From the BlogSubscribe Now

After Pics: the Dining Room

If I had had the opportunity to invite you to dinner at our home about a year and a half ago, we probably would’ve enjoyed a classic peanut-butter-and-jelly while perched atop five-gallon drums of paint or sheetrock mud in our unfinished living room.

If you still wanted to be friends after that experience and you came over to eat now, I would (partially) redeem myself by serving a real dinner on an actual table and actual chairs in an actual dining room, like a real grown-up! (Not saying the food would be worth raving about, but at least we’d be sitting at a real table now.)

Why would we have avoided the dining room in the beginning? Because it looked like this. Gleaming brass chandelier, wallpaper remnants clinging to the walls, unsanitary carpet underfoot, and glorious popcorn ceilings:
Dining Room Before: Peeling Wallpaper, Brass Chandelier
Removing that wallpaper was every bit as DELIGHTFUL as you’d think! (*GROANNNNN.*) Here, most of the wallpaper was gone, carpeting had been ripped up and we’d scraped off the popcorn ceilings. (Removing popcorn ceilings is MUCH more satisfying than wallpaper! Here’s the tutorial for that.)
Dining Room Before: Peeling Wallpaper, Brass Chandelier
The next step was to install the picture molding around the bottom of the room and upgrade the crown molding at the ceiling. (Here’s how to install crown molding like the pros.) Then everyone put the pressure on me to choose a paint color.
Testing Paint Color Swatches on the Wall
We already know I suffer from a debilitating inability to make any decisions when it comes to paint, so I don’t know why my husband or family expected the dining room to look any different than it does in the picture above: a virtual patchwork quilt of paint samples, as I’ve made it my personal goal to keep the local paint stores in business.

The dining room had about eight different paint colors for a few months, I think, until I finally settled on “Deep Caviar,” a dark, mysterious color that no one can define. (Some people swear its purple, others say blue or black, but I think it’s a very dark brown. You be the judge.)

Meanwhile, we installed our hardwood flooring
South American Walnut Engineered Hardwood Floors/Flooring, floors floors floors
… replaced the windows, and added new window treatments and a chandelier.

Time out while we talk about this chandelier. It’s another example of internet stalking: I saw it online, LOVED it, tried hard not to love it and find an acceptable replacement, failed, and bought it. I got a fantastic deal, but honestly? I’m taking this baby with me if/when I move. I don’t know what it is about it, but I hear angels sing when I look at it.

It’s this chandelier, but as of this writing, this price is more than I paid.

So here’s the dining room, with everything complete!
Dining room with dark walls, crown molding and chair rail at

I like a dark, cozy dining room, and this room could handle the dark paint because it gets lots of light from its two windows. I also like a dining room where you can sit for hours chatting long after the food is cold and dessert is gone, without squirming in uncomfy chairs. I snagged these chairs at HomeGoods.

The rug came from there, too, and this is a great example of my decision-making process, when it comes to things for the house.

Most things I’ve chosen for the house have gone through these…

Seven stages of decorating grief:

  1. Shock and Denial. (What was I thinking?!)
  2. Pain and Guilt. (I can’t believe I spent good money on that. I should return it.)
  3. Anger and Bargaining. (Usually a period when I try to return the item, or decide that it’s too late to return it.)
  4. Depression, Reflection, Loneliness. (I isolate myself and retreat to dark, quiet place for months at a time, emerging only to go stare at the item and seethe.)
  5. The Upward Turn. (Who cares. It’s just a stupid rug/couch/paint color/house. And it does the job.)
  6. Reconstruction, and working through. (…and it might not be the WORST thing ever.)
  7. Acceptance and Hope. (I can’t return it anyway. Plus, I think it might actually look good!)

Actually, the list of purchases I’ve made that HAVEN’T gone through various stages of regret is VERY short. The powder room vanity. The dining room chandelier. The kitchen backsplash. I think that’s it. Everything else I buy, I somehow hate at first. It’s exhausting. 🙂

But back to the dining room:
Dining Room with dark walls, upholstered chairs, crystal chandelier and teal drapes at

(That’s my easy Thanksgiving banner which I still haven’t taken down!)

