1950’s makeover

The Dining Room

The 1950’s was a period of stability and security after WW2 which gave space and time for experimenting and innovation. The house in question was one of the first steel frame kit homes available and was ahead of its time. The layout was quite wasteful in terms of use of floor space, especially with a very small kitchen and lots of hallway, but the proportions of the living room and main bedroom are lovely. There is an elegant brick fireplace dividing the sitting area from the dining area with an arched opening reminiscent of a 1920’s place we renovated in Moss Vale a couple of decades ago. Windows allow plenty of light from north and west which is mitigated somewhat by a high hedge.

Having to move a grand piano into the house meant that we needed to find a new place for dining. Across the hall from the kitchen was a bedroom which had been converted to an office space. It is small but with a bit of ingenuity and flow into the kitchen, it is workable.

Our first plan of attack was to discover if there were timber floors worth saving underneath the floor coverings. We were stoked to find mixed Aussie hardwood floors, not A grade but beautiful colours and good enough to work with. Every floor was taken back to the wood which gives continuity to the house, besides being easy to care for.

You can see how rich the colours are after only one coat of the tung oil/polyurethane/mineral turps mix we use. It was quite light on the polyurethane so took a while to dry but we prefer the finish. Because the walls are fibro and were rather damaged, I decided to panel the room with tongue and groove to chair rail height to minimise having to deal with it. Then came the decision about paint colour. Because the kitchen and the dining room needed to work together, despite a hallway separating them, I needed a unifying colour. But we had also installed a British Racing Green Rayburn in the kitchen and had some grey/orange granite for some of the bench tops and I was terrified of landing in the 80’s colour palette! (Photos of these will be shown with the kitchen post.)

I chose two greys for the kitchen: a deep charcoal by Dulux called Western Myall for the under bench cupboards where there would be granite, and a Porter’s soft grey for the wainscoting and other cupboards called Woodsmoke triple Strength.

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Blinds, paintings etc are still waiting to be dealt with but the room is a lovely place to eat meals in.

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