Before and After: A Yellow Meditation Space Becomes a Dramatic, Mid-Century-Inspired Dining Room

published Apr 20, 2022
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Before: Yellow walls with a dresser and meditation statue on top

If there’s one thing to remember about renovations, it’s this: You should use your home however it suits you best. If that means converting a dining room into a cycling studio, so be it. If you’d rather outfit your dining space for meditation, then go ahead and commit.

A dining room can actually be pretty versatile, even when the conversion happens in reverse. In this case, Nashville resident and vintage lover Becky England (@begood.vintage) found herself considering how a kitchen-adjacent room that had been used as a meditation space would be better for dining.

“This room was painted a bright yellow,” Becky says. “It had popcorn ceilings, and the flooring was a vinyl plank that wasn’t in the best condition. The overhead light was builder-grade, and the wall sconces needed to be updated as well. Even though the room is located right off the kitchen, it didn’t feel like a dining room to us at the time. It felt kind of out of place and like it was missing its full potential.”

She and her husband, Shane, spent about $1,000 (not including new floors, which they had professionally installed) creating the dining room of their dreams.

For starters, they addressed the popcorn ceilings. Becky used a plastic weed sprayer to drench the ceiling with water, wetting small squares at a time, and Shane followed behind her to scrape the “popcorn” from the saturated area.

“We worked our way around the room ’til there was no more texture on the ceiling,” Becky says. (Thankfully, they did this step before their new engineered hardwoods were installed.)

The couple painted the smooth ceiling white, and Becky picked Valspar’s “Dark Kettle Black” for the walls. “I wanted it to feel intimate, dramatic, and comfortable,” she says.

Becky is proud that they didn’t let anyone talk them out of painting the walls black, even though Shane now admits he was a little nervous about the dark color choice at first. “He never let on and always supported my vision,” Becky says.

Next, the couple addressed the dated lighting by swapping the small fixture in the center of the room for something more bold and geometric. “I knew I wanted to add gold light fixtures so they would pop against the black walls,” Becky says. “We found the perfect mid-century style chandelier and wall sconces, and my husband swapped all of the fixtures out.”

They’ve had their Danish dining table and wall unit for years — which were purchased from an estate sale and auction, respectively — but they found a tufted leather bench and cognac chairs on Amazon. Becky says it took a couple of long weekends to paint, de-popcorn, and accessorize before everything was in place.

“I’ve added lots of plants in the large windows and a few personal touches, like a brass shelf that holds our collection of vintage barware and a personalized box set of gold vintage flatware that we pull out on special occasions to feel fancy,” Becky says.

Her brass shelf was a Facebook Marketplace find. “I don’t think I’d do anything differently, but you can fully expect that I’ll be adding more vintage cocktail glasses to our collection and more plants!”

Becky looks forward to “good food, good drinks, and good laughs around the table” thanks to the new design. “I love how our dining room makes you feel like you just want to sit down, mix a drink, and hang out for a while in here,” she says.