Before/After Dining Room Reveal

Ok, so I know you have been just sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for this right?  Ha!  Probably not since you already saw snippets of it in my coffee filter wreath post and Thanksgiving post, but everyone loves a good before/after picture so here goes.  (and excuse the bad before pictures this was 2 cameras ago and before I knew what little bit I know now about taking pictures .)

This was what our dining room looked like for about the first 5 years we were married/lived in this house.  Gorgeous, right? :)  When we moved in the room was navy on the bottom and already had the chair rail installed.  We painted the top half of the wall to match the color we painted throughout our house and painted the bottom half burgundy (cause I was in a burgundy decorating rut when we first married, don’t ask me why?)

dining room before

Then in October of 2010 my mother-in-law got new dining room furniture and offered me her old furniture!  So this room that had sat neglected for so long finally would get to be used!

I was completely over my burgundy décor rut  by then and trying to go more neutral.  So the burgundy got painted over with a semi-dark brown.

dining room before 2

And we installed wainscoting!  I LOVE wainscoting (beadboard, board and batten, picture box molding – any of it!), so I really wanted to add that in here.  This was about the time I started reading décor blogs and was seeing this everywhere online.

dining room before wainscoting

I stenciled a design in the middle of the boxes (sort of copycat of a room Thrifty Décor Chick did), but I never really loved that, I just didn’t get around to painting over it – LOL!

dining room before wa

So anyway here is the after with my mother-in-laws furniture that she gave to me, décor I repurposed from other areas around the house, and a new chandelier we installed.

dining room first after

And here is how it looked a year later – not much difference although I did return and exchange out the curtains right after the previous picture (and have a much better camera! 😉


My style has really changed or maybe I finally feel like I know what it is even more.  I no longer like “traditional” décor (even though I still have plenty of it my house –working on that.)  I love white, light colored rooms, more of an eclectic/flea-market style, with a touch of modern.  Clean, classy, and fun!  Wish I could describe it better – maybe I will find some inspirational pictures and do a post on what I think my style is one day.  Anyways, although I loved the wainscoting, I found myself wishing that I wouldn’t have done a color under the white boxes but kept it white like most wainscoting is done.  The room seemed very busy and crowded to me since the boxes on the wall really stood out.  So enter a can of gray paint, a vision of white wainscoting, and some super fun new fabric I found and a new vision was formed! Downloads

I quit my out of the house job to work at home two weeks before Thanksgiving.  So what is a girl to do?  Completely repaint and redecorate her dining room the week before hosting Thanksgiving the first time, of course!  (I think I was touching up paint up the day before Thanksgiving – ha!)

I shared in this post how I learned the value of primer and how NOT to paint a white wall.  But eventually it all got done.

And here is the after today!











What a difference some white paint makes!


dining room before wa

and the so. much. better. AFTER!


View from the kitchen


Blog photos2

Here’s the details of everything in the room:

  • Gray paint colorUrban Sunrise from Valspar (in their Signature paint and primer in one – eggshell)
  • White paint – white gloss trim paint straight off the shelf
  • Curtains – bought the material at a local fabric warehouse called Ohco’s for $5.99/yd.  I bought 6 yards for $36 – each panel is actually 3 yards long so I cut the the fabric lengthwise down the middle to make the 4 panels.  I did look online and find the name.  It is by Braemore Designs and called Braemore Gorgeous Pearl.  I found it for sale online here and here (but it is $30/yd. online!)
  • Table and china hutch – given to us from my MIL
  • White wreath on mirror – made of coffee filters – tutorial here.
  • Mirror – Kirkland’s from years ago.  Used to be above my fireplace until I started decorating my mantel for each season. 🙂
  • Plant – $7  from Aldi from 2 weeks ago
  • Metal/glass plant stand – Princess House got from my MIL
  • White dishes – Princess House gotten for free or almost free from parties over the years or as gifts
  • China dishes – my grandmother’s china passed down to me – LOVE them!DSC_1593

This corner is filled with yard sale finds! Smile  I want you to realize when you see gorgeous pictures of re-done rooms that you don’t have to spend a fortune to do that.  With a little sweat and hard work we installed the wainscoting ourselves, painted (2 times!), and decorated the space with things either given to us, things from around the house, and secondhand finds.


