Our dining room has seen a lot of changes in the year that we've lived here. When we first got to Oakland I discovered an amazing little thrift store in Temescal and had to pick my jaw up off the floor when I first saw this dining set.

  At Clausen House

At Clausen House

 In our dining room

In our dining room

I wasn't even sure if we should use our dining room as a dining room: we had very few friends when we first moved, we weren't planning on cooking much, and we rarely eat dinner together. But then I asked how much this set cost and the guy said, "$295, $325 delivered." I hemmed and hawed, aware that that price was phenomonal for the Bay Area. I told him we were new to the area and that I wasn't sure just how many dinner parties we would be having any time soon and he said, "You gotta build the life you want. You want friends? Get a dining table so you can host them." And so I was sold. I am a sucker for building the life that you want.

Months in, we rarely sat in there. It was like a sad and dejected Room of Sadness and Waste and I shook my fist at the thrift store guy (in my head, not actually, I'm not that crazy). At the same time that I figured out that we were paying about $320 a month for the square footage I also got very fed up with my little corner of our shared office as I tried to do my drafting homework. Hello, yes, I draft.

Drafting table.jpg


So I proposed that we sell the dining set and I move my office into the dining room, as sad as it was to admit that work was coming before play and friends and laughter and all good things. Matthew, who trusts me almost too much when it comes to our apartment, was game and supportive and didn't make me feel guilty at all about taking over a big sunlit room with crown molding and wainscoting just to fill it with drafting supplies and paper. I felt guilty anyway but forged ahead with the new plan.

Somehow I made this mess semi-functional and I had a great semester, drafting my heart out. It was sunny and lovely and I felt awesome. I mean, how could I not with that chandelier hanging out with me?

office mess.jpg
office neat.jpg

But then we went away for the summer and rented our place outon AirBnB, so we moved my office back into the real office and moved a new table into the dining room for the renters, that being the civilized thing to do. When we came back I fell in love with the idea of having a proper dining room again, now that we have friends and I won't be drafting as much. 

Next post: new dining room! Here's a sneak peak.

AuthorSarah Reid