Dining room makeover - the table

Dining room makeover

American Express asked me to make over a social space using merchandise available through Membership Rewards points. I chose to make over my dining room. Deciding what to buy with 150,000 Membership Rewards points and dozens of fabulous merchants to choose from was a challenge. But I persevered!

Ok, so what are Membership Rewards? You earn points through everyday AmEx card purchases like gas, groceries, and phone bills and redeem them for things you need or want — it’s a world of possibilities, and the choice is yours.

AmEx has a Facebook page, where Cardmembers can share stories about what they bought with their Membership Rewards points. While you’re there, enter the Million Points a Day Giveaway (through the end of June)!

Now that I’m back from girls camp and all my dishes have arrived, my dining room is ready for the reveal. Because this is a social space makeover, I chose what I most needed for entertaining: tableware, table linens, and somewhere to store it all.

With my AmEx Membership Rewards points I bought: Oneida “Shaker” flatware, white Fiesta dishes, rattan placemats, yellow napkins, whitewashed wooden stands, drawer pulls, and Martha Stewart taupe curtains.

More photos after the jump!

I took your advice, and got rid of the kitchen stuff. Gone is the kitchen cart and hanging baskets. I moved the spice rack to the wall, the microwave to the counter, and the cobalt bottles to the smaller kitchen window. Now the dining table isn’t shoved up against the wall, and the chandelier with SYLVANIA LED light bulbs is centered above it.

I also replaced the dark navy curtains with light taupe ones and tied them back with white cotton tassels. Remember the thrift store plate mirrors I made? Well, I had a few of those artichoke plates left over, so I hung them above the window.

Dining room makeover - after

Dining room makeover

To make the custom china hutch, I bought (with my AmEx points) wood, paint, a Porter-Cable sander, a Ryobi router and table, a Wagner paint sprayer, and a Kreg Jig. The power tools were gifts for my brother, Troy, who used them to build the china hutch for me.

The dining room floor is still problematic. Aged linoleum isn’t my thing. But it’s a rental, so I can live with it for now. Hopefully, I won’t have to live with it for long. I’m house hunting.

Oh yeah, I promised a bright, bold painting. That didn’t happen. I ran out of time (thanks to girls camp), so I put the window mirror in its place. I like how the mirror reflects light and brightens the space so much that I’m rethinking the painting idea. Don’t worry, the painting will happen. I’m thinking living room instead though.

Dining room table

I finally got the white dining table I dreamed of! Do you know how hard it is to find an all-white rectangular table for a reasonable price? Impossible. So Troy removed the diamond-shaped decorations on the table legs (never liked them) and sanded/painted the table for me. It’s now smooth and gloriously shiny white. Thanks, bro. Table tutorial coming soon.

The paint color we used in the dining table and hutch is Martha Stewart’s “Talc” (MSL226). While I love the color, I don’t recommend the paint for furniture. The low VOC is nice, but it doesn’t go on as easily, and doesn’t have quite enough sheen for furniture. I’m sure it would be lovely for walls, though.

Dining room table closeup

I scored with the vintage Waverly fabric that my friend gave me. The runner I made with it coordinates well with my new rattan placemats and “dijon” napkins. Table runner tutorial coming soon. The Oneida flatware is super shiny, and I love the simple handles. And my new Fiestaware is fabulous. I can’t wait to add all the serving pieces to my collection later.

China hutch

Troy was given the Home Decorators Collection buffet, and he passed it on to me because he knows how much I love white furniture. Assembly was a bear. If you’ve ever assembled Ikea furniture, you know what I mean. It turned out beautifully, though. The knobs were missing, so I bought new knobs that matched my armoire to the right. Now they look like a set.

Believe it or not, the only new dishes in this china hutch are the whitewashed wooden stands. The rest are thrift store finds that I’ve collected over the years. It’s wonderful to finally have somewhere to store/display them. The shelf heights were specifically designed to hold the serveware I own.

Whitewashed stands

These whitewashed stands were the first items I chose for my makeover. I coordinated everything else with them. I bought paper doilies in four different sizes at a $1 store to dress up the stands and protect the naked wood.

The matching living room set

My white armoire and bookshelf are why I wanted the china hutch custom made. I now have the matching set that I dreamed of! Troy did a beautiful job matching the curved top to my bookshelf. It was a lot of work, but it was so worth it. And Troy got some new power tools out of the deal. And, yes, I have way too many books in that bookshelf. Time to give some away again. Click here to see how Troy built the hutch.

DIY vintage chandelier

The chandelier makeover was a project that waited for years for me to complete. I’m so happy that it’s finally done. Chandelier tutorial coming soon. Click here for the chandelier tutorial.

So now for the best part: the giveaway! Anyone who comments on any of my four dining room makeover posts (look for instructions on each post) is eligible to win a $100 Home Depot gift card, courtesy of American Express. One comment per post, please. The deadline is in one week—Monday, Jun 27, 2011. Good luck!


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