I found the buffet (actually a small dresser) this summer at a yard sale for $20.  It almost perfectly matches the wood in the dining furniture and was the perfect size for this space (I may repaint it one day but for now I like it how it is.)

And everything displayed on it is all pretty much yard sale finds as well.

  • Owl and turquoise bird – $1.00 from Michael’s after the $5 coupon.
  • Lamp$2.00 thrift store find
  • Display plate – $0.50 yard sale find (quote from this book.)
  • Turquoise candlestick – spray painted flea market find
  • Magnolia picture – shopped my house/was in the previous dining room
  • Set of salad plates – another partial set of dishes from my grandmother
  • White rose shadow box – $0.50 yard sale find

and one more before/after


dining room before

After (attempt #1)


FINAL after! 🙂


Any questions you have ask in the comments and I will answer them!

Have you redone any rooms recently – new paint, new décor?  Would love see yours too – leave a link in the comments!


Sometimes I link up to these wonderful parties:

Sarahndipities, Skip to my Lou, Today’s Creative Blog, How to Nest for Less, Home Stories A to Z, Apron Thrift Girl, Tools are for women too, Not just a Housewife, A bowl full of lemons, Uncommon Designs Online, Someday Crafts, No Minimalist Here, Somewhat Simple, 36th Avenue, Sew Much Ado, The Style Sisters, The Thrifty Home, Domestically Speaking, House of Hepworths, The Shabby Creek Cottage, Weekend Blogging party at Serenity Now, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, The Girl Creative, Miss Mustard Seed, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, Remodelaholic, The Lettered Cottage, Before and after party at Thrifty Decor Chick, Pinterest Challenge at Young House Love


  1. I absolutely love how it turned out!!! You did awesome!
    Molly Swaffer recently posted..A little overwhelmed with God’s Goodness to me!My Profile

    • Christina says:

      Thanks, Molly! Forgot you hadn’t seen this – can’t even remember if we even had the “during” when you were here?

  2. Oh my goodness! This is so gorgeous! Looks like it could be in a magazine! LOVE it!

    • Christina says:

      Thanks, Sarah! We are enjoying using it. Had guests last week on Sunday and had 8 people around the table – makes me appreciate the room even more 🙂

  3. Looks beautiful! The “during” wasn’t bad, either. But I know what you mean about finding out what your style is- It kind of intrigues me that we have to learn that about ourselves! And then we have to be in a place where we can carry it out, too (i.e., not renting! lol!)
    Leah recently posted..Easy-Peasy Fun: Homemade Bubble SolutionMy Profile

    • Christina says:

      no, the during wasn’t bad either. I did like the brown (I could have done it on the top), I am just “in love” with gray right now! 🙂 and I should have done the white wainscoting from the beginning. I thought about it and then did the brown – should’ve trusted my first instincts 🙂

  4. It’s beautiful!
    Sheila @ Seasoned Joy recently posted..31DBBW Day 2: First DraftMy Profile

  5. LOVE it! The fabric for your panels is awesome! love the blues goin’ on there. And your owl & bird – too cute!
    Christa @ BrownSugarToast recently posted..I’m Baaa-aaaaaaaack!My Profile

    • Christina says:

      Thanks, Christa! Yes, turquoise/blue was a must in my colors 🙂 It took me a while to find fabric that pulled in the gray and the brown from the furniture but I love these panels 🙂 They are a little hard to decorate the table around (like with pink or red) but I usually just do it anyways 😉

  6. I love how you can always improve on things. That is how stuff becomes outdated, because we decorate once and think we are ‘done’ But half the fun is knowing you will never be done!

    I LOVE the molding BTW. Beautiful!

    • Christina says:

      yes, you got it totally right. If we don’t continually spruce things up, they become outdated. 😉

      Thanks for commenting and visiting 🙂

  7. What a transformation!! This is absolutely amazing! I love the color of paint you chose and painting the bottom half all white just makes the room pop! The fabric you chose for the curtains is gorgeous! Way to go! Thanks for linking up to centerpiece Wednesday and showing off your room!

