Dining Room Refresh + DIY Brass Pendants

modfrugal DIY brass chandelier

Happy New Year! Yeah, I’m a bit late. the bloggaversary came and went, and I was too ashamed to even mention it because, really, why draw attention to the fact that I’m a terrible poster these days. “Hey, it’s been 6 years and I got nothing!”

So here I am, and I finally have something . Yay for not wasting your time?!? It’s a long one though, so come back, or settle in for awhile.

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While we haven’t been making any more progress in the pantry, I decided to rearrange furniture and art everywhere. At least that is something that can be done and finished, until I do it again.

For those who participated in the Moon vs. Mushroom lamp vote on Instagram/FB..the Moon won in the end, simply because I liked the Mushroom in the dining room. I need to reshoot all these rooms in their entirety, but it has been so dark out for so long, I got tired of waiting. When the light returns…better photos will emerge.

Modfrugal dining room


modfrugal living room

modfrugal living room


modfrugal living room


modfrugal living room


And a major art rearrange in this corner…not loving it, but am rolling with it for now.

modfrugal living room

modfrugal living room

The entry feels more open without the deco buffet….

modfrugal entry


modfrugal entry


I have some fun things I hope I can share with you soon, but I can’t yet…in the meantime we are scrambling to make these things happen…cryptic, I know, but it hopefully explains our lack of progress on other fronts.

I have thrown up a few of these updated pics on the house tour since I realized they were pretty old, but when I re-shoot in good flat light, I’ll swap them out since these really are terrible. Please let the wet darkness end……

To Do: Cure Table Woes

I have table woes. One of the only pieces of furniture in this whole entire house that was purchased new, has failed me.

Am I shocked? Not really.

Am I resentful? Absolutely.

Our dining room table was bought on sale at Pottery Barn, and I think I know why the clearance price was so good. The finish has the life span of a fly. It’s called Sandrift Gray and it started chipping only 6 months after we got it. Now, this is what we see all over…little nicks and chips.


I contacted Pottery Barn right away when the first nicks appeared to see if they sold a touch up kit or something that would match the finish…NO. So now I throw a canvas dropcloth over it if I have guests coming because it’s at the point now where it’s just looking…shabby.


I love the lines…I wanted a Parson’s table, and still do, plus it has a leaf, so that we can seat 10-12 for special occasions.  I want to fix the table finish, but how?  The “finish” is textured, as you might be able to tell in the photos. Because of that, an opaque paint color might highlight the chips in the texture. If I did some kind of overglaze, would that be enough to hide it? I don’t know that I have it in me to sand off the finish completely and start over…but it’s a last ditch option. I tried a silver paint pen on one spot that I promptly wiped off…sigh.

This will be a big project either way and I’m open to suggestions on how to hide these blemishes…I don’t want to have to live with tablecloths forever.


About a month or so ago, I found something I’d been hunting for since we moved in.  Our dining room has can lights, which are fine, but not exactly emitting the moody, groovy vibe I was hoping for.

I found them dusty and grimy in a vintage store, and one was wired with a plug instead of hardwired.  Luckily, that’s not a problem over here.  We decided to take the easy path since we can’t access the ceiling from above and bought 2 converter kits at Home Depot.  The one we bought isn’t online, but is similar to this one.

So while the CC was wiring up the cans, I got to polishing.  Luckily, the chrome was in pretty good shape, so no soda was required this time.

Of course, they HAVE to be on a dimmer.  A complete MUST.

There is one small problem.  I think they are too high.  Currently they hang at 36″ above the table.  I think this particular fixture calls for 28-30″.  Thoughts?

Nothing is happening right away, since I really just wanted to get them up before Thanksgiving, but if I have to change the length and rewire them, I’m thinking that I won’t replace the chain..maybe black cloth cord?  I’ll listen to your suggestions and mull it over before making any decisions, but for now, I’m super happy to have a little dramatic upgrade from builder’s cans.


Maybe all this city paralyzing snow is a good thing for us.  Most weekend activities were canceled due to “inclement weather” (3 inches of snow..it’s the South), so we found ourselves with more time than we anticipated.  You know what that means?  Yes, hot chocolate and Monopoly, but what else?  Project time!

We went through the annual list reconciliation, and after examining the new 2011 to do list, we decided to tackle a small, but satisfying line item whilst cooped up.  Buh-bye dining room chair rail!

The CC popped off the rail and floated out the bumps and ridges left behind.

Thing Two and I painted and then we were finished and having Sunday dinner in here.  It is hard (for me) to photograph right now since it has been gloomy and gray with more snow forecast.  I’ll update the DR tour when we get some light back.

The 2011 to do list is no smaller this year…still 2 pages and going strong.  Highlights to come.