Classic Neutral Diningroom: Before & After

neutral diningroom before and afterWhen we purchased this fixer upper home two years ago, we had no idea what kind of work, stress, decision-making and insane amount of unforeseen costs would be awaiting us. We just knew we loved the layout and potential of the home, and that we were ready for our very first big home improvement project.

We finally moved in last year in August, and remodeled the home inside out in less than 2 months without hiring a remodeling company. We did receive some estimates from contractors, but realized many of them mark up heavily for their work (which includes measuring, finding materials, hiring laborers, etc) and decided to skip the middlemen and do the work ourselves. We did this by hiring our own contractors, finding our own design and materials and often doing the transporting ourselves.

It was long, stressful and full of mistakes and mishaps but we learned so much from our first experience that we definitely want to do it again for our next home.

Four months after moving in as things were finally “settling down,” I found out I was pregnant with my third child which put a halt to further home improvement projects. The severe morning sickness that lasted three whole months prevented me from sitting in front of a computer (it induced horrible nausea) and decision-making and I was unable to continue with decorating and adding final touches to the home like I had planned.

I’m currently 31 weeks pregnant and feeling tired but a whole lot better and to top it off, experiencing strong nesting symptoms. For those of you who are unfamiliar, a pregnant woman often experiences nesting instincts around 6-7 months of pregnancy which includes a strong desire to clean, de-clutter, re-organize and simplify in preparation of the new baby. (Not all women experience this so don’t worry if you’re not like me.)

This past weekend, I finally got around to finishing up our dining room decor by adding a rug and a black and white photo that has been sitting in a closet for months. What a difference these final touches make!

For those of you who are new to this blog, this is how this dining room looked before.

diningroom (5 of 1)diningroom-before-picture

Maroon wall from ten years ago, ugly taupe carpet that desperately needs to be replaced and a boring chandelier. Can you see the strokes of paint samples on the wall? I tried about three different shades of white in Benjamin Moore paint (my favorite choice) which you can find here.

I ended up using White Dove, which is a warm soft white that sometimes reads gray under certain light. There are times when I think I could’ve went a tad lighter, but 99% of the time I’m glad I didn’t go any lighter because white walls are hard to maintain with children.

After some TLC, this is how the dining room looks today.

diningroom (4 of 1)

diningroom (9 of 1)

The dining room isn’t very big so I don’t plan to add any more furniture to this space, just some more photos on the wall.

I used to have a crystal chandelier but decided to switch it out for this Capiz Shell Chandelier from West Elm because I love its color and texture. It was hard to let go of the crystal chandelier because crystal is more expensive and fancier but I really loved the flowy, soft and airy look of the capiz shell and wanted to use it in my home.

If crystal is more glamorous and fashionable, this capiz shell chandelier is the more understated, soft and elegant little sister. So far I’m really enjoying the switch and love the way it feels in our dining space.

The shells cascade like paper and something about it makes me so happy and serene.

diningroom-after diningroom (7 of 1)diningroom (3 of 1) diningroom (12 of 1)I’m becoming more of a minimalist since having children. I believe it’s because simplicity and de-clutter balances out the mess and chaos that accompanies other facets of my life.

I’m becoming more of a minimalist since having children. I believe it’s because simplicity and de-clutter balances out the mess and chaos that accompanies other facets of my life.

As much as I want to de-clutter and simplify my children’s space, they are at the age where they like to hold onto memories, treasures and souvenirs. After attempting to balance my need vs. my children’s, I realized I don’t want my adult need to interfere with my children’s natural desires. Therefore, I recently found my happy medium where children get their space of treasures and imaginative play, and I get my simple spaces where less is more. Much much more.

I recently found my happy medium where children get their space of treasures and imaginative play, and I get my simple spaces where less is more. Much much more.

Despite the empty walls and corners, this dining room feels full enough, probably because other parts of the house is full of toys, legos, books and keepsakes. All it needs is some more photos of my new baby who will be joining us in about two months.

I can’t wait. Until then, mama bird’s nesting continues…


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9 thoughts on “Classic Neutral Diningroom: Before & After

  1. Love the finished product. We have also gone through building a house and redesign while I was pregnant – fun times! I’m glad to hear you have been feeling well enough to finish everything. The nursery looks great as well.
    Are your floors wood?

    1. Aren’t you glad you survived that redesign? It was so much work and stress! My floor is porcelain tile, way easier to maintain than wood. We’ve had it for 8 months now and I love it. So easy to clean and no scratches. 🙂

  2. I’m getting ready to move into a house that is not technically a fixer upper, however, I have to fix it! I could move in, plop down my furniture, and everything would be just peachy. However, every single wall is a medium-light brownish in color, and I want to lighten it up a lot! I am still hesitant to use white walls, but yours are absolutely beautiful.

    I’m with you about nesting. Although my children are grown and gone, I remember how the nesting felt. Unfortunately, my nesting period usually occurred just before labor. I got nothing done!

    1. Are you planning to keep your brownish wall color? I would totally recommend brightening it up. I was hesitant at first but if you use satin finish, clean up is pretty easy (as of now. My baby still can’t crawl- lol). Since your children are grown, you should totally consider going lighter. It really opens up the space and makes a great backdrop for family photos! 🙂

  3. I really love your neutral color scheme. It’s so crisp and fresh without looking stark at all. May I ask what color you went with for the trim and doors?

  4. I’m in the process of choosing a white color for my house. What shade did you use on the trim in this room?

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