Dining Room Revamp Progress and My Inspiration…

Dining room revamp progress {The Creativity Exchange}


If you’ve been following along with me for awhile, you probably know that I am in the middle of a very slow moving revamp of my dining room.  I hesitated to share this post halfway through the revamp but I know that I have such a great resource of inspiration and ideas with you guys that if I just share my thoughts and tell you why I’m indecisive with this space, maybe you could help me through my thought process.

I don’t know why I can’t envision this space.  I usually know down to the size of the screw what I want and need in a space.  This time, I’m not really seeing it… I’m all over the board.  So, let me just share what inspires me in a dining room, what we need  in this space and where I am today.  Maybe we can come up with something together?

You might remember that back in November, we started this revamp and I shared a little sneak peak of my dining room revamp during my Christmas home tour. Just to recap, here is my dining room before:


It took me months fifteen years ago to stencil that wall.  I hated it but it was hard to finally make the decision to paint over it after all of that work.  I’m so glad I did after seeing the difference.

So, this was my dining room right after we paint over my stenciled wall and removed the shutters during Christmas:

12 Days of Christmas Blogger Home Tours (Day 4) The Creativity Exchange


Pretty big difference, huh?

I mentioned during the Christmas tour that I was waiting for my chandelier to arrive from Restoration Hardware and then I would make decisions on which way I wanted to go next.  Unfortunately, I had to cancel my original chandelier order that I purchased from Restoration Hardware because they changed the delivery date (four times) and the latest date was May. This is part of the problem, I had always envisioned my dining room with this spectacular mercury glass chandy from Restoration.


restoration hardware

Thanks to my good friend Amanda Carol, who came to the chandy rescue, I was relieved when we found this beautiful chandelier from Gabby Home at Laurie’s Home Furnishings in Tomball, Texas:


Katrina Chandelier from Gabby Home {The Creativity Exchange}

Here is what it looks like now after I got the chandelier installed in my dining room.  I did add  some drop dangle prisms that I found at an antique store to glam it up a little but you can’t really see them because of my light wall:


Dining room revamp project (The Creativity Exchange) Dining room revamp project  {The Creativity Exchange}

Here is a close up of my chandy with the prisms that are still hard to see. Ugh!


Gabby Home Chandelier (Katrina) The Creativity Exchange

I also found these awesome moss balls at Laurie’s.  Not sure if they’ll stay but I love the big one in my champagne bucket:


Moss balls in urn and candy dishes {The Creativity Exchange}


The new chandy is a little more traditional than what I had planned but it’s ok because I really love it.  My husband gasped when he saw it and said he liked it more than the original. This is about him too.. I guess (wink)..

I really wanted a chandy that was a mix of traditional and chic.  However, I feel that I need more glam/chic to offset it.  It’s a small dining room that I kind of think is being taken over by my long table.  I’d love to somehow get a narrow buffet in there (I’m open to building one) for entertaining and it would be really awesome if the bottom of the buffet could have storage.  I collect antique china and have about 10 sets of china that I would love to store.

Lastly, I would love to come up with a maybe a modern slipcover for the chairs to really update this space.  Just the top part of the chairs I think.  I’m thinking fun a modern pattern in velvet.  Maybe indigo velvet or jade?

Ok, are you sticking with me?  Have I lost you through my rambling?  Man, I really sound needy…

So, originally,  when I thought I was getting the mercury glass chandy, I was envisioning some sort of antique mirrored wall on the focal wall.  Maybe something like this:


or this:


But I’m also torn because I could see an incredible large painting on the focal wall like this one I found at High Fashion Home that I shared on my Instagram this weekend in Houston:

Painting from High Fashion Home in Houston {The Creativity Exchange}

Couldn’t you just imagine that space with the above painting and jade velvet slipcovers? As far as a narrow buffet goes, I could use the narrow Ikea Akurum cabinets as a buffet base and paint it the same color as the walls (Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore).  I found a great example from Made By Girl here:


Floating cabinets by installing Ikea Akurum Cabinets

Source: Made by Girl



I also have saved this inspiration picture below from Cote De Texas of a focal wall shelving unit that we could actually build and I could have upper open storage and display my china collection (mixed with modern accessories) as well:


Source: Cote de Texas

Source: Cote de Texas


This is where I start getting really off track. I have so much inspiration floating around that I keep saying “or I could do this…”. I haven’t even talked about what I should do about the windows… Ugh!