The gold sunburst mirror was only $3 at a yard sale! (Here are my yard sale shopping tips, and the 7 things to shop for at yard sales to decorate your house on the cheap.)

I still want to add a buffet and something sparkly to the wall where the two pieces of art are now, and some more art on the other wall, and I’m still playing with the idea of painting the ceiling, but it’s definitely usable and now available for that dinner party we were planning, if you’ll forgive me for that hypothetical PB&J dinner I might’ve invited you to.

P.S. If you like this post, make sure you check out our gallery of budget-friendly room reveals, like the $157 laundry room makeover, and the baby girl nursery we did for only $500 including the furniture!

This post contains affiliate links.

Let's connect


  1. I could definitely enjoy long conversations in those chairs…what a pretty room! You are turning your house into such a beautiful home!!

  2. Once again, uh…wow!! 🙂 I <3 it. I'm trying to talk Chuck into letting me go with him to a conference in Atlanta so I can come sit in those comfy chairs and talk after dessert is gone.

    One suggestion: be careful painting your ceiling… 1. The white goes well with the picture moulding on the bottom, and 2. it reflects the light well from that GORGEOUS chandelier. If you do other colors, that color is going to change the way that light reflects (including giving a color cast). And the photographer in me thinks white ceilings are great because you can bounce a flash off of them and have indoor pictures look fabulous. For instance, Aunt Cindy has white ceilings:

  3. Dearest Kelly,

    I freakin love your home. You have done a fantastical job. I would sleep in that dining room if I could! And I think you deserve a reward for being consistent with updating your blog-stalkers on the state of your home. Thank you. 🙂

  4. dining rooms are for having your parents over to eat, it's in the code, 2006 IRC 70069.3.1.1

  5. I Lurve those chairs and the paint color!! Gorgeous room! It looks so rich!

  6. LOVE it! I just got done reading your master bedroom upholstery project, too. You and Andy are incredibly talented! I have been zooming around your site, what a beautiful home you've created.
    One thing you said stood out, about the photography.. why not try picasa? that will help you lighten your photos, resize, all types of things and it's easy peasy.
    Also, your son is adorable!!! consider getting down on your knees when you shoot so he's at eye level. You'll get a better picture, I promise!

  7. Anonymous, you're SO right about the photography. We got a decent camera recently (after we took these dining room pics), and are still learning to use it. We actually have photoshop (I'm ashamed to say) haha… because you sure can't tell! But hopefully from here on out, they'll be a little lighter and better. LOVING the suggestions, thank you thank you!

  8. The Inspired Nest says:

    The room is gorgeous! I love your choice of color and the chairs are timeless!

  9. I love this! Shows what good taste, hard work, and making decisions can produce. Great job and enjoy the beautiful room!

    Lauren from

  10. This room came out gorgeous. I linked over from Remodelaholic. I have wanted to paint my dining room a similar color but have been too afraid. I may be willing to take the plunge after seeing your stunning room. Nice job.

  11. Dining room looks great! For the wainscoting, did you use the same finish (semigloss? eggshell?) as with the chairrail/trim /baseboard or did you use a different finish for each?


  12. Anonymous, for the white trim, we used semi-gloss. It's the same color and finish as all the trim in the house – crown moulding, baseboard, window trim, etc – and it's Benjamin Moore Atrium White.

  13. Thanks Kelly – same for the entire bottom half? (we're actually in the middle of planning to paint our dining room, and we like the all white bottom)…

  14. Yep! Except for the ceiling, everything you see that's white is all the same paint. Makes it easy. 🙂

  15. I came from remodelaholic, too. I left a message there, but I would SO MUCH love to know about those art pieces on your wall. Who painted them? Where did you get them? What are they named? You've done a beautiful job, and I agree with the chandelier, I would sit at the dining table all day and stare at it if I were you!

  16. SHERRY HART says:

    Homerun!!! Looks fabulous…..and that chandelier was worth it.

