Dining Room Mini-Reveal (Before & After)

Dining Room Corner After

Dining Room Chair After

I hope you all had lovely Thanksgiving weekend! Ours was supremely relaxing, and for that I am additionally thankful.

As you may recall, I had been trying to make over my entire dining room before Thanksgiving, calling it the “Countdown to Thanksgiving” project.

I didn’t make it.

BUT, I did make quite a bit of progress, and I had just a few moments to snap a couple of pictures of the table set for our family Thanksgiving dinner. It was a dark, rainy day, so the light isn’t great, but hopefully you can get the basic idea.

I don’t know if you remember, but this corner was really dominated by the big, monolithic, grey faux stone wall. It was cool, but it was So. Very. Dark. We live in the Pacific Northwest, so though we’re not as far north as, say, Scandinavia, because of the cloud cover we might as well be. I need every scrap of light I can get.

Here’s the before, in all it’s glory.

Dining Room Corner Before

Wow. I can’t believe we actually lived with that for so long.

And now, drumroll…. here’s the after-for-now:

Dining Room Corner After

Big grey wall? Gone! I covered it up! Not with paint, with plaster! I love how it looks like some old wall in a loft or something. I had thought it would be quick and easy, but it ended up taking several days and over 50 pounds of plaster (and some help from friends, family, children… seriously, I was conscripting people over here). But I love the way it turned out and I’m planning to do the front, too.

We also painted (yes, painted) one of those pink chairs to try that (it worked!), threw some stuff on the wall so it didn’t look barren, and brought my old reclaimed door inside and threw some aqua paint on it to try that out. And of course, you already know about how I tore out the stone planter. No more laundry basket safety feature needed! :-)

I’m still working on it, but already it’s so much brighter that I feel like I might actually make it through the winter with all of my sanity intact!

Dining Room Corner After

Yep, even with all the imperfections and things I still want to change, this little corner makes me happy.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m really feeling the holiday spirit this year, I have to say. I have lots of ideas for things I’d like to do. But I also want to keep going until this room is really done. That and I really need to put my stuff back in the china hutch / cabinet / thingy! :-) So I’ll be juggling both of those things for the next weeks.

I’ll keep you posted! :-)

~Angela :-)


Shabby Sunny French Cottage

Pretty Yellow Dining Room

Aside from white, yellow is one of the most often used cottage wall colors. It can be bright and cheery, warm and cozy, or as in this gorgeous dining room designed by Cindy of My Romantic Home, pretty and romantic.

Cindy’s room uses a classic palette of yellow and blue, which is often associated with Provincal decorating. But with a softer, creamy yellow, in this case, “Havana Cream” by Behr, and lots of white, Cindy’s room is a romantic cottage dining room to die for.

Pretty Yellow Dining Room

This is even more impressive when you learn that almost everything in Cindy’s house has been bought at garage sales, flea markets and thrift shops. By having an unerring taste and a lovely sense of style, Cindy has created the romantic dining room of my dreams. When I talked to her about how she made her color choices, this is what she had to say:

Pretty Yellow Dining Room

Pretty Yellow Dining Room

What, if anything, inspired you in choosing colors for the room?
My inspiration came mostly from reading a lot of decorating magazines. I’ve always been drawn to blue and white decor with yellow walls. I think they just go together so well.

How would you describe the style of the room?
I love Shabby Chic, French, and English decorating and I think my home is a combination of all of those. I buy what I love and it all seems to work well together.

Did you pick the wall color first or the other elements first?
I’ve been decorating with blue and white for almost 20 years so I had most of the elements first. For years I’ve lived in apartments where I wasn’t allowed to paint the walls. This is the first place that allowed me to paint and I knew before I even moved in that I was going to paint it yellow.

Pretty Yellow Dining Room

Once you knew you were going to choose yellow, how did you pick this particular paint color?
I heard on a decorating show, I believe it was The Christopher Lowell Show, that you should pick a shade of yellow that is about 2 or 3 shades lighter than what you think you want. Also you should chose a yellow more towards the orange side of the color wheel than the green side. If you look at the paint chips in the store you will see that yellow is sandwiched between the orange and green…go more towards the orange.

Did you test colors?
I bought a quart of the yellow I thought would work out well and painted one wall. I was shocked that it looked like highlighter yellow. It was so bright and GLOWING! I went back to the store and lucked out with my second choice. I think yellow is the hardest color to get right!

Pretty Yellow Dining Room

The room is just so lovely, not just the color, but everything in it. Where did you find all of those gorgeous things on a budget?
I found the chandelier at a garage sale for $25 and I rewired it myself. The hutch I found on Craigslist, the table was a hand-me-down from my parents and the chairs, believe it or not, I found on the curb in my neighborhood.

So many great tips! Fortunately for us all, Cindy publishes all of her finds and projects on her blog so we can all learn her best secrets. I am constantly inspired by Cindy’s decorating, and I hope you are, too!

~Angela :-)

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home
About The Designer
Cindy is a single mom with a son in college and a daughter in high school. She has always enjoyed decorating but have been limited by her budget. In order to have the beautiful home she desired she has learned that it’s possible to decorate with items from thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets, and discount stores. She recommends being creative and leting it evolve over time. You can find Cindy at her blog, My Romantic Home. Photos in this article are Copyright ©2008 Cindy ~ My Romantic Home and are used by permission.


Dining Room: Cottage Style Ideas From IKEA

Dining Room: Cottage Style Ideas From IKEA
IKEA has always been heavily weighted toward modern & contemporary styles, but they’ve always had a good selection of more traditional / cottage-style items as well. Recently, my local IKEA featured this charming dining room display. Just lovely.
IKEA Dining Room
The the white cabinetry with the glass fronts is classic cottage, giving the look of a big vintage apothecary cabinet. However, this look is all stock kitchen cabinetry. The pine gate leg harvest table is paired with white canvas slip-covered parson’s chairs, a classic pairing. Then the room is accessorized with a sparkling chandelier and scalloped white dishes. White flowers in an elegant vase cap off the display.
All of the elements here are among my favorites. Any room that combines white cabinetry, harvest table, chandelier, white stoneware and flowers is going to exude cottage style.
~Angela :-)