Dining Room Progress - A Sorta Before and After

Monday, January 24, 2011

This isn't really a good before and after for a few reasons:

1) I use the dining room all the time to take pictures of miscellaneous food and objects. (Thanks Alex for pointing that out the other day.) So you've pretty much already seen it. 
2) I just posted a bunch of pictures of the dining room in the last post. So this one will probably bore you.
3) It's still a work in progress and probably will be for the next few years. Isn't that always the case?

I'll start off by showing you the actual, fo-real MLS picture of the dining room before we bought the house. It's a teeny picture but you can still appreciate all of the glorious ugliness.

We called it the house of beige. Wall-to-wall beige carpeting. Beige walls. Beige trim. Beige overload. Eek!

Now I'll show you a few pictures from the day we moved in. I have no idea why there are ugly lawn chairs in the dining room. Oh wait, maybe because we had no other furniture yet?

This is the view of the dining room as you are walking into it from the kitchen. And you can see, even more beige.

This is the view as you walk in from the living room. It's actually a pretty big room, bigger than our kitchen that's for sure. 

From this angle you can see into the kitchen a little bit. You might also notice painted outlet covers, ugly metal heating grates, patchy walls, raw wood trim on the windows, plain baseboards, and a big, brass light fixture. Yuck.

And here is how the room is looking as of yesterday:

The first thing we did was rip out the ugly, stained carpeting. We found some original birch floors underneath that were in really good shape. Next we painted the walls a buttery yellow colour called Sweet Buttercup (from Home Depot). It took buying three gallons of three different shades of yellow before I settled on this one. I know yellow isn't for everyone, but after analyzing these yellow inspiration pictures, I knew it was the way to go. We also painted all of the window trim, door trim, wooden valences, and baseboards a crisp white. We replaced all of the heating grates and outlet covers with new white ones and built up the baseboards with some extra trim. 

We made our first major furniture purchase and splurged on this custom harvest table and chair set from Camlen Furniture. It was worth the investment. We chose the 6-foot long table with two, 2-foot extensions for either end in Starburst White. We chose the hand-planed finish for the top of the table and the extra large table legs. I am so happy with it. The only down side is that the colour of the wood has changed over time. It used to match the medium-brown colour of the bamboo blinds but has become more and more red over time. Oh well. You can't really get mad at wood.

We replaced the light fixture with a white chandelier (um, those are really hard to find) and centred it over the table. We hung my favourite bamboo roll-up shades of all time in the window for some privacy.

After shopping around for-ever we finally found the cutest window-pane cabinet at a shop in Toronto. I loooooove it.

I found and framed four botanical prints to fill in the empty corner. I probably didn't need to add that part since I posted about it this morning.

This is the view into the living room.

I found this set of boxes at Homesense before Christmas and thought I could stack them here (for now) until I find the perfect chippy, old bench. I've been keeping my camera in the top box on the left and all of my camera gear in the top box on the right.

I shopped the house for a few little accessories. A plant in a drawer and some old magazines.

I found this large dragonfly at Pottery Barn. It was the only item in the store that I could afford at the time. Heh heh heh.

So that's where the dining room is so far. My list of things I still want to do is kinda long. Here it is:

- replace plain, wood dining room door with a french door
- refinish floors
- add quarter round to baseboards
- add large, chunky crown moulding
- find a rug for under the table to warm up the space
- hang the antique window over the cabinet or over the doorway
- possibly add curtains to the window
- find an old, chippy bench to sit under the framed pictures
- find a large tree to brighten up the other little (hidden) corner


Here's a source list in case I missed anything and you all of a sudden want to copy this exact look.

Source List:

Wall colour - Buttercup Yellow, Home Depot
Trim colour - Simply White, Benjamin Moore
Chandelier - Sears Canada
Table and Chair Set - Camlen Furniture
Chair cushions - Linens N' Things
Wood-framed botanical prints - Muskoka Living Interiors
Bamboo roll-up shade - Linens N' Things
White-framed botanical prints - Frames from Michaels, prints from an encyclopedia
Window-pane cabinet - Flik and Company
Heating grates and outlet covers - Home Depot
Trim for baseboards - Home Depot
Candlesticks - Homesense
White flower pot - Ikea
Set of boxes - Homesense
Dragonfly - Pottery Barn
White drawer pot - Zellers
White pitchers & dishes - Homesense, Muskoka Living, Hilltop Interiors, Ikea, Pier One


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this dreadfully long post. :)  I'll be sharing it here:

Amaze Me Monday @ Dittle Dattle, Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch, Show Off Your Cottage Monday @ House in the Roses, Tuesday's Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Anything Related @ All Thingz Related, Good Life Wednesdays @ A Beach Cottage, Show and Tell @ Blue Cricket Design, Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home, Feature Yourself Friday @ Fingerprints on the Fridge


  1. Love it Sarah! I hadn't seen your dining room before...it sure fits the name of your blog cozy, cottage and cute. Yellow is my favorite color so I'm lovin' your walls :)

  2. What a pretty room. I love the soft yellow you picked ... and the cabinet ... it reminds me of the bookcase I just made with an old window.

  3. you have done such a fabulous job with that room! the whole house really- it's got your personality all over it now!

