our new and improved dining room

We moved into our house almost 2 years ago.  Time really flies.  In fact I remember the first day we set foot in it, it was President’s Day 2011.  Exactly 2 years ago.  We put an offer on the house on the spot.  We loved it and still do!  We’ve had to do very little to really personalize it because this little house had been updated by the previous owners in so many ways that we would have chosen.  They had great taste when renovating the 1949 cape cod.  This is where I say “however”…

Since the day we moved in I wanted a sage green dining room.  Bottom line is, we’re earth tone people.  We like earthy greens, warm browns and cool blues.  We seem to dress that way and sway toward those colors.

So our cranberry red dining room never seemed to match us. Here is a before shot from just after we moved moved in.


The challenge came though because the paint was done well.  Deep red is really hard to get right and I think the previous owners got it right along with the coordinating regal window treatment they left us too.  We got so many complements on those curtains but, again, they never felt like us.  It was hard to let it go and some of you reading will probably like the before better!  It is not like this was a room we sat in and discussed how hideous it was and how badly it needed to be redone.  I moved full speed ahead anyway and took those expensive panels down and exchanged them for my vintage, thrift store toile ones along with some fraying feed sacks for valances.  Ahhh…

vintage toile drapes & feedsack valance - window treatment

What is wrong with me?  This just feels so much better.

vintage toile drapes

Once I started bringing sage accents in the room, I knew it was time to paint.  I decided the walls needed to be Arles alla Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  It is such a warm yellow.  It is perfect!  I attempted to do a wall with chalk paint but to get the coverage I needed over all of that deep red, chalk paint wasn’t going to be cost effective.  Although, I might add, cream chalk paint very easily and successfully covered this same color red paint on my brick fireplace surround last year in just one coat.

So we took Arles to the paint counter and had them color match it in latex.  And when I saw we, I mean Ryan.  While I was on my home show marathon, out of the house for like 10 days straight, he painted the dining room!  He couldn’t bear the one half painted wall anymore and swears I set that up.  If only…what a brilliant idea.

So it is finally ready for a big reveal!

dining room paint inspired by arles

I also added an antique hooked rooster rug.  Maybe a little bit country?

antique hooked rooster area  rug

I painted the base of our table in a custom mixed sage green milk paint.


This was a result of mixing Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in kitchen scale with a bit of linen and a hint of typewriter.  All left over from recent furniture painting projects.

reupholstered linen bentwood chair

In fact, I don’t think I ever shared this table on the blog before.  Here is an in progress shot of the room as it was evolving but still very much cranberry, taken a year ago.


The table was one of my very first furniture projects.  I stripped and sanded the top and stained it in ebony.  Because the dining room is so small, this drop leaf gate leg table is perfect for the space.  There is also another hidden leaf stowed away inside so it accommodates a lot of people when needed.  It’s like a Stretch Armstrong of tables.  Remember him?

drop leaf table custom mixed sage milk paint

Ryan and I recovered the vintage bentwood chairs in linen.  I like how the worn wood is lighter than the rest of the wood in the room.

vintage bentwood chair

Did you notice the new chandelier?  Well it was there last year too.

dining room paint inspired by arles

This was a ReStore find a couple of years ago.  It came with mini shades but I didn’t like them.  I love the simplicity of it without them.

dining room paint inspired by arles

And how the finish coordinates with the hardware on the old aqua door (which I decided to give a permanent home since fostering it out on my mantel).  Funny thing is that this chandelier was in the red room but completely faded into the paint color.  Now it pops.

dining room paint inspired by arles

Although Ryan thought the red was fine and originally wasn’t into this project, he too is thrilled with the new yellow room.  It is so much brighter and airier.  Is that a word?


dining room paint inspired by arles

dining room bentwood chair

And my mixing bowl collection…hello!  Swoon.

built in - mixing bowl collection

vintage vignette

built in display shelf

Now the domino effect has begun in this room.  Next up, stripping and painting the original built in cabinet doors to be re-hung.

And maybe bead board.  And crown molding.  Can’t you just picture it?  This is where Ryan pretends he’s not listening.

Oh and I’m already scheming more of an eclectic cottage style bench too.  Stay tuned!

Have you ever redone a perfectly fine “before” to better suit your tastes?  And where do you find your paint color inspirations?

Happy President’s Day!

Linking to: TwelveOEight, Miss Mustard Seed

8 thoughts on “our new and improved dining room

  1. I absolutely love those drapes!! print…..must remember that idea. love love that color! really brighten and enlarges the space! great job!! these pics need to be in a home magazine or something!!

  2. I love this. The red was gorgeous but in a way I think this is more homely and more of a room I would like to spend time in.
    I am forever redecorating, to the point where once every room is done I start over again.
    I love the aqua against the yellow and the darker touches, very nice!

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