Dining Room Makeover (Part 1)

February 11, 2014 · 19 comments

Our dining room has been a disaster since we swapped it round with the lounge years ago. When this was the lounge I remember it being a bright sunny room, which you had to draw the curtains to watch TV in the afternoon but it was bright in the mornings too and I loved it as the lounge – small and snuggly with my baby girl. Then she became bigger, played more on the seemingly shrinking floorspace so we swapped with the bigger room next door.

When it became the dining room it shrunk, became darker, lighting became yellow and depressing.  No matter what colour I’ve painted it – pale yellow (too jaundice), pale blue (too cold and boring) it’s just not been the room I remember. I’ve filled it with bookcases holding more clutter and rarely used other than for meals.


When I had my cousin over for a coffee a couple of weeks ago, I asked her to cast and eye over the room and see what she thought of it. It’s good to have an extra pair of eyes and she was very kind about all our clutter, but did point out to me that the bookcase in the corner as you walk into the room was casting a massive shadow which just darkened the room no end. It’s the FIRST thing that catches your eye, no wonder it’s felt so dark in there, I didn’t have them when it was the lounge I just had shelves.  So obvious! How had I missed it??

I’d been toying with how to get rid of the now offending bookcase, then Mr VP bought me an iMac for my birthday as my laptop is on it’s last legs. Where to put it….why in the alcove where the bookcase is! I went to Pinterest and literally pinned every desk I could find that I liked the look of onto my Thinkspaces board below.

Follow Liz’s board Thinkspaces on Pinterest.

What I like about having a Pinterest board is eventually you see a pattern of what you really like and in my case – white plain desk, iMac and a chair stood out. One trip to Ikea later – a massive white lightshade, LED light, a £30 white gloss desk, one spun round dining room chair and voila a new room is born!


I don’t even feel the need to re-paint the room anymore.  I swear everyone is using this room now, more than ever. I know there is a new computer, however Miss L now mini teen is in here playing games and Skypeing rather than being holed up in her room. Mr VP came in here for breakfast this morning – unheard of! And it’s 10pm at night and instead of being in front of the TV I’m actually blogging in here. It’s become the hub of the house.

What else is left to do? I hear you ask?

The bookcase has been moved to the other side of the room where I can’t see it anymore and later this week I’m going to restack all the DVD’s on it there – where I can’t see them!.

Meanwhile the other bookcase will become the holder of books and pretties.  I’m thinking at the moment I’m just going to put photos and prints above the computer. I don’t need shelves there and I think it’s quite a good trick of the eye to make this side of the room look empty. Makes the room look and feel so much bigger.

I’m debating painting all the dark wood (except the dining room table) white…not sure if it’ll be overkill though? Maybe I’ll try some chairs first and see what it looks like? I feel the need to add some flashes of colour now, maybe some etsy prints are the way to go? But all in all I’m feeling much happier about our unloved room.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen aka The Mad House February 11, 2014 at 3:43 pm

I would think about painting that book shelf to a lighter shade. I love the plainness of the desk
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Liz February 11, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Thanks Jen, I’m really tempted to paint them. They’re very dark and if I do the dresser too then they’ll ado clash less with each other as they are different woods.


Kath Knitty Mummy February 11, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Such a difference with a small change. I would paint the dresser and then put some of those lovely wall paper samples I notice on the chimney breast inside.
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Liz February 17, 2014 at 4:36 pm

So sorry Kath you ended up in my spam folder, just dug you out! Apologies! Yeah those wallpapers are gorgeous! I’m a bit nervous because I’ve never done wallpaper hanging so I might have to beg my Mum to help me. But I think they would brighten up the room too :)
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Lisa from Lisa's Life February 11, 2014 at 8:57 pm

I think I’d get a wood paint and just lighten things to match the dining table. Too much white could end up clinical/loony-binish! ;) You’ll accessorise beautifully as always though, have fun! :)
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Liz February 13, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Thanks Lisa! Yeah I’m still a bit worried about painting it all. Thanks for your lovely comment xx
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Marylin February 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Ohh fab honey, also? What desk is that? I’m wanting a new one to house my iMac (did you get the 27″?)and that one looks perfect for it. :)
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Liz February 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Hi Marylin, it’s this one but 120cm wide http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/S99932564/#/S49929639 Hope that helps? xx


Angela @Little Apple Tree February 13, 2014 at 8:26 pm

What about something like Annie Sloan chalk paint in a pale grey or eggshell blue and distressing it lightly before waxing? I think a print, like your new logo, would work really well in the space, too!

I think the desk does make a tremendous difference! Much lighter xx
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Liz February 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Great idea! I love the idea of eggshell blue and it’s another excuse to hit the Annie Sloan shop :) Thanks Angela x
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Jen February 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Love the new desk Liz, it’s funny how using Pinterest shows us what we really love, even when we don’t realise it!
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Liz February 17, 2014 at 4:38 pm

You are so right Jen! I’m just building a Pinterest mood board for Miss L’s bedroom makeover as she wants to use a weird duck egg blue she’s found. Amazing what goes with it, when you start searching x
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Riikka / KOTILA February 17, 2014 at 8:22 pm

The makeover looks really great!
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Liz February 17, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Thankyou!! :)


Cherished By Me February 18, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Wow, what a difference, so much more inviting. It’s amazing what can be done to encourage people into a certain space/area/room just by a few changes. Looks great.
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Liz February 19, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Thanks x I was shocked at how such a small change can make a difference like that. I need to try it in some other rooms! LOL!
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City Coastal Lifestyle February 22, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Looks good, fresh and clean and the fact that everyone uses the space now, even better! :)
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Liz February 22, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Thankyou so much :)


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