dining room before and after

To be honest when it comes to house projects I can be dangerous.  This is the area of my life where I see an interesting combination of my parents in me.  Usually my dad’s personality wins- I think about the project, I take measurements, I look up a couple tutorials online (you get the picture).  But once in awhile my mom’s personality wins- and I decide to paint my dining room with some paint I already have. Starting at nine p.m.. “just to lighten things up”.

An hour and half into the project I realize this look is not gonna be good.  It’ll probably be even worse in daylight. So I go to bed.  My husband comes home the following day from a camping trip and asks “is there a reason the dining room has a couple different colors going on?”  Yes honey- i can be impulsive.  My mom won.

One of the challenges I have with our still new to us house is the woodwork.  There is beautiful dark woodwork only in the living and dining room.  I’ve heard this is how people used to build, putting the most investment into the entertaining rooms.  (So here is the beautiful more expensive wood and upstairs the cheaper trim that I painted last summer).  I gravitate towards contrast in decorating.  I like mixing old with new.  Oh, but the wood! The wood is tricky. I’ve actually thought over painting it ALL WHITE.  Do you want to slap me? Ok… we won’t talk about it.

Lets go back to the dining room.  It’s been a hard room for me to put together: wood trim, wood floors, our big wood table.  There was nothing wrong with the room, but it lacked contrast.  It lacked personality.  Time to put a little love into the room that visitors spend the most time in.. seated around our table.

Here is a before shot off my phone:

photo (28)My advice when you’re stumped: ask for help.  My good friend Steph is an interior designer.  To put it simply- everything Steph touches becomes beautiful!  After a minute of seeing the dining room half painted and looking at the pieces I had to work around – Steph said the walls should be dark.  I said done.  We went over a few other ideas and she even emailed me this lovely board to keep me on track:

underwoodshome (1)

I love this.  I could paint myself, I could use what I had, and I didn’t need a huge budget. The curtains I already had from JC Penny, I picked up a bag full of plate holders from Pier One to hang old plates (which I’ve been itching to do), I removed the yellow glass shades from our existing light and put in mini edison bulbs, our table/chairs/bench are from World Market five years ago (the first purchase we made when we found out we were pregnant with Lucia!)  The only new thing was the rug (from Rugs USA on super clearance).

In the end- my dining room works!!  In fact it’s BEAUTIFUL.  See for yourself:




To find out more about Steph’s business or to see other e-design projects she’s completed- click here.  However,  I will warn you in advance.. she is incredible. You’ll want to have her back to work on every room in your house.  So don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Thanks for stopping by!


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