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Amanda’s home renovation: dining room and backyard design

October 22, 2018

Hello, hello! I’m back! And sharing our dining room and backyard designs, including some cringe-worth “befores” and “in-betweens.” Let’s start with the “after” though, shall we? Our dining room was one of the last pieces of our home renovation project to be completed. We tore out the (yellowed basketball court feeling) flooring to install new pretty hardwood, stole space from one of the walls to install a closet on the other side of it in the bedroom (more to come on that soon), installed built-ins on either side, and then ripped out the back wall of our dining room to install these dreamy bi-fold LaCantina doors which I can confidently say has increased my happiness on earth.

modern dining room

Aforementioned prior window looking out to the backyard…

home renovation

And here’s when we ripped it out! Ahhh, indoor/outdoor California living… you complete me!

home renovation

The view from the backyard (and our then dining room):

backyard renovation

And the final result! We went with bronze anodized aluminum material on the LaCantina frame and boy do I love the contrast it provides in this room.

modern dining room

To the right and left of the artwork above, you’ll see built-ins. We basically stole a few feet from the room to install a closet on the other side of this wall. The house didn’t have any storage when we moved in, so we had to create it! Now I have a place for my glassware and serveware collection and it doesn’t have to be shoved into random cabinets in our kitchen. And I can be a proper hostess. My husband built these shelves with plywood and glued a wood veneer onto them. He’s not a woodworker or anything, but hey they turned out pretty good right? If you want to know how he did it, well then leave a comment below and maybe we’ll do some DIY instructions!

open shelving

The shelves make such a pretty place to store the paintings my brother has created and given me, as well as some glassware from our wedding.

I had SUCH a hard time finding artwork for our home. Does anyone have this problem? It’s either way too expensive, or hard to find something I love, or it’s too small or the wrong size. When I spotted this Upton screenprint on EA/ST Co.’s website, I knew I had the perfect place for it… right above our Room and Board steel console table.

modern dining room

Whenever I can, I try to purchase pieces from local artists or buy my furniture from an American company. Hi, Room and Board fan girl over here for years (!). I totally fell for their Corbett dining table and Soren chairs. They work with family-owned companies around America for some beautimous craftsmanship with low environmental impact. A black anodized chandelier from a fave LA company, Park Studio, rounded it out.

modern dining room wet bar

Aaaaand… onto the backyard. The most *FUN* part of our project. Yeah.. um.. right. As you can see here, we used to have a POOL in our yard, that took up almost the entire space. In order to add onto our home to include a laundry room, a master bathroom and larger master suite, we had to demolish it. This was no small feat, as you can see. This entire pool had to be dug out, piece by painstaking piece and carried via wheelbarrow to the front dumpster. It was excruciating, and I wasn’t even the one doing it. And it added a whole 2.5 MONTHS onto our renovation project (when the contractor stated it would be gone within 3 weeks. *Insert angry faced emoji*). Did I mention that I was pregnant during this project and didn’t really have an extra 2.5 months to spare?

backyard renovation

Before you cringe or bite all your nails off, and think I’m nuts for getting rid of a pool, just take a look at what we put in its place…

backyard renovation home renovation

Ahh see there? I’ll take a lounge-y area with a firepit, lounge chairs next to a bubbling jacuzzi (which we kept from before, when it was attached to the pool), and a nice wraparound deck and green grass over an old giant pool any day. We spend SO much more time out here than we did in the concrete backyard before.

home renovation

And now we keep our doors open and let the ocean breeze waft on through.

home renovation backyard renovation backyard renovation deck

Dreamy lounge chairs from Article. Check! And butterfly chairs surrounding our modern gas firepit. Yesssss.

backyard renovation

And there you have it! Probably the craziest part of our home renovation in a nutshell! SOOOO glad it’s over and we have some sweet little spaces to now enjoy with friends and family. Next up…the living room and bedrooms. Stay tuned for more of the crazy!  xoxo, Amanda

(“After” photos by Jeff Mindell | Bi-fold doors: LaCantina | Dining table, chairs, console table: Room and Board | Chandelier: Park Studio | Lounge chairs: Article | Outdoor pillows: Serena and Lily | Fire pit: Amazon | Butterfly chairs: Amazon | Woven poufs: IKEA | Bullet planter: Amazon | Rattan chairs: Anthroplogie | Brass planter: West Elm | Candlesticks: Lostine | Side table: Crate and Barrel | Stool: Hati-Hati)