Decorating & DIY

Our Dining Room Makeover

dining room makeover

This is the story of our dining room makeover. We moved into our current Louisville home 18 months ago. Our daughter, son-in-law, and their three little boys moved in with us four months after that. (So our son-in-law could complete his M.Div.) I initially planned to begin redecorating the house right away, project by project. But after the little grands took up residence, I thought it best to hold off on any construction jobs for everyone’s safety and sanity.

The one project I did accomplish, the month we moved in, was redecorating the dining room. Had to. It was painted a muddy shade of orange that just made me feel angry. No one wants family dinners with an angry woman. So I moved unpacked boxes to the side and got busy.

The first thing I did was put two coats of Kilz on the walls to bury that paint color. Even though I knew I’d be papering above the chair rail, I wanted zero chance that orange would show through.

About the paper…It should come as no shock that I love traditional patterns. I was thinking Damask. But I was also thinking resale. I had to back away from those lovely Damask patterns that some unconverted mind might think of as “Granny.” But I didn’t back too far away. The pattern I selected strikes me as a modern version. It has the basic flow of Damask without the fussy detail. I can’t tell you the name of the paint color below the chair rail because it’s a custom match to the wallpaper.

The next big change in the room was the light fixture. I swapped out the builder-grade silver chandelier for one we brought with us from our previous house in Virginia. I added a ceiling medallion above it to help it transition in the small dining room. My husband added a dimmer switch and we’re both very proud he didn’t electrocute himself or burn down the house. (He’s the first one to say he’s not handy.)

The other obvious change in the room is the furniture. The “before” picture is from the house’s listing profile and includes the previous owner’s stuff. The stuff in the “after” picture, below, is ours.


I’d still like to add silk draperies, but I know those sweet grands would utilize them for hiding spots. So for now, we’ll do without. I hope you agree, overall, it’s an improvement. I’ve been able to host family dinners that don’t erupt in orange rage, so it’s got that going for it. I’ve been able to host family dinners that don’t erupt in orange rage, so it’s got that going for it. Click To Tweet

dining room makeover