Dining Room Progress

Dining Room Progress

Finally!! Yippee!

It’s time to start posting about the main floor renovations of our new home…

a Mid Century turned Colonial Revival…

well, sort of…

that was the basic design bones, (Colonial Revival) I was aiming for, but as renovations go there were a few turns along the way. I always knew I’d have a strong cottage influence in the design because that’s the relaxed style I love as well. As it turns out, I’d say the style is where “Colonial Revival, Cottage style, Modern Farmhouse meet Coastal Maine”. It’s for sure a mix of all those styles and could lend itself nicely with a stronger influence of either.

I think since it is based on classic styling, it will pretty much always be in style and easy to go with whatever furnishings are paired with it.

As of writing this post, the main level isn’t completed, but it’s darn close!

The carpet in the bedrooms was installed a couple days ago, and the final coat on the wood floors is happening now. The electric outlets and lights are finished in the kitchen, there are a few more details in the office and mudroom and then BAM! it’s done! just like that!! (Ha… it was in the process since last September, so not so much BAM!… but still, we’re super excited about the wonderful details and to be able to move upstairs really really soon. (we’ve been living in the basement apartment for the past 7 months or so!)

So much has happened in those past 7 months to the house. (follow this link if you’re not familiar with the story of our new house.)

I thought I’d start with the dining room progress…

Here are a few ‘before’ pics I took when the previous owner still lived here:
Dining Room Progress

This space was a hearth room/family room when we bought the house, but we planned to turn it into the dining area and remove all those walls!

The house was basically boring inside. There just really didn’t feel like there was any interesting character to the space.

Dining Room Progress

Typical of a lot of houses built in the 1960’s and 70’s, walls divided up the spaces.

This pic above shows the wall between the hearth room and front entry and living room on the other side. On that side is a beautiful view of the water. This wall needed to come down!

One layer at a time.

Dining Room Progress

The house had both sheetrock and plaster walls on the same wall… layered… it was built that way!

The sheetrock, a fairly new thing for the time, was hung in narrow horizontal strips, then the metal mesh lath was mounted over that and finally plaster over that.

Dining Room Progress

To say the least, removing this stuff was hard work. (I don’t know that from experience, because I stayed clear when the guys were ripping it out. But they did share with me how difficult the metal mesh was to get through and how heavy the sections were!

As the plaster and sheetrock were removed from both sides of the walls coming down in the dining room, it started to get exciting!

As the guys were tearing down the walls, I was carefully plotting and planning how to design character back into this house.

Filling it with charm was my goal… like a house from the 1920’s or so… with all that wonderful Colonial Revival detail that is so charming. That’s what I wanted to capture some of for our house…. it’s sort of an understated charm that feels like it doesn’t even have to try, it just is part of the ‘bones’ of the house.

Dining Room Progress

Once the main wall was ready to completely come down, they had to build a temporary wall next to it first, so that when they removed the center supporting wall, they could put up a laminated beam.

This is a traditional framed house with rafters, that means the center wall supports the rafters which is holding up the roof, so if that said wall is removed, something still needs to support those rafters and roof.

A laminated beam could do the job, with vertical supports on both ends of it. (and support directly below it in the basement holding it up)

Here’s the laminated beam in place:

Dining Room Progress

Open concept is so wonderful, but there is a lot more to it than just taking down a wall. ๐Ÿ™‚

Things like cold air return vents, heating ducts, plumbing and electric in the wall all need to be moved or dealt with. (click here to see the genius solution my son and daughter-in-law did to their kitchen when they renovated to an open concept!)

This is how the main floor, (from the dining/hearth room looking towards the kitchen) looked for a long time as we worked on all sorts of projects through out the house…

Dining Room Progress

One project was the popcorn ceilings!


Some of them were painted over, not fun to try to scrape off painted popcorn… in fact nearly impossible! But the dining room and kitchen weren’t painted so they were simply wetted with a super thinned out sheetrock mud that got rolled on like paint, let set for about 15 minutes and then scraped. (that is a great tip from my contractor!)

The thinned out sheetrock mud helps hold the water longer and soak into the popcorn treatment, loosening it.

(Click here to read my full post changing a popcorn ceiling to a knockdown ceiling I wrote from a different project)

Our friend was nice enough to address all the ceilings for us… (my neck doesn’t allow me to do that anymore).

Dining Room Progress

We are so grateful for his hard work on all of them.

After the pokey bumps were scraped off, they did a knock-down finish… pretty thinned out, so it is more of an orange peel pattern. Subtle enough to not be a statement, but texture to camouflage imperfections.

Once the main level was sheetrocked, the flooring, (wide pine boards) and the Pickwick pine paneling were delivered and stacked in the living room to acclimate for a few weeks.

The only place I could find Pickwick pine boards was from a place out on the east coast. Rhode Island I think… We’re in the Midwest, Wisconsin to be exact… that’s a long way away! But we ordered the Pickwick and the flooring from them at a great price. They were wonderful to work with and it shipped to Minneapolis, MN where we had a friend pick it up for us with a trailer. (In home delivery was going to be a problem for that particular shipper, so we got tired of messing around with them and just did it ourselves.)

