Right before Christmas, we decided to give our dining room a makeover.
It wasn’t really on our immediate house-reno list since our ultimate plan is to take out the wall between the dining room and kitchen to open up the space and reconfigure the floorplan. However, we were hosting all of our family for Christmas and figured a little paint on the doors and trim would go a long way in making the room feel slightly more up to date.
What started as two coats of paint turned into more paint and wallpaper and a new light fixture … and we’re so excited about how it turned out.
Let’s start with a before tour.
Here’s how the room looked in the real estate photos:
And the view from the living room on the day we closed on the house.
The bottom of the walls are bead board, the top was wallpapered in a sage-y green small leaf print with a border around the perimeter. I pulled the border off right when we moved in and the rest remained and basically became the dumping ground for all the things we didn’t know where to put.
Just to be clear: except for last Christmas for a brief moment, the dining room either looked like a version of the above photo or the below photo for the entire year we’ve lived here. We don’t really need a dining room and so it just stored all our extra junk and gave the kids a place to work on their cardboard + duct tape creations.
A week before Christmas, we decided to at least just paint out the doors and window trim white to match the rest of the trim. I used a coat of primer and two coats of our white trim paint we used in the studio and upstairs.
It didn’t take long and while it was definitely an improvement, that wallpaper still bugged us.
Then Ryan had a brilliant idea. I ordered a few rolls of this woods wallpaper last year for our son’s room (see his design board here) that we had not used yet. We decided to steal it and use in in here to cover over the old paper (Ethan was kind to oblige).
The install went surprisingly smoothly. I started in the left corner, cut a strip to size (plus a few inches), painted the wallpaper paste directly on the wall over the old wallpaper and then placed the new wallpaper. This particular pattern was fairly easy to match and the seams are nearly invisible.
We had just enough paper to do all four walls and loved how it looked in the room.
Except for one thing.
The white trim did not look right. It was a creamier white than the background of the paper and the whole room ended up looking cheap and somehow off.
We keep trying to make this house light and bright and cottagy and it just doesn’t want to be. It wants to be rich and moody and handsome.
So new trim paint it was.
We’ve used this same color (Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams) all over the downstairs – the kitchen cabinets, trim and interior doors – and it instantly felt right in the dining room.
So what started as just a quick coat or two of white paint turned into several days of a dining room makeover just days before hosting 31 people and 5 dogs for Christmas :)
But, oh my goodness, didn’t it turn out so good?!
We moved the dining table and benches down from the studio (see it up there here) so we could seat our family for Christmas and we’ll just leave it down here from now on.
That crystal chandelier came from our first house we bought in West Seattle. It probably wasn’t original to our 1920’s craftsman but we’re guessing it was put in in the 50’s or 60’s. When we sold that house, we took the chandelier with us as a memento and moved it around in it our last house (seen in the old house’s dining room and master bedroom).
We weren’t sure it was right for this room – we were thinking something a bit more brass and modern – but since we had it in the garage, we figured we would give it a try. I removed the linen shades and replaced the clear bulbs with opaque white bulbs and now it feels just right for this room.
What I love the most about this makeover is how I no longer hate looking into the dining room from the living room and kitchen!
The makeover took a few days and just the cost of paint and wallpaper paste (since we already had the wallpaper, chandelier and furniture).
Someday we’ll pull up that carpet and put in hardwood floors throughout the downstairs and I can’t wait to see how these rooms look with natural wood grounding them. #someday #soonish #ihope
Also? Now that the dining room is updated and no longer a dumping ground for all our stuff, we’re feeling so much less urgent to tear out the wall and reconfigure the kitchen/dining room. Amazing what a little paint, paper and a few days worth of work will do!
Just for fun, here’s a side-by-side before and after:
Trim Color: Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams
Living Room Wall Color: Ancestral by Behr