11 July 2014

Bohemian / Mexicana Budget Dining Room

I'm a thrifter.  I love scouring craigslist's FREE section, visiting second-hand stores, and finding new ways to decorate with random things.  My style is eclectic, colorful, boho.  I'm enamoured with religious iconography and Mexicana.  All of this is reflected in our little cottage, which still doesn't have a name.  I want to call it Cherryland Cottage because we live in Cherryland, but Dave has taken to calling it Mockingbird Heights - partly because we have a mockingbird in the palm tree in the front yard and partly because that's what The Munsters' home was called.  Whatever we end up calling our cottage, more and more it's beginning to reflect our style.

Our cottage has a dining room - or a very large front room that we've divided into Dining and Living spaces.  We didn't have a dining room in our previous apartment, but we did have a dining table that I used for crafts in our office.  This thrifted {$10} dining table needed some chairs.  As fate would have it, I found four chairs in the same color finish on craigslist for free!  Unfortunately, the seat cushions were covered in a fabric that I wasn't terribly fond of.  Free is free though - so I scooped them up and grabbed some sassy zebra fabric to cover them!

Below is our Dining Room after it was painted, before we moved in.  I picked up the sisal rug from craigslist for free, too.  The small patterned rug under the table came from Target.  I liked the look, but the top rug was way too small.  Eventually I moved it to my closet and replaced it with a larger, similar rug - also from Target.

While we were getting the cottage ready {we had a month overlap} I was also using the space for my sewing projects.  I sewed 8 12ft table runners for my Mom's birthday and curtains for a few of the rooms.

My free chairs - before on the left, after on the right.  I'm really a nut for leopard print anything, but when I saw this dark brown zebra print material I thought it would be a great print for the dining room.

Here's the larger top rug and our dining room after we moved in.  The wall hanging I bought in Roswell, New Mexico at a thrift store during a road trip years ago.  The crosses are from that same road trip - one from an antique store in Oklahoma and the other from garden nursery in Arizona.  The southwestern painted cabinet {under my Kitchen Aid mixer} we got at a second hand store in Berkeley, CA - painted just the way it is.  And my Kitchen Aid mixer belonged to a dear friend and neighbor in Berkeley.  We lost her a few years ago, but her son was kind enough to hand her mixer down to me, knowing that I bake a lot.  {He also gave me her sewing machine.  Both have gotten plenty of use and I like to think her spirit lives on in my creativity.}

The cactus is a new addition.  I love vibrant plants, but had been afraid that our cat would eat any houseplants that I tried to grow.  {She tries to eat the flower bouquets that Dave surprises me with.}  Yesterday at the garden center I decided I would buy a couple of cacti and pray she didn't get little spikes stuck in her tongue!  So far, she's gotten real close, sniffing around them, but I don't think she's gone in for a bite.  Anyway, I planted the two cacti and two celosia plants in mugs that I had collected from various trips.  {The one pictured is from our first Christmas spent in Northern California's Redwood Forest.} The mugs have been sitting in a box in my trunk for 2 months - because I had 2 dozen coffee mugs and could not justify keeping so many.  But I also couldn't bare to part with mugs from my travels.  So they just sat there, in my trunk, keeping our grocery shopping bags company.  Finally, I found a use for them as planters, and am very excited to have them out of the trunk and back inside!  The Virgen de Guadalupe candle holder is from a dollar store and the bottle I picked up from my sister's kitchen on my last trip to Boston!  I told her I liked it and when she got tired of it to save it for me.  She said take it home with me, she could get another.  Yay!

The dining room isn't complete yet.  I'm still looking on craigslist and in thrift stores for a low, wide dresser to use as a credenza.  The shelf that our microwave is on is wobbly and belongs in a garage.  I need something sturdy for it to live on.  I'm sure I'll find new, random things to add to the decor, too.  I love adding and subtracting things as my likes and dislikes change.  Decorating is really never over!

What budget finds do you have in your dining room or anywhere in your home??  Where do you look for the best bargains??

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