Dining Room Makeover on a Budget

A quick dining room makeover on a budget.

small dining room makeover with round wood table and 4 chairs on jute rug

We have been in our stone cottage for 9 months now and, although none of the rooms are complete, our small dining area is as put together as it’s going to get (at least for now). The kitchen and dining area are attached but the kitchen isn’t quite ready for its photo op, so we’ll just tour the new and improved dining area.

This is how the space looked before we moved our stuff in. Pale yellow walls and a light fixture that was barely hanging on, literally.

Small dining area makeover | Chatfield Court

The previous owner had window blinds in every window of the house, and they were all in rough shape. Can you see that little hook in the ceiling by the big window? Yeah, they were all over the house too.

In every room…

Some of the rooms had several.

Not a huge deal but they were unsightly, in my eyes anyway, and kind of a pain to fix. (Clearly they were a huge deal to me. 😉 )

The room had great bones. There’s nice crown molding and the walls were freshly painted before the previous owners put the house on the market. It was in decent shape, but it needed a bit of updating and a new coat of paint (something other than yellow).

The first thing I did was to fix and paint the walls. Our house is 70 years old with plaster walls which means that every time you want to hang something, or remove it, you end up with a pretty big, nasty hole. Once the holes were fixed, I moved on to paint. I used Benjamin Moore Paper White, which is a very pale gray.

Small dining area makeover | Chatfield Court

All of the walls in the house are smooth except for the ones around the fireplace. Not sure why they used these textured wall boards but someone thought they were a good idea. I’m not a fan and, besides my major dislike, they are tough to paint. I’m so glad they didn’t use it throughout the whole house.

Small dining area makeover | Chatfield Court

I didn’t have a huge block of time to paint the whole room (dining and kitchen) at once so I did one wall at a time. We also worked on electrical outlets and light switches when we did each wall. With this old house came some pretty grungy looking switches. They were dirty and painted over in the whole house so, as we do a room, they also get changed (and checked to make sure they are safe).

Another fix was the old door bell box. It was a real eyesore. We haven’t been able to get the old door bell to work since we moved in so we ended up buying a wireless one. The old box was still attached in the dining area so I removed it, fixed the giant-sized holes, and painted the wall. It’s so nice to sit down to eat and not look up at that old, ugly box.

Small dining area makeover | Chatfield Court

Another change we made to the room was the hanging light fixture. The one that we adopted when we moved in was ok but not my style. It was also barely hanging on so this was a project we tackled right after we moved in.

I found this beauty in a little boutique on a trip to the coast. The hubs wasn’t sold on it but I loved it right away. In my book, that usually means it’s the right choice. The reclaimed barn wood shelves on the far wall are a new addition to this room too. I shared all the details about how we made them, and what was there before in another post.

Once the walls were painted, I moved to the old casement windows. I just recently finished painting them black and I love them! You can check out the before and after, here.

The dirty, old blinds were also replaced with a gorgeous woven shade. It doesn’t block the view or the light but it does add texture and warmth to the window.

The vintage dresser turned storage cabinet stayed in it’s original spot and I hung my tobacco basket back up. I did get 2 new lamps and added this old wooden bowl that I found at a thrift store.

Awesome small dining area decor ideas! Turning a boring space into a welcoming dining room with paint and rustic farmhouse touches. | Chatfield Court

Awesome dining area decor ideas! Turning a boring space into a welcoming dining room with paint and rustic farmhouse touches. | Chatfield Court

A recent addition to this space is the pedestal dining table. I had a solid oak table in here, that I’ve had for years, and I was just getting ready to refinish it when I found this one for $50. It’s a vintage solid teak table that was brought over from Indonesia with the woman who owned it. It has a some issues but the wood is gorgeous and it really is a better fit. The chairs seem a bit big compared to the table so they may get changed down the road, but they’re ok for right now.

Awesome small dining area decor ideas! Turning a small, boring space into a welcoming dining room with paint, new lighting and rustic farmhouse touches. | Chatfield Court

This corner of the room has stayed the same since we moved in. I putz around with the decor on the buffet a lot and I’ve been having fun changing the chalkboard art. Don’t worry, I am under no illusions that I am a great artist. 😉

Awesome small dining area decor ideas! Turning a small, boring space into a welcoming dining room with paint and rustic farmhouse touches. | Chatfield Court

I think we’ve covered every inch of the dining room. It feels good to finally have a space done. There’s still a few things I need to address, like the chairs and fixing the table, but I love this space and I’m thrilled with the way it turned out.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a great week!

