Dining Room Makeover – Before & After

before and after, Colour, Decorating, DIY, House Renovation, Interior Design, interiors, Makeover, Upcycling

Colour Changes & Furniture Makeover

My dining room is a multi-tasking space and so it is also a crafting room, office, homework spot and sewing space.  So it has to work hard, yet be ready to switch back to a dining room in a second.  Here it is in its current incarnation:

It has very tall ceilings, 3 meters, so the curtains on the french windows are always a challenge.  The existing ones are goblet headed and were made to measure.  The main wall colours are a pale stone colour with paler toned woodwork and wooden floorboards.  The furniture is a mixture of antique woods and painted pieces.  That huge dresser has to stay as it is the only wall clear in the house for its monumental proportions. I have already updated the fireplace with a paint effect, changing it from brown pine to make it look like slate.

English Home - 09

Then after a while I got bored with the fireplace wall and painted it a deep olive which I liked as my convex mirrors looked lovely against it.

Anyhow, after a couple of years I have decided that I am bored with the same room.  Who else gets that?!  As I am in the room so much, I wanted to look up and see something else.  I also could not be bothered to redecorate the whole room, mainly as there is so much furniture and stuff to get out to clear the room that it becomes a major operation.


As mentioned in my last post, I found some chairs that I thought I could do a good makeover on, and they would replace the incredibly formal Georgian chairs that I inherited from my grandparents.  In my mind they would go from dark wood to Jonathan Adler inspired pieces:

After washing them down with sugar soap, I started to paint them by hand and used a satin finish water based wood paint instead of the usual chalk paint.  Wow, nightmare!  I would have been painting them up until Christmas as they were very fiddly and they would have needed 4-5 coats by hand.  So I then hunted around for a paint spraying company, and found a couple within 50 miles, but that then meant hiring a van to get the chairs to them and back, plus extra costs.  There had to be another way…. and then I found this beauty…

This is the most wonderful thing, a Wagner paint sprayer.  I braved it, as I have never used one before, and purchased one.

It is really simple to use, you just dilute the paint, (about 10% water to my water-based satin wood paint), pop it in the white container and off you go.  I built a very basic spray booth in the garden, (stepladders with dust sheets one them), and sprayed 6 chairs in an afternoon.  It was a sunny but very windy day, so the paint dried in an hour between coats.  The wind meant I looked like I was covered in fine snow from paint blow-back, and even the cats looked a bit whiter at the end of the day.  I also learnt not to get too close on the first coat as sometimes drips appeared and ‘less is more’. But the result was amazing:

Any drip marks were sanded out after the first coat, and then the chairs sprayed again.  Job done.  This is a great machine, and no doubt many more things will get sprayed soon, including passing cats.


Breakfast room planning

Decorating, Inspiration
I am planning to overhaul my breakfast room, which is has a botanical theme, as I have had the palette of colours for so many years that I think it needs an update. The room currently is a pale sage and has lots of botanical prints, flowers and my Portmerion Botanic Garden china.

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Then I saw these amazing botanical prints, I think they will set the tone for a much stronger room if I take them as a starting point:

Botanical-Educational-Plate-Black-Palaquium-Gutta Botanical-Educational-Plate-Black-Olea-europaea-L.

I came across the below by Charlotte Brown at Interior Design It Yourself, and I think it is great advice for what will hopefully be a much more intense look:

interior design botanical prints in a dramatic style with vibrant colors against a black bakground - simply stunning!

This is the perfect interior design with botanical prints look for anyone who loves a sense of drama, deep, velvety-rich walls and vibrant pops of color.

It’s the polar opposite of the previous schemes where we saw the botanical designs set against a pale (white) backdrop – here colorful flower designs are given maximum impact against deepest, darkest black.

Color Essentials

  • Dark background – black is ideal – you could also use darkest gray, plum, navy or bottle green
  • Splashes of ‘wow’ color – fresh (lime) greens, oranges, golds, pinks
  • Lighter touches – small amounts of paler colors are essential to keep the look fresh and not too dark and dreary
  • This is essentially a modern look – ideal for bedrooms, dining rooms, or living rooms.
  • When using darker colors, it’s always best to be aware that the colors will make the room feel darker and smaller, but this can be compensated for (but not for everyone) by your end-result feeling more cozy, warm and also more dramatic.
  • Just like the dining room look, earlier on, this is a great look for evening rooms where the dark colors will end up looking very velvety and luxurious in the dim lights.
  • A cheeky idea for this look is to use it in your smallest room (WC or bathroom)!  Although it goes against the ‘normal’ interior design rules (which try to keep everything nice, spacious, bright, light and airy), such dark and strong colors in tiny rooms can give a very dramatic impact – and a great result! (Plus, if you’re not sure about the impact, you won’t be spending too much time in there, anyhow!)

Essentials for this style

  • Keep backgrounds dark for maximum ‘wow’
  • Use as much botanical pattern as you dare!
  • Mix in vibrant colors, such as upholstery, bedding, curtains – these do not need to be tiny splashes of color – think of a whopper splash that you’d make off the 30ft high diving board – that’s what we’re looking for
  • Use 2 or 3 bright colors together – green, plus red, orange, pink, gold
  • Don’t forget some smaller accents of white or cream – we’ve still got to lighten it up a little to keep it feeling fresh
  • There’s so much going on with the color and pattern you need to keep everything else as simple as possible
  • Use dark or pale furniture, as your scheme requires
  • Very modern, striking look
  • Wow!