March 25, 2013

Weekend Project: Refresh and Revive Your Dining Room

Karen Cooper

Spring is here! And just like how you put away your heavy sweaters and clothes when the mercury starts to rise, you can lighten and refresh your home as well.

I know – you don’t have time to renovate or redecorate. I get that (as a mother, wife, and teacher). But, in just a weekend, you can refresh a room in your home. Today, let’s talk about the dining room.

Often, dining rooms are the more traditional rooms in our homes. They are used for more formal dinners and meals, like holidays. I hear from lots of people that they only use their dining rooms once or twice a year.

Let’s rethink the dining room! Rather than only using it on special occasions, turn it into a room you love using and want to eat in on a more regular basis. Think light and bright.

How do you do that? You only need a weekend! Here are some ideas, starting with more involved projects and moving to super easy ones.

Idea #1: Paint.

It’s amazing what a difference a new coat of paint makes. For example, I felt like my dining room was too dark and too traditional for our taste. With just two gallons of paint, it went from this:

dining room before

to this:

dining room after paint

The paint color is Benjamin Moore “Moonshine” in eggshell finish, Natura paint line.

For the cost of a couple of gallons of paint, in a day or two, you can completely transform the look of your dining room.

Idea #2: Change what’s underfoot.

In winter, cold weather makes us want heavy carpet and wool underfoot. The rugs in our dining rooms might be darker and more traditional, like this one that was in my dining room:

Dining Room table and rug - before

Now that the weather is warming, choose a lighter floor covering, such as a bright area rug like this:

Mohawk Home area rug

Idea #3: Lighten and brighten your chairs and table.

Just adding brighter, lighter cotton slipcovers to your chairs can take a darker chair like this:

uncovered fall color chair

and transform it into this:

white cotton slipcovered chair
Same chair, with a white cotton (and washable!) slipcover.

For the table, add a bright and colorful tablecloth or runner. You can find a tablecloth like the one above for less than $20 at a “big box” store.

Idea #4: Add signs of spring.

Add elements of spring into your décor. For example, fresh flowers always add a bright touch and signal that spring is here. Use spring flowers like tulips, lilies, or daisies. And you don’t have to spend a small fortune on flowers; you can find them at your local grocery store or even in your own yard.

spring bouquet
These bunches came from my grocery store – 3 for $12.

tulips on table Or, for even less money, use fruit, like lemons and limes:

lemons and limes

So, with a little planning, you can refresh and revive your dining room in just a weekend (or less!).

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