Dining Room Refresh – Before and After
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This dining room refresh is the current version of a few prior design iterations. It is also the one that I have kept for the longest time. In the past, something always felt like it was missing from the dining room. It didn’t feel right until I landed on this design featuring a large round table, a cane console, a statement chandelier, and linen drapes.
Table | Chairs | Cane cabinet | Mirror | Sconces | Chandelier | Drapes | White vase | Black vases
My style went through different phases before this dining room refresh. There was the farmhouse period with a chunky leg table and distressed wood and metal chandelier. Then I was into chinoiserie and all-white everything and had Chippendale chairs and a grey wash table.
Dining room refresh: wall molding
The biggest change to the dining room from the “before” stage was the wall molding I added to the walls. I removed the existing chair rail and added the same type of wall molding as I have in my hallway but took it 2/3rds up the wall. I painted the full wall – molding and above rail – Behr Ultra Pure White in satin enamel finish.
The wall color in the first photo was Sherwin Williams Agreeable Grey. It is a very popular color and I still have it in my kitchen and living room. However, this color can tend to appear very dark in rooms facing east or north, or in rooms with little natural light. This room faces northeast and the paint looked too dark. Hence I decided to paint it white.
The intermediate stage of the dining room was plain and boring – white walls, white chairs, white buffet, bare windows. No wonder I wasn’t happy with it. I realized that I needed to add more texture, layers, and contrast to the space.
I had also fallen in love with this wood bead chandelier. For the longest time, I considered it too big and too expensive but then I started seeing it used in dining rooms and bedrooms with regular 9 or 10 ft ceilings. Then it went on a major sale and I snagged it. It is normally $800 but every once in a while you can get it for under $500 and with free shipping. The chandelier was the single item that made it from the intermediate stage to the final design of the dining room refresh.
In an effort to move away from the previous farmhouse table which was too yellow-toned, I picked one that was too grey. The pedestal legs combined with the Chippendale chairs did not work because the chairs couldn’t be tucked in far enough. The pedestals were in the way and the table just had to go.
The new table I picked is large and round with a single pedestal that doesn’t interfere with the chairs. I went for a round table because the dimensions of my room make it almost a perfect square. Once you add a buffet on one wall it is no longer a square but I can still comfortably fit a 71″ diameter table. I like that a round table is very conducive to conversation, especially when seating a large number of people.
My round table can seat 8 chairs if they are standard width. The dining chairs I picked are a bit wider than standard and that’s why I only have 6 of them but in a pinch, you could pull up a couple more to accommodate guests.
As much as I still love and appreciate the design of the Chippendale chairs I moved away from that style. I used to collect ginger jars and leaned heavily into the chinoiserie style but my current style is more transitional. I like to have more color and texture in my spaces and combine modern, classic, and vintage elements.
The new chairs I picked are fully upholstered and on casters. I have a review post dedicated to these World Market Elena chairs.
I got the famous Amazon drapes for the first time for the dining room refresh and fell in love with them. The windows were too empty and bare and needed some textile to add warmth and texture. The linen drapes did just that. I go into great length about what makes these drapes so famous and how to hang them in my post How to Hang Drapes Like a Pro.
This cane console is one of my proudest DIYs and it was inspired by the Dolores Cane Cabinet. The black frame and cane doors provide a much needed contrast and texture against the plain white walls.
Here are a few more comparison photos of the dining room before and after. You may enjoy the following posts which feature more dining room views:
- Easy Thanksgiving Table Setting for a Round Table
- Simple and Classic Christmas Dining Room Decor
- How to Set the Hanukkah Table with Classic Decor