before and after

before & after: dining nook transformation

by Kate Pruitt

I haven’t spent time in an official dining room since I was a kid, so I’ve become fairly accustomed to living without it. However, I would love to have a dining table, and ideally, I could tuck it into a little nook for gathering and entertaining when friends come over. I love how Kelly has managed to transform her own little dining nook into a very unique and separate space, with its own cohesive color story and style. The graphic brown rug and neon orange mirror really add a bold, chic punch to the intimate setting, and I really appreciate the successful combination of varying furniture styles. Great work, Kelly! — Kate

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Time: Although this renovation could be done in one weekend if resources allowed, we bought the new items over the course of a few months. It was easier on our bank account and gave me time to make inspiration boards and shop around for good prices. For example, I had originally wanted this certain Madeline Weinrib rug, but just could not justify spending that much on a rug with a toddler running around. I ended up going with this similar but much more affordable design from West Elm.

Cost: About $500 (IKEA Bjursta dining table, $199; Flea market mirror, $20; Orange paint, $12; Chairs (knockoffs) $260 for 4)

Basic Steps: I relied on inspiration boards to achieve the look, starting with Pinterest, and then moving on to a real board. It’s interesting to see that you really do have a certain style when it’s all laid out in front of you. We love our vintage secretary desk, so that stayed, and we decorated around it.

It’s easy to get impatient when you want to redecorate a room, especially if it’s just a matter of replacing old things with new ones. But take the time you need to really curate what goes into the room and to tackle any DIY projects you may have. It may take a little longer, but you will love everything in the room, and you won’t find yourself repurchasing something because you found a “better” one — a mistake I’ve made often! — Kelly

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  • This is lovely! In my small space I went with a kitchen island, foregoing a proper dining area. I don’t regret all the storage I have but a part of me yearns for a pretty and comfy dining nook like this. I love the orange pop with the brown color theme. The advice about being patient so you don’t end up buying one you like better later on? Good advice…now if I can only remember to follow it!

  • While this may not be my personal style, I would LOVE to hang out here and share a bottle of wine with a friend. It looks fresh, original and so comfortable. A happy place to be and it all works together.
    A complete success…

  • Love it! Having lived in big cities for a while now, I love seeing how people reinvent dining spaces. Where are the chairs from though – they’re really cute!

  • Love the chairs! They look like they would work really well with kids too. Could you let me know where you found them? Thanks!

  • Maggie – I will have to check on that paint! Not sure if I still have the paint chip.

    Tamar & Sarah – The chairs are from Amazon. A company called Baxton Studio does affordable knock offs, and with an 18 month old running around with crayons in her hand, I am 100% a-okay with knock offs!

    Allie – The high chair is like the cheapest ($20!) Cosco brand high chair from Babies R Us. I’ve found that a lot of the more inexpensive brands are starting to do more “designy” prints and colors.

  • Gorgeous makeover, and great advice too! I have to remind myself to be patient with redecorating so I don’t overspend on something or fail to find the right piece for the space.

  • Kelly, great advice about curating a room. I feel like I’m so impatient to make the vision in my head a reality, but the joy isn’t in the finished room (at least not the really exciting parts) it’s in brining it all together by finding/DIYing perfect pieces within your budget.

    Love the room its a complete success!

  • I love it. Just a few little touches make the room shine so much. We have a desk in our dining area, along with the table and it is my favorite part of the house. I think your orange mirror would be a great solution for my overly blank living room. It pops so nicely.

  • Turned out very cute! I love the repaint of the mirror (and it reminds me that I have a mirror I need to do in the back of my husband’s truck…)!

  • I have those chairs and LOVE them. Even though I’m in a small space, I have a very large dining room table and 6 chairs just waiting for a pretty house to put them in :)

  • So glad you kept the curtains… studied the before before I scrolled down and I thought, hmm, nice curtains and hutch! ;) Nice job!! Love the orange mirror.

  • Love the change over!…totally worth waiting for! :) I also have chairs from Baxton Studio. I have the ones with metal Eiffel legs. I want to put them side by side as you did…what size Ikea Bjursta dining table did you end up getting? Also love the rug and curtains, it all looks like a wonderful home to be eating in!

  • Its very nice but apart from the addition of the orange mirror and the new rug it looks exactly the same to me.

  • Your daughter is lucky to be born into such a pretty environment! The space looks really comfortable and cheerful, and I bet her earliest memories will be very happy ones.

  • Cool! I love how your dining area transformed from lifeless to lively. Adding the mirror into your dining area makes it look spacious. Also adding some finishing touches (centerpiece and more chairs) makes dining inviting. Good job!