Before and After: A Character-Packed Makeover Helps a “Stark White” Dining Room Sing

published Dec 1, 2023
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Unlike kitchens or bathrooms or laundry rooms, when it comes to updating dining rooms, most don’t need a ton of work to look much better. There’s no plumbing required, and often no tiling or cabinetry needed either. Add a coat of paint and maybe some molding or artwork or wallpaper on the walls, complete it with a statement-making dining table, and you’ve got a dramatic room transformation. 

Katie Jones, aka @alickofpaint on Instagram, had a dining room that needed just that. Her room makeover consists of new paint and furniture. (In fact, most of the $3,000 all-in cost went to sourcing mid-century modern furniture, Katie says.)

Credit: Katie Jones
Credit: Katie Jones

A pop of green paint on the ceiling brings the personality.

Whereas the room before was “very bland” with “stark white walls,” the after is anything but. There was, in one stage, a “during,” in which Katie and her husband painted the room a dark navy, but ultimately they landed on something cheerier. Katie still went with white paint on the walls (Lick’s White 05), but the paint color has goldish undertones to it this time around. “I think it looks so much better with a warmer white on the walls,” Katie says. 

On the ceiling, she went with a bold color. “Painting the ceiling was a bit daunting, but at the end of the day, it’s just paint and easily changed,” Katie says of the paint process, adding that rolling the mossy green shade (Lick’s Green 05) was time-consuming — but worth it. “The room feels more alive,” Katie says.

Credit: Katie Jones
Credit: Katie Jones

Next came furnishing the place.

If you look up toward the ceiling in this dining room, you’ll note that Katie swapped out the beaded chandelier from before with something a little more contemporary. Katie’s three-stem pendant is from Next in the U.K., but you can find something similar from IKEA.

Katie’s artwork is from Juniqe, her shelving is from Maisons du Monde, her sideboard and dining table are both from local vintage sellers, her metal chairs are from Cult Furniture, and her jute rug is from Benuta. “Although we still have the same flooring … I would love to change it,” Katie says, so future projects aren’t, ahem, off the table.

Katie might change the laminate flooring down the line, but for now, she’s perfectly content with the room and the way all of the components came together. “It’s my favorite room in the house,” Katie says. “[In] other rooms, I’m always looking at what’s missing or what I would change, but to me, this room’s perfect.”

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