Dining Room Progress

I see places in New England, restaurants, homes and cottages that frequently have Pickwick paneling in them, and I love the profile detail.

It’s a tongue and groove paneling but has an extra detail on the edge creating a lovely pattern when installed.

Dining Room Progress

See that pretty beaded detail? Yet it’s not all beads like beadboard is… And we did use a lot of beadboard in the house too… this coordinates well with it.

After the Pickwick was installed in the entire hearth dining room and kitchen at 5′ high, I filled the nail holes and primed and painted it white.

I told you at the onset of this post how I was trying to incorporate charm into the bones of the design of this house. To do that I picked some elements and repeated them in specially designed details in each space. (wide boards, beadboard, antique interior windows and doors etc.)

Such as the dining room fireplace….

Dining Room Progress

You can see at the top of this post what the fireplace looked like before. The creme colored brick went all the way up to the ceiling with a simple wood mantel, (that mantel was so flimsily attached it almost fell off before we actually took it off!)

I wanted a more Colonial Revival look to the fireplace, so gleaned from pictures, mostly of old historic fireplaces and came up with the initial design above.

As the main floor project progressed, however, this design was tweaked to not have the beam for a mantel, (more on that thought in a different post) but instead a painted shelf mantel. (sorry, it’s not totally ready for the reveal, but you can see part of it in the picture towards the end of this post.

I was originally thinking I was going to keep the creme colored brick unpainted, but once we started using the fireplace, the brick got black soot on it that was impossible to clean off. Therefore I decided to paint the brick a dark color.

By the way, all the painting inside the house is now 95% white, with accents in shades of black. (plus some tiny accents of blue… in the kitchen and bathroom tile!)

The dining room and kitchen has the 5′ tall Pickwick in white, with the top 3′ painted flat black, so this fireplace brick painted a shade of black with a white top was perfect. (the actual brick paint color is called Carbon Copy, I chose a satin finish, more washable for that ‘soot’… pretty much everything else in the house is eggshell finish though) (Here’s a link for that satin paint, only available at Home Depot)

Even though it is paint and primer in one, I still primed first. Better safe than sorry.

Dining Room Progress

Painting brick is a tedious job, but once it was done, I loved it!

So much that I now think I’m going to paint the brick on the exterior of the house this summer when I paint outside! I’m just not a fan of the creme brick and creme mortar. The ‘carbon copy’ color on it makes it look like a different element!

After most of the painting was done, (except for the final touch up coat) we had the ‘beams’ installed!

OK, well they’re called ‘beams’ but they’re actually faux beams. Yup, totally fake! And people that have come over to see the house progress have no clue they’re not real. In fact, when we’ve told them, they stare at them and say, “Noooo” Like they think we’re talking about something else. Haha… I told my husband he needed to quit telling people they’re fake. Oops… guess I shouldn’t have just shared it with the world then, right?!

The lightweight foam is so believably distressed and has a beautiful painted and glazed finish, they really do look soooo real! This large beam is shaped like a U with the center hollow so that it would fit right over the laminated beam:

dining room progress

We also added smaller ‘beams’ on the hearth/dining room and kitchen ceiling.

Next, we had the floor installed:

(after all the tile at the back entry, front entry and hearth were installed and grouted)

Dining Room Progress

The orange pad is a sound barrier pad and once installed, made a huge difference in the apartment below.

The wide pine board flooring is meant to look very primitive.

(I had to reassure the installer of this fact. I think at first he was having a heart attack with the cracks showing) The cracks in between the boards and face nails are all part of the charm of it. If that’s not your look, then this isn’t your floor. Dents and nicks are also part of the charm of a pine floor… as this is a soft wood and it will for sure happen. To me, that’s great! Better that than a perfect floor that makes you sick with the first little dent. This one will be filled with history. History of living on it, to add the charm effect.

After that wood floor was installed and the first coat of finish put on it, we covered it with paper and finished a ton of stuff, like installing base trim and about a thousand other things.

Finally after several weeks, last night it was time to tear off the paper protecting the floor and get it ready for the final coat!

Dining room progress

So there’s a peek at our dining room renovation.

As I’m finishing up writing this post, I’m so anxious to finally get furniture moved into our permanent home, but have to wait 3 days until the finish on the wood floor is ready… and 2 full weeks for it to cure before rugs can be laid on it.

I’d love to say I’ll update you next week, but I have a feeling I’m going to be way too busy moving in… Be sure to check your email in case I magically find time. I’ll email you from MailChimp telling you when I have a new post. (it could be in your promotions or spam folder if it isn’t in your inbox)

Here are all the post on our whole house renovation, including updates showing it all done:

Thanks so much for stopping by! Please feel free to follow and share this blog with your friends, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Flipboard, Bloglovin, YouTube and now Instagram!  I appreciate you reading along.

Reader Interactions


    • Liz says

      Thank you so much for following along! It is huge and still so much to do… The outside will take us all summer and probably next summer too!

  1. Lynnie says

    I have no idea what you’re talking about most of the time, but read these things like an old Rin tin tin serial- “what’s gonna happen next?!” Can’t wait for the big reveal!!

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