Dining Room Makeover Reveal

August 16, 2016

dining room makeover

We moved into our new home at the beginning of the summer, and started our first home project a few weeks later. It would seem we are chaos addicts. This dining room makeover however was something I was so looking forward to because it was a Trading Spaces challenge with my dear friend Lesley Graham. I got to help tackle her living room space, and she helped me dream up our dining area which basically meant I didn’t have to make all the decisions for my own home! (This was wonderfully refreshing.) Not only that, I got to partner with Home Decorators Collection to make it happen. This made the choices we faced a little easier considering all the great pieces we found were in one place.

dining room before
dining room reveal

For this challenge, Lesley and I picked out our main pieces for our own spaces to get the style vibe established, and then we helped each other build up the rooms from there. We had so much natural light to work with in our dining area, that we wanted to play off as much of that as possible.


before and after dining room reveal

A few main things we hoped to accomplish in the space:

  • A Spanish European feel (which will be the main theme throughout the home).
  • A welcoming atmosphere for large crowds. (I come from a big family, and also love an excuse to host a meal for friends.)
  • A little modern, and family friendly. (ie: Furniture that would survive long term for an active family of little ones.)

I chose the Highland Dining Table, Garden Side Chairs, and Oxford Buffet as the staple pieces to the room, and Lesley helped me continue the style through to the last detail. We swapped secret pinterest boards, texted almost every day (necessary of course), and made style boards to make sure our selections for each other’s rooms were aligning to our visions before any final orders were made.

DIY industrial lighting

buffet table coffee station
european dining room 

Additional Elements:

Aged Walls – We enlisted the help of finishing artist Emily Harris to come in and establish the aged European walls that you see surrounding our dining room. She has this fascinating process of using real brick and mortar layered into the walls, and we worked with the paint color “Dove” by HDC for Behr Collection to integrate the tones and colors we were aiming for. Needless to say, she nailed it down to the detail, and I just about cried when I saw the completed walls. See more of her incredible work here.

DIY Industrial Hanging Pendants – Lesley found just the right hanging pendants. Since our ceiling is so high, and the table was long, we pulled Gabe in to help create a fixture that worked both functionally and aesthetically with the space. He used two hanging pendants, piping, and a little wire splicing to make this Industrial light fixture happen. Turns out to be one of my favorite elements of the room.  

Final Details: After the main pieces and walls were finished, all the final details could be added. Lesley knew I loved greenery, so that was a good portion of the pieces. Here is a list of other items she worked in:

Delray Palm Tree
Candle Holders
Lazy Susan
Faux Wood Blinds
Seascape Rug
Pendant lights 

Buffet Table:
Faux Fiddle Leaf Tree
Rubber Plant
Marble Bowls
Lidded Pineapple
Vintage Teapot, coffee pot, and planters
Copper Cabinet Baskets

dining area
distressed walls


Since our main dining area is off of the kitchen, this was the first room we wanted to finish up because it is the center of so much of our time together as a family. We already had Rocco’s first birthday celebration in this space, and look forward to many brunches with friends and sunday suppers with family. All the natural light draws you in and makes you want to pull up a chair. Gabe and I both keep saying we cannot believe this is our space! So thankful to my friend Lesley Graham for style swapping with me, and to Home Decorators Collection for working with us on this project. This got my appetite going for the next room, and so I am working on a few as we speak thanks to the wonderful world of nesting energy!

I am going to try and do some live tours of the space if you want to come join me on facebook or snapchat (username: annaliesemeyer). If I can’t welcome you in real life to my front door, might as well try to at least virtually welcome you in! 😉

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