DIY

A One Day Makeover to Brighten Becca’s Dining Room

January 18, 2023

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We had so much fun last year making over Andi’s awkward living room, so when Kirkland’s Home asked if we wanted to do another one-day makeover with their incredible new Spring Collection, we did not hesitate! We’ve been taking turns at the team’s houses, and Becca’s card was up – she just moved into a townhome last year and really wanted her dining room refreshed! She and her husband, Conner, have made little cosmetic changes here and there, but we wanted to give them the full CLJ makeover package! The biggest design dilemma this space presented is that it’s a room with no windows. Of course, we didn’t let that get in our way!

Here’s how it went and everything we did to make it feel brighter!

1. Paint can brighten a room

Before

After

Chandelier | Dining Table | Dining Chairs | Captain Chairs | Black Cabinet | Sideboard | Olive Tree | Rug

I cannot get over this before and after! You can see where the dining room opens up to the kitchen on the right, where there are also no windows, and where they recently expanded the cased opening! This photo was taken standing in Becca’s living room, where there actually are a few windows which helps.

Aside from that bit of natural light, I knew the right paint color in the right places would make a huge difference. And it totally did! Keep in mind that we didn’t paint the upper walls at all! We only painted the trim, the chair rail, and all the wall space below the chair rail. It created a contrast, making the white look whiter while also adding dimension and grounding the room. We used Benjamin Moore, Half-Moon Crest, and she previously painted white walls in Sherwin Williams Westhighland White! The gray is the perfect soft, bluish-green gray. It shifts tones ever so slightly, depending on the time of day, and if the lights are on, and I love a paint color that dances with the light like that.

Painting the room first really set the tone for all of the incredible Kirkland’s Home selections we made!

2. Lighting matters!

Before

After

Shop Becca’s Dining Room

Swapping out the chandelier, hands-down, made the biggest impact in this room. Thanks to the diverse and high-quality lighting options that Kirkland’s Home has to offer, we found this stunning gold and very modern fixture with the prettiest glass globes. As you can see from the before, there was a really basic, builder-grade light fixture in the room, and it was painfully drab.

Mirror | Table Lamps | Bowl | Sideboard

My rule of thumb is that every room should have at least three light sources, so we found the prettiest fluted lamps to use on the buffet, and we also hung this tarnished mirror, which helps bounce light around the room!

The easiest way to flip your room into a showstopper is to update the lighting! Luckily, Kirkland’s Home has a multitude of value options without compromising on quality. Little tip: make sure you use the right bulb temperature and brightness to enhance the impact! Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about choosing the right light bulb!

3. Push the limits with scale and shape

I think a lot of people think that if they have a smaller room, they need smaller pieces of furniture. Pushing the limits with scale can make a room feel larger and more welcoming and inviting. You want people to feel like they can pull up a chair and feel right at home.

Along with scale is height! Since the lower third(ish) half of the room is painted, I used this taller storage cabinet to help bridge the gap between the chair rail and the crown. Placing a vase with these tall branches we harvested from Becca’s yard really lifts and expands the room. Both the cabinet and the buffet are also just super practical for a dining room, especially with a neighboring kitchen that’s short on cupboard space.

Let’s talk about the focal point of the room! This room is full of right angles. It’s a rectangular-shaped room; the entrances are squared, and the buffet and cabinet have square corners. The oval table, which can also be a circle without the leaf, really softens the room in the center, right where the eyes are supposed to land. It’s always a good idea to repeat shapes, and we did that with these unique chairs. We found these wooden chairs with upholstered seats and rattan back at Kirkland’s Home, and they’re the perfect mix of materials and color (plus they’re comfy to sit on). Very on-trend, too.

4. Keep the colors central

We rolled in these captain chairs to add more color and drama to the room. That’s right; they’re on casters, which is incredibly practical since the trickiest part about captain chairs is the scooting in and out! Keeping the color in the center allows the room to expand outward, making it feel larger and brighter! I’m always surprised at how there’s always something new every time I go to Kirkland’s Home. They’re so good at keeping up with design styles and ever-changing friends, and they somehow do it with quality design and amazing value.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a CLJ room makeover without a CLJ rug! Without even selecting a paint color yet, I knew the Jules Lagoon/Brick would be perfect with all the Kirkland selections we made because it’s so versatile in every room. Rolling out a colorful rug is another great way to keep the color central and the walls neutral and bright!

