Sylvia’s Makeover: Dining Room
This dining room makes me so happy, so joyful. We had to cut a lot from the video to make it bite-sized for the digital audience, but one of the things that got edited out was Ricky saying that he really wanted to have family dinners around the table. It’s not that Sylvia and Riccardo rejected this idea, they just hated their dining room, it was a dumping ground for papers and mail but that was about it. They never ate there and while it was a cute room, it was lacking the love it needed.
The table was too big, and it was one of those high tables, like at a weird airport restaurant, that I find really uninviting. I understood why they chose not to hang out here. So, they sold their table and chairs and organized their paperwork so when we came in it was completely empty. The flooring was bad linoleum which could have been worse, but when said they would donate the wood flooring for the project I jumped at the chance to make it wildly better.
We put paneling in the dining room, as you know, which is officially my favorite thing to do to an older house to add character. DO THIS. I explain the whole process in the master bedroom post. Additionally you might be noticing that there was indeed wood flooring under the linoleum but we didn’t find that out until it was too late and the new flooring was on site. The original floors were far too damaged to keep and would have needed days of repair work that we didn’t have. I explained more about this in the living room post (check it out).
Once the paneling was up, it was such a pretty room. It has great windows and light and pretty moulding and architecture.
We painted the walls above the paneling a wonderful blue, (Newburyport Blue by Benjamin Moore) which is also my front door color and I LOVE it. I like to go darker in a dining room, since it’s more of a temporary space (meaning you don’t spend as much time in there as other rooms) you can do something bolder and cozier.
After that, it was just a matter of decorating that room with furniture that was more proportionate, stylish and functional.
Here you go:
I go back and forth on what my favorite room is in the house, but right now this is the winner. Everything is pretty simple in here – that and are a great match that feels both a little unexpected and yet not risky. The (by Nate Berkus for Target) added so much to the space – their thick texture, and classic pattern elevated it to look modern and fresh.
There was a bit of a curtain debacle, however. We hired a seamstress off of Taskrabbit to hem all the curtains in the house and I was busy filming in the back room when she did all the measurements. It seemed like a no-brainer since all the curtain rods were in the whole house were hung at the moulding, but the moldings were at different heights in the various rooms, so when she brought them back, the day of the final install they were way too long in the dining room (thus the puddling). No big deal, but, no, that is not intentional. We ran out of time to have them re-sewn and these are too thick what with their open weave to be properly held up by hemming tape.
We cheated it in this photo but you can see the big old puddle in the first photo. I don’t hate a puddle, but I prefer a kiss. Should that be the name of my first album? Or just on my gravestone? The room had a few smaller pieces of furniture – this parsons bar/cabinet which was great:
I love that so much – it has a classic deco/modern feel to it. I had to, obviously, put in a framed photo of my kids in their house somewhere. That piece of art is an original collage that I thought was just so happy and fun (I’ve hoarded it for a while) and I thought it gave the dining room a lot of life.
I love the view of the living room from the dining room – its so inviting and that archway is so pretty and special.
The is from Target as well, which is great and so affordable, and the was a last minute buy because the color of the wood table got lost on the wood flooring.
We needed something to break up the two dark tones, that rug has pretty metallic strips running through it.
This might be my favorite shot of the whole house makeover. It really shows how open it all flows and how the two spaces worked with each other to be inviting, fun happy and cohesive.
Wait. Strike that. This is my favorite shot:
I will forever hear her voice when I see this image – she was laughing and crying and it was so infectious. Her voice was full of such shock, joy and gratefulness. It will truly be something that makes me feel happy. Forever. Like tears kind of happy.
A huge thanks to Target for supporting this project. It’s not like they had written this into our agenda, it wasn’t on our 2016 projected partnership projects. I’m so proud that they are a company full of people that see the value in projects like this and create flexibility to be able to accomplish them. Based on your comments and shares I think that they’ve officially seen that this was the right thing to do. So thanks, you guys, for showing your support and love for both Target and this project.
Sylvia and her family are so grateful – they text me ALL THE TIME with little ‘thank you’s’ or the more frequent ‘I can’t stop crying’ from Riccardo (how sweet is that? he reads your comments and texts me all the time). It’s insanely touching and so amazing to hear.
I’m actually bawling right now as I write this. Maybe it’s because I’m on a flight, my first of three work trips to New York in the next three weeks, missing my kids desperately. Maybe it’s because being a working mom can feel so helpless, sad, endless, exhausting and even painful at times, despite feeling so empowering at others. Or maybe it’s because I know that I have someone, Sylvia, whom they love there in my absence (which makes me happy/tearful in a different way), and now I know that she, definitely, feels how valued she is by my family. This is not a normal situation to be in because most moms don’t get to makeover their nanny’s home. The whole thing was and will forever be such a wonderful and life-changing opportunity – for them and me. In case you missed the full reveal video:
Like I said (and as you can see from the video), this project is a Win, win, win.
(P. S. Thanks for all your many comments and support. I told my team that for the first time ever they were to delete any negative comments immediately before they could be read by Sylvia and her family (just in case, as there is a lot of ugly hate out there on the internet) but I’m happy to report they didn’t have to delete ONE comment. That’s amazing. Your comments brought us all to tears. She and Riccardo are so grateful for your positivity and I truly think they they now know there is love and support for them beyond their immediate community. Thank you, guys).
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*Photography by . Great design/styling help from Peter Dolkas, Video by.