I’m on the phone with Sarah Fishburne, director of trend and design for the Home Depot, one of the best jobs ever.She gets paid to travel the world and go furniture shopping. As we chat, I email her half a dozen photos of my home.I recently helped a friend’s mom with some updates to her dining room.She had just painted it a pretty red and wanted to give the rest of the room an update while keeping her existing table and chairs.For a more transitional aesthetic, try a mix of vertically and horizontally arranged books.One of the simplest ways to freshen up any home is to integrate bright colors.I want her thoughts on how to update my dining room, which is stuck in a time warp — an era of big sideburns and wide lapels. It shows a lot of personality, the story of your life.” Suddenly she’s quiet. I tell her, “See, when DC and I got married and combined our households, and moved into the happy yellow house, our lives fell into place, but our furniture not so much.
You see, I bought this dining set at a local thrift store a couple of weeks ago: Ain’t she a beauty? Love love loved it and had to have it, called hubby and convinced we had to have it. Brought it home a couple of days later (fabulous cell pic): You might be saying, “But didn’t you just redo a set of dining room chairs?? I still love them, however they are not very sturdy at. I still have them for extra seating because they are pretty.They have gorgeous, elegant homes and great taste, so I did it. Plus, I could already see in my head, people lined up for miles to tell me how I ruined it by painting it. ”) Here she is after her espresso stained make-over: I shared how I removed the original stain without sanding in this post.To stain, I applied two coats of Minwax Polyshades in Espresso, using a stain-friendly brush. I can’t get enough of the curved detail on the back of these chairs: Allright, enough gushing about the chairs… There is only one small, teeny, tiny, itty bitty problem.I applied it probably a lot thicker than I should have and so it went on very opaque. (At first I was very disappointed by that since I worked really hard to take it back down to the beautiful bare wood, but after two years, it does still look really pretty.) This is a stain and poly in one, so there is no need for a sealer. I don’t still pretty, it’s just that I was so excited to start my new plan, but chose to play it safe. If you are the slightest bit unsure about something? Miss Mustard Seed featured this cute as all gal from The Ironstone Nest a couple of weeks ago and she showed this sign from her brand new shop: See in there where it says, “Have no fear, trust your instincts”? For now this table still allows our family to gather together for dinner.I would also recommend using a wood conditioner first so the stain is absorbed evenly. I’ll do a quickie tutorial in a future post if anyone is interested. It also says in finer print, “There are no mistakes that can’t be remedied with sandpaper”. It still provides a landing spot for junk mail and groceries.Choose classic-to-formal furniture pieces and add something to make them feel modern and relaxed.