  17. Sharon@thisthriftyhouse says:

    Just had to drop by when I saw you on Remodelaholic. I laughed out loud at your stages of mourning–because I SO DO THE EXACT SAME THING about ever purchase I have ever made. I just painted my bedroom a couple days ago and have been driving my hubby crazy with the– "Did we choose the right color" game. Thank goodness he loves me anyways. Your room is beautiful. Thanks for the laugh!
    :o) Sharon @

  18. Laurel, the artist is Asia Jensen. You can find these pieces at Z Gallerie…

    and here:

    …but I picked mine up from TJ Maxx Homegoods for a good bit cheaper.

    I bet you can find a great deal on them somewhere. Good luck!

  19. Upscale Downhome says:

    Your dining room looks wonderful and I love the moldings and the dramatic color. The whole look comes together with your rug and chandelier. Love it!

  20. Restorative Living says:

    This look absolutely fantastic! I love the red and green on the table. And I would have NEVER looked at those chairs at HomeGoods and thought to myself "those would be perfect in my dining room." But THEY ARE! Just divine. Love. It.

  21. The dining room is beautiful. How did get the popcorn ceiling down? How long did it take? Was it worth if?

  22. Thanks, everyone!

    Lucy, it was SOOO worth it, so much more than I expected. It make the whole house feel brighter. I have a post coming up about that soon!

    If you're looking to get started soon though, here are the basics: spray a little water on the ceiling and let it soak in for a few minutes, then just scrape it off with a scraper tool. It comes off really easily (at least, ours did), but it makes a HUGE mess, so you have to prep the room really well! Good luck!

  23. Your dining room looks moody and romantic and like a wonderful place to spend an evening dining in! Love it! Popping over from TDC 🙂

  24. Lindsey Adele says:

    Hey, just popped over from TDC! Your room looks gorg and you're so funny! Good luck with the remodeling and the blogging. 🙂

  25. Calvert Clan says:

    I just saw your blog via TDC. Your dining room looks great! Can I ask where you got your chairs? They look so comfortable.

  26. Thanks for all the sweet comments! The chairs are from Homegoods. I <3 Homegoods. 🙂

  27. pk @ Room Remix says:

    Those floors are incredible and I like how the dark walls pop against the white. Beautiful!

  28. Creative Escapes says:

    HI – I saw this over at Remodelaholic. I love it! I am linking to it at my blog today.

  29. Wow, beautiful! I love your style : )

  30. Hi Kelly-

    I am getting ready to install picture frame molding below the chair rail in our dining room. I have been searching online for a dining room that looks similar to what I want, and you have it! It looks fabulous. I am curious about the paint finish you used on the moldings and the lower half of the room. Did you use a semi-gloss or a satin? Is it a bright white? And lastly, does this color match the trim you use for your entire first floor?

    Thanks for your help,


    • Thanks! We used a semi-gloss paint for the dining room molding. The color is Benjamin Moore Atrium white, and it’s the exact same trim paint we used throughout our house. Let me know if you have any more questions, good luck!

  31. Adore that chandelier, it’s so beautiful! You did a fabulous job! Love your dining room. A new follower!


  32. Love your dining room! Everything turned out incredible, you never would have guessed it started where it did. The color is fabulous, and everything you chose to go with it compliments and pops against it. Honestly, there is not a thing I would change!

  33. BEAUTIFUL! 🙂 I love it! I can’t wait to get started on mine and now this makes me want to start today. Who cares that I have a cloffice to start on and finish by the 3rd of Oct. 😉 Love the wall color too!

  34. This rooms screams elegance. Very well done.


  35. Gorgeous!

  36. Absolutely love everything about the room!! Wow, awesome job! I’m in the proces of adding trim boxes to my daughter’s bedroom. Where did you find the thinner strips of trim for the boxes? And about how much was it a foot (if you don’t mind me asking)? Thanks!

    • Thank you! It’s been a while since we installed the trim boxes so I don’t remember the exact cost, but it might have been something like 33 cents a foot? You can get it at any hardware store, but we found a lumber supply place on google, and they were cheaper for us. We bought all the trim for our whole house at once – LOTS and LOTS of trim for almost every room – and it was only $500 for ALL of it. I think it’s some of the best money we spent when it comes to bang for the buck. I hope you find some!

