New Year New Room Refresh Challenge–The Dining Room, Week 1

Hey, everyone! Welcome to Week 1 of the New Year, New Room Refresh Challenge, hosted by my sweet friend Stephanie of Casa Watkins. The objective is simple–take a room that needs some minor lovin’ and freshen it up to ring in the New Year.

On deck is my sad, plain dining room. Awash in a sea of dark brown furniture, it brings to mind days of yore when we all bought furniture in matching sets.

Womp, womp. I’m going to confess that we never use this room, which really bothers me. I believe in using every square inch of your home in some sort of functional way. (I can’t even claim this room makes me happy like my large foyer, which serves no real purpose, but at least it looks nice.)

Here’s the plan:

  1. Replace the captain’s chairs with upholstered chairs. 
  2. Replace the rinky-dink chandelier with a larger one. 
  3. Find a gorgeous new rug that Shorty (our dog) will eventually throw up on. 
  4. Install crown moulding. 
  5. Hang grasscloth wallpaper to the walls that have windows and doors.
  6. Install amazing floor to ceiling wainscoting  on the wall where the buffet is. Also figure out how to pay for it.
  7. Paint the french doors black to balance out the monster buffet and tie in the mudroom and office.
  8. Have custom window treatments fabricated and installed. Let me just say this likely won’t happen before this challenge wraps up. See number 6 above.
  9. Accessorize so the lack of number 8 is less obvious. Hope everyone reading understands.
  10. Revel in the glory of a dining room that we might actually eat in.

Sounds simple enough, right? Here’s the current plan, which I revealed sometime in November because I was just so darn excited about the whole thing:

I’m still excited, but as the numbers start ticking upwards my enthusiasm begins to wane. (Plus, I’m pretty sure we’ve veered off course from a refresh to a full-blown overhaul.) Thank goodness some generous sponsors have stepped in to lighten the decorating load.

I finally have a chandelier that fits the room thanks to Lamps Plus. They also supplied the sunburst mirror, which will hang over the buffet. The grasscloth is being supplied by Wallpaper Boulevard and the accessories will come from World Market. Thanks, sponsors!

Here’s the most recent photo of the dining room taken before Christmas. Progress has since grinded to a halt.

I’m currently getting all of the installations scheduled. Ordinarily, I’d make an effort to DIY something, but now that we’re in the main living areas of the house I’m a lot less likely to play fast and loose with power tools. Plus, my right hand man is gone for the entirety of the challenge. (I know my limits.)

Let’s go see what my friends have planned for their rooms! The reveals will be in just 3 short weeks on January 31st–it’s basically decorating instant gratification.

Casa Watkins Living // A Designer At Home // Bigger Than The Three Of Us // Domicile 37 // Fresh Crush // Iris Nacole // Monica Wants It // Pocketful of Posies // Seeking Lavender Lane // Sharon Joyce Interiors // This Is Our Bliss // Up To Date Interiors //Vintage Romance Style

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I’ll see you back here next week! 




36 thoughts on “New Year New Room Refresh Challenge–The Dining Room, Week 1

    1. The plant stand is from Ballard Designs. I haven’t ordered it yet because I’m operating in some alternate universe where we still have 3 weeks left in the this challenge. :/

    1. Thanks, Deb! Hoping I can get it together and actually finish the room. I’ve never been so behind on a project before and I’m feeling nervous about the timeline.

  1. Your rooms always turn out stunning! Hope you find a way to get the wainscotting you want. Love the idea of painting the french doors black. So classy.

    1. Thanks, Kathy! The plan keeps changing because I’m not 100% committed to this house, so I’m reluctant to spend a ton of money on the wainscoting. This is the first time I haven’t been sure of how I want the room to look!

    1. Thank you, Iris! The room may turn out a lot more subdued in the end than what I usually do. We may be looking at a move in the next few months so I don’t want to do anything too crazy. 🙂

  2. I can’t wait to see the results! Doesn’t the crown moulding guy do wainscoting? The guy that you recommeneded installed my pretty baseboards and said that he could reinstall some picture frame moulding if needed.

    1. Yes, I got a bid from him but haven’t scheduled anything yet. Maybe this week? It was more than I was hoping to spend which is why I haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

  3. I love that chandelier and that buffet. You know your rooms always comes out looking spectacular so I cannot wait to see the reveal. I also cannot wait to see the wallpaper hung. Yay!!!!

    1. Thanks, Jess! I’m excited to see how it turns out, too. Not sure what the end result will be at this point because of cost, but I’ll figure it out. 🙂

  4. So true – instant decorating gratification for us all! This space is going to be wonderful! Love that brass planter and all of your lighting pieces….it’s will be stunning when all is said and done. I truly hope you enjoy this space after you finish it. After doing our dining room for the ORC, we wine and dine in there and it makes me happy every time I walk by!!

    1. Thanks, Carol! I’m waiting on the wainscoting because I’m not 100% sure we’re staying in the house (the gov’t moves us around a lot!). But the grasscloth is happening, for sure. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jen. I ordered a bunch of samples but the one I like the best is very light and bright. I love the light fixture, too–that little one was so bad and I had to look away for the past two years.

  5. You have your work cut out for you. I couldn’t help but be attracted to you ceiling with the shadows cast by the new light fixture. Usually I’m a fan of white ceilings—but I’m wondering if some sort of trim box–or frame up there wouldn’t really just set off the room, rather than the dark trim on those windows—which you might regret. Maybe even with some of the textured grass cloth within a frame? Play with the light since you are limited in what can really be done in the room in space as well as funds, grins, Sandi

    1. Hi, Sandi! Don’t worry–nothing’s set in stone yet. I won’t make any final decisions until the wainscotting and grasscloth are installed. I’ll have a better feel for the room at that point. My favorite affordable drapery fabric is back in stock, so I might be able to work a little magic and have the window treatments ready. We’ll see. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a nice evening!

  6. Goodness me those high ceilings, deliciously dark floors and that sideboard. WHOA! You are going to have one stunning space!

    1. I hope so! The sideboard is ginormous and not meant for this size room but I’m rolling with it since it’s a family piece. I’m desperate to roll the rug out and see how it looks but Shorty is like a moth to the flame with new rugs. Plus it’s sisal, cause I’m an idiot. 😉

  7. I know these challenges are murder on the participants, but it’s so exciting to watch the transformations as they happen. You’ve got a great plan, best of luck with implementation!

    1. Thanks! Yes, it’s rough on the pocketbook and stressful to make decisions quickly, which is why I’ve been planning and purchasing for a couple of months now. Makes it less of a budget crunch that way!

    1. Thanks, Monica! It’s from Ballard Designs. Not sure if I’ll wind up using it or not but I do like the idea of a tall palm in the room. Need to get the basics wrapped up before I can move on to the fun stuff!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I’ll let you know how the grasscloth goes. I’m debating installing it myself to save some money but haven’t been happy with the online tutorials I’ve seen so far. It looks scary and easy to mess up. Thanks for including me and hosting the challenge!

    1. Thank you! I hope it turns out like I see it in my head–at least I won’t have to wait to long to find out if the plan works, right? 🙂

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