Bright, Happy Dining Room - Juniper Home

Bright, Happy Dining Room


My house is dark. There are two HUGE elms in our front yard that make the natural light in our house less than abundant. And we can’t paint the walls in our rental. Check out the sad before pictures of our dining room:

Since we will live here for only a year, I decided to go with a really bright and fun color scheme for the room.

I reupholstered the $50 Craig’s list settee myself earlier this year.



{And, yes, I am slightly embarrassed that Chiang Mai pops up so much around here…}

The table is a mid-century Drexel piece that seats 12 with all the leaves installed. I love it. It was purchased for $50 from a Craig’s list seller who had “distressed” it to “look like a Pottery Barn table.”

There were 10″ long scratches in the surface and perfect phillips head “star” screwdriver gouges! A little bit of wood filler and some sanding helped a lot.

The table’s been painted black for most of the time I’ve owned it, but I recently painted it this really moody ink blue color that I love, called “Umbrella” from Martha Stewart.

The chairs were purchased last fall at the Brimfield antique show. They were in really bad shape when I got my hands on them…

I blogged about them here. They are painted one of my favorite creamy white colors, Martha Stewart’s ‘Macaroni.’

I had planned on putting down a seagrass rug, but I actually really like the way the PB Collette rug looks in here. I like the muted tones layered with all the really bright colors.

I sewed the drapes myself using peacock blue linen fabric that I bought for $1 a yard at a local fabric store because it had been sun bleached. I simply dyed all the fabric with some RIT in the washing machine and fixed the discoloration. This saved me some serious cash.

I used cream twill tape trim from eBay for the box pleated accent on the leading edges. You can purchase a similar trim at M&J.

The tortoise shell-looking bamboo shades were on clearance at Home Depot (though they can be purchased full price here). There were only two shades left at the store and they were different widths, but you can’t tell layered under the drapes.

Remember the clock?

I cut off the scalloped apron and added $5 worth of moulding to the sides.

The whole thing got a coat of Martha Stewart’s ‘Vintage Map’ and then I trimmed out the moulding with glossy black paint. I’m still waiting for the brass ring pulls to come in for the bottom cabinet doors.

I bought nine IKEA Ribba frames for $7.99 each. I can’t find the link online, but they were a natural wood color before I spray painted them the persimmon color.

I photoshopped some old family photos for the frames and I love getting to see images that remind me of our family heritage every day.

The tole chandelier was another Brimfield purchase ($40).

I bought a very pretty gold-leafed plein air frame for a client a few months ago and didn’t end up using it, and I really wanted to incorporate in my own home. Rather than buying a painting to fit the frame, I scavenged my art supplies in the basement for an old 16×20 blank canvas and some oil paint to create a VERY rough version of this image from Lonny.

I don’t love it, but I guess it’s fine for now.

The server was a birthday gift a few years ago from my mom. It used to be an old dining table that was cut down and two new legs were added to the back to make it console table sized. I gave it a coat of chartreuse green paint for the dining room redo.

The Chinese stools were a total craigs list score and have a permanent home under the server table. The large sunburst mirror is from Home Goods. I bought it a few months ago.

That’s it for part one. I’ve got lots of fun DIY projects from other parts of this room that I can’t wait to share with you all!!

What did you think?
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136 thoughts on “Bright, Happy Dining Room

  1. this inspires hope and despair.
    hope that affordable DIY projects transform a room into something luxurious. and despair that i'll never quite get there.

    i can NOT believe you did the sette yourself. upholstering is IMPOSSIBLE.

    well done.

  2. Jenny, you've outdone yourself again. :) Favorite part: the persimmon grouped frames. I love red accents in decor! Speaking of diy-ing, you do some awesome work with upolstery (and I love how often your fabric crafts are actually a no-sew). Could you post sometime about how you got into reupolstering and tips of diy?

  3. I absolutely agree with the comment about the painted furniture — somehow there's an underlying pressure to not integrate too many painted pieces in a room as it can look "kitschy". You have put together a fine example of how it can work — and using colors I would have never paired (adore the ink on the dining table — gorgeous). I am so glad we're seeing more people Craiglisting for pieces of furniture and giving them an upgrade — the quality is oftentimes so much better than what is mass produced these days!

    A question about the Chiang Mai: I'm strictly a DIYer and design-adorer [so admittedly a bit naive], and see this fabric all over the place. My boyfriend has a chair that needs to be recovered, and as he enjoys Asian-inspired prints and I like vibrant colors, so Chiang Mai was the winner of the fabric search. However, is it only available to the trade? And is it really $206/yard..? I stumbled upon that price point during my travels and was absolutely astounded/disappointed. I need a 25"x25" 'swatch' and may need to stop the search..

  4. Amazing! PLEASE post a tutorial for how you upholstered the settee! I wish I had your eye for design. I'm encouraged and jealous at the same time…my sad little blog posts don't even compare :)

  5. Holy crap! You are amazing! You are such an inspiration to me! I love what you do with color and who cares about the Chiang Mai – it's fabulous so why wouldn't you use it a lot? Man, you should send some of your skills in my direction! :)

  6. Are you still reading??? You should fall over with pride! OK, better not! You amaze me every time I look at you fabulous work!
    Where do you have all that energy???
    Just brilliant!

    Take care! Happy Halloween!
    This room is wonderful!


  7. You are such a clever girl- it all looks fabulous. Love all the color. I adore the mirror- I have it in my office and I bought it years and years ago at an upscale store- you lucky girl to find it at Home Goods!

  8. Eagerly awaiting part II.
    I'm sure you're pregnant mother self has plenty of things to do besides construct posts for our amusement, so I appreciate how much work you put into each one. You clearly have it all thought out, and put a lot of work into this. (for us?!) You're lovely. Hope you'll take a break once that baby gets here!

  9. It is just SO bright and happy. Love. Yet another question about the settee though – I know you have small children, do you just Scotch-Guard the hell out of it or what?

  10. I love your table. I've got a table I want to paint, but I am very intimidated by the whole thing. Did you paint it with a sprayer, or with a brush?

  11. I love this room! Especially the settee. You did such a great job on that! I recently inherited an antique chair and chest that I want to reupholster, but it's kind of intimidating–especially since both have skirts at the bottom. Do you have any tips for doing this?

  12. Amazing what you can do with items that I would think are not worthy. Gorgeous finished dinning room. Makes me want to think outside the box for my own home.

  13. I know this is an old post and you may not see this, but where did you get the little gold elephants on your console table? I love them!

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  15. I have loved, loved, loved your dining room for so long and just this evening finally found the identical Craigslist twin to your settee. I am so excited! Would you mind sharing (if you can recall) about how many yards of fabric you needed to recover your piece?

    Thank you so much! Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to your baby girl!! Still can't believe the miracle of her birth last year.

    ktmt925 {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

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