Dispatches from the dining room

After a wholly pleasant and unusually extended Spring, Philly’s heat and humidity has made an appearance in full force. While we’ve put an air conditioning unit in the bedroom for sleeping at night, we’ve resisted turning it on before 10 or putting another one in another part of the house. Frugality and a curious-but-unsubstantiated belief in fans have been the only things keeping me from collapsing into a non-productiveness puddle of my own sweat and tears. Most of the time. Sometimes.

Enter the dining room! I loved the near-black color we painted it for its own sake, but in the dead heat of summer, combined with its shaded windows, it’s become my favorite spot to spend time in the evenings.

As always, 90% of the project comes together quickly, and then the details are soooooo sloooow to follow. A little more of that came together recently, though, when I finally hung curtains.

Windows before:

And now:

They’re the super inexpensive Lill curtains from Ikea, originally intended as a stop-gap measure until I figured out a longer term solution, but I really love them as is. I started to use regular hardware to hang the curtains right around the glass, inside the moulding, but they just looked so wimpy and insubstantial. It was late when I started the project and I was motivated, so I didn’t want to squander that momentum waiting to get a longer curtain rod. I found three long thin wooden dowels in the basement that I taped together to span the width of the window frame and laboriously fed through the curtain pockets (mosquito netting fabric and unfinished wood splinters are reluctant friends). I perched the whole thing on top of the moulding and secured it all with strategically placed screws. This may be the part of the project that turns out to be the temporary measure, but I love the look of the curtains hung without visible hardware, and it seems to be pretty solid!

On the other side of the room, reflecting the light and greenery, I hung this recently acquired gilt-gesso mirror. I love the mirror so much for itself, but even extra because I found it at a local secondhand store for $15, a once-in-a-blue-moon perfect storm of a thrift find. I’m not sure if the wall needs more art to anchor it- I have a ton that I still need to hang- but I do like it quite a bit as a focal point.

And the books. Always and forever with the need for more book storage! But it’s coming together, and maybe even the light switches that we’ve had for months, but haven’t installed, will be next.

Do you like to shop at thrift stores, too? Have you found anything good recently? What’s your all-time favorite find?



  1. That mirror is beautiful and I’ve envied those curtains since you got them. They have that ethereal, peaceful look that I love. You’re inspiring me to be on the lookout for pieces to hang up on our walls. Renting doesn’t mean dorm-room.

    Girl, there is always a need for more book storage! S is now a card-carrying member of the B&N Kids’ Club, so she’ll need her own bookshelf. I think I’ll make some cool cross stitch design for her.

    Thrift store shopping is always fun, I think even more so when you are a crafter. Clothes can be reconstructed, furniture & other home goods can be repurposed, and when you hit your project jackpot, it’s ten times better. I have to remember not to bring home appliances. I tried to buy a (second) breadmaker and Matt judged me lol.

    1. Seriously about the books! They come into our house on a one-way street. Luckily I love them as a design element, so the trick is just figuring out exactly where extra shelves will go.

      Book-themed cross stitch for S? I could see them decorating a little reading nook with a half-sized bookshelf, and that would be the cutest corner ever!

      On Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 5:39 PM, The Projectory wrote:


  2. raeraesketchaday · · Reply

    I don’t think I’ve commented on your blog before, but I love it! It’s on my list of regular blogs I check often. Your apartment and the things you make are beautiful! Hope things are well-can’t wait for more updates!

  3. Thank you so much, I’m glad you left a note! I recently started a new job, which has taken WAY MORE energy than I expected to transition, but I’m excited to share some new projects soooooon!

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