Bluesky at Home » Home Decor » How To Prepare For A Dining Room Makeover ORC

How To Prepare For A Dining Room Makeover ORC

Spring decor and spring updates have been on my agenda the past few weeks. But now I’m ready to tackle a dining room makeover that has nothing to do with the seasons. I’ve been wanting to give our dining room a lighter, more neutral and current look. This dining room makeover has been in the back of my mind for several months, but the incentive to actually go forward started with shutters ~ or the removal of shutters. Hold on and I’ll explain.

I’m excited too that the timing of our dining room makeover finally coincided with the spring One Room Challenge hosted by Calling it Home and sponsored by House Beautiful. I’ve done a complete office construction and a laundry room makeover, but they were never at the right time. So the stars have aligned and I will be sharing our dining room makeover as a guest contributor. I’ll post my progress on Wednesday and then share it on Thursday. This is the 10th year for the ORC, and, although the “challenge” is just with yourself, it’s still a bit intimidating because there are fabulous designers and decor bloggers who have been participating for quite some time.

How To Prepare For A Dining Room Makeover ORC

To say that I’m a bit nervous and excited about this dining room makeover is an understatement. For this makeover, I’m on someone else’s time frame. I can’t just take a week off to ponder paint colors or which fabric for drapes. I think I’ll pretend this is HGTV Design Star and put myself on a strict time frame.

The Dining Room Today

Our dining room is the first room you see when you enter our home. It’s just to the left of the entry with a large cased opening. Rectangle in shape, the dimensions are 12 1/2 X 15 1/2. Here’s how it looked last fall right after I removed he shutters and started decorating for Thanksgiving.

Dining Room Makeover

The  bay window overlooks our front yard. In the bay is our antique commode which holds china and serving pieces.

Dining Room Makeover

Our French vaisselier on the large wall is the focal point of the room. This antique is one of our most treasured possessions and displays decorative plates (You can’t eat off of them.), crystal containers and candlesticks. The storage below holds extra sets of china and serving pieces. As you might guess, it’s not going anywhere.

Dining Room Makeover

Two tapestries that we bought in Venice 3 1/2 years ago hang on the shorter wall.

Dining Room Makeover

The shorter wall is filled with a single window. I found the vintage bar cart at a flea market and had a new piece of mirror and glass cut for it.

Dining Room Makeover

We bought the chandelier in Lorena, Texas while we were remodeling the house and we customized it for the dining room. We love it and it’s not going away.

Dining Room Makeover

The dining room table was a vintage find that I painted a light color (Coco and Old White by Annie Sloan) about 3 years ago. I had reupholstered the chairs and it gives the country French farmhouse look I love. I took this photo after the shutters were removed.

Dining Room Makeover

This folded up rug belonged to Sweet Shark’s grandmother. It’s mostly red with dark blue accents. Quite honestly, it’s been a bone of contention since we moved in this house. It looked great in the den of our previous home (darker, taupe walls, red accents), but it just doesn’t fit in the somewhat coastal palette we have in this home. Sweet Shark loves it and I don’t. We made a deal a few years ago that we would have the rug out from October to April and put it away from April to October. But it is a hassle to do that (Even he admitted it.) So this year I’m sending it to storage.

Dining Room Makeover

Why the Dining Room Makeover

Back to the story of the shutters.  Although our dining room faces west, with the trees outside, it was the darkest room in the house. Plantation shutters were already installed when we bought the house and although they are very functional, they block out so much light.  I shared before Christmas that on a whim I removed the shutters and suddenly there was light! Since the dining room isn’t a room where you need privacy, I wasn’t concerned about not having anything on the windows.

As the weeks went by, we realized how bare the windows looked. I love fabric and window treatments just finish off a window, like jewelry for a little black dress. We also noticed that the wood back of the commode could be seen from the front yard, which wasn’t very attractive. So the number one reason for the makeover is new window treatments. It’s bright, bare and boring. Lovely Layla spends a lot of time looking out those windows.

Dining Room Makeover

Our current paint color is called Liveable Green by Sherwin Williams, although Benjamin Moore made all our paint colors. It’s a pretty soft green, but it also limits my color accessory choices. To be honest, I’m just ready for a more light and neutral color that will allow me to use more colorful accessories and art in the room.

Dining Room Makeover

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room ~ that red rug ~ wrong color, old looking motif and it’s way too big for the room at 11 X 14 feet, it covers almost the entire floor. The room needs a lighter, more neutral foundation to ground the space.

Dining Room Makeover

The Plan for the Dining Room Makeover

First Thing

The first thing we had to consider were the shutter frames. Do we remove the entire frames of the 4 windows? That would mean having to sheetrock, tape, bed and texture around the windows. And that task would mean a major and costly chore that we did not want to attempt. So we decided to leave the frames.

With the frames staying, the holes left by the shutter hinges will need to be filled in and the frames repainted. I can do that job. I’ll also remove and fill in the holes left by the magnets. Unfortunately the horizontal wood on the window sill will stay, but hopefully will be minimized with new window treatments.

