Restyling the Dining Room

Lighter and brighter


Our Plan
1) Saarinen table 2) Pelle Bubble Chandelier / DIY: how to make your own bubble chandelier featured in the February/March 2009 issue of ReadyMade magazine…RIP… 3) Farrow & Ball Lotus wallpaper 4) Cherner arm chair 5) Sisal rug with border was featured on Fab a few weeks ago

{Confession: I am completely addicted to Fab and Pinterest and spend too much time on both!}

But, I digress…this is supposed to be about our dining room. The dining room is the first room we restored in our house and it holds a special place in my heart.

The truth is that even though I think the dining room is beautiful, it has never felt like “us”. We got so caught up with restoring the house, the strong architectural lines and period details, that we somehow left ourselves out of the equation.

I want something a little brighter and more playful. I intend to leave all the period details intact except for the light fixture, but that isn’t so unusual. I swap out lights around here the way some women change earrings. I always save the antique lights so I can put them back or move them to a new location if… make that when…I change my mind.

I am trying to find a balance between the Modern furnishings that we love and all the beautiful period details…that we also love.

Mix of period details and Modern furnishings. Image from Pinterest


Comments { 11 } December 9, 2011

Dining Room Resources


:: Paint ::
Ceiling Color: Devine Maple from the Natural Blondes palette

Wall Color: HC-28 Shelburne Buff (sort-of)
BENJAMIN MOORE Historical Collection

After recommending this lovely color to several people we consistently heard back that the color didn’t look as yellow on their walls. We thought maybe it was because the walls were first painted a red color (a huge mistake) and the red tone was bleeding through. After further investigation, we realized that our paint color is actually a variation of Shelburne Buff – a mistake when our color was originally mixed! A happy accident because we love the color.

:: Stain ::
Read all about the paint stripping and staining process, the stain color and stain recipes here.


Comments { 2 } October 26, 2003

Under 18 Layers of Paint, We Struck Douglas Fir

Restoring our beautiful Douglas Fir woodwork, built-in china cabinet, plaster walls and hardwood floors

Before and After, Removing Paint, Woodwork,

Built-in china cabinet before and after with Lulu.

The dining room was the first room completed in our house. This was before we started writing about our “adventures” in home restoration on the web. So, you don’t get to read all the gory details about how we almost killed each other selecting a paint color for the walls or how I caught the wainscoting on fire.

Dining room before restoration and after.

The woodwork was covered in about 18 layers of paint. We got to relive each decade as we stripped the paint away. There was a groovy 1970′s phase with purple woodwork and hot pink walls.

In the before photo, I had started to strip the paint from the wainscoting. You can see just how dark the original mission finish was.

I had originally intended to paint the dining room a deep burnt red color. We went through 9 different shades of red trying to find the “right” one. After the first 2 paint jobs, David “loved” everything no matter how awful it looked.

Before and After

In the end we settled on this warm golden color, Shelburne Buff from Benjamin Moore’s Historical Collection. Several people have tried this color after seeing our walls and been dissatisfied because the color wasn’t gold enough.

Dining Room After

When a wall is painted a dark color like red, it will need to be primed before a new color is applied or else the dark color will bleed through. Lots of people out there probably already know this, we didn’t. The red undercoat has altered our color. Our walls are not a true Shelburne Buff. But, we are very happy with the color…whatever it is.

Dining room After. The light is from Restoration Hardware. We have since purchased an antique fixture off of eBay but have not installed it yet.

After. Our box beam ceilings and Lulu just because she is a ham.

More about the resources used in our dining room here.

Comments { 23 } October 21, 2003