Diningroom remodel

This post is a bit off-topic from my usual posts, but I just wanted to show that I am capable of handling a bigger tool than a glue gun. Plus, I hope my successes might encourage you to get up from the craft table once in a while and try something beyond your normal comfort zone.

We have 9-foot ceilings on our main floor. For years, I wanted to do something more formal in the dining room. One of the things I had on my list was a coffered ceiling. And I didn't just want something simple, I wanted a little pizazz.

I started by framing out the shape. I used 2x4's framed up vertically. I wanted just a bit more of a drop, so I added a horizontal 2x4 on the top just for fill. I made square frames for the corners, and rectangular frames for the sections in between. Measuring accurately is important for this step. After the frames were completed, my husband helped me lift them and mount them to the ceiling. The frames needed to be secured into the ceiling joists to support the weight adequately.

My next step was to attach the drywall. It wasn't necessary to be totally accurate with the drywall because I knew I would be putting up crown molding later. I installed the metal strip to the outside angle to help with getting a sharp edge.

Then I mudded the exposed areas of the drywall. I was going to have someone do the mudding but I thought the estimates of $400 and up were a little too steep for my budget. Especially considering I did it myself (an amateur) in about 6 hours. At that rate, I think I need to change careers. In any case, applying drywall is rather like icing a cake. You just have to be patient and really check your work because paint doesn't hide drywall blemishes. When the mudding was finished, I painted the drywall with several coats of ceiling white paint.

Then I put up the crown molding. The dental molding was chosen because it matches the molding on the corner cabinets. Crown molding is not nearly as difficult or as expensive as I once thought, so it's currently on my list to put in every room of the house.

We purchased two corner cabinets off Craigslist and painted them white to match.

The dining room is not very big, so the corner cabinets work much better than the large china cabinet I used to have in there.

We also decided to install french doors, so we framed out a transom on the top of the pre-existing door frame and mounted the doors. (The wallpaper in the photo went out later too, but that's a whole other project.)

The glass we installed for the transom has an etched leaf pattern in it.

I also wanted to have wainscotting, but didn't want to spend a lot (do you see a theme in my projects?) I decided to try it with drywall, partly because I thought it would be cheaper and easier, but partly too because I don't have a router. I cut the shape I wanted from the drywall and installed it over the existing drywall. I had to be very exact in my cuts.

Then, I purchased, cut and installed a wood trim to the inside edge of the frame. I used drywall mud to fill the seam between the drywall and the trim.

Then I installed a chair rail along the top edge, filling in the seam with caulk.

After it was all assembled, I painted it white. I'm pleased with the finished effect, but I'm not convinced this method was any faster, easier OR cheaper.

I painted the walls a cranberry red to match the carpet in the adjoining room, and the carpet in the diningroom was replaced with hardwood. I just wasn't up for spending the money on a new dining set when we only use the room once or twice a year. All in all, I like what we did, and it makes my little dining room appear more majestic than it is.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

And be sure to check out the endless list of inspirational ideas at my home page childmade.com.

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