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Ryann’s Parents’ Budget Dining Room Makeover Update: 3 Unexpected DIYs And An Ask The Audience

Back in December, I introduced my parents’ dining room refresh, a project that started as a bonding/healing experience for my parents and I. When my brother passed away last August it was devastating, so working on a home project together felt like an uplifting distraction. I think we all know how an inviting, beautiful home can do wonders for your soul and mental health so I wanted to help my parents achieve that in their home starting with their walk-through dining room.

While this is still joint project between my parents and I, my parents deserve most (if not all) of the credit so far. I’ve learned that when you are designing a space that you aren’t living in (me) you might drag your feet with design decisions. That might make your “clients” (my parents) go ahead and make decisions without you and ask forgiveness later. I can’t blame them and to be fair, this makeover is coming along much faster than my living and dining room which took almost two years to complete. My parents are nothing if not decisive, so as a team our design process mostly looks like this: 1. my mom and I look for furniture options 2. I take too long to find something I really like 3. she finds something she likes and shows it to my dad 4. if he likes it she texts it to me 5. I tell her my opinion 6. sometimes she listens to me sometimes she doesn’t. It never surprises me when they go ahead and make a decision but more than a few times I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how good it’s all turning out. But I am getting too ahead of myself. Let’s circle back to the very beginning.

How It Started

The last time we chatted, I shared our plans to give this space a good old fashion refresh, non-renovation style. My parents want a modern farmhouse-style dining room so my dad started by building a barn house door that separates the walk-through dining room from the family room. Once the barn door was up it put the rest of design in motion. The design plan was simple: replace the dated furniture, the light fixture and style with fresh decor and art.

I knew we needed a jumping-off point so we focused on getting a new dining table first.

1. Rachael Ray Monteverdi Dining Table | 2. Farmhouse Table

This is one of those instances where I wasn’t making decisions fast enough so my mom went ahead and bought the Etsy farmhouse table. I wasn’t sure if it was the right wood tone or shape for the space but we were going to just see how it went and go from there. But as fate would have it, the table never shipped so after a couple of months my mom got a refund and looked at more options. Again, she and I looked for a table and she found this one on sale. She ordered it (she loves a good deal) and before I knew it the table arrived. Once we saw it in the space we loved it and it was clear that black dining chairs would be a perfect contrast to the light wood tone.


Many of you commented on the last post that we shouldn’t buy new chairs and instead should simply paint the existing chairs black. I admit I was skeptical and honestly wanted to skip this idea and go straight to purchasing brand new spindle back chairs. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this project so far, it’s that you might as well try the DIY first. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But if it DOES then you are likely saving money and being more sustainable. As a lot of you predicted, a little black spray paint really turned these chairs around.

They are solid chairs and it’s amazing what paint can do. The black color made them instantly more modern and the cross-back design aligns with the modern farmhouse style we are going for. So thank all of you literal geniuses for telling us to do this. Where would we be without you?? (probably $1000 poorer).

We did the same for the bar stools and they look brand new. You can purchase stools that look exactly like this for $110 each, and this easy DIY probably cost a total of $50 in spray paint. I just love it when a DIY actually pulls off.

The next DIY came out of nowhere but ended up turning out better than any of us could have expected.

My dad has had this desk in his garage for as long as I can remember. It was his dad’s desk and we don’t know how old it is or even what era it’s from, but our guess is it’s at least 100 years old. A few weeks ago my parents were going to sell it and had an interested buyer who told them she was planning on painting it and using it as a credenza. She never showed up to pick it up, so it gave us the idea to try and refinish it for the dining room.

It was originally about the same height as the table so to give it more height, my dad added two bun feet to each leg (one square and one round) which also gave the legs a more interesting shape. He then attached a piece of wood under the drawers to create a shelf and finally sanded and spray painted. Voila. This thing actually looks brand-new in person. It’s stunning.

Charcoal Spray Paint

It truly turned into a SUCH a cool piece that I am so glad we salvaged. It has a unique shape and the matte charcoal color made it feel more industrial and modern. Our only challenge now is how to style it. It’s pretty wide (about 1.5 feet) so there’s a lot of space to play with but too much decor could make it feel cluttered fast. But that’s a problem for future Ryann.