5. Keep the art neutral

By keeping the color central in the room, I knew that hanging more neutral art would maximize the visual space. We hung these textural canvases from Kirkland’s Home on either side of the cabinet, and I love how they add interest to the white walls without bringing in too much contrast.

Art | Vase | Glass Dome | Crock

Hanging the art on either side of the storage cabinet is a super traditional way of hanging this modern art, but I love that balance! If we had put really bold or busy art on the wall, it would have made the room feel smaller and too busy for its size. Speaking of the curio cabinet, we stocked it full of beautiful glasses, pitchers, canisters, and dinnerware, all from Kirkland’s Home! I love seeing everything peekaboo through the glass sliding doors.

Styling tip:

Whenever I’m styling a room, I like to place different living things on separate surfaces. In this room, we had the buffet, the table, and the cabinet. I styled stems on the cabinet, hydrangeas on the table, and a basket of pears on the buffet. It really livens the room without feeling redundant, and they really complement all of the stunning tableware we found at Kirkland’s Home.

I also love setting dishes and linens out on the table for styling, and who wouldn’t want to make this ribbed dinnerware the star of their table? They’re so fresh and modern, and you can’t find fluted glassware as stunning as these at such an incredibly low price.

Shop Tableware

We have so much fun doing these one-day room makeovers as a team! And it was even more fun to be able to use so many pieces from our local Kirkland’s Home! You can get the look for your own home or hand-pick from the multitude of styles and design options on their website and in-store. They’re experts at merging quality, and value, for an approachable experience at making your home a place that you love to live, which is what CLJ is always about.

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What do you think?

  1. We love how the colours really transforms the room. The grey bottom half is really beautiful.

  2. Sabbina says:

    This is such a wonderful room makeover. I am going to do my dining room just like this! Where did you get the concrete pot that the olive branch tree is in? I want to get both the tree and pot!

  3. Teri says:

    What is an “ever changing friend”? lovely make over.

  4. monica says:

    I like the relatable content. I think that if the rug were one size smaller, it would still be big enough for the table and chairs, but the credenza dan shelving unit would be totally on the floor instead of the awkward half on half off that resulted from the too big rug! Should be an easy fix!

  5. Jennifer Brenner says:

    I love all of the different colors and textures— gorgeous!! More one day makeovers, please!

  6. Ashley says:

    These makeovers are my favorite! Keep. Then. Coming! A question I always have is—how do you know how low/high to hang a dining light or kitchen pendant? Thank you for all you do!

  7. Jeanna says:

    I’m sure the owners were delighted to receive such a wonderful gift :) It seems a bit bland compared to what you normally do I thought. I think for me it was the artwork.

  8. Kirsten Ritter says:

    It’s so beautiful! I struggle with mixing wood tones well. And this is a testament to how darker wood, lighter wood and black can all work beautifully together. So so pretty!

  9. REK981 says:

    This is so lovely! The paint and the lighting really bring in so much change. I am saving this one for future inspiration!

  10. Stephanie says:

    This room is incredible! When I first saw that buffet, I thought it didn’t “go.” I know furniture doesn’t have to match, but it seemed like a big departure from everything else. But it’s all perfect! I think that goes to show how much of a difference styling makes. Such a good visual to remind myself that I can use the pieces I love and it will all come together in the end.

  11. Kara says:

    Um. The first two before and after photos are quite deceptive because of the blown-out lighting. Look at the difference in the tone of the flooring, it’s quite obvious. And attributing it to paint colors is just wrong. It’s hard for the regular homeowner to try and replicate ideas, and then wonder why theirs looks so different.

    • Brandi Lang says:

      Agreed! The editing is deceptive. The colors do look lovely and I’m sure the overall space is much brighter and more comfortable. But, this is not outcome is not achievable with paint and lighting alone.

    • Kat says:

      Exactly what I thought.

    • Courtney says:

      This is my husband’s biggest pet peeve. He hates before and afters because the befores are always shot poorly so obviously that afters look way better.

    • Lara says:

      Agreed, it’s obvious it was heavily edited because SW Westhighland White is very creamy. SW Pure White would have achieved the look of the photo.

  12. Courtney says:

    I love these one day makeovers!! So fun and practical when thinking about how to make changes in my own home.

  13. Nicole Mangum says:

    I love how this space looks completely different with some pretty easy changes. That paint color is great for that room and I love how it pairs well with the navy.

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