posted by on Design


So I like to think I’m crafty. That I’m handy, that sure, I can do anything myself. After all, I’m supergirl, right? Yeah, okay, Ashley.

Let’s be honest. I’m not the most crafty person. I prefer having someone else paint my walls, hang my pictures and make my scarves. I’ve gotten better over the years but I still remember the apartment on 95th and Park Ave whose bedroom was only painted three quarters of the way up the wall until my brother finished off the top. (Technically, I’m really short. And terrified of ladders. And heights. And I hate taping.) I also remember a lot of projects that went unfinished.

Like that quilt I decided to make in High School. I think I finished two rows before giving up. (I blame trying to hand sew the thing–and let’s not talk about the disaster that was my attempt at learning the sewing machine.) Or when I tried my hand in jewelry making. I made my mom a necklace and one for myself that broke after a few weeks. I gave that up pretty quickly.

If a career could be made out of never finishing what you started, I’d totally be able to retire early.

I did prove in August of 2010 that I could finish something–if I had an audience. During VEDA ’10, I painted my old apartment’s living room wall and fireplace on camera. I had a lot of fun doing it and I loved that I got to share that with the internets. But since then my projects have been pretty minimal.  Sure, I’ve hung pictures on the wall and arranged my furniture nicely, but any other DIY projects have pretty much fallen to the wayside.

Until now.

I probably have been talking about redoing my dining set for over a year. I even have a quart of gray paint sitting in my closet from an inspired afternoon in Home Depot when I decided I really wanted a gray dining set. I have even collected probably a dozen discontinued fabric samples with high hopes they’d grace the seats of the four chairs. They’re scattered around in drawers and closets instead.

This dining set has been the bane of my existence. I have redecorated my living room and my bedroom over the past year and the dining “room” was the last thing I needed to complete. And then the other day my company cleared out about fifty discontinued fabrics and I managed to find four perfectly coordinated fabrics. The problem with all the other fabric swatches I have hidden all over my apartment was that they didn’t quite match. They are in pairs or in threes but they don’t all match.

These four were the motivation I needed to seriously start thinking about turning my dining set from bland to pretty fantastic. I picked out a few paint samples, asked everyone’s opinion and then proceeded to stress out in Home Depot because it just wasn’t right. I am an Interior Designer, with a specialty in color and I can pick out colors and fabrics for clients within minutes. But for myself? FORGET IT. I had to employ everyone in the Home Depot paint department and finally, I chose two colors, the two colors that I envisioned at the start of this project. A metallic vintage goldish silverish color and a dark brown.

Thursday happened to be a gorgeous 70 degrees and I took that opportunity to throw open all my windows, put on a tank top and started painting. It took me an hour and a half per chair and forty five minutes for the table–and a bunch of really sore butt and leg muscles from all the bending over–but over the course of my two days off, I managed to finish my dining table. And I didn’t tape it for any YouTube challenge (but there certainly was no way in hell that I wasn’t going to blog about it).

Below are the before and after pictures. Loving the transformation and it only cost me forty dollars to get a new-looking dining set!

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  • Linda

    I love it!

  • lifeloveandhighheels

    Love the colors! It turned out great!

  • suki

    ooooh, crafty! :) love how it’s a simple way to change an entire look.

  • katelin

    oooh it looks so good, nicely done!

  • Ashley

    Looks fab! And I think that’s a good vlog topic: complete a project you’ve been putting off!

  • Dee

    Looks gorgeous! I have a bad track record with projects too but am inspired by the look you’ve created! I’ve been thinking of revamping the desk in my home office but am put off by the idea of sanding, did you paint straight onto the wood?

  • Clare – Never Niche

    It looks killer! I love it.