Design

Dining Room Makeover

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October 23, 2023

Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, the dining room is about to have the makeover she deserves. This room has been a slow progression, and honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way. While I’ve already finalized much of the design for this space, I want to bring you behind the scenes and share the final vision I have for the dining room makeover. It was not a straight and narrow path to get here, but I’m glad I exercised some patience during the design process and took my time with it. For some context, the dining room is the first room to the right when you enter through the front door. It’s an 11’x11’ room, and has two floor to ceiling windows looking out onto the front yard. It also has a swing door which opens up to the kitchen (I love this!) and is the only room in the house that has a chair rail (the moulding that’s towards the middle of the wall).

Where we started…

Since I had such a limited budget when I first bought the house, I focused on “resetting” the dining room and living with it for the first few years. This included scraping the popcorn ceilings, swapping out the light fixture with the one I had at my previous house and painting the walls a clean white. It wasn’t anything great, but I felt I had made it better than I had found it, and it was a band aide for the time being.

Above: Original Listing Photo | Below: Initial Band Aide

Where we’re going…

The chair rail in this space really had me fixated on installing wallpaper. I love the idea of breaking up a big pattern with some trim and this was the perfect formal space to really go for it. When I started mood boarding this space, I set out with the idea of keeping my existing chandelier and dining set. All of these things came with me from my previous house, and while I really wanted to make them work, it turns out it wasn’t meant to be. Why? Follow along for my string of mood boards…

Dining Room Moodboard – Option A (keep existing furniture)  

This was the first wallpaper that stopped me from scrolling that I thought could co-exist with my dining room set and chandelier. I felt the dark background would work perfectly with the existing furniture and light set up, while the magenta flowers would add a pop of bright color to break up the pattern. I envisioned painting the trim, ceiling and lower wall Sherwinn-Williams charcoal grey Peppercorn, knowing that the white oak flooring would help balance everything out.

I was so certain of this design that I almost just ordered the wallpaper outright. Thankfully, a voice of reason entered the scene (which was likely the order total in my shopping cart) and I decided to order a wallpaper sample first. Folks, if you’re thinking of installing wallpaper please order a sample. I will continue to repeat this message. The sample arrived and I tore it open like I was a kid at Christmas. Guess what? It felt flat and cartoon like. I couldn’t believe it, but we needed to move on…

Dining Room Moodboard – Option B (keep existing furniture)

Again, determined to keep my furniture and light fixture, I moved onto this wallpaper by Cole & Son. With the different tones of greens I can see both silver and gold being able to play nicely in the same space (hello chandelier, hello mirror) and the dark background would pair with the black table and chairs. I color matched Benjamin Moore’s Mediterranean Olive for the chair rail and molding and felt confident its warm undertones would work well with the floors.

Feeling good right? Cue the wallpaper sample…and again, we strike out. This time, the sample showed up way more metallic than I was expecting. I was really thinking this would be heavily green, and it was anything but. While I still like this wallpaper, I know the dining room isn’t the right space for it in this particular house. Moving on again…

Dining Room Moodboard – Option C (new furniture / light)

The universe was trying to tell me something and I was finally ready to listen. It might be time to let go of the table, chairs and light. Mentally letting go, I set out to design a lighter space and started with Cole & Son’s Florencecourt wallpaper. I first saw it from the Renovation Husband’s dining room and have been obsessed with it ever since.  

The samples were ordered and we passed with flying colors! What I saw, is what I got. Feeling good about this, I continued to mood board the space and was on the hunt for a light fixture that’s a bit cloud like. My original choice was this tiered chandelier by Visual Comfort, but after inspecting it closer I don’t love the little crystals. Paint wise, with so much going on between the light fixture and wallpaper, I think keeping the wall and trim color a simple white and pairing an understated lighter table with the room is the way to go. This design gets a gold star and moves to the final round.

Dining Room Moodboard – Option D (new furniture / light)

Having previously struck out with wallpaper samples, I was already onto Mood Board #4 while I was waiting for the Florencecourt sample to arrive. Spotted from The Established Home, I had daydreams of installing this hand painted wallpaper by Kelly Ventura. It is so whimsical and stunning but not overpowering, which is such a delicate balance to strike. I found this light fixture by Visual Comfort that looks like it was made to pair with this exact wallpaper and I like the idea of trying an oval table in this space. I felt the wallpaper needed a darker contrast and I think Benjamin Moore’s Amherst Gray is the perfect match as it has some green undertones running through it.

While I loved this last design the most out of all four, it ended up being cost prohibitive due to the wallpaper in particular. With it being hand painted, it’s a labor intensive product and is priced accordingly. I still love this design and think it would stand the test of time, it’s just not right for me at this time in my life.

Our Winner: Florencecourt!

dining-room-mood-board

While there’s still a ton of work to do with sourcing the new furniture ahead of Thanksgiving, I’m so happy to share that the Florencecourt wallpaper was the winner of the wallpaper contest! It’s already been installed and has truly made the dining room makeover one for the books. Stay tuned for more updates soon, as I’ll be sharing details about the wallpaper install and the unexpected decision I ended up making (you won’t believe it!). We’ll have a full reveal of the final space just in time for Thanksgiving. And I’ll be extra thankful to cross another room transformation off the list!

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