Dining Room Reveal


Dining room makeover on a $500 budget / Clockworkinteriors.com



The dining room is officially done, and it’s time for it’s reveal.   😀  Let’s start at the very beginning and look at a couple of before pictures:



"Before" pictures of dining room makeover / Clockworkinteriors.com




There was technically nothing wrong with our dining room.  It just wasn’t very exciting.  Nor was it a good representation of our style.    When we moved to Seattle from the UK six years ago, I made the mistake of purchasing the first dining room set I found on Craigslist that I didn’t hate.  I was feeling the pressure to buy something just because I didn’t want an empty dining room for the holidays.  So silly.  Learn from my foolishness, friends.  It’s worth holding off on large purchases until you find exactly what you want!




"Before" pictures of 90s mass produced dining room furniture / Clockworkinteriors.com



As you may recall, the color palette for the makeover was inspired by our Chihuly vase.



Inspiration / project board for our Chihuly inspired dining room makeover / Clockworkinteriors.com


And because this was a non-essential makeover, I challenged myself to do the whole makeover for under $500.   And I was hoping to get a new rug and chandelier out of that $500!   In case you missed a post or two, here are the projects that were completed for this makeover:


The first project I shared was giving a 1980s china cabinet a makeover so that it could be used as a buffet.




An 80s china cabinet is given a makeover and used as a buffet / server / Clockworkinteriors.com



Converting an old china cabinet in lieu of purchasing a buffet saved me hundreds.   I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.



An 80s china cabinet is given a makeover and used as a dining room sideboard / Clockworkinteriors.com



Then I shared a tutorial on how we made  slip covers for the two slipper/occasional chairs we use for extra seating in the dining room:



DIY slipper / armless chair slipcover tutorial / Clockworkinteriors.com




Choosing to keep the slipper chairs and make slipcovers instead of replacing them was a wise decision.




How to make slip covers for an armless / occasional / slipper chair / Clockworkinteriors.com




Next up was our “new” blue china cabinet in Sherwin Williams Honorable Blue:




Complete dining room makeover / Clockworkinteriors.com



The china cabinet is a little brighter than I had planned, but the Chihuly and wedding china really pop now.  Before the hutch’s contents were lost in a sea of darkness.




A mass produced china cabinet is sprayed with SW Honorable Blue / Clockworkinteriors.com



I sprayed the table and chairs with Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black:



90s table and chair are sprayed with Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black / Clockworkinteriors.com



Also completed for the makeover was painting the walls and tray ceiling with Sherwin Williams On the Rocks.  This was my first time painting a room with a light color over a dark color.  Even though the Sherwin Williams paint had a built in primer, in certain light, the freshly painted walls look more blue than gray.   I’m okay with it, but I know The Boss wishes the wall color was a true gray in all lighting conditions.   I’m thinking it may be time to switch back to BM paints. :/


I thought my Ballard Designs knock off art project would be used in the dining room, but I ultimately decided to frame garage sale finds.   Years ago I scored old Flora & Fauna calendars at a garage sale.  The owner only wanted $1 a piece for them!!  I bought 4, and if you do the math people, that’s 48 absolutely beautiful prints for $4.00!!   I actually tried to talk the homeowner into keeping them for herself, but she was in full blown clean out mode, and held strong.  Lucky me!  😀



Flora & Fauna 2017 Calendar / Clockworkinteriors.com


I’m crushing on the new wood frames, as well.  I bought them at Aaron Brothers on a BOGO.  They are the “Sydney” 11 x 14 mat frame, but it looks like they no longer offer them in gold on their site.  But it’s possible your local Aaron Brothers still has some in their stores.  They have really come a long way with their home and holiday decor, and their prices are awesome!  If you haven’t shopped there in a while, check it out.




Framing old calendar pages is affordable wall art / Clockworkinteriors.com



I found a similar gold bamboo frame on Amazon’s site.




Outdated calendars make excellant wall art / Clockworkinteriors.com



I  had a hard time narrowing down my rug choice.   I was drawn to dip dyed rugs, which are so popular right now, but I kept changing my mind.  In the end, I went with a zebra print rug because I knew it would look awesome in my daughter’s or my own bedroom if it didn’t work in the dining room.   It’s super soft, and I love the playfulness it brings to the space.   And I think it’s surprisingly neutral and really grounds the room.




Gray zebra print rug is suprisingly neutral / Clockworkinteriors.com



If you’re rug shopping, I’ve found that Overstock is also a great source for rugs!




Zebra stripe rug used in dining room makeover / Clockworkinteriors.com



My choices for a chandelier were made a little bit easier because of the budget I put myself on.  Even then I kept flip flopping between the one I ultimately purchased and a crystal chandelier (which were surprisingly cheaper!)  There were at least 5 crystal chandeliers that were solid contenders, but what swayed me in the end was the reviews.   Every reviewer loved them, but not until they had spent DAYS assembling them!   I have Raynaud’s Syndrome, which affects the dexterity in my fingers.  If nimble fingered folks were having trouble with assembly, I didn’t have a shot in (*&&.



Affordable dining room chandelier / Clockworkinteriors.com



I’m pleased with the six light chandelier I ordered.   It’s the right size for the table and it’s lines match the rug, the seat fabric, and the top of the china cabinet.    Plus, it reminds me of a bird cage, and there are birds in the art work.   And don’t forget our family motto:   “Put a Bird on It!”   You’ve heard me mention that quote many times over the years, and I’m finally going to share the Portlandia video with you:






Maybe it’s funnier the first 99 times you watch it?!   It cracks me up because it’s essentially making fun of my need to make things pretty.  (If you like this skit, you MUST check out their chicken skit.   It’s hilarious!! The diners are the Martha Stewarts of the PNW!!)




