The Dining Room Makeover: Part I

Can someone PLEASE tell me how on earth I managed to make over a kitchen in a week because goodness knows, finding the renovation energy is a struggle these days! That said, I’m now around two weeks into our dining room makeover project and if my brain would only slow down, my body may be able to catch up with where I’m up to.

Since this will be a slowly-sloth-renovation rather than a Speedy Gonzales one I thought it might be good to share some updates along the way on the blog. Hopefully it will motivate to keep going for one!

I won’t lie, it felt incredibly daunting waking up on that Monday morning to get started. With other projects I’ve taken on I’ve at least had a few weeks to get my head round the idea of getting going. Thanks to Photowall Sweden though who approached me for a potential wallpaper gifting opportunity this all came around so quickly I haven’t even had time to process it.

First of all, the big clear out and tidy up. With the exception of our front spare bedroom, the dining room is definitely the grubbiest room in the house, I hoover and mop but that’s literally it (I don’t even dust – what’s the point in a room you never use and is just a dumping ground/animal home?) I even dubbed myself Miss Haversham after the eponymous Great Expectations character, such was the level of dust and cobwebs.

Once I’d moved most of the items out and dismantled an old bookcase (keeping the shelves for future projects), I got stuck in with my trusty sugar soap. I swear this stuff is a miracle worker, I cleaned woodwork, walls, any surface I possibly could. I won’t tell you how many buckets of black water were emptied out but it was too many.

Normally prep isn’t my strong suit, it’s much more exciting to get cracking with the fun stuff but I’ve been determined this time around to do things properly. The skirting boards have all been sanded, repaired, primed and had two coats of paint. The dado rail has been sanded, primed and had two coats of paint.

And then it was time to start wallpapering. My goodness, I can’t remember the last time I felt so nervous about anything. There will be a proper dedicated post to the wonderful wallpaper from Photowall because honestly I don’t think I could have asked for a better product for my first attempt. It’s such wonderful quality and each segment is numbered so you know which strip to paper next.

Needless to say it wasn’t without problems mainly because I should have quit whilst I was ahead but instead got over-tired, over-confident and made a mistake. Ho hum. I’ve taken off the wrong pieces but don’t have enough paper to keep going so I’ll have to order some more.

Overall though I can’t believe how incredible the wallpaper looks. I was about to say “just making that small change has completely transformed the space” but it wasn’t the easiest part of DIY I’ve undertaken so yes it has made a huge difference but it was nowhere near as easy as painting would have been. I’m over the moon without how it looks and can’t wait to see how it informs the changes I make across the rest of the space.

I have a sneaking suspicion more will have happened to the dining room by the time this post goes live mainly because we’re going to pop to B&Q with a wallpaper offcut to see if we can find a paint for the top half of the walls and if we do, I have no doubt I’ll get straight to it. We’ve also got an IKEA visit planned and I’ve ordered a print already for one of the alcoves. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be mostly finished before Christmas….

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