Dining Room Music Room

Inspired & Motivated!

Hello, all!  What a difference four days can make!  Last Thursday, I was feeling so uninspired and unmotivated to work on the front rooms in my house. The big projects were feeling so overwhelming to me, and I had zero desire to tackle any of them.

I knew when I wrote my post last Thursday that I would get lots of comments about me probably being tired and exhausted, and needing to take a break. And while I knew that being tired and exhausted wasn’t the issue at all (I get plenty of rest and sleep and days off, I promise! 🙂 ), I still decided to step away from all house-related projects this last weekend.  So I did absolutely nothing on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Three whole days of nothingness.  Three days of eating comfort food, taking long naps, binge-watching various shows on Netflix, and hanging out and relaxing with Matt. Three whole power-tool-free days. And two-and-a-half days free of thinking about, obsessing about, and planning house-related projects.

Why only two-and-a-half days on that last one?  Because by Sunday afternoon, after plenty of relaxation time, and with me feeling completely rested, I still didn’t have the slightest bit of motivation to wake up the next morning (yesterday morning) and tackle any of the big projects in these rooms.

Nope, exhaustion wasn’t the issue.  There was something else going on, and I just needed to pinpoint it. And then it dawned on me that sometimes when I lose all motivation, it’s because either something hasn’t turned out the way I hoped it would, or I’m trying to force something that, in my gut, I know probably won’t turn out right in the end.

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So Sunday afternoon, I went into the dining room and just took inventory of all of the projects I had done for these front rooms, and the projects I have planned.  Painted buffet?  Love it.  Fireplace?  Love it now that I removed the hearth. New doorway to the kitchen?  It’s my new favorite thing. Bird and limb “wallpaper”? I think it’ll be fantastic.

And on and on I went until I hit upon three problem areas. The first issue is my door casings. I love how they look, but I think they’re just a tad bit too simple, too understated, and too Craftsman in style.

new cased opening from dining room to kitchen - the view at night with sconces turned on

I don’t think it’ll take much work to make them a bit more traditional in style. It’s mainly just a matter of removing the top 1″ x 2″ board, and replacing it with some small crown moulding.

The second issue is the dining table.

dining table 2

It’s a lovely table, and I’m so thankful to my step-sister for giving it to me. But the fact is that I was going to use it because it was free, and not because it’s exactly what I envisioned for my dining room.  So I asked myself, “If you could have any table, what would you want?” I didn’t really know exactly, but I just knew that I wanted something much more simple in style, more streamlined, and maybe a bit modern.

So Sunday afternoon, I started looking at dining tables online. It took a while for me to find one that actually made me excited about a dining table, but I did find one. And the awesome thing is that when I showed Matt my top three choices and asked him which one he liked the best, he chose my favorite! He wouldn’t even consider the other two.  Want to see what I chose? It’s the complete polar opposite from the table above. It’s the Torano Marble Rectangular Dining Table from Restoration Hardware.

Torano Marble Rectanglular Dining Table from Restoration Hardware

Now THIS table makes me excited!! Y’all know I generally lean traditional (with a twist) in my decorating, but I love to mix in some modern, clean lines to keep things looking fresh and interesting.  And I think this table will be perfect. I also love that it’s streamlined in its design so that it can be black without looking really dominant and heavy. And that not-quite-black marble top is amazing.

Of course, I’ll pay $2500 for a dining table when pigs fly, so in the meantime, I’ll be making a table inspired by this design.  🙂

But while the dining table and door casings were definite issues for me, they pale in comparison to the one really big issue in the room for me. And honestly, I’m not quite ready to share details. It’s one of the biggest projects I’ve done, and when I redo projects (any projects, but especially bigger projects) I generally catch flak about “wasting time” and “wasting money” and “being happy with good enough rather than perfect” and stuff like that.  And right now, I don’t want to hear that. (I’m just being honest.  🙂 ) Right now, I just want to continue feeling motivated, inspired, and giddy with excitement about the changes I’ll be making without the threat of rain on my parade.  😀

The whole point is that once I was really honest with myself and allowed myself to say, “I’m not pleased at all with how this looks,” and stopped beating myself up with thoughts of “wasted time” and “wasted money,” and allowed myself to entertain the thought of making significant changes, I got so stinkin’ excited about the new plan.  I mean, SO excited!! But I wasn’t just excited about the new plan for that particular project. I was excited about the ENTIRE thing — all three rooms. I was suddenly feeling motivated to install window casings, and sand drywall, and wood fill, sand, and caulk trim, and install crown moulding, and do all of those tasks that have had me gritting my teeth for the past few weeks.

