From Country To Contemporary Dining Room Makeover

From Country To Contemporary {Dining Room Makeover} |
From Country To Contemporary – Dining Room Makeover

What I call the dining room is actually an open concept area between the kitchen and the sliding glass doors that go out to the back deck. When I first moved into my house, the dining room furniture that I had was all pine, and was perfect for a country dining room.

Over the years, my taste has changed and I don’t really have country decor any more, so I finally decided to re-do the dining room. Click Next to get all the details about my from country to contemporary dining room makeover.

Want to know what happened to the mirror? Check out our stairway makeover to see where it ended up.

The “Before”

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From Country To Contemporary {Dining Room Makeover} |
The Original Pine Dining Room

The original dining room had a lot of pine furniture–a pine dining room, pine chairs, pine china cabinet, an old church window made into a mirror and an antique pine wash stand. Blue and white stripes, a blue and white rug and a true candelabra chandelier finished the room.

Functionally, the main issues that I had with this room were:

  • I needed more storage for china
  • There was not enough “countertop” area for buffet service at parties
  • The lighting was hard to control
  • I didn’t have enough storage for my wine glass collection in the hutch (and I really wanted a wine fridge to keep the vino cold)
  • I needed more seating for dinner parties
  • The area rug was too small

From the style point of view, I wanted something that was a little more moody and dramatic, as well as a more contemporary style. And I always like a little sparkle 🙂

Step 1: Paint the Walls a Moody Blue Color

From Country To Contemporary {Dining Room Makeover} |
Farrow and Ball Pitch Blue paint

I used Farrow and Ball Pitch Blue in a high gloss to create a moody color on the wall.

Step 2: Replace the Patterned Sheers With White Velvet Curtains

White velvet curtains
White velvet curtains

The off-white curtains provide some contrast with the moody blue paint

Step 3: Install a Wine Fridge

From Country To Contemporary {Dining Room Makeover} |
Dining Room Wine Cabinet

As a splurge, I bought a wine cabinet that has a wine fridge on the bottom and wine glass storage on the top. This gives me the added storage that I wanted, and keeps my wine cool!

Step 4: Create a Dramatic Backdrop

From Country To Contemporary {Dining Room Makeover} |
Dining Room Upholstered Backdrop

The backdrop in the dining room is similar to an upholstered headboard. I created it by building a 6′ wide X 8′ high frame out of 2×4’s. Then I attached pegboard to the front of the frame. Next I laid on a piece of 2″ thick upholstery foam and covered it with a piece of velvet flocked fabric which I stapled to the 2 x 4 frame. Last, I added the faux-crystal buttons using the holes in the pegboard to make sure they were evenly spaced.

To attach the buttons: Thread the needle with upholstery thread, attach a spare button to the thread ends making sure the length of the doubled thread was at least a foot long. Then put the needle through the pegboard hole and pulled it out the other side (the spare button should be big enough to stop the thread from pulling all the way through the hole). Put the needle through the hole at the back of the faux crystal button and pull tight while pushing the button into the foam. Wrap the string around the base of the button and tie a knot. Repeat the wrapping and knot-tying exercise 3 or 4 times to make sure it stays.

Dining Room Backdrop
Dining Room Backdrop

Step 5: Upcycle the China Cabinet

From Country To Contemporary {Dining Room Makeover} |
The China Hutch Upcycle in the New Dining Room

I separated the lower and upper sections of the china cabinet to create a corner piece on the end of the kitchen cabinets. Then I painted them to match.

The paint color looks black but is actually a very dark navy blue. It was bought from a Home Hardware store in Canada, and unfortunately the paint can does not have the color name listed on it, but it is quite similar to Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue. I used Trim & Door paint in a semi-gloss finish.

Step 6: Upgrade the Dining Table

From Country To Contemporary {Dining Room Makeover} |
World Market Dining Table and benches

I bought a new table from World Market that has a self-extending leaf. It expands to fit up to 10 people (check off the “seat more people” requirement).

Instead of going with standard dining chairs, I used benches…you can squish more people in if absolutely necessary! (And it’s more economical than buying new chairs). You can find the bench on the left HERE…the one on the right came from my living room 🙂 I will probably replace it eventually with one that matches, but it works for now!

Step 7: Upgrade the Lighting

From Country To Contemporary {Dining Room Makeover} |
New Dining Room Contemporary Chandelier

The candelabra chandelier was replaced with a contemporary chandelier on a dimmer. It provides a lot (or a little) light depending on what you need at the time.

New wall sconces in the dining room
New wall sconces in the dining room

I also added sconces…which was made much easier with my upholstered backdrop since I didn’t have to cut holes in the drywall and hard-wire them into the electrical system. Since they were intended to be hard-wired light fixtures, I converted them into plug-in lamps by wiring them to an electric cord with a plug. Then plugged them into an extension cord that has a dimmer on it. The cord runs behind the backdrop so you don’t see it (which is great!) I drilled a little hole in the side of the backdrop frame which the extension cord’s dimmer switch comes out of, and it’s the only part of the electrical wire you can see.

The dimmer switch for the sconces
The dimmer switch for the sconces

Step 8: Replace the Area Rug

From Country To Contemporary {Dining Room Makeover} |
Dining Room Area Rug

This area rug is bigger so that it fits the table and benches more comfortably. It is also a wool sisal rug, which isn’t really dramatic, but is very durable…a necessity for a rug that the dog runs over every time he comes in from outside! And in my case, this rug used to be in my living room…so I didn’t have to purchase anything new (I’m not sure if they still carry them, but it originally came from West Elm).

Step 9: Add a Buffet

From Country To Contemporary {Dining Room Makeover} |
New Dining Room Buffet

Splurge number 2 for this dining room was a new buffet purchase. It is gold-painted and mirrored…which satisfies my need for sparkle! And it provides lots of storage as well as acts as a countertop when buffet service is required (Check and check…2 more items off my “requirements list”).

The End Result

From Country To Contemporary {Dining Room Makeover} |
New Dining Room

After all the changes, the final product fits my style and functionality requirements perfectly!

From Country To Contemporary {Dining Room Makeover} |
New Dining Room Makeover

I love the new contemporary feel!

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This post was originally published on August 18, 2015 but was updated with new content on June 29, 2023.

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    1. Thanks! I like it, too 🙂