I'm home sick from work today thanks to a sore throat, headache and complete lack of voice. While letting my Lemon Echinachea tea steep for the recommended 10-15 minutes, I took the opportunity to snap a few photos of the finished dining room as it looked for our very first "dinner party" -- Easter lunch with my brother's family over the weekend.

I still need to paint the baseboards, hang some art and futz with details, but for now I'm calling it done. We all deserve that, I think.

And because you've all been waiting patiently for so many years, here are the "before" pictures so you can compare a real before with a real after and in real time: five and a half real years later. This is the stuff blogs are made of!

The logs were hidden behind those built-in shelves. There was also an addition built on the side of the house that we had to rip off because its floor joists were made from parts of metal shelving (which is, ah, not compliant with our local building code).

Here it was during the demo phase, during which we exposed the logs, rerouted the floor plan and removed not one but two unnecessary staircases to the right of the chimney (one was creepily hidden behind a wall):

And this is how it looked just four months ago, back in December.

And again, here we are today.

Much better!

And once again, I just want to thank everyone who has been reading for a long time. You have truly kept us going throughout this long process and enduring mess.

For those who are interested in sources:


  1. *squee!!* You have a grown-up, non-construction-zone, live-in-able Dining Room! I'm so excited for you. :-)

    1. I know! It's legit now -- what a strange and awesome feeling! Thank you.

  2. So good! Well done, and now you can enjoy lots of nice meals in there!

    1. Thanks! J already has her favorite spot established for mealtimes, so it's getting some good use.

  3. How pleasant for me this morning to find another post at Cabin Fervor.
    This is a nice room, and for many reasons, let me enumerate them.

    1] The mixture of light/dark is spot-on.
    2] A combination of textures provides interest
    3] The furnishings are out of the ordinary, not easily duplicated and interesting to look at.
    4] You have provided a consistent theme of metal/wood. (Throughout your house)
    5] The room size is ample. (Some many dinning areas are good with table only. Add in a side board and there goes your space!)

    - The new chinking looks great and hides a multitude of sins.
    - Your room looks sophisticated and classy. (High-end)
    - “S’s” table makes it worth much more to family than money can buy.
    - What to do with window treatments and blank walls?

    Thanks for the before/after

    1. Thank you, thank you! I really appreciate your thorough analysis here. You win my special Reader of the Day Award. :)

      We do plan to hang more art and interesting things on the blank walls, but I'm OK with letting that come together slowly as we find things we really like. I'd rather look at a blank wall than something I don't love or that I regret buying. As for window treatments, I haven't decided. This room can be kind of dark/gloomy with just the one window, so I want to let as much light in as possible. As we use it more, I think we'll figure out what we need.

      Oh, and the chinking -- that stuff works miracles. Cannot recommend Permachink enough! Is that what you used on yours?

    2. Permachink is the schizzel! (Did I use that correctly?) Janie has chinked two miles of crack! You most likely will not have the shrinkage we had with greenish logs.

  4. beautiful work, your persistence is an inspiration. i love the details of all the creative/nutty homemade "improvements" that had been done by the POs. how do you make floor joists out of shelving? that's awesome, and hilarious, and sad. and, can you tell us more about the TWO staircases in your DR? with thanks.

    1. Thank you for the kind comment! So glad we're past all the discoveries of poor decisions of owners previous... (I sure hope!)

      About the staircases -- what we've designated as the dining room and foyer area was all this house started with. It was originally just a square cabin with two floors and a basement. The kitchen was a later addition, as was the living room. One set of stairs in the dining room was the original, which led up to what is now our master bedroom. Sometime probably in the 1950s or so, someone decided they wanted to change up the floor plan (I think because of how they were configuring a new bathroom) and have the stairs run perpendicular to how they originally went. Instead of removing the original set, they lopped off the bottom 3 stairs and enclosed the rest in a wall before installing the new set right next to them.

      In truth, we actually removed 3 sets of stairs from the dining room, because there also used to be stairs going down to the basement too. I forgot to mention those! In total I think we gained about 30 square feet of floor space after ditching all these superfluous stairs -- and we STILL have two staircases going up to our second story! (One in the kitchen and one in the living room.) The house was almost a maze when we bought it.

      Here's an eerie, dusty and generally poor quality photo I took with my crappy phone camera the night we demo'ed the stairs. It can at least give you an idea of what we were dealing with.



Thanks for reading! I love your thoughts, feedback and suggestions. Keep 'em coming!