Dining Upgrade for a New Year

The dining area of our kitchen has been in dire need of an upgrade!

We purchased a table and two (yes, only 2) chairs off Craigslist when we first moved in to our current house, having left our too small dining set behind in Virginia.

The previous owners of the table and chairs had started to refinish them, but they were incomplete. I thought this was just perfect because it eliminated quite a bit of sanding work on my end. However, our dining set remained in an unfinished state for the last 9 months. Back in September we finally acquired two more chairs via Craigslist so we were able to retire the metal folding chairs we had been using in addition to the original two chairs.

I had dreams of painting our chairs a bright color and painting the base and staining the top of the dining table, along with replacing the God-awful light fixture hanging above it.

Here’s the view of the dining area I left you at the end of November in our updated house tour:


Luckily, I had both a nesting instinct and a Christmas party planned to light a fire under my arse to get stuff done!

Let’s talk about that light fixture for a second. That thing was U-G-L-Y! In fact, it was so ugly I couldn’t bring myself to photograph a detail shot for you. It was also a haven for dust, spiders and other bugs. Not to mention it was rusty and hung crooked because one of the shades was missing. There was no way I was going to serve food to guests under that nasty light fixture! I didn’t even like eating underneath it!

I’ve had my eye on some cool modern fixtures for awhile but hadn’t investigated shipping to Hawaii yet. We eventually want to completely gut and redo our kitchen, so I figured a new fixture would probably happen then. In the meantime, Shane and I wanted to try and work with what we already had. I was adamant that we at least had to take the fixture down so we could give it a thorough cleaning before the party. We were even discussing spray painting it a fun color to get us by until we save enough money for a kitchen remodel.

Well, let me just say, while we were removing the old fixture we were in complete agreement that it was just too gross and disgusting to spend our time cleaning and there was absolutely no way we were ever going to put it back up!

Enter our spur of the moment light fixture replacement shopping!

Shane headed out to Home Depot solo since Tristan was already napping. (Unfortunately, as with everything else here, there’s not a lot of variety or stores to choose from. The nearest Lowes is 2 hours away on the other side of the island). We had scoped out some cool fixtures online before Shane left, but I missed the part where they weren’t stocked at our local store. Whomp whomp.

After a couple of phone calls and a lot of texting of images and screen shots between us, we settled on a reasonably priced option that was the best of what the store had in stock. Without that light fixture, our upper level would be very dark! (We are still working on acquiring more lighting beyond the ceiling fixtures in the house, as we parted with all but one lamp in the move). I’ll be honest, it’s not my absolute favorite, but it is still a bajillion times better than the previous fixture. We also didn’t realize exactly how small the old fixture was for the space until we got our new, much larger fixture installed (naturally, in the dark at 10pm after the kiddo was in bed). Down the road, if we decide it doesn’t jive with our kitchen remodel plans, we’ll Craigslist it.

The new fixture:


Now, back to the chairs.

The weather and Shane’s schedule didn’t quite cooperate with us getting all of our chairs painted prior to our Christmas party (it’s killing me that I have to be careful about paints and fumey products while pregnant). We managed to have one done to test it out before the party and just completed the rest right after Christmas.


I’m totally loving them! The lighting is tricky in here, I feel like the chairs look black in the photos, but they’re beautiful blue! (I’m not exactly a great photographer anyhow…) The single paint color – Navy Blue by Rustoleum – ties the somewhat mismatched chairs together. I hope to find or make some chair cushions with some brightly printed fabric soon to complement the chairs’ new look.


By comparison, I feel like they make the table look worse. The base is barely primed and the unfinished/unprotected wood top is prone to water rings and stains. Sometime after Baby arrives I fully intend to give the table base a few good coats of hi-gloss white paint and a rich stain on top (after I sand out the discolorations).

At least we got a bit of a dining upgrade for a new year!


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