    • Christina says:

      Thanks for hosting the party, Karin!

      and thanks for the compliments – yes the white really does change it so much! Soooo glad I repainted 😉

  8. Martha West says:

    Very beautiful Christina. You did a great job and I love how it turned out.

  9. Love this SO much!! What a gorgeous room! Love all your beautiful dishes displayed! Hoping I’ll have something like that in our next house.
    It’s hard to believe that ALL you did was PAINT! At first glance it looks like you MUST have added paneling and molding! Phenomenal!
    Renee @ Living, Laughing, & Loving recently posted..Reading Challenge Recap… Stretching the Brain!My Profile

    • Christina says:

      thanks, Renee! yes, just paint! Had already done the hard work of the molding. Amazing what just painting it out white can do 🙂

      I hope you have a “pretty space” in your next home too. 🙂 Sometimes I feel it is a waste because we don’t use it that often but I am trying to work on entertaining more and then we do use it so I guess worth it 🙂 Although I can see if I was a homeschool mom – totally ditching the DR and turning it into a school room 🙂

  10. Wow. It looks beautiful. Very *Pottery Barn* I think. (Of course maybe I just think that way because I gravitate towards PB in my decor style. I usually throw something “quirky/modern to shake it up a bit.) Gotta do the molding in our bathroom. Pronto. Thanks for the inspiration. 😉
    Heather @ Thrifty Stories recently posted..Crazy 8: Clearance RacksMy Profile

    • Christina says:

      YES, Heather, Pottery Barn is what I was trying to describe! Pottery Barn is soooo much my style too. Although I rarely visit a store (nearest is 50 min away 🙁 and I think they kicked me off their magazine list 🙁 sadness 🙁

      I want to see more of your home 🙂

  11. LOOOOOVE it! Turned out great and it’s amazing what paint will transform! =) Makes me want to paint (but we rent–boo!)=( I’m still in the “figuring out my style” stage–lol! 😉 Actually, I think I pretty much know what it is it’s just a matter of implementing it and sometimes it can be different for different things (if that makes sense…). You did a great job and it IS beautiful! =)
    Rachel recently posted..A Simple Solution RevealedMy Profile

    • Christina says:

      Thanks, Rachel! Yes, I know what you mean about being different for different things. I am looking forward to doing a whole post on “my style” – think it will really help me too.

  12. I LOVE IT!!!!!! Seriously the fabric for your curtains is amazing. I love your home and can’t wait to see it in person again. (Though knowing you it will have changed by then!)

    My style is evolving and I love the clean lines of having NOTHING sitting around. But then I see others that do it well and I wonder if I want to try it.

    Thanks for posting – love checking out what you are up to!!!
    Amy Blackburn recently posted..Feeding/Fun ClubMy Profile

    • Christina says:

      haha – I am not as bad as Molly! I am a little slower 🙂 so pretty sure at least the dining room will be the same – all the other rooms – hoping they will be different, though 🙂

      my style is evolving too – but having nothing out -haven’t gotten there yet. I think I was neater in college (or was I a messy roommate? I think the roles were reversed then – LOL!)

      BUT as I weed out, I find my tolerance for “stuff” is getting less and less, so I want to weed out more 🙂

  13. Hey, I saw this on pinterest and wanted to tell you how inspired I am !!! I love the look you’ve arrived at!!! I spy some SLaHOME pieces, yard sale?? and some WH pieces……looks so great. I love that fabric, too! GREAT job!

    • Christina says:

      No SLAH pieces or WH 🙂 although their stuff is gorgeous. The lantern is Kirkland’s but I have seen one in WH that is almost the same.

      thanks for coming over! 🙂

  14. So beautiful!! Really love the wall color and your fabric. It looks so fresh and inviting. Wonderful job! Are you planning on changing your other decor and going with those same colors? (Yes, I’m nosy!) =)
    Laine recently posted..Duck EggsMy Profile

    • Christina says:

      Ok, so now I am nosy? what do you mean my other decor? In other rooms or in this room?