Yesterday, for the first time in weeks, I was excited to work on my house. I continued working on my music room ceiling, and rather than having to force myself to do it, I was motivated to do it. This has been a big lesson learned for me. The next time I’m feeling wholly and completely unmotivated and uninspired to move forward on my house, my first thought won’t be, “I just need a break.”  My first thought will be, “What project have I done that isn’t quite working in this room, and what changes are necessary to make me feel excited and inspired again?”



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43 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment
    Ann Marie @ Twice Lovely
    November 3, 2015 at 10:05 am

    I bet you could get a local steel fabricator/welder to make a base like that pretty simply and inexpensively. You could paint it black yourself after fabrication. And I bet you could find a “scrap” or “remnant” piece of stone that would work for the table top, Would definitely be MUCH cheaper than $2,500!

    So happy you got your DIY mojo back!

    • Reply To This Comment
      Laura H.
      November 3, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      Good idea! She could also find a place that does powder coating and have them paint the base after it is made. The metal fabricators might even be able to do that. It usually doesn’t cost that much to have it done. She could get a close resemblance to this table that way for a lot less than $2500 and less work for herself.

      I’m glad you figured out what the problem was, Kristi and are now excited to get back to work! Don’t let all these negative people rain on your parade. It’s your house and you should do whatever you want! You are the one living there – they don’t – so do it exactly the way you want and forget their opinions on it.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jean
    November 3, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Wow! Such insight & I for one can’t wait to see the redo! Go Kristi!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Carla
    November 3, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I don’t blame you for not wanting it to rain on your parade. It would make me nuts for people to presume to know me and tell me why I am feeling a certain way when I can’t even figure it out. uou are brace to blog and listen to that chatter. I get enough of that from my family. You house your way Kristi needs to be your motto!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Mary B
    November 3, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Yay!!! So happy for you. Can’t wait to see your changes. It’s totally your journey (and adventure) so ignore any negativity. ????

  • Reply To This Comment
    Ashley
    November 3, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Way to Go!! I love that table and no i would not either at 2500$ if i had the $2500 for the table, so i can not wait to see what you come up with!! I must say that this was one of my favorite post, i have hit a block on my own house and the only rooms i love are my kids, everything else i want to just cringe and you are so right the more i am honest with my self the more i do know what i want and i am going to do that from now on and just block the hate (lol) of why and didn’t you just get that …for loving my space!! I can not wait to see you ball rolling into what i know will be great things to come!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sindy
    November 3, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Yes and definitely yes! I need to frame that last paragraph of your post, Kristi. I have felt the same way so many times as I design, build, or paint. The desire to just give up is overwhelming sometimes. Going over my projects one by one and determining which one is causing the problem will help me so much–thank you for sharing!
    Blessings,
    Sindy

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sue
    November 3, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I love your thinking process and self-discovery. It’s an inspiration to me so thank you for sharing.

    I like the table you chose and can’t wait to see what you build. Maybe the other table can be used elsewhere or given to someone else? You are never wasteful so I know it will find a good home for it.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Julie B.
    November 3, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Of course, now I’m ridiculously curious about what needs to be redone. Process of elimination — the pony walls?

    • Reply To This Comment
      Sama Rao
      November 3, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      I’m leaning towards thinking its probably the picture frame style wainscoating. I guess we’ll wait and see. ???? Though I wouldn’t presume to rain on your parade Kristie. Its your house and you have to live in it. So if you feel that you need to set something right in your house, go ahead and do it and we’ll follow you on your journey. Even if it means you’re re-ripping the whole hallway bathroom or the kitchen!! Its not for any of us to judge.

      Wishing you continued inspiration.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Julie
      November 3, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      That’s what I thinking too!

    • Reply To This Comment
      Ann rourke
      November 3, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      I LOVE THOSE PONY WALLS!!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Colette
    November 3, 2015 at 10:38 am

    So glad you figured out what was holding you back. Upwards and onwards!!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Rita
    November 3, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Hi Kristi, I am so glad you got your enthusiasm back. My daughter has a table like that although it’s pretty it’s not functional. Your top has to be much larger than the base to get the chairs comfortably next to the tabletop. I’m sure you can figure that out and do a wonderful job. Can’t wait to see it.

