Before and After: A “Beige, Brown, and Boring” Dining Room Gets a Cheery Upgrade for $5,000

published Nov 29, 2021
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Before: Dim, empty dining room

There are many ways to create show-stopping dining rooms, but if you don’t know where to begin, take a look at the commonalities among some of the most stylish ones. Cool architectural details, drapery that’s lush and luxe, and a statement-making chandelier are all trademarks of a dining room fit for royalty — or fun family game nights.

Interior designer and DIYer Lauren Morgan (@myhappymakeover)’s dining room redo adds new drapery, a new chandelier, new moulding, and more. When she moved into her home four years ago, “everything was beige, brown, and boring,” she says, including the dining room, with its sand-colored tile and basic brown chandelier. Lauren was looking for something with much more personality and color.

Credit: White Orchid Photography

For starters, she added paint that brightened the whole space. “I painted the top third Caitlyn’s Kelly Green and installed board and batten on the bottom,” Lauren says. She watched YouTube videos to learn how to install the board and batten on the walls, carefully planning so she wouldn’t cover up any electrical outlets. She painted the board and batten and the ceiling white. “I learned that bright white paint requires more coats than you think,” she says. “I put at least three coats of white paint on before I was done.”

Overall, Lauren’s pleased with the paint and the added architectural detail. “I love that the room is bold and colorful,” she says of the bright green. “It really energizes me when I walk through the door.”

Credit: White Orchid Photography

She’s also proud that she learned to cut and mount the moulding herself. “There are so many tutorials available,” she says. “Just take it one step at a time, and you won’t be overwhelmed.”

Credit: White Orchid Photography

Other DIYs in the space include the green and pink curtains and the one-of-a-kind buffalo check chairs. For the curtains, Lauren made green and white pompoms to add to the pink linen curtains that she sewed. “I wanted the room to feel whimsical,” she says. For the chairs (a World Market find), she ripped off the upholstery that came with and added new fabric. “This project took FOREVER,” Lauren wrote on her blog. “I had lots of doubts and regrets during the process, but love the results!”

Credit: White Orchid Photography

To complete the space, Lauren hired an electrician to install a beautiful sputnik chandelier with glass globes, laid a blue and tan swirled rug that reminds her of the ocean, and hung flamingo artwork from Etsy.

“I don’t ever want my home to be described as boring,” she says. And with her new accents and statement-making yet cohesive details, her dining room is anything but.

Inspired? Submit your own project here.