Colorful dining room makeover updates (halfway there!)

May 29, 2021

It’s week FOUR of the Better Homes & Gardens One Room Challenge!

That means we’re halfway through, which feels so crazy.

I’m still working hard on our dining room refresh.

And today I’m going to show you exactly what progress we’ve made, and talk about what else needs to get done.

If you missed my last blog post about our colorful dining room makeover plans, well … it’s right here!

As a reminder, here’s what the space looks like today:

spring dining table decor 2

There’s nothing wrong with it at all, but I’ve been feeling for a while now that it could stand to get a refresh.

As usual, this transformation will be completely budget friendly.

In fact, I shopped my home for a lot of the “new” decor we’ll be adding to the dining room, and we’re also keeping most of our existing furniture.

The to-do list: What I’ve accomplished so far

A lot of the foundational changes have already happened this room.

I think the most tedious project so far was repainting the room, which my husband did (thanks, honey!). 

The walls used to be gray, and now we have white paint below the chair rail and this gorgeous color above it.

We didn’t yet paint the ceiling — because honestly painting ceiling sucks, and we’re procrastinating — but we’ll suck it up and do it soon.

Here’s a peek at the new paint color, along with a photo that sums up the current “messy middle” status of this project:

colorful chinoiserie dining room design 1

Here are a few more items we’ve already checked off the list:

  • Replaced our old dining room buffet with a beautiful custom (but surprisingly affordable) piece
  • Recovered our dining room chairs (more on that in a moment)
  • Added a gorgeous new hand-painted photo frame to the space

Take a look at our new dining room buffet.

Awesome, right?

colorful chinoiserie dining room design 2

Pardon the clutter, the mismatched paint and the dog food container …

I still can’t help but stop and stare at our new gorgeous piece of furniture!

Here’s another view of it:

colorful chinoiserie dining room design 3

The to-do list: What still needs to be done

  • Paint the ceiling (I’m planning to bring the blue up over the molding, because otherwise the ceiling looks gigantic and plain, especially in photos)
  • Lay our new rug
  • Hang up the wine shelves that I ordered
  • Order a new mirror to replace the black and white one (here’s the pretty mirror I have my eye on)
  • Look through my current art stash and decide what I’ll put back up on the gallery wall, and source new pieces if needed


That’s still a pretty long list of things to accomplish, but over the next couple of weeks we’ll chip away at everything.

My favorite “custom seating” trick

Let’s talk more about our new dining room chairs!

I got SO many questions about these chairs and the fabric I used over on Instagram, so I thought you all might be curious too.

One of my favorite ways to get custom-looking seating on a budget is with a little-known IKEA hack.

If you’re a longtime reader, you may have seen me post about it before. (Spoiler alert: I go into even more detail about this IKEA chair hack I’m about to talk about in this previous post.)

I started using this IKEA hack a few years ago, and am using it once again for our dining room makeover.

Because while I love custom upholstered dining chairs, there’s absolutely no way I could ever justify the cost of them with two young kids and a puppy in my house.

This is how I got a custom look on a “normal person” budget.

ikea henriksdal chair hack diy

Aren’t the covers amazing?!

(Ignore the gray and white rug below the chair in this photo — it’s going away soon!)

The best IKEA Henriksdal hack

Here is a close up of our “new” chairs, where you can really see the detail of the fabric:

ikea henriksdal chair hack diy 2

I talked a little bit about these chairs and the gorgeous fabric in this post, where I detailed all my plans for this makeover.

So … where did I get these covers? And what do I think of them?

Oh, I’m so glad you asked.

I purchased my cushion covers from this shop.

The chair covers are amazing quality and they’re even machine washable.

And they’re easy to get on and off the chairs, too (each chair cover has velcro on the bottom to help the cover stay in place) — which is important when my 5-year old inevitably spills something during a family meal.

This might be one of my affordable decorating tricks I’m most proud of — and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you!

What’s next?

We’ve still got our work cut out for us, according to the to-do list above.

Next up I think we need to tackle the ceiling painting (ugh), and then I’ll look over the art I have that could potentially go back up on the wall.

I’ll share more progress this week or next — stay tuned!


About Kate

Hey! I’m Kate — I love decorating with color and pattern. I also love finding decorating “easy” buttons: quick DIYs, simple organization hacks and amazing steals at Target.

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