    Rita

  • Reply To This Comment
    Terri
    November 3, 2015 at 10:51 am

    I saw over at World Market dining room tables Simliar to your inspiration table price wise much less and 25% off

  • Reply To This Comment
    Maggie Ellington
    November 3, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Good for you! No rain headed toward your parade! Only sunny skies ahead. Bottom line…it’s is YOUR time, and YOUR money, and life is too short to not be happy when all is said and done. Good for you for following your heart back to your motivation. I am always interested and inspired by your creativity and talent.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Guerrina
    November 3, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Great job of working it through, Kristi and good advice for me. Of COURSE I’m mentally going through your projects and trying to guess which one is changing up! Ignore the naysayers … sometimes it takes this kind of process to figure out what we want and yes it requires re-dos at times. It. Is. A. Process.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Amanda
    November 3, 2015 at 11:22 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now without commenting, but I have to say as much as I love reading about the progress your making on your house, reading about you’re personal journey along the way is just as fascinating. I’m not at a place yet where I can spend time making my home what I want it but reading your blog motives me to at least start dreaming and planning.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Lauren P
    November 3, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Yay!!! Glad you took some time to relax and reevaluate!

  • Reply To This Comment
    DKW
    November 3, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Good for you, Kristi! Stay true to what you and Matt want and ignore everything else. Doesn’t matter if you redo things 20 times; it’s your house, your time, and your money. I finally got to the point where I do what my husband and I want in our house without considering what others might say and if others don’t like it, well, they can do what they want in their own houses. Wouldn’t it be boring if everyone liked the same things?! You inspire those of us who aren’t creative and who hesitate to take a chance. So, keep doing what you want to do and don’t let anyone else’s opinion sway you, except Matt’s of course. God bless you both!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Shari
    November 3, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Be true to yourself! I knew that yellow piano was the right choice for you. Only you can see the full vision of your perfect home. To look at singular components on your blog…., well….. since we’re not inside your brain, we aren’t privy to the big picture. Our opinions are formed by our own tastes and sense of style. For instance, the table that is shown, does not appeal to ME, but knowing what you want to do with the chairs and the fabric on them, well…… that table design will be perfect! I love the eclectic mix of heavy and light, modern and vintage.

    I love and respect your creative process. Creativity and practicality have a push and pull relationship. At any given point, you have to let one side win.

    I can’t wait to see what fun surprises you have in store for us!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Susan
    November 3, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I am sure Michaelangelo had the very same thoughts, Kristi!
    I applaud you for being forth right with Yourself; we should all examine our own motives and who we are trying to please with in our own parameters.
    Excited to see your results!
    Love you workmanship too. You go Woman!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Laura L
    November 3, 2015 at 11:42 am

    It is YOUR house to do with as YOU please! But, now I am all on pins and needles to see what is changing! Tell us please!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kacy
    November 3, 2015 at 11:45 am

    It’s YOUR house, YOUR time, and YOUR money. Who gets to have a say over what you do or how you spend it? We are just privileged observers who get to enjoy and take inspiration from what you do. When you ask for an opinion, it is my belief that it should be given honestly, with tact, and respect. Anything else is just plain mean. If someone can’t bring themselves to be that considerate, they should refrain from commenting, or quit visiting your blog.

  • Reply To This Comment
    kg
    November 3, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    A lesson for us all! Thanks! And swoon I love that table, can’t wait to hear how you build it!! Any hints? Oh Geez I wish you had Instagram! or SnapChat! for sneak peaks.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Marcia
    November 3, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I kept thinking, “Gosh, I hope she changes her mind about using that table.” YAY for you! I think the juxtaposition of a sleek table with the bright but more ornate lines of the piece in the entry will be a sophisticated twist. Love this idea! It’s gutsy decisions like this that make a home unique.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Rene'
    November 3, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    In regards to the free dinning room table, I think it would make 2 really cool bedroom night stands..
    you’ve already got the 2 bases and just separate the wood where the leaf is so that the cut part
    faces the wall, paint then done!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Shelagh Sardachuk
    November 3, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Took me many years to figure out that when my wheels start spinning and I have no motivation to do anything that “something” is not right. Sometimes it is obvious quite quickly and at times I haven’t been able to easily figure out “what” is causing the wheel spinning. Eventually the light bulb goes on and motivation returns in spades. So glad you were able to identify the problem and while you may have to redo something I am sure if you had pushed ahead you would end up redoing many more projects.
    Love your honesty!!!!
    Thank you
    Shelagh

  • Reply To This Comment
    Adrienne
    November 3, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Whatever your redo happens to be doing it the first time was well worth it. All of your blog content is quality and will benefit many people. If someone had a crafting blog or a clothes-making blog and didn’t use all of their crafts or the clothes they made were sitting in the closet, that wasn’t the point. It was made to share. And you shared. So, if you rip out the pony walls (for example) then yes, you have another project to do instead of just moving on to an unfinished area of your home, but also, many people will now be able to build something similar.

