Friday, 9 December 2011

Shabby Chic Dining Room Makeover

Cor, the dining room. What a makeover. I think it is my favourite room. I only say think because each and every day our favourite room changes because we are still so excited about owning our own home and finding we use the rooms in different ways compared to one small space in the caravan! And the rooms change throughout the day too. Especially this room. It's bright and cheery during the day, the sun dances beautifully as it cuts through the room late afternoon and in the evening it becomes a cosy haven with candles and low lighting. We love it!

So it started out with a florescent light fixture that hummed, stripy wallpaper and a tight loop carpet that had a tendency to make its mark on your knees. This dining room (cannot believe we own a separate dining room - whoop whoop!), although fairly light and a great size, felt dark and cold. But we were feeling lazy - so we painted straight over that textured wall paper. Brave? Maybe, but we didn't want to see another bare wall littered with remnants of the 60's after our 'five hidden layers under the wallpaper in the lounge fiasco' as it is locally known.

So we set to work painting the walls, spray painting the wall lights (seen here) and removing the hospitalesque light fixture. We could not afford to replace the carpet so we dared each other to lift a corner of the existing carpet to see what monsters lived underneath. Turns out not many, so joyously we ripped the carpet up to reveal a set of rather nice looking floorboards. However... the carpet underlay had left a variety of interesting patterns on the wood. Luckily we had purchased an electric handheld sander for the bathroom floor. Alright, it was a value priced purchase, I admit it. But this fact still did not hold back the tears after the first board burnt out the motor. Gallantly the other half stepped up (or knelt down) and sanded the remaining boards/the whole room by hand. What a determined fellow. But his blood and sweat was absolutely worth it as after four coats of Ronseal varnish, the floor looks stunning. Like head turning stunning.

As for furnishing the room, again budget was tight, so we bought up lots of chairs for under £5 (the Lloyd Loom was £1.20 no less - thank goodness for ebay and second hand furniture shops!) and the cream table was also second hand, the sideboard too, and we just painted everything a refreshing white.

Obviously all the chairs are mix matched, but they all work really well together, giving the dining room a real shabby chic feel. I decoupaged the bar table in the corner years ago with music paper - a fun project which I will show here one day. The olive tree is hiding out in here for the winter and indefinitely if he survives, as he really makes it feel quite decadent.

We added the mirrors to the walls and a few candelabras as I really wanted it to feel like we were going to a posh restaurant whenever we dine in here. And it certainly feels like it now! I was toying with the idea of making a shabby chic blackboard in a frame to display the menu for dinner parties - maybe if I can find a nice enough frame on my thrifting adventures.

So this is our new dining room. Well and truly christened already even though we've only owned the house one month! And it is such a good room for celebrating with friends and family - we cannot wait to host Christmas this year. But there is one thing may have noticed two chairs are not white. This is because they are only temporary chairs, soon to have a new home in another room. We are very lucky as we have a carpenter in the family in the form of my lovely dad who is making us a long bench seat to sit against the wall which I am so excited about! But it comes at a price, I have to be extra specially nice to him over the entire festive period. Think I can manage that ;)


  1. Well done Zoe!
    I love what you have done with the dining room, great transformation! Hats off to your other half too...can't believe he sanded the floor by hand...that is a stella effort right there! I am enjoying having a look at your posts! x Rachel

  2. Love what you've done in only 1 month! We've been in our current home for 8 years and although I hate the dark dining room, I have been hesitant to paint the original dark trim and windows. When I see a transformation like yours, I can't help but think, "What am I waiting for?!"
    Visiting from Feathered nest Friday.


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