Dining Room Sources

(Affiliate links used. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Please see my Privacy Policy for more info.)

  • White cabinet – bought from local seller in Illinois; painted with BM White Dove
  • Wooden lamps – Pier 1 (affiliate link) no longer on their website
  • Wooden bowl – thrift store
  • Ironstone pitcher – Etsy
  • Tobacco basket – antique/flea market
  • White and black striped pillow cover – Etsy
  • Small wooden stool with dipped legs – Serena and Lily (affiliate link)
  • 2 tiered tray – World Market (affiliate link)
  • Bar stools – Target (affiliate link)
  • Pedestal dining table – bought from local online seller
  • Pendant light – boutique in North Carolina
  • Round jute rug – Overstock (affiliate link)
  • Dining chairs – Pottery Barn (years ago)
  • Dried seed pod – Terrain (affiliate link)
  • Chalkboard – DIY by me (made from old dresser mirror)
  • Large glass jar – Ballard Designs
  • Wooden buffet – bought years ago from furniture store in Georgia
  • Fiddle leaf fig – Home Depot
  • Woven shades – Blinds.com

Check out a few DIY projects from this space…

Turn a beautiful vintage mirror into a cool kitchen chalkboard with paint. Love this DIY! | Chatfield CourtVintage Mirror to Kitchen Chalkboard

Painted black window frames in the kitchen | Chatfield Court

Painted Black Window Frames

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  1. Monday,March 27, 2017 / 6:52 am

    You have done a wonderful job. It all looks beautiful!

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,March 28, 2017 / 4:16 am

      Thanks so much JoAnne, I appreciate it! 🙂

  2. Monday,March 27, 2017 / 6:58 am

    The room looks great! I love the light fixture and that table is fabulous. Good buys!

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,March 28, 2017 / 4:17 am

      Thanks so much Kim. I think I definitely lucked out with the table.

  3. Marjorie
    Monday,March 27, 2017 / 7:22 am

    What a transformation you have made. The whole room looks lovely.

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,March 28, 2017 / 4:18 am

      Thanks Marjorie. It feels great to have a space completed. 🙂

  4. Jacky
    Monday,March 27, 2017 / 7:58 am

    Gorgeous. Love every detail. Jacky

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,March 28, 2017 / 5:12 am

      Awww, thanks so much Jacky, I appreciate it. 🙂

  5. Sue Kistler
    Monday,March 27, 2017 / 9:52 am

    Your dining room is lovely- I especially like the chalkboard- so creative! Two quick questions- where did you get your woven blinds? and the small fiddle leaf tree? I have a sunroom with similar blinds but bought them years ago from Linens and things which is no longer in business. Have had trouble finding more for another room. Thanks in advance!

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,March 28, 2017 / 5:17 am

      Thanks Sue! The chalkboard is one of my favorite DIYs.

      I got my fiddle leaf fig, Leo, from Home Depot. Ordered it online and he arrived all boxed up, not a leaf out of place. 😉 As for the blinds, I ordered mine from Blinds.com. I bought from them when we lived in our last home too. Love the quality and the prices are reasonable. Hope that helps.

  6. Colette
    Monday,March 27, 2017 / 10:05 am

    Beautiful transformation. I love your lamps! I wish Pier 1 still carried them.

    • Kristi
      Tuesday,March 28, 2017 / 5:18 am

      Thanks Colette. I just bought my lamps so I was surprised to see that they were gone. Maybe they have them in-store. 🙂

  7. Pat M
    Monday,March 27, 2017 / 10:34 am

    I love everything you’ve done in your dining room. It is so cozy, welcoming and perfect for your cottage. You should be so proud of what you’ve accomplished. You are obviously a great small space designer and many of us very much need your inspiration for our own small spaces.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,March 30, 2017 / 3:08 am

      Awww, thanks so much for your sweet comment Pat. It truly made my day. I love what I do but I really love knowing that some of my ideas inspire others.

