When we moved here six and a half years ago, I began begging to tear out the carpet in the dining room. And last week it finally happened!
We arrived here on June 1st, 2006 with four children aged 5 and under. We were coming from a small apartment in St. Louis and were thrilled to finally have a place to spread out. When we arrived at 12am, we walked in the door and were surprised on many levels. Wonderfully surprised that the church had held a "pounding" and collected pantry supplies for us. Wonderfully surprised that someone had left a blow up mattress on the floor and bunk beds in one of the kids' bedrooms.
Horribly surprised that the moment we opened the front door all we could smell was cat pee. We knew the previous owners had a cat, but had no idea that the cat had peed in several places. The worst was on the carpet by the front door. Did I mention my husband is allergic to cats??
One of the very first things we did was to rip out the offensive section of carpet by the front door and install a cabinet - affectionately known as the CPC or Cat Pee Cover.
The monostrosity was wonderful for housing our fancy dishes and some larger kitchen items. But also became a collecting place for all mail and other junk that came in the front door. It also closed off the entryway and created a bottleneck every time we tried to leave the house or come home. Oh, the fights our children have had there!
Fast forward six years and one of my biggest to-do items was to get rid of the CPC! I was so sick of the arguments caused by such a small space for putting on shoes and coats. I was tired of cleaning it off only to have it covered with stuff a day later. Thankully, my husband is a genius and repurposed the CPC into a lovely shoe shelf with room for the many sneakers, cleats, boots and sandals we seem to acquire.
Once the CPC was gone, we didn't have a choice but to address the flooring issue. But first we decided to paint while the old carpet was still in place. It's also important to know that the dining room is where we do the majority of our homeschooling. I had originally painted the dining room a beautiful, rich red. Did you know that red in the dining area is supposed to help with digestion? Apparently, it does not help with concentration. The room has poor lighting and only gets the early morning sun. So with dark walls and now dark carpet (thanks to all the spots), my kids felt sleepy instead of energized to work hard.
Now we have a beautiful, bright, cheerful room for working and eating. And my dishes still match! We added the chair rail to dress it up a bit and changed all the trim to white. I love it.
Next to address the carpet. Who in their right mind puts cream colored carpet in a dining room?! It wasn't pretty when we arrived, but after six years of abuse from our kids it was hideous. It had turned into a catalog of our food mishaps ... smooshed oreo over here, spaghetti over there, and a mashed fruit snack stuck in the threads center stage. Gross.
(When we tore out the kitchen flooring we found a lovely spot that was all rotted near the sliding doors. Josh had the delightful job of ripping out the rot and installing new subflooring in that area. Did I mention he's handy to have around?)
We finished just in time to have the floor guys come and install our Pergo wood floors. Oh happy day! Look at how beautiful this is.
The gorgeous quilt on the wall is an heirloom piece begun by my great aunt, and passed on to me by my aunt. It was quilted by a friend from our church and is such a treasure to have. I couldn't bear to keep it hidden away in a chest or to put it on a bed and have it destroyed by munchkins. The wall seems the perfect place for it until the kids are older.
The room feels huge and I find that I love to be in it. There are still a few projects left to do: I have a deacons bench that will go on the empty wall across from the front door (where Jesse's booster seat is in the picture). And we haven't yet decided which framed artwork will hang above it. The deacons bench will provide a great place for us to sit while putting on shoes and will house our diaper bag and camera bag inside the bench.
I also need curtains for the window. We used to have lace curtains, but that's much too old lady for this room. Instead, my mother-in-law has offered to help me make some curtains next week. I can't wait to fabric shop and see what we find.
I'm just so pleased with the results of this room. It is well worth the wait. And now, I won't feel sick to my stomach when I see my little Micah crawling on the dining room floor in a few months.
Oh, and did I mention we also did the kitchen floor? Love that too! And the new kitchen rug by the sink just makes me smile. Yay for renovations!