  • Paint (estimated because I have so much left over):  $75
  • Fabric:  $60
  • Two pillows (Target Clearance):  $20
  • Hutch/Buffet (Craigslist find):  $75
  • Chandelier:  $140
  • Rug:  $275
  • Prints and 8 frames:  $120
  • Lamp (Homegoods):  $50?? (Guessing … I lost the receipt.)
  • TOTAL:  $815.00


So I clearly went over my $500 makeover challenge, but that was really more of a “guideline” to keep me in check.    The sideboard I could have purchased at Ballard Designs was over $1,000, so I think I did pretty good!



So, what’s in the pipeline for me??  The dining room has been finished for quite some time, and I’ve moved on to boring house projects.  Bluck.  Painting floorboards isn’t fun or post worthy.   I do have a list of craft projects I’d like to complete, and I’ll try to share them if they’re not Pinterest fails!  I’ve also been scouring Craigslist for furniture because my stockpile is empty!!   Hopefully the next time you hear from me, it will be because I have a beautiful dresser or Christmas ornament to share.  😀   In the meantime, you can keep up with me on Instagram.   I really want to be a better photographer, and the only way to do that is to practice, practice, practice.     My goal is to take a pretty picture a day.   Wish me luck!  Cynthia




Two week old TJ mums and garage sale bottles make for a pretty picture / Clockworkinteriors.com



p.s.   The new dining room even has a cheerful view 😉



Every bright blue chair deserves a bright orange pumpkin / Clockworkinteriors.com



Sharing with:

French Country CottageUnique JunktiqueLove of HomeBetween Naps on the PorchStone Gable BlogThe Boondocks BlogCelebrate and Decorate ….  Savvy Southern StyleMy Repurposed LifeOur Hopeful Home



Wow Us Wednesdays!  @  Savvy Southern Style 

Vintage Charm @ Our Hopeful Home 

17 Responses

  1. That is truly an amazing makeover! I have enjoyed watching it every step of the way. You’re making me eye an extremely ugly triple dresser that came with my husband FORTY-FIVE years ago! Over the years I’ve managed to pry the rest of the bedroom set away from him, but he insists on hanging onto this one piece. Words cannot begin to describe its hideous-ness (if that is even a word!)

    • Thanks for the support, Roxanne. It’s appreciated. You’re so funny! Do you think your husband would let you paint his dresser black? A coat of black paint makes everything look good … and expensive … and elegant! Maybe a nice matte black if shiny isn’t his thing. Have my fingers crossed for you! Take care, Cynthia

  2. I love your blue china closet -such a fun color. It really makes your dining room. I have a vintage mahogany table and chairs that I have been toying with the idea of painting for years now but I have always been too chicken to try it. Thanks for inspiring me to be brave!

    • Thanks for the kind words, Lisa. It’s appreciated! My dining room furniture wasn’t vintage nor mahogany, so deciding to paint it was an easy decision for me. I’m all for making old furniture work in today’s home, but you may want to get yours appraised first. Also, if you decide to paint with a light color, make sure you seal the furniture first with a shellac primer, or the tannins may bleed through. Sometimes as many as 2-3 coats are necessary, and mahogany stain and/or wood are known “bleeders”. Best of luck to you on your project. And don’t be afraid — it’s just paint! Take care, Cynthia

  3. Cynthia, I just love your transformation! As much as I love the farmhouse style. it makes my heart happy to see rooms madeover with color instead of all whites and gray! Your video made me laugh–I actually did a blog post with that title 🙂 Great job! Cecilia @ My Thrift Store Addiction

    • Thank you so much, Cecelia! I can appreciate the farmhouse style, but we live in a very traditional house and neighborhood. (Some would even call it stuffy! 😉 ) The jolts of color make me happy, as well. So glad you liked the Portlandia skit. The whole show is hilarious, if you’ve never watched it. Thanks so much for stopping by today! Cynthia

  4. I am so in love with this transformation Cynthia, all of it! So much so that I’m featuring you over at today’s Vintage Charm!!! Oh, and that video- hysterical! xo Kathleen|Our Hopeful Home

    • Thanks so much for the feature, Kathleen. I’m glad you like the makeover … and the video! LOL It’s pretty much making fun of us, don’t you think?? I wonder what we’ll be “putting on” next?! Thanks again for the feature. I’m looking forward to seeing your dining room makeover! Cynthia

  5. Your dining room turned out beautiful, Cynthia. It’s refreshing to see bold color statement pieces! That video was hilarious – thanks for the chuckle

    • Thanks so much, Marie. Do you like the prints? As much as I love the abstract art I created for the room, I think the botanicals are a better fit. Glad you liked the video. Can’t tell you how many times a day I use that phrase, “Put a Bird on It!” It definitely lightens a tense situation. Hope you’re enjoying the Christmas season! Cynthia

  6. Hey there friend! Just wanted to let you know that your dining room reveal has been chosen as our November feature of the month! You can see it at Vintage Charm Party #111 tomorrow morning! Congratulations!

    • What a pleasant surprise, Kathleen! You just made my day! We’re traveling this week, but I will definitely stop by. Thanks for being such a supportive friend! Cynthia

  7. BRILLIANT! An absolutely awesome makeover. I love the colors you chose and especially that beautiful blue on the cabinet!

  8. I can’t believe I have not commented here Cynthia. I love the boldness of this room, but even more so the balance that it has. You did an incredible job and I hope you enjoy it for many years to come.

    • Thank you, Mary. We’re sun challenged quite a bit in Seattle, and brightening up this once dark room definitely makes me happy. Hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas season in NYC! Cynthia

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