Home Tour: The Dining Room
This post is in collaboration with Little Greene paint company, who kindly supplied the paint for this room makeover.
Considering we’ve only lived in our house for 2.5 years, you could be right to think it’s slightly crazy that our dining room has had two makeovers during that time.
When we bought the house, the past owners had been using the room as a second living room and I couldn’t wait to get it back to being a dining room. With original wooden floors, period features such as stained glass and picture rails, a feature fireplace and large French doors, it’s a gorgeous room filled with light.
The past owners definitely weren’t making the most of it. The window surround was cheap looking pine and the French doors were a dark mahogany colour, with neither working with the original oak floor. And the walls were painted in magnolia (as was pretty much all of the rest of the house before I got my mitts on it) which is just a decorating crime in my book.
THE FIRST MAKEOVER
So, what did I want to do? Well, add some pattern and colour, of course! Although looking back, I went with quite a safe option for the paint.
I chose a light grey paint from Crown (Smoked Glass) which I thought would keep the brightness of the room whilst also making it feel fresh and modern. It also worked with the wallpaper I’d chosen for a feature wall (Tropicana in dark grey by Matthew Williamson), which was an alternate colourway of the living room wallpaper I’d chosen. I liked the idea that both rooms would be different but that the wallpaper would flow through, adding a decor nod to one another.
We also painted the window surround, skirting and picture rails in a light grey (Ammonite by Farrow & Ball) and the French doors and main door in a dark grey (Down Pipe, also by Farrow & Ball). We immediately changed the wall lights, swapping them for a copper pendant I found on Ebay and similar copper wall lights from Made. The room looked great and SO much better, especially filled with our retro furniture (hello Boat Bar) and our scandi John Lewis dining table.
BUT, I continually had a niggly feeling that it wasn’t right. Do you know the feeling I mean - where you walk past a room and stop and look at it and it’s all well and good but it’s just not making your heart sing? THAT feeling.
Steve kept telling me it was fine and we weren’t decorating again but I couldn’t get rid of the feeling of dissatisfaction so you guessed it, I got the paint brush out again!
THE SECOND MAKEOVER
For a while I had thought that the dining room should be pink, as it would draw interest to the copper accessories and metallic pattern in the wallpaper. After trying various tester pots of greys, dark blues, greens and one pink, I knew I was right after all when the only one that sang to me was the pink!
The colour I went with was ‘Blush’ by my favourite paint company Little Greene (you can read more about my love of them here) , which is a warm dark pink and a bit like the colour of setting plaster. It is SUCH a lovely colour and adds warmth and depth to a room that in hindsight, actually felt quite cold before.
We decided to make the woodwork in the room darker too, as we thought it would work better with the dark wallpaper and already dark doors, so we got the tin of Down Pipe out again and painted the skirting, picture rail and window frame.
We also painted the radiators pink, like the walls, so they’d blend in as they’re not the prettiest of radiators and I felt like it was a quick fix until we can afford lovely cast iron style ones. It actually makes such a big difference and they were pretty easy to paint using Little Greene Eggshell. We also used the paint to colour-up some Ikea picture ledges, which we’ve used as bar shelves above our retro boat bar. I think this is a really simple and effective way to create some bespoke looking affordable shelving.
My biggest decorating decision in this room was the fireplace, which also proved to be one of the elements we’ve argued most about in the house! Steve didn’t want me to paint it as it was oak (my Dad also continually expressed his disappointment I was considering painting oak) but I had a bee in my bonnet and I knew it would look so much better painted.
So when I was finishing the room, Steve was in a bit of a disinterested mood (tip: if you want to do something in your house and your husband doesn’t want you to, wait until you’ve almost finished the decorating and he’ll be so sick of it by then he’ll agree to it) and let me ‘try’ some paint out on the fireplace. He thought we should go grey if we were going to paint it, and a poll I did on Instagram stories also resulted in grey being the favourite, but something deep down kept telling me to go pink, like the walls.
I’d seen interior designers 2LG do something similar in their dining room with green paint and I thought it looked great as the fireplace just blended into the wall but also became more of an interesting feature. So what do you think we did? Went pink, of course. And I love it.
It actually is one of my favourite parts of the room now and I’m so glad I went with my gut. I think that’s the decorating moral of this whole room really – you just know if something isn’t making your heart sing and you’ve just got to go forth and change it. And paint, well, it changes everything.
Here is a list of where everything is from incase you’d like to create any of this interior style yourself:
Wood paint: ‘Down Pipe’ Estate Eggshell by Farrow & Ball
Wallpaper: Matthew Williamson Tropicana dark grey wallpaper from Wallpaper Direct
Dining table: Ebbe Gehl 6 seater dining table from John Lewis
Dining chairs: White & grey tulip Eero Saariinen style side chair by Fusion Living
Rug: Hovslund low pile rug by Ikea
Wall lights: Austin spot copper wall light by Made
Mirror: AYTM rose gold round wall mirror from Amara
Bar shelves: Mosslanda picture ledges by Ikea
Bear vase: Quail Ceramics black bear head wall vase from Hurn & Hurn
Table lamp: Large pineapple lamp by Laura Ashley
Arctic Monkeys artwork: Limited edition print by North 6 Graphic Design
Cushion: Yellow patterned cushion by H&M
Candle: 1970 candle by Bella Freud from Trouva
All other furniture and accessories are either retro purchases or old and no longer available!