Dining Room Complete

August 2, 2011

My friends, I’ve been keeping a secret from you.  It took me over five years to finish my dining room, and when I say ‘finish’ I mean install a much needed countertop, a backsplash, and some hardware on the built in cabinets.  Truth be told, there was just a piece of plywood as a countertop sitting in this little nook for many years that I would cover up when company came.  Seasons passed, I procrastinated and procrastinated until just a few weeks ago.  The time had finally come to finish the job.

Here’s a peek of how it looks today.

kates glass tile backsplash


One of the reasons I even started this blog was to document the progress on our house remodel that we started oh, six years ago.  I can’t believe finishing this part of a major space in our home actually took me this long. 

before after dining hutch


Sadly, I’d been hiding the ugly plywood counter for years under a tacky piece of contact paper.  Yep, you read that right.  Contact paper.  *hangs head in shame* 

proof of contact paper


Well now it’s a part of my past, and we shall speak of it no more. 

glass backsplash new knobs


Here’s how it went down.  I got a recommendation from a guy who knows a guy with a fabrication shop.  That guy told me that the other guy had remnants and I should go check it out.  Well I did. I spied a crema marfil marble remnant and made the guy an offer he couldn’t refuse. $50 bucks.  He said, ‘OK lady’ and then quoted me $200 more to measure, fabricate, and install. That’s a price I was willing to pay.  $250 total.  Done. 

I ordered new pulls and knobs from my local True Value, but when they arrived they were a little too black in the ridges, so I used a little Rub n Buff in ‘Pewter’ to fix that. 

pulls from true value


I also painted the inside of the cabinets the same color as the walls which is Ben Moore’s ‘Camouflage’ – the same as in my kitchen and family room.  Notice how I didn’t paint the outside!  See, I don’t paint everything white, although it’s tempting at times.  Actually, I think the wood cabinets are really beautiful. 

painted inside cabinets


I found the glass tile at a local shop and instantly fell in love.  It was a little pricey (I paid $13 a sheet) but I loved it so much I had to have it.  Now I can’t take my eyes off of it.  It’s Jeffery Court glass tile in ‘Whitewater’.  Here’s the link if you love it to.  We installed it yesterday, isn’t it purtay?  The tiles vary in color between gray/green and taupe, which is pure perfection for this space, and especially complements the wall color.  If I had the extra cash, I’d be tempted to redo my kitchen in it too, it’s that lovely.  

backsplash paint marble countertop


Our dining room sits right in the middle of the house and is a major multitasking space.  We use it for everything from art projects to an impromptu laptop station, also for both casual and formal dining, and as a buffet during the holidays. 

kates dining room french doors

The double pedestal table comfortably seats six, but expands to eight.  We found it in perfect condition at an antique shop when we were first married.  I’m not a fan of matching sets, so over the years I’ve switched up the seating.  These slipcovered chairs I bought from Ballard sooooo many years ago (I’m gonna guess eight).  Ballard still carries them, they are the upholstered Couture Chairs and they are fabulous.

Years ago I had a glass top specially cut for the top to protect the surface so I don’t have to stress about the top getting scratched, and it’s much easier to clean that way. 

specialty glass top

Diamond print rug by Dash & Albert.

Mariestad chandelier from Ballard, I installed it a few months ago.  I like its grayish taupe color too that goes with everything, plus it’s a simple and classic style. 

dining room mariestad chandelier


Sometimes I bring in the nailhead trim trestle bench I refinished last year to mix up the seating even more.  The linen slipcovered armchairs I found on vacay down in the Solana Beach shopping district on Cedros Avenue a month ago for 50% off. 

kates dining room table and cabinets


But these days I’m loving my slipcovered chairs with all my heart and soul.  Mostly because they come upholstered in whatever color you want, but you can mix it up with fitted slipcovers with the seasons.  Mine are the ecru velvet slipcovers, cozy in winter, white in summer.  I think I’ll pick up the spa blue or sage linen versions someday, if they ever go on sale, just to add a pop of color to this neutral space.

kate dining room chairs


There you go, finally, the official grand tour of the dining room space.  I love it!

Oh, one more thing before I go.  

My glass tile backsplash is totally rad.

jeffrey court whitewater backsplash


There, I said it.  I’m done now.  

Hope you like it too.



True Value Blog Squad legalese:  “I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience.  I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project.   However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.”


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149 Responses to “Dining Room Complete”

  1. Stephanie says:

    Beautiful! The back splash is by far my favorite part! I love it! :)

  2. Amanda says:

    I’m beyond impressed. Come decorate my house?

  3. Denise says:

    I love the colors!

