Dining Room Refresh
If you’ve been following along, then you know that a few weeks ago I mentioned I was working on giving our dining room decor a bit of a facelift. If you are new around here, welcome! We moved into our “forever home” about nine months ago and have been in a decorating frenzy ever since. Aside from all of the painting and furniture buying we’ve been doing, one small thing that was on the top of my list when we moved in was to freshen up the dining room decor. We’ve been recycling the same pieces over and over again during the last 10 years as we moved from house, to house, to house – and everything was starting to just look kind of blah.
I feel like dining rooms are being re-imagined these days and more and more people are using them as offices or project rooms rather than having them sit as an unused space most of the time. I have to admit that I’m kind of intrigued by the possibilities, and while I’d absolutely love to have a dedicated homework zone for the kids, I’m not exactly sure what we would do without a dining room. We actually spend a lot of time in there entertaining, playing games with the kids, and gathering around the table for big meals when family comes into town for a visit, so I think I’d miss it. Since it’s a room we use often (not to mention it’s also one of the first rooms you see when you walk in the front door), getting the right mood in there was important. The look I imagined is finally coming together, so I’m excited to share a few simple things that I did to achieve a more updated feel. First, to give you a sense of what I was working with:
Dining Room Before:
The dining room table and the buffet were the two main areas that needed attention. These were some of the first pieces of grown-up furniture that we bought after we were married – the centerpiece on the table and the art above the buffet aren’t quite as old, but they have been around for quite some time. And even though there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with them, there’s definitely no wow factor there. I had some other decor that I was using to style the buffet, but it was dropped off at Goodwill awhile ago (and has hopefully found a happy place in a new home by now), so this area has been a blank slate crying for help for a few months already. After several shopping trips, some trial and error, and playing around with different arrangements, here is the simple, pulled-together look I came up with:
Dining Room After:
The mirror was my first purchase for this space, and I kept the distressed look of the metal in mind while shopping for the long, oval tray for a coordinated look. I added different textures and natural elements into the overall design by filling the tray with dried leaves and flowers. The large vase provides vertical balance with the candlestick holders, and I repurposed the branches and berries from our old centerpiece on the dining room table:
We love Wine Wednesdays around here, so this piece sits on the bottom shelf of the buffet to corral our latest collection of corks from our favorite wineries and add a personal touch:
For the dining room table, I swapped out our old placemats with some fresh looking red ones that compliment the candles and berries on the buffet, and traded in our old centerpiece for a wooden bowl that holds decorative orbs in coordinating colors:
We’ve owned the pictures that you can see on the far wall for several years, but I’m still kind of fond of them, so they get to stay there for now. The metal branches on the large wall were a new purchase when we moved into the house last summer. The previous owners had a large hutch that worked perfectly to fill the space, but we needed to get a bit creative on what to do with that big blank wall. My super-talented mom can always be counted on for good decorating ideas, and she gets all the credit for finding these for us:
The art that used to hang over the buffet was moved to the empty wall space between our two dining room windows:
And finally, here’s the room from another angle so you can get a sense of how the buffet and the table work together in the space:
If you don’t have a buffet, but are looking for inspiration for other areas in your home, the same design principles could easily be applied to decorating an entryway table, a family room console table, or even a long dresser. Comment below and let me know what spaces in your home are calling out for an update – I hope the simple design strategies that I used in our dining room are helpful in refreshing a space of your own!