    I can’t even tell you how many projects I do at work that get scrapped just when we’ve put in months of work and deliver a finished product. Nothing much I can do about it but I did get paid and I did learn from whatever the project was.

    Also I love to bake and cook but sometimes the recipe just either doesn’t turn out right or I make it right but no one in my family will eat it. I hate to waste food! But if I didn’t try new things I wouldn’t learn.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Claire
      November 3, 2015 at 5:55 pm

      absolutely agree – that’s what i was thinking too. we all learn so much from you – nothing is ever wasted from that point of view – and anyway as everyone has said it’s none of their business.

      here’s another idea – delete all those types of comments so they don’t multiply – and so they don’t demotivate you!

      love love love your blog. i used to read so many now only yours.
      Claire x

  • Reply To This Comment
    Judy Maracle Steppacher
    November 3, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I love reading your posts, we are renovating a home we bought in January, it was built in 1904 and people thought we were crazy to buy it. It all takes time and sometimes I do something and then have to redo it because it didn’t turn out the way I wanted. That is the fun of doing it yourself, you work at it until you are happy. I am looking forward to see what you are up to next.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sheri Hepworth
    November 3, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I don’t doubt your motivations. I’m not bashing you. I’m stunned though; there’s some project you’ve done that you don’t like?? I’ve loved everything you’ve done; can’t put my finger on what’s not perfect!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Mary Anne Looby
    November 3, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Love the table, can’t wait to see how you do it, so I can replicate the base! I have a top (or will have) but have been looking for a base. I think I know what the big project is going to be. Separating the dining room from the foyer. Full wall, with glass sliders, or pony walls and open? Or you are going to change the music room to a front parlor. Can’t wait to see! Blessings

  • Reply To This Comment
    angela j
    November 3, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    I think that top stone is soap stone…

  • Reply To This Comment
    JoanneS
    November 3, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    “Of course, I’ll pay $2500 for a dining table when pigs fly” – that made me laugh out loud at my computer! 🙂 Thank you for a laugh at the end of a super tough day! Can’t wait to see your DIY version! I am excited to see whatever changes you’re going to make. Whenever you have a do-over, I end up thinking “Wow, that’s even BETTER than the first way” (especially when the first way is awesomely done too) and I always learn something useful. Thank you Kristi! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Donna
    November 3, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Kristi, it always amazes me when you say you feel overwhelmed. I get overwhelmed at the thought of decluttering one messy room, and you tackle a whole house! And not just your run-of-the-mill paint job, oh no! Kitchen cabinets with gold leaf; plank ceilings; picture frame molding! I love how you are able to pinpoint what blocks you, make corrections, and jump back in the saddle. And when you worry about wasting time, just think: you are creating beauty, it’s your gift. Don’t bury you talent–maximize it! I’m looking forward to your dining table design. I’ve been looking at those metal and reclaimed wood coffee tables and figuring out how to DIY one of those.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Rosie
    November 4, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Cheers, (clink clink) It’s good to be home.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jann
    November 4, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Kristie…..your so good about solutions …….yes it takes you a while…but doesn’t it take us all time…time for projects, family, meals, ourselves. I think you shutting down….”vegging” and then coming back up with a fantastic idea for your home is fabulous!
    So so happy for you…..good luck….smile…have FUN!
    (And just to be a little selfish…..post photos,,,,LOL )
    Smiles and hugs from Idaho

  • Reply To This Comment
    Mark Tisdale
    November 4, 2015 at 9:48 am

    I’m not in love with the new table or rather the table you’re inspired by, but the big thing is it’s not my house! I’m curious what project you’re reversing course on, but again I have zero room to moan about it or criticize you for wasting your time and money. I’m amazed that people seem to forget that!

    I enjoy following your work because it’s an continuing story. And I love that things don’t always go from A to B. If i wanted to see things done and dusted in a half hour, HGTV is always there! LOL

  • Reply To This Comment
    HeatherB
    January 12, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Did I miss a post about you removing the fireplace hearth? Interested in your reasoning, as I am considering building a similar fireplace.

    • Reply To This Comment
      Kristi
      January 12, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      I didn’t post about it, but I removed it because it just got in the way. My room isn’t that big, and once I get my table and chairs in there, every bit of floor space will count. So the hearth had to go.

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