    Glass tile is my fav these days. I’ve put it in every tiled space in our home!

    I love how your dining room turned out. And you’re right on about that wood finish (it also compliments that larger piece on the other side of the room).

    Great job all around!

  4. Elizabeth H says:

    As always, perfection. Totally beautiful.

  5. Rebecca says:

    Gorgeous! It’s so nice to know that even amazing homes like yours can have secrets, too! I love the idea of the glass top for the table, too. What happens when you expand it? I’d love to do something similar for our dining table, instead of table pads, but not sure how this would work when we add a leaf???

  6. The backsplash is totally rad! Definitely worth the splurge. I also love the mix of chairs. Looks fabulous!! :)

  7. Jill says:

    OMG love the backsplash. I am trying to talk hubs into retiling our master & would LOVE to use that tile as the backsplash by the sinks. Wish me luck LOL

  8. the marble was a total score. i am totally jealous. and now that tile – slap my momma and call me sally – it’s perfection with grout!

  9. Leslie says:

    The difference just the light paint inside the upper cabinets made is amazing. Everything is beautiful!

  10. Denise says:

    You did it again Kate! So pretty and peaceful.

  11. Alex says:

    Trust me, WE UNDERSTAND THE LONG RUNNING PROJECTS!!!! The backsplash looks great. Glass tile can be so hit or miss because of the backing, and it looks like your tile is very hit. We also love the whole remnant shopping approach. That’s how we got our new black marble threshold for the front door for $30.

    Isn’t it odd that you can look at something like the plywood covered in contact paper for years, and then almost get used to it? But then, once you replace it, you almost forget how long you lived with it looking like that? How many people you had over your house and hoped they just ignored it? How many times you thought to yourself “I should really do something about that,” but the fact that it took you years to actually act on it? We play this game often.

    Anyhow, great job.

  12. HollyG says:

    I LOVE this room. I think it’s beautiful (and the rug and tile, everything), but what I’m MOST excited about is that our dining room is Camouflage too! Although yours looks so much prettier and brighter – do you get light all around your home? We are in a twin so at times I don’t like the way it looks. AND I’ve been debating about carrying the color up the hallway and into the kitchen…Mmmm….
    It’s gorgeous – great job.

  13. Allison says:

    Absolutely stunning, Kate! Every detail is beautiful.

  14. I found your blog when I was searching for mantel ideas and now I’m totally hooked! You have incredible talent and wonderful taste. I can not wait to read more about your projects!

  15. Kat says:

    How gorgeous this all turned out! I will definitely be keeping this as an inspiration room:)

  16. I agree, that backsplash is pretty fabulous! I’m glad you left the cabinetry alone aside from painting the inside. It makes the cabinet a nice focal point amongst all the white. Well done!

  17. Mindy says:

    whoa, posted yesterday and already 100+ comments! Well I LOVE that backsplash. I’ve been wanting to do my kitchen’s, but haven’t made my way to any tile stores. Thanks for the link for the tile. Love the tip on painting just the inside, I wouldn’t have noticed that you did that without telling me (I mean it makes a big difference!).

    Please let me know if you have any backsplash resources/ideas for dark granite countertops and cabinets. I don’t have a dreamy white kitchen like everyone else these days!

  18. OMG KATE!!!!!!!! The counters and backsplash look absolutely amazing!!!!!!! And while you hate to reveal the former contact paper counters… that’s a great temporary fix while waiting for countertops! :)

    Also, I just now read your “about” section and saw that you’re an attorney by trade!!! That’s so exciting to see (for me) since I am going into my third year of law school but I still love to DIY and blog! :) Can I ask why you decided not to practice any more?

  19. Jackie B says:

    Your backsplash really is spectacular. I gutted out my kitchen almost two years ago and every little thing I’ve picked out had to be something I loved. I am glad you held out for that missing piece to find the one you love. My backsplash remains undone too. The final piece. I have just not found the perfect one. I was thinking that the back of the cabinet would look great mirrored. Ever think of that? It would allow more light to dance around and bounce off your cabinetry and tchotchkes. I have an antiqued mirrored window frame from Ballards (that took 8 months to receive) sitting leaning against a wall between two sections of cabinets. I loved the look and reflection it creates.

  20. Jennifer says:

    It’s too funny that you just posted this. Today I just posted about finally tiling our backsplash after 2 1/2 years! Here’s the link:http://thewaymanfamilynest.blogspot.com/2011/08/backsplash-is-up-2-12-years-later.html

    Yours looks beautiful! The dining room is simply stunning!

