The MIH e-mail group has moved on to the dining room this week, decluttering and beautifying. My dining room is just an extension of my kitchen; it isn't very big, so there's minimal room for stuff. I decluttered the microwave cart in there a few weeks ago. So I've been "shopping" at home to see what I already have that will work in my dining room. I wanted to share some of the things I've done.
The top of the microwave has always been hard for me to decorate. I don't know why; it just is. I had a plant on top of the fridge, but it was dying, so I moved it over to the microwave stand, which is nearer to the window. It perked up right away, although it's still spindly and will have to work hard to grow to a full, healthy-looking plant (plants are afraid to live at my house - my thumb is a nice, muddy shade of brown). The plant is in a terra cotta pot, which was making the white doily I had under it turn brown because the moisture would seep out of the pot when I would water it, so I set a candle plate under it to protect my doily runner.
I'm not a great decorator, which you can see from the poor little shelf above the microwave! I've put a bunny cookie jar and a bunny candle along with a cake candle up there, for spring. It's a little dull, but the best I can do right now.
Across the room is my 5-foot shelf I got at a Michael's grand opening for $5.00. You just don't find shelves this long for $5.00! I have had various things on this shelf. Right now I have the antique hurricane lamps that my husband bought for me on our 20th anniversary in a little antique shop in Victoria, BC. They look like a matching pair, but there are some slight differences that brought the price down to $20.00 for the pair. I love these lamps! The little book leaning against the one on the left is my husband's grandfather's New Testament, and the candle next to that was a Christmas gift from my son last year. In the middle of the shelf is a group of family photos that I love. The apple and spice packet were gifts from an online friend in Texas. The picture above the shelf is one from Home Interiors that my mother gave me when she was redecorating. It says "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" and expresses my and my husband's determination to live out our calling. For a long time, I didn't put any kind of linens on this shelf, but I got those napkins at a thrift store that was going out of business. There are 8 of them in the set. The store was offering bags for $5.00, and you could fill the bag for just that $5.00, so I got these napkins basically for free, since I filled that bag slap full of all kinds of stuff! They had some brown spots on them and they were yellowing just a bit, so I bleached them, holding my breath hoping they wouldn't be ruined. They turned out beautifully, so I ironed them and used 3 of them on this shelf. Here's the detail of the cross stitching on the napkins (cross stitch is my first crafting love!).
Last thing is my table. We have a large oval table. I have two tablecloths, but they aren't everyday cloths (I need to get some), so I keep my table bare. Rigth after we moved here in August of 2004, my grandma had to go into a nursing home, so my aunt sent me some of her things. In that box was a lace table runner. I put it in the center to dress the table up a bit. I'd like to put a centerpiece in the middle, but right now we keep our napkins and salt and pepper shakers on the table, and old habits die hard!
So that's what I've done in my dining room to pretty it up a bit. I'd love to paint and get new curtains, but those aren't in the budget right now. We live in a rental, so everything is white! I'm just thankful that everything is in good shape and we have a pleasant place to live!