  37. Gorgeous- love the dark flooring and the lovely colors you chose- well done!! Would love for you to come share at Feathered Nest Friday sometime! 🙂

  38. I just found your blog (looking for yarn ball ornaments) and I’m about to make them following your advice but got caught up in your house tour. All lovely! I was really interested in your dining room because it’s practically identical to ours (but we don’t have as large a doorway and we have another door by the window. I love your curtains and I’ve been trying to decide what to put on our windows that wouldn’t make the room too dark. I took down the sheers that were there (when we moved in and far too long after) and I love the natural light but I’m still thinking curtains. I have overly formal swags (from previous owners) that I really want to take down.

  39. Will you come decorate my dining room? I go through the same steps in terms of my decisions, man, I’m SO regretting my current dining room choices. It’s on the list for 2012. Yours is an inspiration.

    Thanks for linking up to Making Lemonade, and may 2012 be full of wonderful things for you and your blog. And your dining room, heehee!

  40. This room is gorgeous!! Following you from TDC- stop on by for a visit!!

  41. A really gorgeous room.

  42. So pretty! Every aspect came together so well. The chairs are terrific and the walls are beautiful! Visiting from TDC.

  43. It looks beautiful, I love the dark walls. I also painted my living and dining rooms walls in a dark color no one can define (blue, charcoal, purple?) The chairs and table too, just lovely. I found you from Thrifty Decor Chick.

  44. The picture of your dining room taken from I think the kitchen(?) on your “house tour” link, is brilliant. I love the way the blue of the kitchen walls is picked up in the dining room curtains, which brings a nice light contrast to your dark and beautiful walls. That picture is a perfect frame of your lovely hard work!

  45. Kelly,
    I just came across your beautiful dining room and can’t believe the transformation! You put so much work into it and it looks awesome! I especially love the paint color you chose “Deep Caviar” and wanted to let you know I featured you on my blog with of course a link back to your site. Thank you so much for the inspiration. I’m your newest follower! Have a great day!

  46. Hey, love this room! It’s very similar to where we’re headed with our dining room, and we also went through the thrilling wallpaper-removal process. Can you tell me where your dining table is from? It’s beautiful! Thanks!

    • Thank you so much! It’s from Z Gallerie. It was a bit of a splurge for us, but it’s held up really well. It’s SO hard to scratch that shiny surface!

  47. Terri Oostendorp says:

    Hi! I love everything about your dining room…the wall color was really what grabbed me though, and I wondered if you would share the manufacturers name of the paint color “deep caviar?” It is latex? flat or eggshell? I love it! Thanks so much…

  48. Your dining room is fabulous, the chandelier is worth every cent and GREAT paint color!
    xo Nancy
    Powellbrower at home.

  49. The art you have on the walls! It’s gorgeous! Where did you get it/who is the artist/how I can I see those up close/more of them?!
    Also, this dining room makeover is truly inspirational 🙂 I think your wall colour is deep shade of everything all in one. It looks as if someone took all of the best colours and mixed them to make the greatest almost-black colour they could. I doubt the true process was that magical, but one can dream.

  50. Beautiful! I definitely see the dark brown 🙂

  51. Can you tell me a little bit more about the detail of crown on your ceiling? Or the thing that makes it look like it is raised?

    Thank you!

  52. Its actually ‘deep caviar’ by Benjamin Moore Paints color number 2130-20 from the Preview fan range. It looks wonderful. I am a color Specialist for Benjamin Moore Middle East (in Dubai). Hats off to your perfect and brave color picks and a jaw-dropping transformation!

  53. Talk about taking a ho-hum space and making it spectacular!

  54. Bravo! I love it. Just beautiful. A wonderful transformation. I’m learning from you. 🙂

  55. Holy moly, this is BEAUTIFUL! I love your seven stages…can totally relate. Love your room, love your blog, love everything. 🙂

  56. MoniqueEclectic says:

    Lovely. I especially like the contrast of the blue drapes and the dramatic wall color. Do you have a link for the chandelier? I have a space where one very similar (not tooo much glitter, but just right) would be perfect. After a long time surfing for this, I thought I would just ask if you have a source.



