Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dining Area Makeover

Dear Em,
The hard thing for me about becoming a first-time home owner is I didn't really know what I wanted. I mean, I thought I knew what I wanted. In some ways I did, but in some ways I don't think we were prepared to know what we wanted until we had experience owning a house.

Our rugs were one example of this. We carpeted our entire upstairs as soon as we moved in using a vendor that was cheap & had nice looking carpets. We soon learned the reality of "you get what you pay for." The carpets did look nice the first year, but five years later they look awful. The next time we look at carpeting (which unfortunately will be sooner than we'd like), quality will be something we value much more than we did previously.

Our dining set was another learning experience for me. We hadn't even moved into our house when I went furniture shopping. We didn't have a dining set. We had a table & couple chairs that Grandma & Papa had handed down to us for our small apartment. I didn't know exactly what I wanted, but I knew I wanted something that would fit our big family (well, extended family) & our friends. Except dining room sets are expensive...really expensive. A set of chairs is often times more expensive than the dining table itself. When you add a hutch to that (& we need a hutch, we always nee more storage)? Big bucks!

Then I saw a dining set in the middle of the showroom that was on clearance. The floor model was being sold. It wasn't exactly my style, but there was a table, 6 comfy chairs, & a hutch for an unbelievable price. I didn't love it, but I loved the price, & it was definitely something I could live with. I called Daddy on the phone, & he agreed it was a great price (& said he deferred to me on style). So, I bought it!

One of the biggest things I've learned about making big purchases is not to buy something I can live with. Now I wait to find something that I can love. While it was a beautiful cherry-stained set, I've never liked cherry-stained wood. It so isn't my taste. It's just too dark & fancy for me. I've spent the last five years asking myself why I overlooked the style of the dining set just because the price was right. I've spent the last five years sadly swooning over pictures of other dining sets. Until this year.

This year Daddy finally gave me the nod of approval to buy a new dining table (I think it was a combo of me wearing him down & the dining room table wobbling like crazy), & this time I found a table & chairs that were a great price & a great fit for our home (the chairs were a little pricy but I still got a good deal).

So, we said goodbye to our old table & chairs. Although I don't miss the cherry stain, there were a lot of precious moments spent at that table. Daddy & I had some of our first meals in our new home at that table. I remember trying to eat dinner, while holding our sweet little newborn in my arms at that table. I'll never forget how we sat for our first meals as a family of three, you in your highchair & Daddy & I on either side of you. I'll always remember the pride on your face as you said goodbye to your highchair & sat at the table with us for the first time. That table has been banged up & beaten up during dinners & craft time. We celebrated big moments & small moments & talked to each other about our days at that table.

Our new table is going to have some pretty big shoes to fill, but it has something going for it that our old table never really did: I freaking love how it looks in our home.

There's just one thing. I haven't figured out what to do about the hutch yet. It clearly doesn't match our new table & chairs. I'm not sure if I want to paint it, try to find a new one, or wait until we renovate our kitchen & add matching cabinets to the hutch area.

I do know one thing. I'm going to wait until I know for sure this time before we do anything.

I love you so,

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