Dining Room Makeover

Dining Room Makeover

Dining Room Makeover

Second Thing

New paint color for the dining room. I want to go with a soft, light neutral grey. Last year when we did our laundry room makeover, I used Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore. I love that color but I’m thinking something maybe a little bit lighter. But as anyone who has ever tried out paint colors knows, you don’t know until you put a sample on the wall. Here are some possibilities to start with. And if you have any favorite grays you love, please let me know.

Dining Room Makeover


Third Thing

Move the commode to the entry. There is no way to get around the back of the commode showing in the window from the front of the house. Also the commode is big and takes up the entire bay window. When I put another leaf in the dining room table, it’s almost impossible to move between the hostess chair and the commode. By moving the commode out, we’ll eliminate the space problem and the visual problem. I already moved our existing entry piece into our bedroom and it looks great in there.

Dining Room Makeover

Fourth Thing

New window treatment. I haven’t decided yet exactly what style of window treatment we’ll use, but I know I what something light and airy. Maybe a shade or drapes, or a combination; but unlined to let in as much light as possible.

Dining Room Makeover

Fifth Thing

A new rug ~ one that has some pattern and color but will be neutral enough for any color of art and accessories I want to add to the room. And one that Sweet Shark will like!

Sixth Thing

Accessories ~ I want to give the vaisselier a lighter look with new (or different) items to display. I also think that some more colorful art on the walls would give the room energy and brightness. I would like to move the bar cart in front of the bay window and add a really nice big plant in the corner window. Green is always a great touch in a room.

Dining Room Makeover

That’s the plan, so keep your fingers crossed that I can stay on track and that this dining room makeover comes together. Some paint, fabric, accessories, and moving furniture around ~ I think I can, I think I can.

Dining Room Makeover

I know this will be a fun 6 weeks and I know that we will all gain so much inspiration from all the One Room Challenge participants.

Let the challenge begin.

Dining Room Makeover





Similar Posts


    1. Monica, thanks for visiting. We are fortunate to have good pieces of furniture. Deciding on window treatment this week and looking for a rug. IF I bit my fingernails, they would be gone!

    1. Stacey, would you come over and help me pick out a paint color for the walls? Want to make the right decision.

  1. You have such wonderful natural light in your dining room, I am a wee bit jealous! And that chandy…WOW! I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    1. Suzanne, the natural light only came after I took the shutters down. Best, impulse decision ever! The chandelier is another favorite decision. It sets the feel of the room. A little bling never hurt!

    1. Sarah, thank you so much. The sideboard or as they call it in French, a vassilier, is one of my most treasured possession.

    1. Tee, thanks for dropping by. Without the shutters, it’s so bright and airy. Making window treatment decision this week. Please follow along!

  2. Beautiful room, Carol! Love all your special furniture pieces. And wow!…what a great plan. Can’t wait to follow your progress week-to-week. XO ~~ Susie from The Chelsea Project

  3. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together. love the paint colors you are using too!

    1. Hi girls. Thanks for the compliment. My husband thinks it’s fine as is too! But we know whose opinion counts most when it comes to decor, right! Thanks for following along.

  4. Carol, I love your plan! Agree, the rug is beautiful but something neutral and lighter will look stunning with your furniture. Cheers to the ORC!

    1. Hi Jenn. Decisions, decisions. I’m actually in Atlanta right now. It’s chilly here too and I wish the sun would come out! The azaleas are gorgeous! Camera~ready. My daughter’s name is Jenn, too.

  5. The furniture you have in this room is stunning! I can’t wait to see how it all comes together with all the extra accents. I used Benjamin Moore Intense White in most of our house. It’s basically white with a tiny hint of neutral grey.

    1. Jessica, thanks so much for the color suggestion. I’ve put a couple of samples on the wall and I’m still not sure ~ it was cloudy over the weekend. We are fortunate that several years ago we had the opportunity to purchase some fabulous antiques for our previous home. The vassielier is my most treasured one.

  6. Carol, this grey may be too light for you but Shea McGee uses Ben Moore’s Classic Gray in a lot of her spaces and it’s so beautiful. I used it in a client’s room and we loved how it had just a hint of warm grey that gave the trim some contrast, but kept the room light and bright! Your rug is gorgeous but I totally get needing a change. Maybe you will fall in love with it years from now when you’re ready for your next makeover! Good luck, can’t wait to see your room through the weeks!

    1. Lisa, thank you so much for the suggestion. I’ve put a couple of samples up (Wickham Gray and Stonington Gray) but it was too cloudy over the weekend to see how they would look. I will check out Classic Gray. I don’t want it too gray ~ want to leave all my options open for accessories.

  7. I’m so excited you’re participating this round, Carol, and I can’t wait to see what you come up – All of your ideas sound fabulous! You’ve got this!

    1. Kathleen, I hope so. It’s not the biggest project I’ve every tackled (laundry room and office) but it’s the one that will be most visible in our home so I want it to look fabulous. And them, there is the ORC aspect. Fingers crossed, pleased.

    1. Jessica, thanks for visiting. I think we’ve decided on drapes rather than shades. Have to make that decision like today.

Comments are closed.