      I would LOVE to paint the hutch and even the table BUT I don’t think my MIL would approve 😉

  15. The change of paint color, white on the lowers and that fabulous window panel fabric has made such a dramatic difference! So much brighter and more modern …


    Linda @ it all started with paint recently posted..stick a fork in it.My Profile

    • Christina says:

      Thanks, Linda! Yes the white on the lower part was something I should have just done to begin with – I LOVE it so much! 🙂 and I love the fun fabric too – it is inspiring me to work fun into other rooms too 🙂

  16. Love it! I liked the first attempt, but I really like the simplicity and the funky pattern of the material you used on the curtains in your second attempt. Great job!

  17. I absolutely love your dining room. What a transformation. I especially love the curtains.
    Sarah@budgetfriendlydecorating recently posted..More Makeovers!!My Profile

    • Christina says:

      I love the curtains too! glad I decided to get a little more adventurous with them – I definitely haven’t regretted it.

  18. So pretty! I got a smile on my face when I saw your fabric choice! I just died over finding pillows on etsy with that fabric but the one I found was by Kravet. Same exact pattern however Childress Fabric sells it for $48/yd?!?! Anyhoo, I love the pattern and if Target ever gets their out of stock chair back with that fabric it will be mine!!! I haven’t had a chance yet to post about my master bedroom makeover and my undying love for that fabric haha!

    Love your new dining space!
    Lisa recently posted..Spring tablescapeMy Profile

  19. What a beautiful transformation!!! Well done!!!

  20. Mihchelle O says:

    I have the same china, also from my grandmother!!

  21. Christina… did a wonderful job with your DR. I love that you kept the bottom half all white….makes for a more peaceful room! The curtain fabric is fab….and gives the space that wow factor. Thanks for the “tip”yesterday 🙂
    So great to meet you.

    • Christina says:

      You are welcome, Sherry! It was great to meet you too! Of course, on the way home I thought of the complete name and the designer of the fabric – LOL! 🙂

      If you ever come down to Covington, I would love to take you on a tour of my favorite fabric store – just email me! You would go crazy in that store! 😉

      • Love the way your dining room turned out,it just beautiful. I love that your not afraid to change your mind and doing something different. I am in the midst of redoing my style and home. It can be challenging at time but blogs like yours that share ideas help make it much easier. Thanks so much 🙂

        • Christina says:

          I am in the midst of redoing or just doing for the first time in some rooms my home too. 🙂 So we are in this together! 🙂

  22. I enjoyed seeing the evolution of this room. I too am a little obsessed with white for molding – love it!
    Jae recently posted..Before and After: A New Kitchen!My Profile

  23. Just found your site (from Pinterest) and love your work! 🙂

  24. Emma Briggs says:

    Gray paint is really tricky colors, so….I did a lot of research on gray paint and i find this Light French Gray paint and i try it to my room then the result was so nice…have a try of this paint.
    Emma Briggs recently posted..Cello Adjustable Chair in Cherry Wood with Black SeatMy Profile

  25. What paint brand and color is this! Exactly what I’m looking for input kitchen with cherry cabinets!?

  26. What pattern did you use for your curtains? We just moved and I’m about to have to make a TON of curtains!!!

  27. Your dining room is GORGEOUS!! Love how you decided to paint the wainscoting white!! Made such a huge difference & really brightened up the space!! Also loving the wall color & the new curtains!! Would love to feature this room! Let me know what you think!!
    Tonya @ Love of Family & Home recently posted..How To Paint A Rug Using Vinyl Flooring….My Profile

  28. I love the redo. Not sure if I missed it in the post (or comments), but do you know who makes your plates. on the dining table. I love how the square plates have a bit of flourish to them and not too straight. We are getting ready to install picture box molding and I have debated about painting the entire bottom white or not. Your post was really helpful in seeing the different options. The white definitely looks more classic and less busy.

    • Melissa, I got all of them through Princess House. My MIL sold that line for years and I have been thankful to get much of it as gifts or at discounts.

      Glad my dining room picture frame molding could help. Yes, I LOVE the white much better.