      Without all of you who come back to read and comment on every post, Chatfield Court would be nothing. 🙂

  8. Debbie H
    Monday,March 27, 2017 / 10:47 am

    Great find on the dining table. I love the look of teak wood. I love the white cabinet and was going to ask where you purchased it until the end of the article. 🙁 So sad I cant buy one in a store. I have a solid maple dining room set from 1948. I keep debating on whether to sell it or keep it since I never use it for dining. I love running my hand over the beautiful wood and the china gives a lot of storage area so I am struggling with what to do. Love your dining room. So fresh and homey. Have a great week my friend.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,March 30, 2017 / 3:13 am

      Thanks Debbie. I knew when I saw it online it was a steal and that I would have it. Of course I didn’t tell the hubs that. 😉

      I know what you mean about having a beautiful dining room set. I’ve had a few and was on the fence too but I don’t want to clean something all the time, especially if we don’t use it, so that won out. Maybe if you sold it and started fresh, you may find the perfect pieces to replace them or you may be inspired to use your room in a different way.

      Thanks for stopping in. Hope the rest of your week is great!

  9. Monday,March 27, 2017 / 11:11 am

    It’s beautiful and painting the windows really made a huge difference! love it all!

    • Kristi
      Thursday,March 30, 2017 / 3:14 am

      Thank you Vel! I’m really thrilled with the way the windows turned out.

  10. Monday,March 27, 2017 / 11:27 am

    Kristi, what a great job you have done in this room! Every touch has your personal stamp on it, and it is a warm, inviting space to enjoy a meal with friends and family. The woven shades look great with all the wood tones, and balance out the whites and soft gray. I’ve ordered some for my dining room, and they are due to arrive tomorrow. I have similar colors in my dining room, and can’t wait for them to get here! Thank you for sharing your home with your readers.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,March 30, 2017 / 3:23 am

      Thanks so much for your sweet comment Sharon! I love the woven shades. They add so much warmth and texture to the room. It was the very first thing we did when we moved in. Enjoy your new blinds. I’m sure you will love them. 🙂

  11. Melanie
    Monday,March 27, 2017 / 5:02 pm

    Very pretty! I love everything!

    • Kristi
      Thursday,March 30, 2017 / 3:21 am

      Thanks so much Melanie, I appreciate it.

  12. jillian
    Monday,March 27, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    Everything is really pretty, I like your chalkboard art! If i were to do anything differently I might use a bigger rug in a rectangle it would tie all the pieces together, (sorry, retired opinionated designer)

    • Kristi
      Thursday,March 30, 2017 / 3:18 am

      Thanks so much Jillian. I appreciate the suggestion but a bigger rug won’t work, we tried it already. The room is small and tight. You have to walk through to get to the kitchen and a rug would be a trip hazard, plus it would interfere with the bar. I don’t think the size of the space translated in the photo. I do think something is off, not sure if it’s the chairs or rug but I’m experimenting.

  13. Monday,March 27, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    You are an amazingly talented decorator, Kristi. I love it all.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,March 30, 2017 / 3:19 am

      Thanks so much my friend. I always appreciate your support. 🙂

  14. Brenda, Florida
    Monday,March 27, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    Kristie! I love it! It all came together nicely, you are a very talented lady.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,March 30, 2017 / 3:20 am

      Awww, thank you Brenda! I love the space and we’re thrilled with the way it turned out. 🙂

  15. Marijean Jenson
    Tuesday,March 28, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    Looks awesome ! You did a great job. Did your dining chairs come with the slipcovers ? I’m looking for some like that.

    • Kristi
      Thursday,March 30, 2017 / 3:26 am

      Thanks so much, I appreciate it. The chairs didn’t come with the covers, they were sold separately. I love my chairs but I think it’s time to pass them on to someone else. I’m ready for a change. Hope you find what you’re looking for.

  16. Anita
    Saturday,February 24, 2018 / 9:52 pm

    I just found your blog just a few days ago so I’m really interested in seeing your finished entire home! 🙂 What you did in the dining room is great as well as the powder room.

    • Kristi
      Monday,February 26, 2018 / 6:17 am

      Hi Anita and welcome! So glad you found us! Thanks for stopping in to take a look around. 🙂

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