Ok, so I’m going to stop right here. You guys now have enough information to get a glimpse into my (scary) thought process and where I’m at. As I finish this post, my gut says mirrored focal wall and built in buffet, remove one leaf and two chairs, velvet slipcovers and add a great painting on the right side wall.  But I’m not sure why I am hesitant and not really seeing it. What do you guys think, should I stick with my gut and do it or do I take a little more time and research more until I am feeling it? Gosh, that could take me years, there is so much great inspiration out there! Do you guys have a suggestion of something I may not have considered?  I’m all ears!

Thanks for listening to my rant.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts friends!

Cheers! Cyndy

This entry was posted in Decorate, Dining Room, Revamp Projects. Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Dining Room Revamp Progress and My Inspiration…

  1. Angie Lawson says:

    Hi Cyndy!! I LOVE the new walls, they look great. I definitely know the feeling of second guessing yourself, and narrowing down the design. I say go with your gut, the way you described it sounds just lovely! And it would make the room just sparkle I think. For some color and texture in the room, you can have that in your window treatments. I’m excited to see what you do, thanks for sharing!~~♥Angie

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you so much Angie. I think I’m gonna go with my gut. I agree, I can get a pop of color in fabrics on chairs and windows. Thanks so much for stopping by Angie!!

  2. christine says:

    Stick with your gut! Your ideas are on-point and make sense for the size and functionality of the room. Love your inspiration pics – you’re not far from them!

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you Christine. I’m not sure why I’m hesitating but thanks to you guys, I think I just need to do it and if I need to tweak along the way, I can. Just not use to not seeing it my brain first. LOL! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. Mary Ruth says:

    Go with your gut….

    I think a solid base for storage and an open shelf system to tie in the chandy… weathered and full back with curvy sides.

    The base can be a bit different with a simpler design…
    You have the color of the walls chosen…..?
    The table and chairs set
    Chandy set…
    Iron or metal (arms on chandy and buffet table in background….
    I do like the last photo with chandy in front of shelving.
    BUT… I am also loving the mirror.. goes so well with mercury glass (my favorite I am trying to fit in everywhere…. in my house)

    You have a winner no matter which you choose… so jealous of the SPACE you have in that dining room!!!

    • m says:

      You should mirror the opposite wall from your windows. Your windows have wonderful architecture it would bring in great light and double the impact. Add a beautiful antique french buffet for storage on the opposite wall with a large contemporary piece of art on the end wall for the focal point.
      I enjoy watching the process….we all have been there.

    • Cyndy says:

      Thanks Mary Ruth! Yes, I think it will stay this color to offset the colors that I hope to bring in. I think once I get everything in place, if I need a little more pop on the wall, I can change it. I agree, I really should try and see if I can eek out the storage in a really pretty way. I so need it! Thanks (as always) friend for stopping by!

  4. sherry hart says:

    Oh girl I feel you pain. Love everything you have done so far! If it was me…..I don’t know if I would spend the money to slipcover the chairs. I would probably paint them and cover the seats…then find 2 great host/hostess chairs. I love all of your ideas on the focal point wall…..If you end up doing the mirror….you could get the art work first and then add the mirror after….That chandy is to die and I have had the same problem with RH…they are awful. Can’t wait to see what you decide!

    • Cyndy says:

      Thanks Sherry! I would love, love to paint those chairs!! Husband begged me not to paint them. He finally came around with nightstands that I just painted in our bedroom, so maybe I can talk him through it a little more You are so smart about buying the art first and then adding mirrors later! I think that’s exactly what I’m going to do! Maybe if I get the art in there, that will help me make some decisions. Brilliant! Thank you friend!!

  5. mila powers says:

    Don’t overthink this and go with your gut, I say. Anything you do will be beautiful… I love your second choice(chandy) more than your first too, btw…. :p

    • Cyndy says:

      Going with my gut Mila! I can always change it, right? Not sure why I’m so wishy washy but I’m just gonna move forward. Thanks for your kind words friend!

  6. pinali vasoya says:

    Hi there, i do follow your website and i like your creativity. I am not a designer but designing is my passion and interest. As soon as i saw the pic of your dining room i have got an idea if you like it you can use it….
    You can color dining chair n table in blueish grey shinny or mat color and change the chairs tapestry to some geometric pattern. like white and navy blue or white and grey or something. Moreover, you should also change position of chest moving chest to left side of wall and place big mirror above that chest and place some accent pieces and plants. this will give big makeover to your diningroom and it will look amazing if it will turn out the way i am thinking.
    let me know how it goes or if you want me to share color tone or tapestry design style.

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you so much Pinali! I agree, that side table either needs to go or be moved. It’s really just there temporary but I never thought about it on the other side of the room! I do like blue and navy too! That would be beautiful. My husband is against the idea of painting the chairs (I tried to talk him into it), so the slipcover was the only solution I can come up with. I love geometric patterns and think that would be pretty in a slipcover. