Sunday, October 20, 2013

You Light Up My Life

My mom came in on Wednesday and left eeeeearly this morning. In her wake, she left our house that much more improved with a couple of projects that Scott and I had discussed doing, but hadn't gotten our butts to yet.

Scott and I are hosting Thanksgiving this year, which we are really excited about. It's been fun to host since I had Mom, Dad, and Patrick eating on my little futon in my two room apartment on South Limestone all those years ago. Now, with a house and a decent sized kitchen and dining area, we are going to be able to sit at a real table and eat like adults. We couldn't be more excited!

The only problem was that we were without a table. After two weddings and moving into the house this year, we weren't quite ready to lay down any large bills on a dining set, so we were biding our time till we found something that we really loved. That's when Mom and Dad decided that sitting in our living room eating off of our laps again for the traditional turkey meal wasn't strictly necessary, so off we went on our search for a dining table.

We probably visited about all of the furniture stores in Lexington that we thought might have a style that really spoke to me. We even visited the Peddlers Mall (more on that in another post!).  Scott and I tend to share design styles, so I knew that I was looking for something either mid century modern or craftsman style. To be honest, though, mid century modern has always had a place in my heart.

Tables like this have always had a lot of personality to me. Their sleek design adds both a nice line to a room as well as well as a lot of negative space, which tends to make rooms feel bigger.  The table pictured above, though, was also $1,600. Waaaaaay out of a sane person's price range. The same prices were also seen on many of the antique or 'previously owned' ones. The search continued.

We ended up getting on the internet and doing a bit of searching there. Most of the options were either too high priced, or on Ebay and only for local delivery (to places in South Carolina, New York, and Chicago). That's when I started on some of the go-to design websites. Joss & Main, Wayfair, and Pottery Barn held only larger, clunkier tables. Any of the ones that caught my eye were also round, which wouldn't work in our rectangular space.

That's when I ended up over on West Elm (The website, not the street, lol) where it felt as though destiny was waiting for me. The Parker Mid-Century Expandable Dining Table. It was everything I wanted in a piece of furniture. He (Yes, he gets a pronoun. He is wonderful) was the style and color I was looking for. Practically, he was narrower (at a mere 30 in.) than most of the other tables we had looked at, but expanded to fit 10 people comfortably. We decided after much measuring, hmming, and measuring again that the larger 72"-92" was our best bet, and so he was ordered. And on discount, too! the $594 (before tax, surcharge, and delivery) was a great price compared to the $1,600 (not including any delivery fees) tables we had previously seen.

So with our table ordered (and with it's impending "white glove delivery", wooOOOooo), we turned focus to the dining room itself. With such a cool table on it's way, the light in the room needed to match it's coolness. When we moved in, there was a ceiling fan hung over the dining area. Some people like the idea of a fan here. I do in other areas of the house, such as our living room, but not in the dining room. I always have images of the dust from the fan blades getting in my food no matter how much I clean it, or the fact that when they are on, nothing placed on the table stays hot enough to enjoy eating. Our little ceiling fan was also pretty unattractive and had a noisy motor, so it had to go.

To replace it, Mom and I ventured to Garden Ridge and searched through the stacked-high mountain that was their shade area. We came out of our search with this guy for $29.99. Not bad for a 17" linen drum shade.

We weren't really crazy about the plaid black and yellow ribbon on the top and bottom, though. We ended up grabbing some wire glittery ribbon from the Christmas floral section of Michaels and using it to cover the plaid. We simply used hot glue to attach it.

A quick note as to how to properly attach ribbon to a shade like this. We found through trial and error that you should put the hot glue in two lines down the ribbon itself, not the shade. That way you get good coverage and it helps avoid gaps against the shade surface.

By time the ribbon was attached, Scott had the old fan down. We used (much like on other projects) a black pendant light kit for the light itself. Knowing the shade wouldn't fit on the hanging wire with the included fitted washer, we simply fed the wire though the hole in the shade meant for a finial attachment. I had to take a Dremel to both to get them to lay straight, but when all was said and done, it worked quite well.

To get the height correct for the light to hang, I looked up the 'correct' distance online (Which we read as about 30"). I personally felt that this was a little too high, though, so we hung it about 2-3 inches below the suggested height. I just felt that this made the room feel cozier when the light was down. To make sure we liked the height, we sat in one of our folding chairs and made sure we weren't looking at the light bulb or the broad side of the shade itself.

I personally love it. It's so nice and moody (which is my favorite type of lighting). We can't wait to have the real table underneath it and actually eat in our dining room. Until then, it is being hung a little higher from a hook that is off-center on the ceiling so that people don't hit their heads on it (like so). When we do get our official table, we will probably keep it over to the side a lot anyway, so this will also make sure that the lamp stays centered over the table even when it's put away.

What do you think? Scott says he doesn't even mind the touch of glitter. And don't worry, I'll update here with pictures of the new table in it's proper place. We also can't wait to have our little 6 ft. table back for some extra traveling surface space (because it's currently what is in our dining area). Now, to find chairs....the search begins!

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