Easy Dining Room Do-Over

Coastal Dining Room Do-Over

POMP Rating: 🌴🌴🌴🌴🌵

Factors Influencing Rating: I didn’t need my husband to help me with this project. 🌴 I worked at my own pace, not a stressful project at all, as it was mostly painting.🌴 The drapery made a big impact in the room.🌴 It took a lot of time at the sewing machine to get the ribbon to lay down flat.🌵 I asked my husband to change out 5 electrical sockets in the room because they didn’t match. This caused a little prickly-ness, but not too much.🌵


We don't use this room to formally dine. It's my laundry folding table, actually. But, that doesn't mean I don't want it to be pretty!

The Formal Dining Room

My dining room isn’t that important to me at all. We aren’t formal people, we don’t entertain in anything but a casual way-and that’s usually in our backyard, and we never really use our dining room. Ok, that’s not true. We DO use our dining room. It is my laundry folding area. I’ve thought seriously over the years about knocking the wall out between the dining room and our kitchen to just make one, huge kitchen. The reason I never do it is because we are soon going to be a family of two living here, so I don’t see the point in the expense of another kitchen remodel, and I want to stay married, so I keep the formal dining room.




Need a Change? Paint.

I saw another decorator’s picture on Instagram, and the room was this really pretty deep blue. I was in the mood for something fresh in the dining room so I decided to change out drapes and paint color in the space. I went to my trusty decorator color swatch book that I’ve had in my purse for over ten years now, and started searching for the color. I settled on two colors that I liked, and got two small quarts of paint to try. After painting on a couple of areas of wall space, I “lived with it” for about a week before deciding to move forward.. I like to paint right up against the trim, near a window, and on walls that connect with the other rooms in my house to see how the color will play with the rest of my space, so this is what I did. I settled on slate tile by Sherwin-Williams in a satin finish.


The Drapery Decision

When I had my own design business, I loved to have free reign with other people’s credit cards – especially when it came to buying fabric. I love fabric. Some would call me a fabric whore, and that’s ok – I am totally ok with that. I could spend hours in a fabric store, and I have been known to drop serious money in there. Nowadays, I just try not to go in, because I can get in trouble really fast. I’ve always loved dupioni silk for drapery. I’ve made so many dupioni silk drapes for clients, it seemed like the easy thing to do for my dining room, until I priced out the fabric. It was going to cost me $300 in fabric and lining, with me doing my own sewing. So, I headed to Tuesday Morning and TJ Maxx to check out my options. Luckily, I found a DEAL at Tuesday Morning on a pair of drapes that were a very good dupioni silk knock-off in light grey. $25 per pair - #winning.


Using a professional steamer to finish off the drapes.

I took the existing curtain rods down, which are really gorgeous mahogany rods that I’ve had for years. I spray painted them in a slate grey matte and let them dry. Meanwhile, I decided the drapery was way too plain, so I bought a 1.5” wide grosgrain black ribbon and set about sewing it on the leading edge and hem to give it some pop. It did take a lot of sewing to get the ribbon to lay down like I wanted, but it was worth it because it really dressed up the cheap drapes and made them look absolutely gorgeous. I did end up using my professional steamer to steam the creases in the drapes once they were hung, and this made a huge difference in the way they looked. It’s a step I wouldn’t skip, as they looked completely different after steaming.


Changing out electrical outlets.

The Details

The painting was easy, and I only ended up using two quarts because I have a dressy chair-rail in the room with a white painted wall beneath to the baseboard. Because the electrical outlets were the original 1980’s ugly tan color, I asked my husband to change them out to white so it wouldn’t look so dated. He was kinda prickly with me about this, as we don’t really use the room or the outlets, but he had just come home from being out of town and he missed me, so it was good timing to ask for this honey-do and I got my way. There were five outlets. 🌵🌵

I gave him some good loving, lots of encouragement, and I made him a sandwich while he worked. He said, “happy wife, happy life” when he was done. Keeper. This man is a keeper for real. 🌴🌴 🌴


Covered paint cans with jute using a hot glue gun.

Incorporating Coastal Elements

The paint color was so dramatic that I needed to tone the room down with some casual pieces, so I covered three empty paint cans with jute rope using a hot glue gun. I placed them on the buffet hutch next to some driftwood we grabbed off Wassaw Island. I also used two pieces of driftwood that my son picked up for me on a run at Tybee Island for the centerpiece of our rustic farmhouse dining room table. All of the wall frames are painted black – my husband made them years ago for our wedding pictures, and the black looked great against the new paint color, so I kept that.





Cool door off a Brownstone that I put in place of a window in my dining room. We call it the 407 door.

Things We Did Years Ago That I Still Love

We took out a window which looked out over our side porch years ago and replaced it with an antique door I picked up at my favorite antique store in Texas, Walnut Street Market.


The door is off an old Brownstone, and has gorgeous detail. I flipped the outside part to the inside and kept the original 407 address plate for character. I still love that I did this. Now, we have a door (and a pretty gorgeous door at that) which we can open and step out to our porch from the dining room.







I Want to Change the Seating Now

The only thing I want to do now is get rid of the bench seating and add upholstered chairs in a light grey. If I could find some with nail head trim, that would be perfect. I can shop this around until I find the best deal, and this will dress up the very casual space to give me the look I want. I’ll find somewhere to re-purpose the bench seating, as my father-in-law custom built them for me to match the antique farmhouse table. This project didn’t take long to finish. It was a very easy, slow-paced two weekend start to finish, and I love the finished look!



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