The plan…

Dining room makeover - the plan

UPDATE: Click here to see the “after” photos.

Wow. I should ask for reader input more often. You gals shared some great ideas! I didn’t think it was possible, but you changed my mind about some of my original ideas for this dining room makeover sponsored by American Express. After careful consideration, I chose products to buy with my Membership Rewards points, and I made a sketch of my plans—many of them inspired by you.

It’s amazing what you can buy with American Express Membership Rewards points. It was a difficult choice with so many great options. In the end, I chose items that I most needed for entertaining: tableware, table linens, and somewhere to store it all. After all, Membership Rewards points are intended as a social currency that helps bring people together.

I’m most excited about the china cabinet: a purchased buffet and custom hutch built to match my armoire and bookshelf (on the same wall). I’m trading my old blue and white dishes for all white dinnerware. That way, I can decorate my tabletop for any season with any color.

Makeover fabrics

These are some of the fabrics I’m planning to use. I’m keeping some navy blue (to coordinate with my kitchen), but I’m adding taupe, yellow, and gold as inspired by this vintage Waverly fabric a friend gave me. That white cotton tassel is from The Bargain Home Shop on eBay. And the embroidered yellow trim was picked up at Fabmo last month.

Here are some of your fabulous suggestions and my reasoning for and against choosing them in the end:

1. Breakfast nook/benches
Suggested by: TiffanyM, Diny, Trinity, Anna, Susie, Liz, Terri P., Eveline Sterling, Carrie, Anna, Christina
I loved the idea, but a breakfast nook wasn’t practical for my space for a few reasons: 1) As a renter, built-ins are out, 2) I might be moving soon, so custom seating built for this space would be a waste, and 3) Benches are darn cute, but they aren’t that comfortable.

2. Lighter curtains
Suggested by: Jessica Y, Mallory, Christine, Valerie
Good call. I was going to revamp my old navy blue curtains, but per your suggestions, I’m going with light taupe curtains instead.

3. Big art
Suggested by: Melissa, Steph
I’m with you ladies on the big, bold wall art idea. So, I’m going to try my hand at a large, bright, floral painting. On plywood. Having never taken a painting class, an actual artist canvas intimidates me. I aspire to an original David Bromstad, but it will probably end up looking like a finger painting. We’ll see.

4. Chalkboard paint
Suggested by: Jesica, Stephanie, Heather, Terri P., Eveline Sterling, Carrie
I have to admit, the huge popularity of chalkboard paint in a kitchen baffles me. Although it’s great in theory, the reality leaves me flat. Growing up, we had a giant chalkboard in our family room. My brothers and sisters and I loved drawing on it. But, there was always chalk dust EVERYWHERE. It got so you could taste chalk in the air. I can’t imagine why you would want chalk dust in the room where you eat.

old chandelier - before

5. Chandelier
Suggested by: Allison, Elenalee, Jen R
A chandelier is always a good idea. And it’s about time I put this old chandelier that I bought at a salvage yard years ago to use. I’m spray painting it white, of course.

6. Paint the table
Suggested by: Austina, Joyce, Valerie
I was planning to be lazy and leave the table as is. But you are right. White is what I wanted in the first place, so I might as well bite the bullet and do the work. A white table to match the chairs it is. I toyed with the idea of baby blue, but a colored table limits tabletop decorating possibilities.

7. Clear out kitchen stuff!
Suggested by: Joyce, Nelle, Carrie, Jessi
Here, here. My kitchen was definitely encroaching on my dining room. I took your advice and ditched the kitchen cart and hanging baskets. I moved the microwave to the kitchen counter and the recycle bin to under the sink. Less is more.

8. Floor to ceiling curtains
Suggested by: Melissa, Marie P, Valerie, Jessie, Christina
Wish I could. That same white wooden cornice is used on every window in the apartment, and I’m not allowed to remove or raise them.

9. Paint/wallpaper
Suggested by: Diny, Austina, Susie, Valerie, Anna
Once again, wish I could. Unfortunately, getting my landlord to agree to new paint in my craft room was a fluke. I can’t hope to convince him twice to let me paint, let alone wallpaper.

Ok, so now you know the plan. My brother Troy and I are working like busy little bees to get this done before I have to pack up for girls camp. So far, everything but some backordered dishes is on track. Watch for the reveal next week!

…And the winners

Better Homes and Gardens gave me five 1-year subscription giveaways of Better Homes and Gardens magazine for my readers. Thank you to all of you who commented on the previous post. I chose five of you at random to win a BHG subscription. This time, my random number generator was my brother, Troy. He chose numbers 5, 13, 14, 26, and 30. So the winners are Diny, Jen R, Trinity, Valerie, and Ann Rishell. Congratulations! I’ve notified the winners via email. All of you still have a chance to win the $100 Home Depot gift card from American Express. For another chance to win, like Crafty Nest on Facebook and leave a comment here telling me so. Thanks!


This post is sponsored by American Express. I received compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own.