One Room Challenge

Before and After: In This Dramatic Dining Room Redo, Everything Is a Wow Factor

published Jun 9, 2023
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Rental Friendly
Dining room with glass dining table and black and white chairs before renovation.

While some people steadfastly love the same design styles and features for their entire lives, most people change their opinions at least a few times. And that’s totally OK! How many times have you painted a room one color that you love, only to live with it and a few years later realize you now hate it? (For me, it’s been at least two.)

Designer Neecy Patton ( still loved her favorite color palette — black and white — but was less than enthusiastic about some of the previous design choices she’d made in her own home’s dining room. “My dining room was feeling dated because of the wall-to-wall mirror and the slip-covered chairs,” Neecy says. She’d previously tried to camouflage the mirror by adding decorative tiles and hanging another mirror over top, but the fixes weren’t cutting it. And the sparkles that she and her husband had added to the popcorn ceiling in the early 2000s (a project she mentions with an “LOL”) weren’t her style anymore, either.

Neecy sought to give her dining room a makeover that still fit within her favorite color combo, but that would reflect her current tastes more than her old ones. She also needed to make sure it was still practical for her, her husband, and their three sons. The One Room Challenge gave Neecy the perfect opportunity and a timeline of just eight weeks to pull it off.

To begin, Neecy wanted to demo the dated mirror, but her husband didn’t love the plan. She compromised with the next best solution: Hiring a pro, Ricardo Gibbons, to build a wall in front of it. Neecy says that gave her the chance to add an electric fireplace, something she’d always wanted in her home.

Overhead, the popcorn ceiling with its previous customizations proved tricky. “I attempted to remove the popcorn ceiling, but to no avail because it had the glitter and glue from our past project years ago,” Neecy says. “We decided to get a pro to plaster over the ceiling instead.” Neecy took advantage of her smooth new canvas by hiring a painter, Paula Yelland, to do a cool graphic black-and-white mural overhead. The new chandelier feels more like a piece of art than a fixture. “The ceiling design gives that wow factor when you enter the space, and that is exactly what I wanted to achieve,” Neecy says.

Neecy had always wanted a round dining table, but wanted to find a way to keep costs low on her furniture purchase. She bought both the table and chairs used on Facebook Marketplace with the intention of customizing them to fit her home. The table upgrade was an easy one for Neecy: She got a new top for it, then glued pole wrap around the base for a trendy fluted look. The chairs were a little trickier. “Normally if just the seat needs to be reupholstered, I can manage that, but these chairs had curved backs that required sewing, which is not my forte,” Neecy says. She took them to a pro to have the upholstery done right.

“Anytime you can bring an older piece of furniture back to life, do it,” Neecy advises. As long as you like the shape, color and finish can be changed.

Finally, Neecy finished off the space with art and a funky cowhide rug. “We are in love with our new dining room,” she says. “It functions for the family.” And, she adds, “It’s a sexy space for my husband and I when we want to have a candlelight meal by the fireplace!”

This project was completed for the Spring 2023 One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.
Inspired? Submit your own project here.