting on temporary items is sort of pointless.
@Ombia – thx for the bday wishes! Your cat likes to sit in water??? How unlike a cat.
@loulou – take out the rug? I'd maybe switch it but I think a rug in there makes it so much cozier. and my husband won't wreck the floor dragging his chair back as he always does. Grasscloth is a cool idea – I've never used it before. I'll keep that in mind. And painting that window frame.
@d of dogland – I mentioned in one of my first posts about this house that I am not interested in painting the wood work. Sanding and leaving it be maybe. Restaining it maybe. Painting it will look cheap, and I will only do that if I have to as a last resort. The house next door is the same, with similar woodwork and it's painted white/cream and looks blah. (see here and here)
@oregonbird – now I have to go watch that movie.

And for the record, I am not really a supporter of "cohesion". Cohesion to me means predictable, and boring.

Margaux says:

Looks like your bug is not a door stopper but a "tire bottes" useful object to pull over you dirty boots 😉
We used to have the same at my GandM'a's house.

By the way I love your credenza its fits particulary well in your dinig room !
An for a splash of color on the wall, what about a stong orange or a light blue ?

Nicole says:

Kim, your personal posts are among the ones I enjoy most on this blog. Thanks so much for sharing. I love how this space is evolving and hope you won't be deterred from sharing more of your progress by people whose word choices and 'constructive criticism' need far more editing than the spaces they feel so compelled to critique.

kate says:

love, love, love the Brutalist piece and the light fixture!!! Agree the dining table and rug are perhaps not the right scale for the room but the original woodwork and the corner unit are really lovely parts of the architecture of the house