One Room Challenge Week #1: Dining Room Plans

So, I’m diving in to the One Room Challenge from Calling it Home for the fourth time, and I’m already questioning my sanity (you can see my master bathroom, my daughter’s room and my son’s room here).  But, I’m reminding myself how awesome it feels to have a room finished at the end of this whirlwind, and my dining room has been needing some love.  As an added motivation, I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year, so it would really be nice to have a refreshed dining room when it’s all said and done.  Let’s take a look at where things stand, and the dining room plan, shall we?  This post contains some affiliate links.

Dining Room History

This room has gone through some changes since we bought our home seven years ago, but it’s looking tired and is in need of another revamp.  But for fun, let’s take a walk down memory lane and see how it looked when we first bought it, empty and everything.  Wallpaper, wallpaper, wallpaper.  I did take down the wallpaper, and you can probably understand why I have a bit of PTSD in that regard.

Dining Room Before

Here it is after we moved in and added our own furniture:

Dining Room Before

Then I took down the wallpaper, repainted the walls (twice), and added banded drapes and a rug.

Dining Room with Banded Drapes

This was good for awhile, but then we got a puppy.  My poor drapes took a beating, and we had changed out the rug at that time, which also took a beating.  (Puppies are cute, but destructive).  Here are some photos from last Christmas that show my dining room in its more recent state – rugs gone, drapes replaced, and I added my gift bag gallery wall.  It looks pretty good, right?  

Christmas Dining Room

But in the interest of full disclosure, here’s how it looks now (bad picture, I know – ugly day when I took it).  And yes, the dog cage is in the left corner…

ORC Dining Room BeforeI’m just not loving all of the brown that’s going on in here – flooring, drapes, furniture, walls – everything.  And while I love the gallery wall during the holidays, I struggle with what to swap it out with the rest of the year.  So it’s a big blank wall full of holes at the moment.  I still like my furniture (it will NOT be getting painted), but I want to bring in some other elements to change things up as far as my dining room chairs go.  I’m considering adding a rug again, now that the puppy isn’t (quite) as destructive, the drapery rod is about to fall down, and I’m not in love with the drapes either.  And then there’s the chandelier.  I’ve never loved it, but I want to be sure that I find “the right one” – as I don’t anticipate replacing it again any time soon.  

The Plan

To be honest, I go back and forth as to whether I want to go darker on the walls in here.  I would love a deep color on the walls, but it needs to flow with the rest of our home, and with dark furniture, I don’t want it to feel like a cave either.  So, I haven’t committed to a wall color yet, but here are other elements I’m looking to incorporate as part of this One Room Challenge project.

Slipcovered Dining Room Chairs

Regardless of the wall color, I want some slipcovered dining room chairs – probably just at the heads of the table.  But I have been scouring the internet, looking at all of the possibilities, and this is something I consistently find myself wanting in my dining room.

Dining Room with Slipcovered ChairsDining Room with Slipcovered ChairsSaveSave

SaveSaveChandelier Options

I’m on the fence with chandeliers, quite honestly.  I’m debating between one bigger fixture (I’m thinking rectangular) or two smaller sized fixtures – maybe lanterns of some sort.  I can tell you that this stunning chandelier keeps me coming back for more.

Dining Room Chandelier

It would work with the size and shape of our dining room table, and I love the clean look to it.

I’m also finding myself drawn to the idea of two chandeliers in here – although it will be a bit messier to do since we’re talking about changing the whole look in there – more holes in the ceiling, etc…  But it’s so eye catching.

SaveSaveMaybe something like this lantern – not sure of the finish that I’m most drawn to at this point.

Dining Room Lantern

Or do you like the looks of this polished lantern better?

Polished Nickel Lantern

Big Artwork

I know that I’ve done a lot of gallery walls, but I’m thinking of more high impact artwork this time around.  With any luck, I’ll find something that I love and can use it as a guide for a color palette.  I should be so lucky.

And yes, I would love to incorporate some touches of navy.

Dark Dining Room Big Artwork



I think the direction I go when it comes to drapes is going to depend upon the rest of the room as a whole (which means I need to get my plan in order fast).  But I am so drawn to photos like this one – and yes, that wallpaper even gives me an itch to add it to my own home again.


And yes, I know that this dining room is nothing like mine, but I love those drapes paired with the bamboo shades and brass light fixture.

Well, there you have it.  A general idea of the direction my brain is going for this dining room makeover.  I love that the One Room Challenge forces me to make decisions quickly vs. dwell on the options and then get distracted to do something else.  Remember the TED Talk I shared on procrastination?  Let’s hope that I can keep my inner monkey at bay, and that the panic monster’s appearance is limited. 🙂

What do you think about the plan?  Any suggestions?





  • Reply
    Cassie Bustamante
    October 5, 2017 at 8:51 am

    oooooh this is gonna be good! i have no rooms to do this time but looking forward to following along!

    • Reply
      October 5, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Thanks Cassie – I’m a little sick to my stomach thinking of the stress that lies ahead, but I know it will be worth the effort!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2017 at 11:19 am

    I love the direction you are taking. We just recently changed out our dining room chandelier. It’s amazing what just one change can do for a room. We have slipcovered chairs for the head of our table as well (from Ikea, monogrammed) and I love how they soften the look of the room.
    Can’t wait to see the progress.

    • Reply
      October 5, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Than you Lauren! I’m excited and nervous about the work that lies ahead, but I feel like I have a semblance of a plan at least. I’ll have to check out Ikea!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    I LOVE the lantern look! We just put a large one in our foyer and I love the clean lines but it also meshes well with our style of home. Second, I LOVE the one dining room with the navy blue. I got onto the bandwagon years ago with the whole brown look and I never liked it – I like color! We just put in new vinyl floors and painted so next up is new furniture. I’m going with what I like and adding accents of navy blue – it’s just a color I’ve always gravitated towards and love so I figured at my age (47) I might as well embrace what I love!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Wow! What a beautiful room. But I do agree that it needs to be lightened up. Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  • Reply
    October 5, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Lovin them all!

  • Reply
    Calypso in the Country
    October 5, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    I love your ideas. I ALMOST committed to the ORC this time but I was still having flashbacks from doing my office a few years ago and I couldn’t do it. I have been wanting to repaint and update my dining room as well but I keep going back and forth between navy walls and something light. I do love your ideas of adding navy to your room. I also love the slipcovered chair look. You shared so many pretty examples. I know your room will turn out beautifully. I will be following and cheering you along the way! Good luck – you are braver than I!

  • Reply
    October 6, 2017 at 8:50 am

    It’s going to be beautiful Jenny!! Love the direction you’re going!

  • Reply
    October 6, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Can’t wait to see what you decide to do. I like the thought of doing something different to the tray ceiling like the navy blue painted photo. I also like how the table and chairs in that one are similar color to yours that you are planning on using again. The light walls are calming but the dark on the ceiling and darker stained furniture really caught my eye. Good Luck!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2017 at 9:48 am

    I love the lantern look when the glass is sparkling clean. I found it very difficult to keep it sparkling, especially in my foyer and over my dining room table!
    Love your blog!

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