How It’s going

Dining Table | Chandelier (similar)

Here is what it looks like currently. It’s not styled out perfectly but we all LOVE how it’s turning out so far. The light wood table ended up being PERFECT and all of the black and wood finishes are complementing each other so well.

It actually looks like a brand new room which a few months ago did not feel possible at all. Now that the large furniture pieces are here, we have a solid base and just need to add color and texture with decor.

The new light fixture is from Etsy and really pulls in elements from the barn door making the space feel more cohesive. It’s industrial (which is what my parents wanted) but sometimes I wonder if it should be all black so it doesn’t match the barn door so much. But on the other hand, all black could be too heavy and darken the space. What do you think?

Pendant Lights

On the opposite side, we replaced two old fixtures with these farmhouse pendant lights. They are also industrial and dark, so to keep the space feeling bright and airy decor the plan is to keep the decor light and simple.

What’s Next?

I am still advocating for a rug here despite some protests. Even though the floor tile is looking better than ever and fits the aesthetic and color palette, a rug would help ground the space and bring in texture and color. While a rug in the dining room can be cumbersome and messy I think it’ll look too good to pass up. Here are a few options I am eyeing:

1. Modern Oushak Grey Blue Pastel Turkish Style Wool Rug | 2. Kamran Blue Quartz Rug | 3. Kathy Ireland American Manor Medallion Bordered Indoor Area Rug

If it isn’t obvious, the main color I want to insert here is a blue. I love a soft almost gray-blue so I am very attracted to all of these options. Which one would you go with?

What to do with the space above the credenza has already proved difficult to figure out. We played around with a gallery wall because the original plan was to use this space to commemorate my brother and his military achievements, but we ultimately decided this isn’t the right space for that. A gallery wall with family photos is another option but that can be tricky to execute in a modern and fresh way (but it’s definitely possible). The last option is to hang a large painting or ornate mirror which is what I am leaning most towards. Since this is already a busy corner a single piece might be the best idea to keep the space feeling as light and airy as possible.

Although we aren’t done yet, a little side-by-side is in order because the progress is already looking 1000x better than the before.

So that’s where we are now and I am practically giddy with excitement because it’s turning out better than I expected. Huge kudos to my parents (Cheryl and Kevin) for getting the job done and making decisions faster than me. Now be sure to sound off in the comments about whether we should get a rug and what you think we should do above the credenza. I’d love to hear your thoughts. xx

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1 month ago

Thank you guys for sharing this post! I love that you guys shared this progress post rather than waiting for everything to come together and be perfect before sharing it. Cos people need to know that perfection doesn’t happen overnight! And this stage of decor is so interesting to me personally because I too struggle with styling and pulling the room together so I’d be very interested to see what you guys do next! Ryann, I so totally understand what you mean by being indecisive with your design. I’ve lived in my living room for close to 2 years and I know it could be much better but I just can’t pull myself to design it properly. I spent like almost a year (on and off) thinking about color palettes, looking at pinterest, but I have not reached the mood board stage yet. And at the rate I’m going I don’t know if I ever will! I think it’s because I’m trying to get that perfect Instagram look and I’m so scared of getting things wrong. Could you guys cover this in a post? About how to get over design indecisions and just pulling the trigger? And about it’s ok… Read more »

1 month ago

Ryann, this room is coming along so nicely! Now I will be the first person to defend the rug-less room, especially when we are talking about a super functional and perfectly lovely tile underneath a table. But I’d also say that this lovely room is looking a tad hard-edged and I’m guessing acoustically challenged. If there are no plans for curtains or drapes on the glass doors or other windows in the room, a rug would be a great way to bring some warmth and softness into the space. And if the rug is meant to provide a hit of color, I’d dial it up a bit. Most importantly, I think your pondering about your brother’s memorabilia is a deeply personal and beautiful question. Personally, I’d lean toward incorporating one or two of your most cherished photos of him here in the dining area, to have his face smiling with you for holiday meals and family celebrations, and I’d display a more complete collection of his belongings and photos in another part of the home. Whatever you choose, I hope that this dining room brings memories of your brother close to all your hearts, and gives you a beautiful place… Read more »

1 month ago
Reply to  Diane

I agree with all this, and would love to see how you would make a gallery wall of family pictures (including your brother of course) modern and fresh. A large piece might make more design sense but if it works for your parents I too love the idea of his picture being there so that he’s still part of family gatherings.