  21. Peggy says:

    I am sooooo glad you left the cabinets as is. The color is rich and gorgeous and the glass tile was a perfect choice. I love the neutral tones of the space, a look that I am in the process of working on in my own DR. Now, inquiring minds want to know, where on Cedros did you get those chairs? I never see anything that nice in those stores for 50% off (I live in Cardiff)! Don’t keep secrets now :-).

  22. Kate your dining room is stunning! You did a fabulous job with your countertops and backsplash and I love how you didn’t paint your cupboards. Everything goes together beautifully. I love BM Camoflauge and am going to feature it on my blog. Hope you’re doing well!

  23. Jen says:

    It turned out just LOVELY. As all your projects do of course. I am so in love with that back-splash, it’s pure perfection.

    The whole room looks so inviting and relaxing.


  24. It looks great!! Yes, that tile is totally rad! I love having a built in area in the dining room for dinnerware and serveward. The room is beautiful!

  25. Hey Peggy! They were from the first furniture store on the north side to the left on Cedros, they had weekend sale going on and I couldn’t pass them up!!! I CANNOT remember the name of the store off the top of my head, but I will track down my receipt and report back!

  26. Nedra says:

    Absolutely beautiful and comfortable dining space!

  27. Lori says:

    Fantastic remodel. I really like painting the inside of the cabinets and leaving the wood, beautiful.

  28. Carrie says:

    Absolutley LOVE it! I have been saving to do My Tile Backsplash as well. I am going to have to check out my local granite shop for remnants!

    Awesome Job!

  29. gugs says:

    Look at what I spotted on TV tonight! =) Talk about being on trend….


  30. Shaunna says:

    Absolutely gorgeous. LOVE those slipped chairs too. And the backsplash. All of it.

  31. AarthiD says:

    Honestly, though, those five years were well-spent, given how gorgeous your dining room came out! ita with the others — the backsplash makes the room, and the slip-covered chairs add such a great touch!

  32. Trude says:

    It all looks amazing! That backsplash is to die for. And I love the slipcovers with the little ruffle at the bottom! :)

  33. Jody says:

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT! Especially the backsplash, perfect with the cabinets!

  34. Wow- this transformation is gorgeous! What an amazing deal on the marble counter! I love the whole room. :) I love the attention to detail you did, by painting the back insides of the cabinets. Great idea!

  35. megan says:

    found your blog through pinterest. love all your stuff! just thought I’d tell you that I was looking at ballard designs and happened to read your post about the chair slipcovers and buying more if they were on sale. the sage linen is on sale right now!!

  36. Shari says:

    Kate, your dining room is sooooo beautiful! It’s everything my formal dining room wants to be when it grows up. Actually, I’ve been considering those exact parsons chairs and slips from Ballards.

    Do you recall what leg finish is on your chairs? The mahogany picture on the Ballard site reads really light and just plain icky on my monitor. Your chair legs look dark and rich so I wondered if they were mahogany, or the darker color, cognac….or maybe even black?

  37. Kristy Swain says:

    Love the backsplash and marble countertop! Thanks for sharing.

  38. Allie says:

    I love your tile! Its like a classier version of subway tile!

  39. Kate says:

    Love your dining room update…..but nowhere did I see you mention where you got that white milkglass pedestal/cake plate. Could you share? Thanks!

  40. Missy says:

    I love it! I have big plans for my kitchen/dining room as well!

  41. Jodi says:

    Are the interiors laminate? And if so, how did you paint them? Thank you!

  42. Malena says:

    Love it. The tile is awesome. I do like your paint color, but I’m afraid to guess what it looks like “in person.” Is it grey? I’m on a grey kick right now, this looks not to dark, not too green, not too blue, not boring.

  43. Genna Elkins says:

    I am painting my kitchen Camouflage too!! It’s GORGEOUS in your house! I’m in loooove with your tile and been looking everywhere for that tile for our backsplash. Do you have a link of where you got it? Thanks!!!

    Beautiful remodel!

  44. Genna Elkins says:

    Oh I found it, sorry! Thank you for posting it!

  45. Maddison says:

    Where did you get those slip covers on the Ballard chairs?! Love themmmm

  46. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Maddison, the slipcovers are also from Ballard!

  47. Nicole says:

    I realize that it’s almost 2 years later but I absolutely love the backsplash! Do you mind sharing where it was purchased? I am in the Midwest and everywhere I have checked is close to $30/sheet. Thank you.

  48. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Nicole I purchased it locally, perhaps find out if a local dealer carries it for less or if you can find it online?

  49. Nicole says:

    One more question… Do you remember if you used white or an off white grout? Thanks again!

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