  29. Tara Bosserman says:

    What a pretty room! I was wondering if you would ever consider being a paid fabric shopper for a desperate decorator? I would love to use this fabric in my family room, but I need 18 yards and the price online is adding up to mega bucks. If your local store has this fabric at that amazing price, I would love to make it worth you while to pick up some for me and ship it. Let me know if you’re interested, I have a paypal account I could use.
    Take care,

  30. It looks beautiful. I especially love the curtains.
    Mary@athomeonthebay recently posted..Thrifty Finds: Vintage Glass Bottle StoppersMy Profile

  31. This is PHENOMENAL!!

  32. Christina, your dining room looks beautiful! Valspar Urban Sunrise is the perfect color. I’d love to feature you on my paint color blog. You wouldn’t have to do a thing, just let me know if you’re interested!

  33. SUPER love that fabric. Yes if you got that at a steal boy was it worth it.

  34. I LOVE it and am completely inspired! I thank you for that! You did a beautiful job. May I ask, (in case I attempt to “copy” you…) 🙂 was your wall textured in anyway? Or was it somekind of special flat already? I feel my wall has a texture to it and that if I painted it white as you did with the moulding, it wouldn’t look as nice.

  35. WOW what a big difference. I love the paint colors you chose.
    Thanks so much for linking up to support Habitat! Good luck and hope to see you back next week!
    Jocie @OPC The Better Half recently posted..Beware of Using R-Values Alone to Compare InsulationMy Profile

  36. I have been looking all over for that fabric so I can make throw pillows for my bed. We just repainted our bedroom, and I even painted all of oak trim. White paint makes all the difference in the world and really gives everything a more “modern” feel! Does the fabric store you got that fabric at have a website, by any chance? Or could I bribe you into sending me a couple of yards if I sent payment and you could get it at that price?
    Jennifer recently posted..October 2013 kit from The Scrap RoomMy Profile

  37. Linda Albert says:

    Hi thanks for the tutorial. How do you hang it -is there a way to attach a metal bracket to the back?? Thanks Linda

  38. Hello what was the name of the brown color?

  39. hello, could i ask where you got your wainscoting materials? thank you

    • Christina says:

      at Home Depot! 🙂 The chair rail was already in when we bought the house but they sell that there in the trim aisle. And they also sell the trim for making the “faux boxes” in the trim aisle as well. I would ask for some ideas on which trim to use by someone there and they will help you cut it if you need to.

  40. Rachael Pifer says:

    What size picture frames did you use?

  41. The white paint and accessories and change of curtains really lightened the room! I love it.

  42. Wow! This is absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful. I don’t regret stumbling upon your blog. =)

  43. Looks really pretty! The white paint made a world of difference, so much lighter and brighter. Good luck with all your decorating ideas.


  1. […] I do have plans to change one little thing about it )  Anyways, I don’t keep dishes set on this table like I sometimes do in my dining room, BUT I pretty much always have placemats and some type of centerpiece on this table.    […]

  2. […] I revealed my dining room a few weeks ago, I still had a few tweaks I wanted to […]

  3. […] Matching lampshades for her white lamps (also a yard sale find) – $3.50 each.  It was these very lamps (and her post on patience and waiting for the perfect thing in your price range) that had me looking for a white lamp.  And I found one for $2.00 for my dining room! […]

  4. […] I keep the serving stand on my little dresser turned buffet in my dining room.  (See all the details and my before/after reveal of my dining room here.) […]

  5. […] This white coffee filter wreath hangs in my dining room. […]

  6. […] Oh, and I realized I never have done the BIG reveal of my dining room makeover!  I completed it literally as I was putting the turkey in the oven for Thanksgiving and then it was crazy holiday season.  So look for the big reveal  and before and after pictures sometime in the next 2 weeks  (Update: You can find my dining room before/after post here.) […]

  7. […] I revealed my dining room (which also led to me getting published in my first newspaper […]

  8. […] won’t share tons of details as I have already published a detailed before and after post of our dining room last spring.  But I wanted to share some updated pictures and also share what I love and any things I want to […]

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