If you don’t want to dial up the colour for the rug I like the first one better.

1 month ago
Reply to  Diane

I was anti-dining room rug…until I got one. Total convert now. With four kids, it really helps with noise reduction (so much chair scooting), and because it’s a Persian rug, all the crumbs just magically disappear. Ha! Maybe find a rug you love but can return and then try it out in the space. That way, your parents could see how it would look and feel. I really do think it would do so much to tie the whole room together.

If you don’t go the gallery wall route (which I have faith you could totally pull off), then you could still bring your brother’s memory into the space with one big piece of art. Was there an artist he was into or a certain place? You could find a photograph or a painting of something he loved and think about him every time you see it.

1 month ago

Ryann your parents must be so proud of you. Y’know, here you are using your design chops to help inform them in the design process to create a space that feels like, well, them. I love your Mom’s table choice and I love, love your Dad’s sideboard redo. And if it were my space I’d pick rug #1 because I can’t live in a world without pattern!

1 month ago

I also love that you shared a progress post, really enjoyed the detail in it. I vote rug and mirror above the credenza. I also think a plain black light without the timber in it would look better above the dining table. The chairs look so good!

1 month ago

Thanks for sharing, Ryann, it looks good indeed!
I would go with a single statement piece above the credenza. Maybe a large mirror, something with curves, sparkly (since there is a lot of matte wood), unusual, not necessarily ornate, rather modern and unexpected. Or a large abstract painting… Since the room is neutral, it can add some fun color. But then again, I can also imagine these all-white, structure/relief paintings to be great there.
As for the rug, out of those three I’d choose the first, but. 🙂 I believe that any rug under the dining table will make your parents struggle with stains and high maintenance. Emily had that scalloped white cow hide rug in her former house that would look so beautiful in that room. They are typically very durable and any stains can be just wiped off.
Have fun, it will look great I am sure of it.

1 month ago
Reply to  Nataša

Also – I don’t like the idea of an all-black light fixture above the table. Sounds heavy. Love it as it is!

1 month ago
Reply to  Nataša

Was thinking the same! It needs something big above the credenza (plant, vase, mirror, painting, …). + some decor with different colours/materials to break the matchy matchy black and wood set-up.

1 month ago
Reply to  Nataša

I was going to say a mirror too. There’s lots of cool mirrors out there, but I always love that scallopy one at Ballard Designs. Also, maybe spray paint the pulls a metallic color on the credenza so that they pop more. It would be nice to break up all the black.

1 month ago

team rug!

1 month ago

This room looks fantastic! I LOVE the old desk/new credenza. These are the kind of pieces that make a room feel special and unique. So glad the buyer didn’t show up! I vote for a rug and one piece over the credenza

1 month ago

Love hearing about this project with your parents. thank you for sharing. I

I’m probably closer in age to your folks. Suggest your mom try a rug, even if it’s pulling from another room just to get a feel. I had same thoughts as your parents, kept wood floors bare for years. Rug pulls everything together, changes the entire feel.

Above the hutch/desk, consider making a custom plate rack. I had a similar wall problem. I measured my plates I want to access easy and display (grandmas iron stone platter, serving pieces from Spain, etc.) and my dad built a large custom rack. It is perfect, and I can switch out items for art, etc. Can’t figure out how to attach pic. i relocated my dining area during pandemic to create an additional work space. Plate rack is now closer to kitchen and extends my storage in a beautiful way.

The special part would be a product by your mom dad that to match your Grandfathers desk. Family items with a story are treasures.

1 month ago

Please get a rug. Especially if there are only two people in the house. Will they eat in the dining room every meal? Are there children eating there often? And rugs can be spot cleaned.

1 month ago

I’ve been thinking of spray painting my chairs black! These turned out so great, I’d love more details on how you did the DIY. Did you sand at all before spraying? What brand/finish of paint did you use? Did you need to seal at all? (I’m nervous about the seat paint wearing off over time.) Thanks!!

1 month ago

Team rug!

1 month ago

Looks great so far! Before deciding what to put above the credenza (probably a mirror above the credenza and 2 or 3 photos and a plant on the credenza), you should finalize the window treatments. If you add curtains, they will consume some of the wall space to the side of the credenza. This will inform how much empty wall space you actually have to fill on the credenza wall.

1 month ago
Reply to  Pinny

You will probably also want a lamp (or two) on the credenza, which will fill some wall space

1 month ago

I vote yes to the rug and prefer the first one shown, from Etsy. Pulls in the warmer colors, adds the blue gray, has classic pattern. I think a sizeable round mirror above the credenza (amazing refurbish, BTW) would break up all the 90 deg angles in the furniture and add softness – consider Studio McGee for ideas. Also, add a nice potted plant on the credenza to bring in some greenery and life!

1 month ago

Here’s what I’d do… 1. Add moulding to ceiling to create some interest up there (ceilings are the fifth wall and rarely treated to an update). 2. Add some seat cushions (given we’re going for farmhouse and blue, maybe cornflower blue?). 3. Consider getting some bigger, plusher chairs for the ends of the table. 4. Do not get a large rug for under the table (no one has time to clean spilled food off that). 5. Add the largest, chunkiest bowl one can find on the credenza. 6. Hang the largest mirror one can find over the credenza, preferably a square mirror (there are lots of rectangular shapes in this room, but no squares yet). 7. Instead of a large gallery wall for your brother’s memory or nothing at all, go small. Maybe one nicely framed tabletop photo with something next to it that reminds you of him (maybe a small toy that he used to have or something in his favorite color).

Susan from FOAS
1 month ago
Reply to  Jessvii

Great ideas! I think the big mirror should have some curves to it to pick up on the curves of the desk/credenza and balance out all of the rectangles. I also think the credenza needs a big lamp to create eye level light so all of the light is not overhead. The mirror should be big enough to reflect the light into the room. And plants to add life to the room.

1 month ago

A mirror above the credenza gets my vote. Thanks for sharing

1 month ago
Reply to  Susan

I would add a plant or 2 and a rug. Both will soften the room

1 month ago

Room definitely needs some softening and color. The chairs look much better but the x back matches the x in light fixture too much. I think your spindly chair instinct was right. What about bentwood style ones and would show off the gorgeous table legs. I also like another commenter’s suggestion of upholstered chairs at ends (or all upholstered chairs). Are they open to painting the walls (blue?) instead of rug or in addition to rug?

1 month ago

My deepest condolences to your family. Thank you for sharing this post – I love the emphasis on real-life design to meet the needs of a family as it lives and evolves. It’s looking gorgeous so far – can’t wait to see which rug your Mom buys when you’re not looking 🙂

1 month ago

You can feel the family love in the project! I totally agree with the rug idea. For the credenza, just offhand, I could see a mirror, leaning piece of art combo, and a beautiful plant or flowers in front of the mirror, and reflected.
I loved the post where Malcolm discussed having both masculine/yang and feminine/elements in a room, and I can see adding a little more softness to the room with the rug, and the credenza styling? That will balance things beautifully I think.

1 month ago
Reply to  Lindsay

Oh, just to add, I read some of the great comments below, and agree that perhaps one or two of your parents’ favorite pictures of your brother, framed beautifully would be a wonderful powerful addn to the credenza!

1 month ago

I’m 100% team rug. You need some softening. I’ve had vintage rugs in my galley kitchen and spilled so much on them, plus I have pets who love to get sick inside. While I spot clean the, you’d still never know. They look great.

I’d love to see a lamp bring some height to the “credenza” and think either a big mirror or galley wall could look good. Perhaps black and whites in square frames with extra big mats? Or rectangular frames with large mats where the photo is centered, but there is more mat space below than above?

Vicki Williams
1 month ago

Definitely add a large rug, IMO more colorful than the somber (but beautiful but maybe too light) ones you have chosen now. A colorful Persian hides everything…and what the heck? Who is going to be throwing food on the floor? The room is looking wonderful! Great choices. Love the chandelier, as is. I love the pendant lights also but think you need some mix of metals. My design teacher always said “something dark, something light, something dull, something bright”.
Some or at least one Lamp, kept on all the time to add ambiance and a soft glow to the room. (See designer Maria Killam IG and blog). Plants for color and variety of shape. Yes a loved picture of your brother on credenza would be lovely and the main remembrances as you said in another room. A large mirror with curved or soft edges or a large single piece over the credenza, maybe a gold frame. Some patterned draperies for softness and interest. You all definitely have it going on. Can’t wait to see more and thanks for sharing!

1 month ago

Love the way the space is turning out!

Have to say I would not recommend the Ruggable rug option. My mother purchased one for a high-traffic area in the kitchen and it was the most annoying item!! After the first wash or two, the edges of the rug never stayed down and it was just a huge pain and looked horrible. Plus it became hard to vacuum with the raised/unstuck edges. Not sure if the one we had was just a dud but it ended up being super wasteful as we threw it away after 1.5 years (it looked awful, was not donate-able).

Given that your dad was not that keen on rug maintenance, I would not recommend this as an option (as pretty as the pattern and color are!).

1 month ago

Great improvements. I like the contrast between the chairs and the table (I have black chairs and a walnut table combo). I’d choose a rug with some color or a jute rug if you must do a neutral. The brown rugs look depressing. I’d also choose a white chandelier to brighten the room and contrast with the pendants. Someone have a suggestion of putting plates above the desk. That would look pretty and would potentially bring some color which would make the room brighter too. But that’s the look I’d be going for to make the room lighter and brighter, perhaps your parents are looking to create a different mood and that’s okay too

1 month ago

Ryann, thank you so much for sharing this with us. I’m so sorry for the loss of your brother. This project is such a beautiful way for you and your parents to come together in this time. The table, chairs, credenza, and barn door look amazing. We can see where you get your great eye for design 🙂 I vote a resounding YES to a rug. I have three littles and never expected to put a rug under the dining table but eventually we did and we couldn’t believe how much more pleasant the room felt immediately. It doesn’t just look better, it feels better. We spend way more time at the table now, and we’ve had more than one guest turn to their spouse and say “we should get a rug too!” In terms of cleaning, our situation is probably similar to your parents, whom I assume have messy guests (grandkids?) but not every day. We host about once a week (which is when we eat in the dining room; the rest of the time we homeschool there). The next day once the food has dried, we pick up the large chunks and then vacuum. 5-10 mins once/week is… Read more »

1 month ago
Reply to  Vera

Adding a vote for the Etsy rug here! And as a someone with two kiddos and a dog in the house, the dining rug maintenance really isn’t that bad – I sweep the rug (yes really) in the morning after any notable messes so that any large bits of food get pulled off, vacuum once a week, and use a small at home carpet shampooer twice a year. My ikea dining rug is going strong after 4 years of kid use at this point!

1 month ago

I love how it’s coming along!

I agree a rug would be nice, maybe one of those outdoor ones? I just used an outdoor rug as a runner at my front door and I was surprised by how nice and soft it is. It’s very easy to clean up. If we do put a rug in the dining room, I’ll definitely go with an outdoor one.

If they don’t want a rug, some kind of textile wall hanging above the credenza would help to bring in some softness. Maybe your mom has some family textiles tucked away that she would like to display?

A simple graphic quilt would be nice to contrast with the barn door and bring the farmhouse theme home. There are some beautiful very modern quilts so this doesn’t get too Cracker Barrel in there. Or one of those patterned horse blankets might be nice.

I personally dislike mirrors in the dining room bc I think it’s awkward to be staring at yourself while you eat.

1 month ago

I love the story behind the up-cycled credenza. It looks fabulous, too!

1 month ago

So sorry for your loss. This is such a great bonding project and looks fab so far! I love that sideboard so much!

Because you guys are so awesome at acknowledging the companies and people you work with, I have a special request. When saying you bought something on Etsy it would be wonderful if you named the creator/small business rather than crediting the generic “Etsy” which is just a a marketplace. Small creators could really use the promo for their work. Thanks for considering…from a small Etsy seller. ❤️

1 month ago

The room still appears to be very dark – would it be possible to remove or change the size of the patio pergola? That seems to be the main reason this room is so dark.

1 month ago

A big yes to a rug and a large piece of art to tie in the rug colors. Love this space!!!

1 month ago

I think a large piece of art above the credenza would be perfect. Something from an artist like Jasper Johns, who served in the military before he was an artist. His painting “Flag I” would be a way to honor your brother, so he’s always there for family gatherings.

Roberta Whitmer
1 month ago

I agree the wood on the fixture is too matchy. Black might be too heavy though. Maybe the wood needs a white or dark wash to change the tone.
An outdoor rug might be a good middle ground or If they don’t want a rug, what about adding some curtain panels to bring in softness.
I like the idea of a gallery wall but a modern, fresh version with maybe four large frames, large white mats, black frames and smaller scaled photos. And that might allow you to bring in some family photos of your brother which would be nice.
If I were to say something is missing from the modern farm, I think the room needs more white or cream for freshness and maybe some whimsy. The scale of the accessories also seems a bit small. Maybe a big basket for texture and storage under the credenza. It looks perfect in the space.

1 month ago

1. Love the progress pics – designing a home you love takes time & when I read articles like yours it’s a nice reminder to slow down, don’t rush.
2. Rug #1 for sure.
3. Light fixture & chairs look intentional by using a repetitive element. AND…the fixture is unique.
4. Large lamp on credenza – perhaps clear glass (to keep it airy) with a textured shade in a light color.
5. Add a plant or two. So many options with this.
6. Love the plate rack idea using family heirlooms or ones with blue.
7. Also like art that has special meaning, but since art can be very personal why not a beautiful mirror with curves (not black or wood) until your parents find something that truly speaks to them?

Can’t wait to see the finished room!

1 month ago

Love the DIYs! Especially the credenza. Also agree on the need for a rug. The space needs a soft texture.
The scale of the light fixture over the table feels off. I also think it’s a little busy with all of the different elements.
A large-scale print or mirror over the credenza would be gorgeous.

1 month ago

Thank you for the update, Ryann. The space is coming along so nicely.

I say go big above the credenza: a large painting or photograph (maybe a photo of a place your brother loved), a round mirror (although I hate to see myself eating!), or a tapestry to soften things. I also think the room would benefit from a rug. And I like how the light fixture ties into both the wood and black elements in the room.

1 month ago

Hi Everyone,
Good Modern Farmhouse details so far. Just be careful of all the rectangles shapes. Your dad is handy and has made some amazing contributions. My first inclination is there needs to be something unexpected. I imagine ART will be a struggle for your parents. I am inclined to say 1 big piece of ART. I also think wallpapering the ceiling would be so fun. It doesn’t have to be SO over the top (ha! Pun intended). The rug choices are all nice, 1 or 2. I’m dying to get a ruggable myself.

Karyn Meadows
1 month ago

Wow, this is a huge improvement!! My choice is the #1 rug from Etsy. It’s more expensive but has color and beauty woven into it that leaves the other two choices…a bit flat. And a large piece of art or a mirror to bounce the light around would be perfect over the credenza (which btw is GORGEOUS!!).

Sarah F
1 month ago

Rug: If it were me, I’d go with the Ruggable rug because it’s cheaper, and is washable, which is nice for the dining area and potential messes.

1 month ago

Rug✔️Large ornate mirror✔️✔️! Not mentioned but tall thin buffet lamps might work. Or perhaps a chunky single one. How fun ! Great post.

1 month ago

It looks so good! Love the story of your parents really getting into the design too. How about a plant wall or an etagere on the credenza?

1 month ago

What nice space and great heart to this. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. How lucky they are to have you.. Eager to see the color choices and can imagine blue and also white to make a clean contrast to the rustic elements. Definitely love the rug idea, too, and also vote for #1 — looks more unique and authentic, at least in the picture. But is a lot more $$…

1 month ago

I always like to see progress posts. I really like the upcycled desk and would love to see a large piece of artwork above it, a mirror would not reflect much light since it’s on the same wall as the glass door and I’d like to see more lights colors to balance out all the dark neutrals. The first modern Oushak rug looks like a great idea for grounding the area and bringing softness and color/pattern.

1 month ago
Reply to  Addie

Oh and a large vase and/or lamp on the old desk turned sideboard would be nice.

Joy Millam
1 month ago

I’m team rug!!
I love some botanical prints or to marry the industrial with farmhouse patent prints like a spoon, fork, or some other pertinent items. I have a bunch and change them out for different seasons- winter I have patent prints of an ice skate and a sled. I do 16”x20” prints above my credenza and love the look.

1 month ago

A big Rug would be nice, but it needs to be light. I think the room is beautiful but getting too Dark so I wouldnt choose any of those rugs. They are all too dark. Leave the light fixture the color it is, it looks nice. A big light colored mirror above credenza would help bounce more light around. It could definitely use some greenery in the room. It needs more life whether real plants or faux.

1 month ago

I think a big piece of art over the credenza and have you looked at Spicher and Company for a vinyl floor cloth? Colorful and easy to clean.

1 month ago

Love this post. I’m a long time reader and come to Emily Henderson for the beauty, inspiration, aspiration, and to learn more about design, but I stay for the for the real life perspectives. So fun!
Now to weigh in: team rug YAZZZZZZ!!!! My husband cooks like the Swedish chef from the muppets (remember him?). We have a real Persian rug covering the middle of our galley kitchen and it shows *NOTHING*. We call it the magic rug. Please go for it. My 2-cents is for more color but that’s a personal choice. Along those lines, would your family consider a paint color change? The walls feel a little washed out compared to the rich farmhouse feel you’re going for (or maybe that’s just the camera?). Would that be a way to bring in the subdued blue-gray you’re reaching for? Or maybe there’s another neutral that would warm things up? Keep us posted. You’re all obviously doing a great job without the peanut gallery anyway. Xoxo

Loretta Goclowski
1 month ago

Looks awesome!! Leave the light fixture it’s perfect 👍
I agree with one did piece above the credenza either mirror or painting.
I like the idea of a rug because it brings more warmth, but it’s a deal breaker. Any of your choices would work but I think the lighter one.
Awesome job really 😊

Loretta Goclowski
1 month ago

Geez I should proofread 🤪. I meant one solid piece above the credenza and that it would NOT be a deal breaker to not have a rug 🙃

1 month ago

This dining room is looking so good! I especially love the up-cycled desk/credenza. What a great way to incorporate a family piece into the room. I’ve had both rug and no rug in our dining room. The rug was my husband’s grandmother’s rug, beautiful, sturdy Oriental rug. We took the rug out while remodeling to have it cleaned and it looked so nice without the rug that we didn’t put it back in. When we had the rug you couldn’t see the best part, the center medallion because it was under the table and no matter how hard I tried it always had some big wrinkles under the table as well. I love art and think a piece of art over the credenza would inject some soul into the room. I’m wondering if you could think outside the box for the art and perhaps go with something woven or made of fiber. I’m thinking an artistic wall hanging that is woven, macrame or something similar. That would add texture into the room, especially if you go without a rug. I’m an artist and I could see finding someone to make a unique wall hanging for the room and perhaps they… Read more »

1 month ago

Oh, so hard about your brother – was wondering if there was a spot on or under the table or in the barn door you could carve his initials to feel he is always there with you guys ….but I would definitely paint the light fixture black , and either a gorgeous big piece of art over the credenza – but I’m such a mirror person, and it feels like the room needs a litttle sparkle – a big mirror – and maybe the ruggable rug – no prob with spilling food ! Looks great !

1 month ago

I think a succulent arrangement would look great on the desk since this is not a frilly room.
I do agree with you and rug #1 and bringing blue into the room. It will definitely need to be the shade of blue in the rug!

Leigh H
1 month ago

I’m so sorry you lost your brother. What a nice thing to do as a family, to redesign the dining space. DEFINITELY get a rug, its all I could think about while looking a the pictures and definitely either a single piece of large art or a mirror over the credenza. maybe some throw pillows in the end chairs? A plant or green somewhere and some fresh white to make it look a bit less grey, can you paint the walls a fresh white?

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