January Cure check in: thoughts on a dining room revamp

A dining room revamp has long been on my list of home chores and one I’ve written about before, however being short on time and budget I’ve narrowed down the spot that needs most work and will be concentrating on that.

Yesterday’s January Cure task was to sit and ponder a particular problem area of your home and think about ways to improve it.  I knew which area this would be before the task came up as it is one that I is on my mental to-do list for a long time: the dining room alcove.

messy dining room alcove needs a makeover

The dining room alcove is a small extension made by a square bay window, it is four feet deep by six feet wide (150 x 200 cm in new money) and faces south onto the garden.

When I viewed the house before moving in the alcove was a place that I imagined as a cosy reading nook, a tiny sanctuary in the house, a space for reading and contemplation.  It hasn’t quite worked out that way.  The alcove has been a space that has changed in use many times in the last two and a half years.  It has housed the freezer, my desk in various forms – from drop leaf table to mdf shelf, virtually all the bookshelves in the house have stood in it at one time or another but still it ends up being a cluttered dumping ground for anything that I don’t know where it should be.  I suspect this is because it sticks out of the room so I feel I can fill it up without infringing on the rest of the space that we use daily.  Not that that space isn’t without clutter either!

I’ve found that as I’ve streamlined other rooms the dining room has become less so, what doesn’t fit in another room gets dumped in there, it has become a holding room for things that may or may not be useful and may or may not be thrown out – a purgatory for stuff!

At the moment I imagine that if ONLY I can get this room sorted the rest of my life will fall into place!

Here it is viewed from the alcove:

dining room needs to be decluttered and reorganised

The saving grace of the dining room, orignal built in shelving!

The other problem with the room is that it has multiple functions:

  • Dining room, including all the crockery and cutlery storage and freezer as the kitchen is too small for one.
  • Sewing room, including most of the fabric storage and all haberdashery, sewing machine, patterns and dress form.
  • Craft room for all of my daughters bits and bobs and a fair few of mine.

It is also the place we do homework and make shopping lists and menu plans as well as play with friends and sit with neighbours for tea and cake.

The saving grace of the dining room are the original built in cupboards, it is possibly tidier in the cupboards than in the room.  I’ve always thought minimalists were people that had really big untidy cupboards but spotless rooms, so maybe my problem is that I’ve got big tidy cupboards – a minimalist in reverse! Or maybe I’ve just got too much stuff for my space?

Back to the aclove, here’s what I’ve got planned:

  • To move out all the stuff!
  • To move take out the shelves and chest of drawers and replace with a tall bookshelf from the sitting room – which will be replaced by a tall bookshelf I’ve put a deposit down on in one of the thrift stores.
  • To paint the tall bookshelf white with a pink backboard, inspired by this cabinet.
  • To finally add knobs to the drawers of the chest of drawers and to add casters so I can move it around easily.
  • To refit the curtains (I took them up too far when I altered them)
  • To add in some spot lighting.

By the end of it the alcove will have a tall bookshelf, a small chest of drawers, red rocking chair and that should be it.  At some point I’d like to do a whole dining room revamp including re-painting the room white but that’s a big task and will have to wait. And no, I haven’t worked out where all the stuff that doesn’t fit back on the bookshelves will go yet!



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