Decorating a Dining Room Before and After

Decorating a Dining Room Before and After

After Pics: the Dining Room

If I had had the opportunity to invite you to dinner at our home about a year and a half ago, we probably wouldve enjoyed a classic peanut-butter-and-jelly while perched atop five-gallon drums of paint or sheetrock mud in our unfinished living room.

If you still wanted to be friends after that experience and you came over to eat now, I would (partially) redeem myself by serving a real dinner on an actual table and actual chairs in an actual dining room, like a real grown-up! (Not saying the food would be worth raving about, but at least wed be sitting at a real table now.)

Why would we have avoided the dining room in the beginning? Because it looked like this. Gleaming brass chandelier, wallpaper remnants clinging to the walls, unsanitary carpet underfoot, and glorious popcorn ceilings:

Removing that wallpaper was every bit as DELIGHTFUL as youd think! (*GROANNNNN.*) Here, most of the wallpaper was gone, carpeting had been ripped up and wed scraped off the popcorn ceilings. (Removing popcorn ceilings is MUCH more satisfying than wallpaper! Heres the tutorial for that .)

The next step was to install the picture molding around the bottom of the room and upgrade the crown molding at the ceiling. (Heres how to install crown molding like the pros .) Then everyone put the pressure on me to choose a paint color.

We already know I suffer from a debilitating inability to make any decisions when it comes to paint, so I dont know why my husband or family expected the dining room to look any different than it does in the picture above: a virtual patchwork quilt of paint samples, as Ive made it my personal goal to keep the local paint stores in business.

The dining room had about eight different paint colors for a few months, I think, until I finally settled on Deep Caviar, a dark, mysterious color that no one can define. (Some people swear its purple, others say blue or black, but I think its a very dark brown. You be the judge.)

replaced the windows, and added new window treatments and a chandelier.

Time out while we talk about this chandelier. Its another example of internet stalking: I saw it online, LOVED it, tried hard not to love it and find an acceptable replacement, failed, and bought it. I got a fantastic deal, but honestly? Im taking this baby with me if/when I move. I dont know what it is about it, but I hear angels sing when I look at it.

Its this chandelier. but as of this writing, this price is more than I paid.

So heres the dining room, with everything complete!

I like a dark, cozy dining room, and this room could handle the dark paint because it gets lots of light from its two windows. I also like a dining room where you can sit for hours chatting long after the food is cold and dessert is gone, without squirming in uncomfy chairs. I snagged these chairs at HomeGoods.

The rug came from there, too, and this is a great example of my decision-making process, when it comes to things for the house.

Most things Ive chosen for the house have gone through these

Decorating a Dining Room Before and After

Seven stages of decorating grief:

  1. Shock and Denial. (What was I thinking?!)
  2. Pain and Guilt. (I cant believe I spent good money on that. I should return it.)
  3. Anger and Bargaining. (Usually a period when I try to return the item, or decide that its too late to return it.)
  4. Depression, Reflection, Loneliness. (I isolate myself and retreat to dark, quiet place for months at a time, emerging only to go stare at the item and seethe.)
  5. The Upward Turn. (Who cares. Its just a stupid rug/couch/paint color/house. And it does the job.)
  6. Reconstruction, and working through. (and it might not be the WORST thing ever.)
  7. Acceptance and Hope. (I cant return it anyway. Plus, I think it might actually look good!)

Actually, the list of purchases Ive made that HAVENT gone through various stages of regret is VERY short. The powder room vanity. The dining room chandelier. The kitchen backsplash. I think thats it. Everything else I buy, I somehow hate at first. Its exhausting.

But back to the dining room:

(Thats my easy Thanksgiving banner which I still havent taken down!)

The gold sunburst mirror was only $3 at a yard sale! (Here are my yard sale shopping tips. and the 7 things to shop for at yard sales to decorate your house on the cheap.)

I still want to add a buffet and something sparkly to the wall where the two pieces of art are now, and some more art on the other wall, and Im still playing with the idea of painting the ceiling, but its definitely usable and now available for that dinner party we were planning, if youll forgive me for that hypothetical PB&J dinner I mightve invited you to.

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