G'day lovelies. Showcasing yet another revolting before to after at the Beach Cottage, you get all the good stuff here, right?
Someone recently emailed me regarding a project I am working on (more of that soon) and said something along the lines of 'don't be embarrassed about the before shots', I kinda took a double take at that, errrm that's the whole point of a doer-upper is it not, the before shots and why I started this blog because I think I could spend just about all day looking at befores and afters – I am the before/after Queen – loving to gawp at rooms, gardens, old men's clothes refashioned into cute little girls' skirts, tired sad and lonely furniture spruced up with a new look. I mean hello, I breathe befores people.
Anyway this again (like last week's sitting room post) is for those of you who often email me asking for advice (keep 'em coming) and might be wailing (like I often do) 'poor me!!! I have a hideous house with no sign of potential, it will never look nice, it has green shag pile carple, gold light fittings, mould on the walls and I have NO money' yadda yadda yadda
So this was the dining room when we came to the Open House, yep these people really did have an Open House in this state. Too funny really, we won't even mention the dead rodent in the back garden, I'll save that for the next before I think.
Here's what it looks like now…of course it was all very much DIY (and go see Kimba for more) and of course on a shoestring budget.
(btw you can click on the photos to see them enlarged)
The floor when we viewed it was dressed in all manner of coverings , you can see from that before shot that this section where they had a table had a piece of linoleum underneath it and on top of this was carpet with a 'corner' cut out for the linoleum, to add a bit of glamour there were a couple of rugs in very different styles strewn through the middle. Do I need to mention the errm cleanliness of this area? But we sneaked down and pulled up the layers…and underneath was wood.
As we walked around with lots of other people also looking or should I say gasping, we began to think that this could be the one. It was just near enough to the beach and the school, commutable for Mr BC's job, it was on a big plot, in a quiet road, with a lake and bush park 5 mins one way, playing fields just down the road and the beach 5 mins the other way. And because of the state of it the price meant we could afford to keep our house in England.
The funniest thing was, as I look back, that there was an almost frantic feel to all these people looking around this hideous Open House, this suburb is very 'tightly held' as they say in estate agent speak and although this was the worst house we'd looked at (and we'd looked at heaps), in terms of all those things above we knew it was while not quite a diamond in the rough, it was gonna go quickly.
But the day we took the keys we didn't think that. I cried. A lot. There was wailing too. In fact I think all five of us wailed a bit.
Anyway so we spent days just in this room on the prep stuff, not my forte, but it had to be done, you can't see from the photos but there was 30 + years of grime in here from these owners, first we prepped the walls and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned – we washed, bleached and disinfected it all, the ceiling, floors and walls and scrubbed the wood and doorframes with toothbrushes.
Next we sanded, filled, varnished and sealed the floors and added the rug to make this area a distinct section of the room…
And then the walls which unlike the older section of the house, thankfully, had no wall coverings on and it was just (ha!) a case of cleaning and painting.
The table and unit we already had – were bought for the first house we lived in when we came to Australia and had absolutely no furniture because it was packed in a container somewhere on the back of the ship making it's way to us here.
The table is a great budget piece, when I bought this I wanted very plain, very square simple lines and it needed to have a leaf so it could extend – and something that would act as a contrast to vintage shabby chairs at the end and could be piled with old china…no heirloom of course, but the great thing is this table works for our family at the moment – it's like one of those adverts for living (tho I'm not the oh-so-smiley mum in the floaty dress *wink) – with kids arts and crafts scattered all over it, teenager's homework, my sewing stuff, tea and then good old IKEA it all wipes off and dresses itself up again, as if by magic…
The other side we slotted in the unit for the time being, but it's doing well actually, it's great for all the kids' junk – the baskets just pull out and they can throw it all in…I'm on the lookout for a vintage dresser for here, but one without a top, chunky…above I want a line of floating shelves…or vintage shelves…haven't found them yet…
We recently stuck a couple of floating shelves on the end wall, the skinny ones, and this means you can change the look all the time with different things leaning here and there….gotta love a vintage mirror…
On the table, some layering going on for this tablescape (go see Susan's for more dressed up tables), a few tealights, of course my white pitcher and white flowers…no tablecloth, too easy.
So I guess that's it, let me know what you think, the multi-tasking dining room in our tiny little cottage by the sea ;-)
You can find more of this dining area, dressed up and ready to work for it's living, here, here, and my favourite tablescape, including a video (!) here and if you want tablescaping tips on how I do it go here.
table: IKEA Bjursta chairs: IKEA Henriksdal rug: IKEA unit: IKEA Expedit baskets & white boxes: Freedom + IKEA decor balls: Beach shop + Freedom blackboard frame: thrifted, tutorial here mirror: thrifted print: Etsy here whitewashed wine box: garage sale
of course *wink, I did a video for ya!
oh and I very nearly forgot, if you'd like to win some of the table dressing bits in the shots above, quickly hop on over to Kimba's place where I was featured yesterday…there's a giveaway going on…