I realized that the color I was so in love with in my living room before, Behr in Studio Taupe, could work in the dining room. Luckily I had enough leftover paint, so repainting the dining room last Sunday cost me $0!
Next, the window treatments. I had standard white linen IKEA drapes in the dining room for the past 2 years. I added a chocolate brown ribbon to the edge using iron-on adhesive, but these were not going to work anymore and I didn't want to get rid of perfectly good drapes. So why not use them as backing for my new fabric? I love this idea, because they work as the perfect template for my new drapes.
First I laid the IKEA drape flat on the floor, bad side up. All the sides are hemmed, and ready to go so all I needed to do was lay the new fabric on top and pin each side into place. The good side needs to be facing up.
Now, this system worked out perfectly, however, getting it upstairs and to my sewing machine was a bit challenging. I recommend setting up a large surface to work on so you can run the drape through the machine quickly. I was working with 84" long panels. I should have a photo of this, however my camera's batteries died in the middle of this, so you just have to take my word for it.
Another added benefit to using a ready to go drapery panel as your template is that it already has tabs for a drapery rod. I thought that I would use the drapery rod tabs in this case, but it didn't work for me. One thing I didn't mention is that I used upholstery fabric for the drapes. I had a feeling this might present some problems, because it meant I would have a thicker, heavier panel in the end, but I didn't care. I was so in love with this fabric, I went with it anyway. So as a result, I bought satin nickel drapery ring clips at Lowe's. They match the ones I have in my living room. The drapery ring clips also allow the panels to fall so nicely, and they hold up my heavy drapes really well in this case.
The final change, yet temporary, are the $10 chair covers I bought on walmart.com for the two end chairs. I got sick of looking at the bold blue and brown damask chairs. I wanted to simplify and tone everything down. These chair covers are a great solution until I figure out what I will do wtih the chairs. I might sell them on craigs list or I might reupholster them. I'm not sure yet. Ideally, I'd love to find some second-hand wingback chairs that I could reupholster in a lush ecru velvet or mohair. I need to start scowering the local thrift and goodwill stores.
So this is what my dining room looked like before last weekend's paint job.
And this is what the dining room looks like after this weekend. I'm really happy with how it turned out and it compliments the living room and new kitchen really well now. I still need to find a rug for this room, and hopefully those wing back chairs!