Before & After, My Old Apartment, Rental Remedies, Thrifting, Upcycling, Trash Picking

Weekend Completion: A study in dining

Over a year ago I scored a sweet mid-century modern desk on Craigslist for only 40 bucks.  Until this week, I never, ever sat at it.  Why?  I just can’t work at a desk that faces a wall.  My desk drove me crazy, because there was no way to have it near the window in my guest room / office.  So there sat my desk, lonely and neglected, and I worked at the coffee table or dining table or anywhere, really – because I have to have a window view.

See what it was like?

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Finally, in a burst of inspiration I decided to I  listened to my boyfriend and tried moving my “office” to an unexpected location:  the dining room.

But let’s back up:

When I sold the hand-me-down dining room table and chairs on Craigslist, my mother was horrified.  She couldn’t  understand how I could survive without a dining table.  I never really used it, though, because – like my office – I didn’t really like the vibe of my dining room.  I hadn’t painted the room, I didn’t have furniture I loved, and try though I might, I could never make the octagonal table work right in the small space. So I decided to rethink the space and I cleared the clutter.


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First I gave the walls a much-needed swabbing of paint.  The creamy off-white color turned out a bit lighter than expected, but it was still much warmer than the previous stark white.  Lazy painter that I am, I decided I could live with it.  To add a burst of fun and color to the dining room, I accented the wall shared by the kitchen with Glidden’s Granny Apple Green.  Yum!

Painting a Rental

The room sat there, freshly painted but devoid of furniture (except for the dog feeding bowls) for about a month.  Last weekend I moved my desk in, setting it (finally!) in front of the window.  But I thought the room still looked sad and lonely, so I brought in my two living room chairs and my mid-century record cabinet, placing them around the other window.  Just like that, the room came together.

Voila, a dining room sitting room and office!

Just look at the light streaming through the windows (and this is on an overcast day)!

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That Sunday, the boyfriend and I sat in the two white chairs, eating freshly baked popovers, drinking tea, and enjoying the breeze that blows through the windows.  And I’ve been incredibly productive at that desk every day since the transformation.

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With this shot you get a glimpse of my next dining room-turned-office project:  I need to build a cute little feeding station to house the dog bowls. Then I need to find two bar stools.   The kitty climber will have to stay until I find a home for the cute kittens.

Rental Furniture Solutions

I may also switch out what’s on the walls and find a mid-century floor lamp to add some cozy lighting.  The light thrown by the ceiling fan is just downright abrasive.

So that’s the story of how four happy pieces of mid-century modern furniture (and one old Ikea chair) had happily joined forces with stunning results.  Kind of  like the Brady Bunch.  Or at least like their furniture.

PS: Sharing this room makeover with Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch. Swing by there to see dozens of awesome transformations done by many talented ladies (and maybe a man or two).


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  • Reply Robin at 12:36 am

    OMG Jane I love it! Your apt looks so, so cute! I can’t wait til I’m back in DC and stop by to see you and Amalea so I can see it in person 🙂

  • Reply Kammy at 10:51 am

    Super nice and sheek makeover ! Love that green – so cheerful !

  • Reply rebekah at 12:08 pm

    I think this looks great!! Very hip! Love how you put the desk by the window! Much better the stairing at a blank wall!

  • Reply Mary at 9:15 pm

    I think it is great you are using the room for what works best for you! Great job!

  • Reply Cass @ That Old House at 11:02 pm

    This looks terrific! I completely agree about needing a view from your desk. In my last house I could look out on the river behind our house; well, if I lifted my head high enough!
    And in this house, the desk just fits into a bump-out on the front porch that is surrounded by windows!
    I actually have blinds to shut out the sun in the morning on one side.

    Lovely makeover…. it’s a much better use of your dining area!

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  • Reply Sheri at 11:47 am


    I have a room a month linky party going, check it out:

  • Reply Delightful Dwelling at 12:46 pm

    It looks great! We have thought about one day turning our dining room into an office space since our dining room gets used maybe once a year.

  • Reply The Queen at 1:05 pm

    Looks great. I love the fresh green color.

  • Reply Mandy at 4:58 pm

    Great re-dec! I love it.
    I can’t face a wall, either!
    The green wall is adorable, btw.

  • Reply Anna See at 6:05 pm

    This is a happy room, forlorn no more! I bet it will be even more fun with the barstools when you find them.

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