The Dining Room Do-over

dining room makeover

Hi again. This post has been months in the making. (Not the dining room makeover part, but the back to blogging part.) After months of hotel living, home selling and buying, and de-crustifying the new home, we are finally starting to get settled. And I’m stoked to be growing, tasting, and creating again!

The dining room was the first room in the new house to get some Rocksteady and Bebop love. Here’s what we started with:

before dining room

Note: This is the picture from the listing, so this isn’t actually our furniture.

I’m not sure how to describe the color… mauve, dark rose, rusty blood? In any case, it wasn’t our taste. We briefly considered doing another crazy mural accent wall like we had at our previous house. Yet, the features of this room—the wainscoting, wood floors, arched window—are traditional.  We decided any sort of accent with paint would look too busy above the chair rail.

We played around with some sexy neutrals like Sherwin Williams “Sea Salt” (a light blue green grey) and “Peppercorn” (a dark charcoal). Ultimately, we decided those neutrals made the room feel too traditional. This room was begging for some pop, some drama, and a bit of funk. But whatever color(s) we chose had to coordinate with the formal living room directly across the foyer.


We used the color scheme in the painting over the couch for inspiration. Six samples of paint later, we settled on the dining room paint color—“Ocean Soul” by Valspur.

Valspur Oceansoul

Onward to decorating. As many of you have gleaned, we are fantastically frugal. (Stay tuned for a post on a bookcase turned Barbie house turned bookcase dresser hutch. Say that five times fast…) However, the Lowe’s chandelier we fell in love with was $250. Ouch! That’s a far cry from the $20 pendant shade we used in our last dining room. It’s okay though. It’s super gorg.


A little blingish, but traditional in materials. I like that the oval and teardrop shapes coordinate with the curves of the arched window.

However, splurging on the chandelier meant we needed free or really cheap art. Something about the traditional features of the room, especially the rectangular wainscoting trim screamed: BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO COLLAGE.

chandelier photo collage

Luckily, I found the frames for $6/each at Michaels. Then, I raided my go-to pile of black and white beach prints. I’ve been using different combinations of the same 24 photos for at least a decade now. The prints were cut out of two calendars by a local Florida photographer, Clyde Butcher.

clyde butcher

You can’t beat calendar art for decorating on a budget. Featuring nature prints from our home state is just a bonus.


We pulled from the stack of art that we rotate house to house to complete the look. (Did I mention that this is Rocksteady and my ninth move together in ten years?) The lighthouse and row boat were in the family room at our last house, but they accompany the Clyde Butcher prints really well.

dining room makeover

Dining room makeover, check!

chandelier drama

Drama, yes please!

All that’s left is opening a bottle of wine and baking a pile of nachos… who’s coming over for dinner?



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