When it comes to home improvement, nothing is more satisfying and frugal than taking on a project by yourself. That’s precisely what one dad did when it came to remodeling his family’s dining area. Instead of buying a different table or hiring a contractor, Imgur user MidnightXII decided to build something on his own.
What looked like a complicated task turned out to be a simple, efficient DIY project—and he did it with his own two hands! Read on to see how this dad completely transformed the family’s dining area.
At first, it didn’t seem like things were coming together…
The Bland Dining Room
This dining area was starting to look a little drab for the family. The bulky dining table was a hand-me-down that was starting to feel outdated and crowded, the more they used it. The family loved to entertain and decided that this table simply wasn’t going to cut it.
Instead of shopping for something smaller or sleeker, Dad thought he’d go the extra mile and build something entirely new! Would he actually complete it start to finish?
The Room Was Instantly More Spacious
The first step was to get rid of their bland dining table. After it was gone, the dining area instantly felt more spacious. Still, the room itself was pretty small, measuring at nine-feet by six-and-a-half-feet.
Dad had to figure a way to fill the space in a functional but stylish way without making it feel cluttered and cramped. The challenge was figuring out what exactly would meet all of their needs.
He Attached A Beam To The Wall
The next step was to remove the quarter round at the floor, which is a decorative element that hides gaps between the baseboard and the floor. That’s when the real project began. Dad started by measuring a beam the length of the longest wall, then attaching it about a foot-and-a-half above the floor.
At first, he was worried since it looked a little off but the floor itself was already uneven since they live in an older house.
What he started adding next seemed to make even less sense than his first step…
He Added Some Horizontal Planks
With the beam firmly attached to the wall, smaller planks were nailed to the top of it. Except for the two in the middle, the planks were spaced about 20 inches apart on the beam.
At this point, it was a little hard to tell where he was going with this project. But certainly, something that was only a couple feet high off the ground wouldn’t serve as a good table.
It Needed More Support
Next, Dad added horizontal supports at the floor to mirror the ones at the top. He connected the horizontal beams by adding vertical support planks as well.
Something was definitely starting to take form. With the vertical support added, whatever Dad was building was less likely to cave in on itself if something were to be placed on top of it. Still, this was only the beginning stages of his DIY project.
He Added The “Ribs”
Dad followed up the previous step by adding similar supports to the surrounding walls. Due to the lack of studs on the wall of the counter, he couldn’t attach a beam to it as he did for the first wall. Instead, he created square-shaped supports that he referred to as “ribs” and fastened them to the wall.
He wanted this support system to wrap all around the room but since there’s a window opposite the counter, these ribs were the perfect solution.
Coming up, you’ll see how these “ribs” were necessary for the whole project to start making sense…
Looking At The Progress
This is what the project looked like with the supports along all three walls of the dining area. Dad had to make sure that each support was firmly anchored to the floor and to the walls. On the window side, he fixed the ribs to the baseboard.
One detail that concerned him at this point was the A/C vent on the back wall but indeed, he had a plan to keep the air flowing out of it.
He Was Building A Booth
Next, Dad measured and cut half-inch plywood boards to lay across the top of the supports. At this point, what he was doing was starting to make more sense—he was building a booth seat!
He considered using hinges to attach the plywood to the supports so that they could open up to reveal secret storage space. But since his family didn’t need the room, he decided not to commit to the extra effort.
The Booth Needed Cushioning
Of course, nothing makes a booth more inviting than a cushioned seat. To do this, Dad cut and measured seat foam pads that were two-inches thick and laid them on top of the plywood.
To his surprise, the foam was the most expensive part of the project! Indeed, high-quality foam used for upholstery can cost upwards of twenty-five dollars per yard. But in the long run, getting durable foam was sure to make his project last.
Next, see the expert-level technique they used to upholster the seats!
Upholstery Was An Important Decision
The next step was to upholster the seats. They needed something that was not only stylish but would also be easy to slide across and hard to stain. That’s why they went for an outdoor fabric because it was durable, waterproof, and hard to stain.
