Plans for a Dining Room Refresh

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Earlier in the year when I added new drapes to our living room and kitchen nook I knew I would eventually want to add them to our dining room as well. That got me wanting to finally address some things I’ve haven’t been loving about our dining room. It doesn’t need a big dramatic makeover, just a couple of swaps to update it a bit. I think that’s an important thing to remember when you find yourself not loving a space in your home. Instead of trying to change everything, figure out what would make the most impactful change and then what can stay but feel fresh when paired with the updates. You’ll save yourself a lot of money that way. These are my plans for a dining room refresh.

Dining Room Currently

California casual dining room with gallery wall art

As I mentioned, there are just a couple of items in need of updating. I want to swap drapes out for the same ones in our living and kitchen, but possibly in a different color. The chandelier was brought to TX from our KS house, and after twelve years I can move on having gotten enough use out of it. Side story: I mentioned changing the chandelier out to my husband who responded, “We just got that!”

updated traditional dining room

The high-back end chairs are still nice chairs, but I’m envisioning something with a lower back. And the mirror over the piano will be replaced with something taller.

Dining Room Mood Board

  • Chandelier – I’ve had my eyes on this chandelier for several months now. I think this is a great option to bring in some modern/vintage vibes to the more traditional style of the room. Just need to reach out to the seller and find out if it can be made to hang from such a high ceiling.
  • Upholstered End Chairs – Lower profile with a curvy barrel back. The fabric has some more texture to it than our current linen chairs.
  • Side Chairs – Still love these so they stay the same. My exact chairs are from Crate & Barrel but no longer available online. I’ve linked to a very similar chair.
  • Drapes – Same drapes that I added to other parts of our home. Just not sure if I want to do the same color (Ivory White) or if I should switch that up in here.
  • Mirror – This will be taller than the current mirror. Love the thin metal frame combined with the antiquing on the mirror glass.
  • Vintage Olive Jar – I don’t think I’ve shared this find with you yet! I picked up the most amazing vintage olive jar from Round Top for a steal at $100. When I find them online the prices start at $800. I’m so happy with my purchase! It will sit next to our piano.
  • Rug – This will stay, I’m still a big fan of the color and design. P.S. the price on this rug is incredible right now!!!
  • Table – The table has been discontinued for several years from Restoration Hardware but I still love it.

Help Me Decide Drape Color

First thing to note is that these drapes aren’t an exact representation of the actual color. The photo on the left would be using the exact same color I have just put up in the living room and kitchen. The photo on the right is a taupe gray (sample leans more brown than gray in the room).

Light Drapes – I like that they blend in with the walls and repeat back to the drapes used in adjacent rooms. I think the chandelier has more contrast with this option as well. But, does it lack interest since the chairs, drapes, and skirted table under the art are all the same tone?

Darker Drapes – I love the warmer feel the darker drapes bring into the room and the contrast it gives with the upholstered end chairs. What I’m not loving is that my eyes are drawn immediately to the dark panels and not the room as a whole.

Let me know what your thoughts about the changes I’m thinking about. I’ve already ordered the mirror, so just don’t tell me that’s the part you don’t like!


  1. Pamela Avatar

    I’m the wrong person to comment but looking at the pics together I’m choosing the dark drapes. They work off the other textures and colors way better than the light. And I don’t get the everything linear feel you were concerned about. It just looks more inviting.

    1. Shelley Avatar

      The darker drapes are definitely cozy.

  2. Kaye Sandeman Avatar
    Kaye Sandeman

    Darker drapes

    1. Dawn Avatar

      I like the light curtains..seems to bring more light to the space

      1. Shelley Avatar

        That is what’s drawing me to the lighter color.

    2. Shelley Avatar

      I do love that color!

  3. Karen Avatar

    Love the dark drapes and I really love the paint!! Would you share the color?

    1. Shelley Avatar

      Thanks! It’s PPG Paints Gray Palomino

Meet Shelley

Hi, I’m Shelley! My belief is that with a little creativity and elbow grease, you can make your home look like a million bucks without spending it.

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