Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Miriam's Dining Room, chapter 2

Let us continue where we left off in the adventures of
Aunt Betsy and Niece Miriam in their quest to rescue a very dreary
 dining room. I used Miriam's phone camera, and my hand obviously moved, so I apologize for the blurry picture. The window treatments came with the house, and although they are pretty, they don't work in the room BECAUSE it is a dark space and the fabric covers part of the glass.                             
Last weekend we dragged home the sideboard and a work order was submitted to me for painting it this weekend. It went something like this: "Aunt Betsy, I don't know what to do next!" Where upon I replied (this may be a little bit embellished for literary purposes) "Don't you worry, my darling niece! I will help you redo this LARGE piece of furniture, so you can happily continue on your new journey of wedded bliss." OK, maybe I have never spoken so sweetly to anyone in my family, but if I did, well, let’s just say they'd want to know where the drugs came from. So, I met Miriam out in Acton Massachusetts at Calico Corners to choose the fabric for the dining room. We were looking for something to use to cover the dining room walls above the wainscoting. Now to answer the question as to why upholster the walls rather than use wallpaper, the answer is very simple: I DON'T KNOW HOW TO WALLPAPER. But I do know how to upholster walls, and I have a staple gun, and I have a compressor, and I have staples!!! We took home an armful of fabric samples to try out on the walls because you HAVE to see the fabric in the space where it is going to be used. We narrowed it down to three options, from which his majesty could choose. The absolutely amazing thing is that both Ross and Miriam liked the same sample, ah wedded harmony!                                                                                                                                                                   
Then I used my trusty level to apply tape to the walls to give them an idea of how the new wainscoting paneling detail would look. We plan on doing a similar application to the one I used in the West Palm Beach bungalow dining room. The reason for using the same treatment is that I am very old and have run out of ideas.

This time when I went to Miriam's I brought my camera, so I could take better pictures!! But I left my film chip in my computer, so my camera had no film, so once again I was left with the crummy phone pictures. Oy.
Then it was time to paint the sideboard! So I asked Miriam to open up the drop cloth I had her buy for this project. Now just let me point out at this juncture, that my niece is a very smart young woman, at the peak of her intellectual prowess. The sideboard is 60 inches long. The drop cloth she bought was MUCH shorter than 60 inches. OY, OY, OY VEY. She said "Don't worry, we could use a sheet!" So she ran upstairs to bring down a sheet. She only has fitted sheets. THEY DON'T LIE FLAT!! So Ross (super husband) went to get a drop cloth while we sanded. Now I'm not pointing any fingers, but it seemed to take an awful long time and he came back drinking out of a Duncan Donuts cup. We applied one coat of primer, and then I started playing around with a second coat, and we decided we liked it like that! It looked old and beat up and worn, just the way I felt after a full day of manual labor. Next weekend I will add some striping detail and maybe wax it.

The Before
After two coats of primer.

After choosing the fabric, I felt the draperies we had bought from Pottery Barn wouldn't work, so Miriam has to return them. I have now added another project for my sewing machine. I am going to make window treatments out of the same fabric we are applying to the walls.
Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Aunt Betsy and Niece Miriam in the pursuit of a gorgeous dining room.
P.S. The reason the fonts keep changing, is I am having lots of trouble with this blogging program. It's free, so I'm not going to complain. (Much)


Shannon@Cozy Home Scenes said...

Thanks for entering my giveaway, good luck. I enjoy your blog very much. I have always been interested in decorating and crafts so I love getting good ideas from blogs like yours. Isn't it nice the way we all share our knowledge and talents with each other? The sideboard looks great. I look forward to viewing the entire room. Shannon

Shannon@ Cozy Home Scenes said...

Sorry about the mistake. All the rest is true. My mind must be going.

Katie @ Wildwood Creek said...

The sideboard looks great and I love the fabric. Can't wait to see the progress.

lvroftiques said...

Oh my G!!! You had me lmao!! You're too funny!! I could just picture your face when your neice showed you her fitted sheet/paint cloth!! Oy vey indeed!

I hope you'll share with us how to upholster the walls? Because I don't wallpaper OR upholster walls...but I'd really like to learn *winks* And I too have a staple gun, compressor, and staples too! *winks* Vanna

Cindy said...


you're funny as crap... i keep coming back to your site to "follow" you, but either your "follower" button is broken, or my computer at home and at work don't work right. Call Amy, and get her to fix it! I want to read everything you say... you make me laugh and you're talented as anything!


Connie@Connie Nikiforoff Designs said...

Your great commentary more than adequately makes up for any font changes or fuzzy photos :-) And of course the sideboard and fabric are both wonderful! Can't wait to see more!

Janet Metzger, Artist said...

Hey Betsy,

That's a lot of OY's!!!!! You make me laugh every time.
Love the sideboard and looking forward to the room completion.
Your niece is lucky to have you helping her.

Janet xox

Amy Chalmers said...

Oh Betsy, so fun to read your blog! You are hilarious~I will be watching to see you upholster the walls, as I know how to wallpaper, but not upholster. Looks like you made up your own kind of chalk paint for the sideboard. Maybe I can help you with your font least I will try.

Betsy Speert said...

Cindy, I think that blogspot, the site running this blog, is having some problems with the followers button. Keep trying, it will eventually work. (I hope)!

Karen said...

Betsy I get the best laugh reading your blog, talented and funny a great combination. I cant wait to see this dining room. BTW I am loving your bungalow!

Mir said...

You forgot to mention that before Niece Miriam went to Lowe's, she asked you for a comprehensive list of everything she would need and told you, "Remember, I have NOTHING and I don't know what I'm doing! Tell me EVERYTHING!"

Magenta Magnolia said...

A very good reason to use fabric on walls rather that wall paper is that it is difficult to find non toxic products at affordable prices. All the average stuff out gasses

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