They picked a simple dark gray fabric that already matched the color scheme they had going on. Even Grandma got in on the action by helping Dad secure the fabric.
The Upholstery Method
To upholster the booth seats, Dad laid the foam pads on top of the fabric, then the plywood boards on top of the foam. This way, they could stretch the fabric around the entire seat to ensure that the surface of the seat would appear smooth and seamless.
Once the fabric was wrapped around the board, they stapled it down to secure it. Dad thought they used more staples than necessary but better safe than sorry!
Beadboard Was Added For Facing
Once he laid the covered booth cushions on top of the supports, the entire project appeared to be coming along nicely. Next, he added some wood panels called beadboard to the sides of the supports for the facing of the booth.
In the world of home improvement, beadboard is usually a row of narrow planks lined up vertically on the wall. What makes them distinct is an indentation or ridge in between each plank.
We’re sure you’re thinking, “But what about that A/C vent in the wall?” Rest assured, Dad had a solution that you will see coming up!
Filling In The Gaps
One of the biggest challenges of the project was getting the booth to fit snugly around the windowed wall. Dad had to cut some of the beadboard to fit underneath the baseboard in order to fill in any awkward gaps.
He also added the beadboard to the back of this section of the booth since you could see the other side of it through the window. The seat cushion also overlapped a bit off the back edge, which they didn’t have a problem with.
He Didn’t Forget The A/C Vent
Don’t think that Dad forgot about the A/C vent! Before he added the beadboard paneling to the back wall, he made sure to cut out a hole that matched the size of the vent on the wall.
Admittedly, it wasn’t the cleanest cut he could’ve achieved but it didn’t matter so much since he was going to add a new vent cover on top of it. This way, the air could still flow from the original vent in the wall.
The New Vent Made It Look Professional
Once Dad affixed a brand-new white vent cover to the hole, it looked as if a professional had installed it! To ensure the air would flow through the new vent, he used pipes and duct tape to connect the original wall vent with the one he fashioned himself.
They may have been transforming the entire dining area but they didn’t do so without keeping the room’s full functionality intact.
The project at this point was nearly complete! Coming up, see the finishing touches they needed to make the space just right.
The Space Was Coming Together
When taking a step back from the work in progress, it was already obvious that the booth was a more efficient use of the space than the clunky table they used to have. Next, Dad began adding the finishing touches by installing trim at the top and bottom of the beadboard.
This was one of his favorite parts of the project because he got to use an electric nailer, which sounds like fun!
Checking The Minor Details
The trim also supported the edges of the seat cushions to make them more secure. Upon closer inspection of the trim, Dad noticed a few gaps and mistakes. However, the quick and easy fix for this was to just caulk it up and fill it in.
The booth at this point was completely built but there was still some major finishing touches to be made. After all, the raw wood didn’t match the rest of the room.
Two Coats Of Fresh White Paint
After the caulking was finished up, Dad painted the whole thing a nice, bright white. This really made the room come together since the original details of the home were also white. The fresh paint took its time to dry since two coats were needed to make everything look just right.
The family admired Dad’s hard work as a fan helped the drying process. The booth was nearly complete but that wasn’t the only thing Dad built.
He Built A Table To Match
In addition to building the booth, Dad also built a complementary farmhouse-style table to go with it! The tabletop was a rustic wood that added a chic and homey feel to the space. The supports of the table were also painted white.
The custom table fit perfectly in the booth and was definitely a huge upgrade compared to their previous dining table. The project was essentially complete but not without the finishing touches.
Next, see how some simple décor completely transformed the space!
A Dining Space They Actually Loved!
Now that the booth and table were built, all they needed was the perfect décor to tie the room together. This was achieved by adding color-coordinated pillows all along the booth, which certainly made it look inviting and cozy!
With some matching placemats added to the table, the entire project was complete. This simple DIY project rejuvenated the family’s entire dining area, making it the perfect spot for entertaining and serving the whole family all thanks to Dad’s incredible work!