Before and After: Dining Room

9 months into living in our house, we now have one room we can confidently call mostly complete: the dining room.

The Dining Room Before

When we moved in, the dining room was yellow with a large chandelier, which you can see below. The curtain rod was affixed to the window frame, with heavy, dark, rainbow-colored curtains, and bamboo shades were mounted in the window frames.

I don't even have a picture of what the room looked like before. Honestly, it looked terrible because everything was so mismatched. These are pictures from when the house was for sale.

Project Rundown

As you can see, with only one window, the dining room didn't (doesn't) get much natural light. The yellow paint and heavy curtains and fixtures didn't help. The room always felt dark, even in the middle of the day. As it was, it felt almost claustrophobic. Here's what we did to change things.

  • Patched and painted the walls and ceiling. We used Behr's Ultra White in eggshell for the entire room.
  • Removed and replaced the chandelier with a smaller, simpler, and more modern fixture.
  • Removed and replaced the existing window treatments. We wanted to make the windows look bigger and try to make the room feel as bright as possible.
  • Repainted the floor register on the floor with dark brown spray paint.
  • Removed paint from the air grate and door hinges in the entrance. The entrance to the dining room can hold French doors. Although we don't have plans to put the French doors back up, we thought it might be nice to take the latex paint off the brass-colored hinges.
  • Removed butler door to the kitchen. It was always open anyway and the paint was chipping, so we just removed it and put it in the basement.
  • Replaced all the plastic switch plates with brass switch plates. We also re-oriented  the electrical outlets to be vertically positioned instead of horizontal.

Dining Room After

Here's what it looks like now. We still have a long way to go - the walls feel a little bare and the blue rug isn't my favorite. But it's much better than it was.

Since we painted the entire room stark white, we tried to stick with warm materials, such as brass and wood.

I also thought that the gold dust printed curtains added a little something extra without being overwhelming. I wanted something formal enough without feeling heavy. And there is a double curtain rod, so we have white sheers (hand-me-downs) on the smaller rod that we can draw for a little privacy in the daytime.

One Last Before and After ...

We wanted the room to feel light, lively, and welcoming, rather than heavy and stuffy. I think we achieved that, but tell us what you think. Down the road we'll add some prints on the walls and probably splurge on a nice rug. In the meantime, I only hope we can continue this through the rest of the house.