Our dining room has morphed a lot since we first walked into our house. And thanks to second-hand furniture, DIY, and reusing what was here, I’ve been able to do it without being a big spender.
When we moved in, the window treatments, wall color, oak hutch and mirror combo, and light fixture all looked heavy, dark, and dated. It also felt too formal for our young, active family.
Lightening the wall color to Classic Gray (Benjamin Moore) helped a lot, but the orangey oak hutch still dominated the room. Putting slipcovers over those sueded rust chairs I scored on Craigslist helped too. The concrete floors, while I love their practicality, looked cold—although thankfully they didn’t feel cold. Texans are very practical with their flooring choices.
I’ve painted the dining hutch three different gray/greige colors since I moved in: La Paloma Gray (BM, pictured below, six months ago), Anew Gray (SW), and now Anonymous (SW). I also removed the mirror and replaced it with wood paneling. I’ve also played around with the huge, six-inch trim piece that is attached to the top. On? Off? Smaller? For now, it’s back on, but I might change that too.
Anonymous is my new favorite color for cabinets. I almost wished I would have saved it for my lower kitchen cabinets, which is a project I can’t wait to get to. Except for the actual painting part. That I can wait for.
The builder-grade chandelier that came with the room was pretty blah. I wanted something more rustic and more custom.
I’ve found several online that I really love, but I’m not ready to spend the money on them. We’ve just been in the home one year, and things are still falling into place. Since I don’t know when I’ll be ready to pick out some just-right lighting, I’ve swapped out my builder grade fixture in the meantime for one I found at Goodwill for ten bucks.
After some gray paint and brown antiquing wax, I think it fits this room much better. Once we finally do something to the kitchen that feels permanent, I might decide on the perfect chandelier to tie it together. Until then, I like this one as an alternative.
The adjoining office has similar built-ins to the oak hutch, and they’re now in process of getting their own makeover with Anonymous Gray and white panelling over the back. The shelves will either be white or gray, but I haven’t decided yet.
This shot also shows the chambray table cloth curtains. They’re from Target—I love Target!—and they’re a great weight for curtains. The chambray lends a casual work-shirt vibe to them, which keeps this room from feeling too fancy for everyday living.
I love making rooms look better, especially when I can find workarounds that allow me to save money. I’m not ready to pronounce this room done yet. It still feels a little cold to me—probably the hard tabletop and hard floors. So I hope to stumble upon a way to add texture and warmth. But its a happy, usable space for now that feels like it ties right in with the rest of the home.
In the following picture, you can see a peek of the upper kitchen cabinets, which I painted white over the summer. I’ll give a full update on that room soon. Just because progress is slow doesn’t mean it’s not happening. (And, yes, that last line is me talking to myself.)