Dining room transformation, part 2

Hello all! I feel like everything around here is in a state of in between – so many fun projects on the horizon, but some dirty (and not as fun work) that needs to get done first!

I am NOT complaining – I’m just trying to be patient, and it is not my virtue. ;)

One of those projects is our dining room turned library that I first told you about in January. My plan was to get rid of the never-used dining room and turn it into cozy library-type space that we would actually USE.

My inspiration came from Emily’s wall of bookcases:

Wowsie wow, that is is awesome.

It’s been slow going so far, and even though I whine about it sometimes, I actually like taking projects like this at a snail’s pace. It helps me to figure how out I want things along the way.

The first step of this transformation was to get the bases (I wanted closed storage at the bottom instead of shelves like Emily’s). But we couldn’t do much with those until a big step was done – and that got done today! WHOO!

Over the past few weeks I wasn’t able to do much else in here, other than take down all of the moldings:

I ended up taking down pretty much every bit of it – the crown had to come down anyway (it will eventually wrap around the top of the bookcases) but I took down other stuff as well. I want to redo ALL of it.

I took the IKEA butcher block to get cut down a few weeks ago at a local lumber place. They cut the piece down the middle and in half:

The one piece is the PERFECT size for the base of the bookshelves (after it was cut down). That was awesome.

I plan to sand them down and stain them the same color as the floor. Once we get the cabinets installed I can get that step done!

Today the BIG project was completed – the one I had to wait on. My plan all along was to add more light to this room (we have only had the overhead light and a couple lamps in here). Because the buffet and lamps are gone, I needed to figure out a new additional light source.

I decided on four lights that will hang from the fronts of the bookcases at the top – shining down on the fronts of them. In order to do that, our electrician had to help out:

I know. Don’t you want to visit right now??

And this is how I feel like our whole house has looked for the past two weeks, as we work on the basement:

I’ve given up on cleaning until the basement is drywalled. There’s no point in trying until then. :)

Anywhoo, it looked much better by the time they were done – the guys doing all of our work are GREAT. They put everything back and went ahead and installed temporary lights so we could use them and get an idea of how they would work:

The lights are set up to hang at the middle of each bookcase – there will be four total. They will come forward a bit and the new fixtures will hang from the front of each one.

I LOVE it!! Ack! They are bare bulbs and I am already so excited.

The guys also got rid of the outlet behind the cabinets and installed two above instead:

Perfect for future Christmas decorations! And the rest of the year, they will be hidden behind books and accessories.

It’s coming together now! We’re still a long, LONG way off, but I feel like there’s been some real progress:

On a side note – I cannot believe how big this room is without that massive table! It’s HUGE.

Next up – I need to paint the ceiling. I’m so so so over the dark brown drama ceiling:

I took down the molding that used to be up there too. I want to simplify things a bit. The ceiling is going to be much brighter, but hopefully will still have some contrast with the moldings.

I’ve had the paint for two weeks and have said every day for two weeks that I’m going to paint the ceiling…and you can see that hasn’t happened.

Tomorrow…really. ;)

Dad comes later this week and we’ll attach the cabinets to each other and to the wall, then install the counters. After that, the drywall finishers are going to fix all of my drywall issues and I can PAINT!

The backs of the bookcases will be a different color than the walls. I have NO clue what color I’m doing yet. I may check out some fabric stores to see if inspiration hits me in the form of drapery fabric. :)

After all that, we can start building bookshelves and then start the superfun process of painting. Oh, and we need to move the thermostat too. WHY do they put those in such odd spots? I’ll be sure to keep you updated as we go!

I am SO excited about this room. And I am so glad we decided to take a chance and make it a space we will use!! Hang in there…hopefully it will start looking like something soon. :)