  4. Hi Sarah.....I can't believe our similar tastes :) kinda funny, I think I could move right into your house and feel at home. I will be posting more of our house when our kitchen reno is done, cause right now my place is a disaster. It is encouraging to know that I will get to the decorating and re arranging stage again soon. I have had yellow walls in our house for I bet 10 years now and even with the reno I know I will be keeping the color pretty much the same. I have looked at decorating magazines and still see this color used a lot! I love it! THanks for the tour....looks great

  5. What a beautiful makeover you did here...LOVE your dining set...just my style!!!


  6. Love it, as usual. You are so handy! How do you find the time? I am exhausted after a day at school, and I need the weekend to decrompress!

    I like how your little sitting area just beyond is so full of light! We have the SAME kind of kitchen table. It's funny, as I was looking at the picture, I stared at the legs on ours and they are identical. The top of ours is antique wood from an old barn in Quebec, so it's full of worm holes and knots etc., but we love it.

  7. Looking good, girl! So much pretty light.

  8. Sarah,
    It is such a bright beautiful room! You have done a wonderful job! It flows so nicely wih the room next to it too. Even though we've seen pieces of the room before I really enjoyed getting a good look at the whole thing. It is just so lovely!!

  9. It's looks so much fresher and lighter. I love looking at before and afters!

    I'm currently living in your "before's" in a rental property that I can't change. Beige walls, beige vertical blinds (totally UGH!!) and get this - CARAMEL trim!! (double UGH!!) Hop over and have a look at the House Tour pics.

  10. Your dining room is very cottagy and so very, very cute! I love the yellow, it looks great with all of the white in your home.

  11. Your dining room turned out so beautiful. I love the yellow wall color. It adds so much warmth and light to the room. In fact I painted several rooms in our house in different shades of yellow.

  12. Your whole house is just so darn cute, I love it. It is so bright and beautiful.

  13. Such an nice redo! Love the table and chairs!!!

  14. Your living room looks GREAT! I do believe I'm officially in love with your table/chair set. Oh, and how lucky were you with the floor under that awful carpet? We just have REALLY bland, horrible lino under ours.

  15. Wow! It's so bright and fresh! Nice work!
    Scissors & Spatulas

  16. Oh my I love it! I love your windows, the floor, table, etc.!! I agree, hard to get mad at wood! I have to say that turquoise couch in the living room prior to you owning it is a little neat :) I love turquoise!

  17. I really liked the couch in the before the color was nice. I am I the only one? Fabulous afters!

  18. oh my... I AM DIEIN' OVER THE MOLDINGS AROUND YOUR WINDOWS... absolutely CUTE!! the room looks great!

  19. What a great makeover. Love it

  20. It looks just darling!! I think you are doing a fabulous job making over this space!! Love the botanical prints, love the antique window cabinet, and love those cute built in things over the windows!!! Great job girl!

  21. What a diffence you've made...it looks great!

  22. So So Gorgeous! I love it all. You have great taste!

  23. What a great transformation. I've just found you via A Beach Cottage, so it's all new to me. I am so in love with that dragonfly !!!
    Looking forward to reading more. x Marnie

  24. pretty room! lovely greetings

  25. I love your dining room, Sarah!! And I think the yellow is lovely! Yellow is such a soft and happy color.
    Your dining table is really cool, too. And you are just like me. Even though your room is already gorgeous, you feel like it isn't done yet. :)
    Hope you have a wonderful day!

  26. Looks great, I love your cupboard and that dragonfly- I love dragonflies!

  27. I love your home, you are really doing a great job, I love PB too and love the dragonfly!
    Stop over I have an award for you, it really fits your blog to a T!


  28. Its a wonderful change! I love that color combination; just redid my guest bedroom in the same colors.

  29. OK...when is the magazine shoot? It looks just wonderful! I love how the rooms flow beautifully into each other. I am going back to re-read and gaze at the pix to soak it all in!!

  30. Your dining room is beautiful! It does look like snaps from a magazine. I really like how light and sunny everything looks.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  31. It is a beautiful dining room! Love how it looks all sunny and happy. It feels so homey.

  32. You can never go wrong with yellow. It's always sunshine fresh and beautiful with white. The window pane cabinet and botanical prints give it a cottage-garden feel.
    In looking at your to do list, I agree that a rug would be beautiful. Fabric, whether in window treatments,placemats and napkins(an inexpensive fix)or a rug always adds soft coziness.

  33. Your dining room is gorgeous!! What a lovely transformation!!

  34. A great transformation! So pretty and fresh. I especially love the wood floors, the table and chairs, and the gorgeous window cabinet!

  35. This looks so lovely. I look forward to you stopping by at My Dream Canvas:-)

  36. So glad you kept the wooden valences -so sweet. I love the yellow It is very brave, bold and fresh.

  37. The whole room is just beautiful. Yellow can be real tricky, I swear it changes color when you go from the paint department to your house. My favorite piece that I am just drooling over is the white cabinet, its gorgeous.

  38. Its a wonderful change! I love that color combination; just redid my guest bedroom in the same colors.

  39. pretty room! lovely greetings

  40. So So Gorgeous! I love it all. You have great taste!

  41. Sarah,
    It is such a bright beautiful room! You have done a wonderful job! It flows so nicely wih the room next to it too. Even though we've seen pieces of the room before I really enjoyed getting a good look at the whole thing. It is just so lovely!!

  42. What a pretty room. I love the soft yellow you picked ... and the cabinet ... it reminds me of the bookcase I just made with an old window.

  43. Beautiful and serene... love the transformation. And thanks for participating in our Show Off Your Cottage Monday and bringing me here!


  44. You are so creative as usual. It is such a pretty, trendy, bright and tidy room. I especially like those window frames. Mixture of white and yellow are awesome!


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