before & after: matthew’s dining room

this before & after comes from interior designer matthew lanphier in los angeles. he worked on this budget dining room makeover in chicago, focusing on keeping things as affordable as possible. matthew removed the wallpaper, repainted the walls, reupholstered chairs in sunbrella fabric (to prevent fading from the sunny windows), and then redid the chairs by sanding and spray painting them (professional refinishing wasn’t in the budget). matthew calls the new look “tailored, yet whimsical” and i love the way everything feels clean, fresh and modern. great work, matthew!

[have a before & after you’d like to share on d*s? click here to shoot me an email with your images!]



I love how the chairs turned out! The white is awesome. The addition of the mirrors opens up the room tremendously – it’s a totally different space now. Plus, ripping up the carpet helped a ton too. Did he put tiles in the middle or were those original?


So cool! I didn’t even realize it was the same dining set until I went back and read the text. Great makeover.


the chairs look really great. well done.

but i have the same question as donkee, whats on the floor? looks like tiles in the middle of hardwoods….?


I want to do the same thing with a light fixture above our dining table! How did he get the shade over it? I know he took the glass shade off, but all the shades I find have wire on the top to sit on the lamp. Love the chairs too! Great idea!

Susan Gist Taylor

Holy Cow! from a craptastic 70’s nightmare to a cool collected totally zen space. WELL DONE!


Beautiful! So tranquil! Now the conversation can take the spotlight instead of the overly-loud room! The de-cluttering helped a lot, too. Those might even be re-purposed closet door mirror, yes? Just a lovely, lovely transformation! Thank you for sharing!


drastic change without drastic measures. it’s so nice that you even used the same potted plant but it seems so different. i agree with the comment about the smart white tips on the chairs.

what is the wall color?


The plant on the table in the black pot (sago palm) is poisonous to pets and can be fatal if ingested by a cat or dog. There might not be any pets living there I just wanted to say something just in case.

I never thought of using outdoor fabric on chairs in rooms that get a lot of light – very smart! I also love that little bit of paint on the chair backs and arms, it gives them a whole new look.


Wow! I really dig on Matthew’s aesthetic. Looking at the interiors on his website – this is one pretty talented man. His attention to detail and ability to pull things together are stunning. Matthew if you ever get the itch to do a budget job in the Pacific Northwest please look me up!


Great redo of the dining room….where did you source the floor mirrors??


I was about to have a heart attacke when I read the words “chairs” & “spray painting” in the same sentence – but that looks totally amazing!


Omg…that dining rooms looks amazing!! Looks like the perfect space for a nice relaxing meal. Excellent work!


This is the reason I faithfully visit Design Sponge today. This is such a great Before & After. Love to see transformation like this – so inspiring!!!

judith b.

Now THAT is a makeover! Matthew is a genius…those drop-dead gorgeous chairs, wow.


Does anybody know the best way to remove wallpaper that has been up for 20+ years? It’s taking our walls down with it!


Wow. I can’t imagine a better transformation than this one. Those mirrors do so much too. Great addition.


Great make-over. Like Peggy above said: The decluttering already is a great improvment And with the other choices and solutions I think the result is simple yet chic.


WOW! Fantastic! It looks like he put down the hardwood? I see carpet in the original. Or was there wood under the carpet?

James Gross

This is a terrific before and after. Great use of color, composition, and imagination. The room is far less cluttered and the china cabinet is now a wonderful focal point and gets the attention it deserves. The chairs are really terrific.

Mary @ StyleFyles

wow, that is a GREAT redo…I am loving that wall color, and the square lines created by the mirrors and white trim (on walls and chairs) really works.


i’m with jessica above and thought “uh-oh” when i read “painting the chairs.” but holy smokes – well done.


I wonder where he found the mirrors. I’m looking for some of a similar size and everything I’ve found is really expensive.

Jesse Lu

Wow this is snazzy! I love that you can see the transformation of the main furniture so well- the redone chairs and the original cabinet and table. Bravo!


i grew up with those chairs (from the 60s, not the 70s) and my parents still use them. they have very comfy backs.

Heather S.

This is awesome. Can’t believe that room went from country to chic with such little changes…LOVE it!


I love this dining room!! May I ask what paint you used on the walls? I’m looking for that exact color for my bedroom!


That pop of white on the chairs is slick! I am going to have to find somewhere I can do that in my apartment!

Elie's Papel

This is what I call a real makeover. The end result is fantastic and is modern but not cold…Also, I love the fact that all the furniture was reused which is a very environmetal thing to do… Congrats!!!

Elie's Papel

This is what I call a real makeover. The end result is fantastic and is modern but not cold…Also, I love the fact that all the furniture was reused which is a very environmental thing to do… Congrats!!!


Luscious! What an amazingly gifted designer. I’m over the moon just looking at his website. Thanks for sharing!


No one would know it was the same room and furniture. Mr Lanphier is SERIOUSLY talented and inspirational. Great job and thanks for sharing – this is what d*s is all about for me!


that before picture~ wowzers. hehe. awesome job with that! i love the paint color, and lamp shade/ chandelier <3


that before picture~ wowzers. hehe. awesome job with that! i love the paint color, and lamp shade/ chandelier .


Amazing makeover… I love the after color and the way he re-used the existing elements. That said, as much as I *don’t* like the before, presumably it reflected the tastes of the folks living there? I wonder if they’ve experienced a complete personality change! ;)


The wall color is amazing. I rarely see that color in a dining room, but it looks so fresh here!

Natacha Watson

Wow! I love the chairs! I’m currently thinking about redoing my living-room and I was looking for ideas to replace my chairs. This is perfect! I’m not very fond of the rest of the living-room though. I’ve found some great ideas on this website: