Before and After: A Sophisticated Revamp Turns a Plain Dining Room Into an Art Lover’s Dream

published Sep 5, 2021
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About this before & after
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Dining room before renovation no rug wood floors
Credit: Liz Ferguson

Figuring out how to add character and charm to a plain dining space can be a bit overwhelming. Should you opt for funky mismatched dining chairs, or will that look messy? And what about rugs — do they belong a dining room or not?

When it came time to revamp her narrow dining room, Liz Ferguson (Hello From Liz) decided that a rug did belong — and it ended up tying the whole space together.

When they first moved into their new home, the dining room wasn’t a high priority for Liz and her husband, Grant. But once the pandemic began, the dining room became Liz’s home office and the command station for all home improvement projects. That was “the catalyst for me to cohesively design and add finishing touches to each corner of the space,” Liz says.

Credit: Liz Ferguson

Liz’s first challenge was that the dining space is open to the kitchen and living room, so it all had to remain cohesive. She got to work painting the entryway, living, dining, and kitchen areas the same shade of white (Behr’s White Lie) to lighten up the 1917 home. “It reads as cool blue to cool white depending on the time of day and what it is reflecting,” Liz says.

Next was adding the perfect white and blue rug, which takes up much of the space. It adds to the cool, bright tones in the room, all while making it look and feel homey.

Credit: Liz Ferguson

The Arhaus table, which seats six to eight people, was a wishlist item of Liz’s ever since she saw the same one on Jenny Komenda’s patio. The rounded corners and multifaceted brass legs are unique but classic, Liz says. 

With padded leather seats and metal frames, the West Elm chairs add a modern touch to the space. “The cantilever shape allows for a bit of bounce, which we find extra comfy during long meals or game nights,” Liz says.

Credit: Liz Ferguson

The room is scattered with collected art and various finds. Take the Mastercraft Greek key console table straight from the ’70s as an example. Or the art on the walls passed down from family members. “It’s become apparent that we are part of families that include many generations of art lovers,” Liz says.

The biggest project of the redesign was converting the ’80s recessed can lights into pendant fixtures using a kit to hang two lights over the table.

Credit: Liz Ferguson

Liz’s advice for prioritizing projects like this one? Start with the room you spend a lot of time in, and don’t wait to make it inspire you.

“I love having an art-filled space that feels representative of my personality as such a central part of my home,” Liz says.

Credit: Liz Ferguson