Operation Renovation: Dining Room

Oh the dining room, one of my favorite extensions of our kitchen.  It's where we tell stories, gather with family, gather with old friends, and sometimes meet new friends.  Our dining room is appropriately located in the center of our home.  

When we first started the renovation process, the dining room had parquet flooring in pretty good shape.  It may come back in style at some point, but I chose not to take that chance.  Plus, we were dying to find out if the original hardwood floors were hidden underneath.  Needless to say, there were absolutely original hardwood floors underneath the parquet, and underneath a layer of plywood,  and underneath a layer of linoleum, and underneath a final layer of plywood.  Whew, it's exhausting to remember the back breaking work we had to do pulling up all the layers to finally get to, what we were hoping, the beautiful and original heart of pine floors.  But this old house had stories to tell, and the heart pine flooring was far from beautiful.  It was also far from being substantial, at only about 1/2" thick it was dangerously thin and not re-finishable. What a bummer.

 Robby working through all the random layers of flooring in the dining room.  We did gain about 2 inches when it was all removed though!

Robby working through all the random layers of flooring in the dining room.  We did gain about 2 inches when it was all removed though!

So we had to figure out a plan B, which happens quite a lot in these 100 year old homes we were finding out.  I didn't want three different kinds of flooring in our downstairs living area, as I thought it would completely ruin the flow.  We already decided on brick in the kitchen and I knew I didn't want brick in the dining room too.  Tile would have looked out of place and trying to cover just the dining room wood flooring with more wood would look silly.  So, we made the decision to lay all new wood floors in the entire downstairs to make it uniform.  Easy, no problem, right?  Sure, if someone else was laying them. But to stay on budget, we decided to take on the task.

Remember that wonderful place we visited in Cullman, AL, Southern Architectural Accents? Well, just like before, I found exactly what we needed.  Heart Pine planks milled into floor boards from an old barn in Tennessee - they were just PERFECT and within our budget!  We seriously had someone on our side for this one.

 That's me, using the saw to cut the reclaimed hard wood floors.  Yep - I can use power tools!

That's me, using the saw to cut the reclaimed hard wood floors.  Yep - I can use power tools!

 My handsome handyman, working tirelessly on laying the floors.  He had never done something like this before, so we had to figure it out together, like so many other things in this house!

My handsome handyman, working tirelessly on laying the floors.  He had never done something like this before, so we had to figure it out together, like so many other things in this house!

After what seemed like forever, we finished the floors!  We had them stained a very dark Ebony stain to try and take out as much of the red as we possibly could, as heart pine gives off a red tint.  They turned out great and today we have a cozy and functional dining room space for sharing meals.

I hope you a wonderful weekend enjoying a meal around your dining table with friends and family!

{Note: these pictures are not of my most recently updated dining room space, which I just completed. I thought it would be fun to show you what our dining room looked like before the most recent revamp!}