Dining Room, Before & After

I shared a few photos of our dining room with the wainscoting tutorial, but here’s a full before and after with sources, in case you are curious. I’m no expert on decorating, and this room isn’t even fully finished (I need to put art on the walls, paint the cabinet and maybe replace the chandelier), but that stuff isn’t going to be done for a long time and it’s so much better than it used to be.

Dining room before and after

Here are some more blurry pictures of what it used to look like:

dining room, before dining room, before dining room, before

Our dining room is pretty small (11’x11′ I think?) and opens up from our office (through french doors), our kitchen, and into the hallway that leads into our family room. So it’s very open, which is a good thing! But also a challenge because our long table fit awkwardly in the square-size room.

So here was my dining room inspiration for what I wanted to change:

Dining Room Inspiration

And here’s what it looks like today:

dining room wainscoting

dining room wainscoting

dining room wainscoting Navy and white dining room with round table // Sherwin Williams Smokey Blue

Pretty close to my inspiration, right? :) It’s one of my favorite rooms in the house such an improvement from the drab room it used to be.

A few notes on the changes:

TABLE: I wanted a round table because a) they fit really well in small rooms and b) they are my FAVORITE. I love round tables. You get to see everyone at the table and it is always an intimate dining experience. I thought maybe it would limit how many people we can sit, but this 60″ table can easily fit 8 comfortably and 10 pretty cozy. I bought it in the fall when they were having a 20% off sale on dining with an additional 15% coupon I already had. Score.

CHAIRS: My criteria for the chairs was 100% COMFORT. I wanted people to feel comfortable enough to linger at the table long after the meal had finished. We had the table for months before I bought chairs because I couldn’t find the right ones. Also chairs are expensive! They really add up quickly. I finally found these at Pier One and waited until they went on sale, so they were a lot more affordable than their ticket price (I think they ended up being around $78 each?). I kind of want two more.

WALLS + PAINT: We wainscoted the walls (all about that in this post), painted the walls Sherwin Williams’ “Smokey Blue” on the top and white on the bottom.

CURTAINS: Bought these curtains from West Elm with a birthday gift card (thanks Mom!),

ART: I hung a photo of us using a silver frame from Michaels, a starburst mirror I got from Target a few years ago, and painted the canvas above the buffet. I am thinking about replacing the starburst mirror for something else (maybe hang some plates on that wall?) and definitely need another photo on the other side of the french doors to balance it out.

HUTCH: I decided to take the top part of the hutch off, since we really didn’t store that much in there anyways, and leave the base. It fits so much better in this space now! The yellow-orange wood doesn’t go, so I’d like to paint it eventually, but can’t figure out what color yet. Any suggestions?

Overall I am SO happy with the way it turned out and have already started using it for more dinner parties soon! :)

  • It looks awesome!!

  • Dorothy Clement

    Love it!

  • May

    Nice! What color is your family room?

  • It is Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore. :)

  • may

    Thank you! I have been trying to search for the perfect grey. There are so many to choose from. I ended up painting one wall light french grey from sherwin williams and it is still a bit dark for me. Thanks i will look at Gray owl. Love your blog :)

  • Thanks! The three colors I was looking at were Gray Owl, Wickham Gray, and Titanium. They are all VERY similar but I chose Gray Owl since it seemed to have no tint to it. Good luck!!