Simple dining room makeover – low cost and easy updates

This post has been a long time coming! I have hinted at my Simple dining room makeover but I never had a 100% done room to show off. But, this if life. I am sharing my real home here on the blog and I work at human pace, there is only so many hours in the day. What I kept putting off for the “big reveal” seemed to get further and further away. I decided to throw caution to the wind and share these low cost and easy updates which can hopefully inspire some others, regardless of the pressure I put on myself to get the room done.

My dining room has gone through a lot of transformations, shifting of furniture, art or other smaller changes. Never really feeling right. It has one small window and is almost always dark. The dining room is also open to the living room, and has a doorway into the kitchen. It needs to function as an open concept space, blending into the living room decor, but still making the visual shift of a separate room. All while working as a walkway between the kitchen and sun room. Let’s not even get into the need for storage, work space, and arrangement of furniture to work for meals and leisure in here. There is a lot going on in this room with only 3 walls!

The first step was to add some color to the room. The wall color was actually a very light gray, that looked white. I was so scared to make the room feel even darker and went non existent with color.

I also painted the ceiling! This is actually my first painted ceiling, and let me tell you… I am hooked with the results!

The ceiling color is Pittsburgh Paint, Misty Aqua in a high gloss for some added shimmer.

The wall color is the perfect gray I have ever found, a legit gray. There is no blue or purple hues in this Solitary gray also from Pittsburgh paints.

The cabinet I purchased for this space is the wonderful Ikea Billy bookcase. Someone from my blogs Facebook page actually came up with this furniture idea. I originally had a dresser turned into a credenza in the dining room. It stored all of our kids lunch supplies. We have reusable everything for their lunches, which is great for our carbon footprint, not so much for ease of storage. We also use cloth napkins and other general storage items. So the original credenza was moved to the basement as a TV stand. My wonderful blog reader suggested a tall cabinet to balance out the off-center window. It also holds all-of-the-things!

It takes a lot of mess and ugly to get to the pretty after. This was our home while I painted.

My kids are junior DIYers, and Nora especially is blossoming into my little assistant.

Before painting any room, usually the longest process is not the painting itself but the prep work. I took off all vents, curtain rods, floor trim, and electric sockets.

Also cover the hanging light. Once all of that is done usually the actual painting is done really quickly. I always use the roller first and paint the walls. Then go in with a paint brush for any smaller details.

Woah! I know, I skipped a big step. I will explain the how’s and why’s of the back wall cabinet. I did some DIYing to get it all pretty-like. I will explain that in a post later this week. Whenever I reveal a room I seem to gloss over the details. I end up getting a lot of questions in the comments or emails sent with people asking for more specifics. So I am sharing the dining room in all of it’s glory now, and will be explaining how I created the cabinet later.

seating area in home

beach decor

A bit aspect to this Simple dining room makeover – low cost and easy updates all comes down to furniture placement. I kept the same dining room table, and used furniture I already had in my home. I redid the cane chairs years ago and this small console table my Grandma gave me. I pushed the dining room table over to the left of the room instead of being center of the room. This allows this cozy little seating area which we actually sit in a lot. We just had a birthday party for my son Gavin this weekend and it was nice to have a few seating options around the house.

So much storage! I kept the top portion of this pretty and the bottom functional. I was able to utilize the cabinet and store everything that was in the original credenza. I am able to store all of my kids lunch supplies, napkins and a few kitchen items.

I arranged the top with a few extra plates, bowls and cups we have. Arranging them in a pretty way, even if it is used as a display space it is still crazy functional!

Those bowls are from Target and are the cutest pattern ever!

I customized this cabinet in a few ways, but one of the easiest ways was to replace the original hardware with turquoise ones.

When the shelf was first set-up I actually had a lot of books in here. I thought shelves = books. But it made the room feel cluttered, not cozy. Next week I will do some reconstructing of this decor to explain a few ways to decorate with open shelving. It can be tricky to know how to balance the need to have it be decorated by not overwhelming.

open concept dining and living room ideas

Here you can see how open it is to the living room.

house with gray and blue decorations

Oh, that high gloss paint on the ceiling is so dang pretty! I was still stressing painting the darker gray on the walls, it was such a difference to what I had before. Even though it is still a light gray, this room is soooo dark I worried it would suck up all of the light. The high gloss blue on the ceiling helps bounce some light off.

Fun fact, this room is still too dark for my liking and to get these bright pictures I have to do a ton of picture editing. The dark side of home decor blogging is that even my home does not have enough light sometimes. The hope is to eventually add french doors where the window is to open up to the back patio, and have the doorway into the kitchen larger. But time constraints and you know…. money constraints have prevented us from doing more now. Like I said, this is a real home and sometimes project have to be slowed down or put on hold.

I will be sharing links to any projects I have in this room below. I just wanted to pop this in there to share another way I keep costs low when decorating. DIYing things like this farmhouse table saved us a ton of money!

dining room with coastal decor

Simple dining room makeover – low cost and easy updates  has put me soooo much closer to calling this room done! Aside from the aforementioned french doors and larger doorway into the kitchen (which are still a ways off) I have some short term plans for this room. Adding crown molding around the ceiling, wood work to the large entryway from the living room into the dining room, and new dining room chairs! These are currently attainable and I am working towards them now! I had initially planned to hold off on the reveal to this room, but found myself skimming over this room in pictures I shared of my home. I decided to do the official reveal, get it shared and then do some updates when the space comes together more. Sometimes (a lot of times) decorating a home is a process, mine is no different. Working with what I had, a few well planned furniture purchases, painting the walls and rearranging the furniture is what made all of the difference for this room. It went from a boring room that was awkwardly laid out into a functional room with plenty of seating and storage! This is a decorating win people!





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how to make a farmhouse table - an updated and modern flair with a coastal feel!

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