  57. I’ve found myself on your site several times after I’ve followed links/pins. I love your style and your clean but fashionable decorating sense! It’s now in my “Favorites” and “Liked”!

  58. I just started reading your blog! I love all your tutorials, especially making your own curtains! I also really love your dining room curtains. Did you make those or bought them? What kind of fabric is it? I think I’m going to invest in a sewing machine soon. Thanks for posting!

    • This dining room is absolutely gorgeous! Can u tell me anything about your rug? Wondering if I can find it online?
      Thanks so much!!!

  59. Hi! Such a beautiful dining room!!! Can you tell me anything about your rug? I’m hoping to find it online or something similar?

  60. Hi Kelly, I love your dining room. It is beautiful and sophisticated. I am in midst of renovation our dining /living room. These two rooms are collected. I have selected a dark brown (HC-72) for the dining room. I am trying to pick a grayish blue for the living room. I tried our 5 samples but I am still not happy with any of them. Could you please let me what colour is your blue wall. In addition, I have installed dark Chocolate maple hardwood floor. Do you have any suggestion on the colour of area rug? Many thanks, Rita

  61. LOVE your dining room! I would love to have this much style in ours which is seriously lacking! It has the bones to be more but we just haven’t had the money or the inspiration to come up with something gorgeous like this. Any thoughts or suggestions from anyone is much appreciated and hopefully one day when my dining room is amazing I’ll be able to share it and link it back to this post as what finally inspired us to finish it off!

  62. ABSOLUTE LOVE! DINING room is beautiful! Question: Curtains? ? Did you make them? But them, can you share the link and item? Love the color, it’s beautiful! Looking for 3 drapes for living room, same wall color 😀
    Thank you! !!!!!!

  63. Monica Draper says:

    Hi Kelly,
    Late to the party here but have come to you via Pinterest! Love the room, and am really loving the rug! From the pictures on my monitor it looks ever so slightly green…. You mention that you purchased it at home goods, do you happen to recall the brand? I would like to find something similar. Thank you so much!

  64. You have an exceptional eye for design! I started off reading your kitchen what-not-to-do and moved on to your laundry room and then dining room. You achieve stunning results for modest expenditure. Your dining room stands up to anything on houzz, and some of those have limitless budgets. I especially relate to your thoughts on truly loving an item and going with it, trusting your instinct. You brought back memories from decades ago, like building an upholstered headboard after the little ones had gone to bed. Thank you for showing the world what’s possible with talent and ingenuity.

  65. Beautiful! Can you please tell me where you got the canvas paintings? I’ve been searching for just the thing.

  66. Hi…I am in love with your dining room. I halfway loathe you because I know have to figure out a way to explain to my husband why I need your chandelier or else I will surely be depressed until the end of time 🙂 I kid I kid…just about the loathe part!! I am writing on a very old post hoping that you will see it and reply with the details of your dining room table?? I am currently on the hunt for furniture and accessories for our dining room and this is just swoon worthy! Thanks

    • Sorry it took me so long to get back to you! It’s from ZGallerie. That table has taken a beating and you can’t tell at all. I’ve been really thrilled with the durability!


  1. […] dining room or browse the inspiring spaces that have already been linked up. I’m linking up my dining room. Hope to see you […]

  2. […] – but there’s something so satisfying about befores-and-afters isn’t there? Click here to see how that room started. Warning: it’s not […]

  3. […] of time is kind of a big deal. Sparkle and mirrored anythingDear powder room vanity… and dining room chandelier… We shall be together in sickness or in health as long as both shall […]

  4. […] crown molding. We installed it in almost every room when we bought the house – like here in our dining room: And, of course, in our recent DIY built-in bookshelves project: – but we skipped over a couple […]

  5. […] Caviar by Benjamin Moore View Along the Way (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || […]

  6. […] Previous Previous post: Mason Jar Crafts You Can Make in Beneath an Hour DIY Tasks & Artistic C… Search for: […]

Speak Your Mind


Back to top          Privacy Policy          Copyright © 2013 View Along the Way. All rights reserved.          Contact Me