Renewing Our Lease + Dining Room Updates

We have been looking at rental houses since the middle of April. We were looking for a place that's similarly priced to our current apartment and in a location from which Adam could still take the bus to work. Those two criteria limited us quite a bit and we didn't see anything {or at least anything nice} that fit the bill. 

Well, there was this one place with three bedrooms, stainless steel appliances, completely renovated kitchen and bathrooms, a playroom, hardwood floors, and a perfect backyard. With a hot tub. All for $100 more than we pay now. Obviously, there were a lot of applications and we were not the lucky winners. 

So, we are renewing the lease on our two-bedroom apartment for another year. We are on track to have our student loans paid off next summer and to celebrate we plan to buy a second car. So, when we look for rental houses again next spring, we'll be able to expand our location and up our budget a little. With those two factors, I'm sure our luck will be much better next year.

In the meantime, I'm pretty excited about finishing a few projects around here before we welcome the new baby in October.  The dining room was first on our list. Here's what it looked like before: 

Dining Room Feb 2013

And here's what it looks like now:

Dining Room May 2013

We originally used painter's tape and hundreds of 4x6 prints {which we printed during a sale for a penny each} to cover the entire back wall. It was really fun and Claire actually left them alone for the most part. But the photos eventually started falling off on their own. It just wasn't a permanent thing.

Dining Room May 2013

So, we took them all down and created a frame ledge instead. We used two 36" ledges from Home Depot and an assortment of frames purchased with a Target gift card. Just to be on the safe side, since we have a toddler and all, we took the glass out of the frames.

Dining Room May 2013

I quickly printed a few of my favorite landscape photos at the drugstore, but I love how easy it is to change things up! I might change it to family photos or mix in a few prints from my ever-expanding Etsy favorites. Wherever the wind blows.

Dining Room May 2013

We also had our favorite piece of religious art put in a larger frame with a nice, wide mat. The frame was in the ready-made section at the craft store, but because the dimensions of the piece are weird, we needed a custom mat. The whole thing came to just under $100.

Dining Room May 2013

While we were at it, we finally found a stand for our family bible. It works perfectly and handily obscures the outlet in the middle of the wall that drives me crazy.

So, our family altar is complete and we've got a permanent solution for the big back wall. Next on our list is getting that desk put together. I'm happy to report that we should definitely be done with construction this weekend. Then it's just a matter of staining and sealing!


  1. Aww, I'm a little sad to see the photo wall go! Haha. Why are custom frames/mats so expensive? It doesn't make any sense to me. I'm *this* close to buying a mat cutter so I can do them myself... seems like a good investment, right?

  2. We've cut our own mats before with an x-acto knife, but you can't get that nice beveled edge. How much does it cost for JUST the professional mat-cutting?


You are awesome.