Monday, June 22, 2015

Dining Room Makeover on a BUDGET

As far as formal dining rooms go I drool over most of the ones I see in the Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn magazines. Those barn inspired tables with light tufted chairs. The over-sized mirrors and staged place settings and huge centerpieces and, and, and YES PLEASE! 

I also LOVE HGTV's "Fixer Upper" and envy Joanna Gaines style! Like this dining room she styled on one of her episodes...SO pretty!

Problem was (and is) we couldn't afford to spend 5-10k on new furniture and accessories. I'd like to think that even if we could, I wouldn't but I'm not going to officially say that juuust in case (you know if "one day") :) 

I decided to sort of do my own take and marry (or attempt to marry) the two looks for as cheap as I could manage. 

I knew from the get-go I'd be updating that brass chandelier first. I had seen many a tutorial about spray painting brass fixtures oil rubbed bronze and knew it would be my first project in that room since it seemed cheap and easy. It took one can of Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze and some chandelier shades I ordered off e-Bay for $35 and that baby was DONE.

It looked just like this one before:


It's not exactly the perfect light fixture and maybe someday I'll change it out for something with more wow factor like this one:

but for now I think ours is just fine!

We had a mahogany colored table that we bought off CL years ago and a nice quality Ethan Allen buffet that was a hand me down from a good family friend in a faded walnut color. I was determined to make those things work and if I had to change out the chairs I would. I thought in order to make the room more cohesive those two main furniture items should match. I painted them both using this furniture painting kit from Rustoleum in the color "Kona":

I would absolutely use that kit again but I will be much more careful with the topcoat or use a different one all together. There are a few areas in the corners where it dried white (not clear like it says it will) but it really isn't that noticeable. In hindsight it was probably me just applying it too heavily. All in all I was really satisfied with the end results!

I bought these chairs new from a discount retailer near me. They were my most expensive purchase in the room but well worth it. They are not only the look I wanted but they are super comfy too! 

The rug is something I already had from Ballard designs.

The lamps and tree are other CL finds. $10 for the lamps (Those were also spray painted Oil Rubbed Bronze and lampshades were switched out for more modern ones) and $25 for the tree. The mirror is something I had from Kirklands that I bought on clearance for $30 a few years ago. The glass platter was a gift from our wedding coordinator at the Bellagio. 

The walls are painted with Behr Premium Paint & Primer in the color "Shitake". 

We installed the beadboard and chair rail and painted everything a fresh coat of white. This was the first room we attempted to do the beadboard in and I'm sort of obsessed. I've had a long running crush on molding and wainscoting so I will most definitely be doing a tutorial on this down the line in another room.  

The set of three frames are from Hobby Lobby that were bought using their weekly 40% off coupon

The crystal candlesticks are another wedding gift from Tiffany & Co.. The two moss covered balls and chippy pots are from Hobby Lobby that I got on sale. The magnolia centerpiece was from Goodwill! I think I paid $8 bucks for it!

I'm so so happy with this makeover! It was one of the first rooms in the house to be done and the first to have the wainscoting which may explain why I love it so much! 




  1. LOVE what you did with the space! Great job reusing cheap things and making them look brand new. One quick question....what is the height on the white wainscotting? It looks awesome!

  2. Thank you! It's 36.5 inches including baseboard and chair rail ;)

  3. This is absolutely wonderful. I love, love, love the black/white/gray color scheme. The chairs are gorgeous. Your dining room is definitely an inspiration for my own. Thanks for this post!

  4. Your DIY work is inspirational! I'm so afraid to attempt these kinds of projects - the picture I have in my head never seems to be the same as the end result!! I would like to inquire on the chairs you purchased - are they white or linen color? and can you tell me the manufacturer name....I am looking for similar chairs for my antique dining set and wonder if perhaps these are ones I have seen available through a local supplier. Thanks!!

    1. Thank you Bonnie! I was afraid to attempt stuff at first too but you gain courage as you keep trying. I'd say GO FOR IT! The chairs are linen color and unfortunately there is no make or model on them. I purchased from a local retail company that sells discounted furniture. Good luck and thanks again :)

  5. The tree... real? fake? Where was it acquired? I love this whole room. Beautiful!

    1. The tree is artificial and was a consignment purchase. Thank you so much for the compliment, we have been happy with the outcome!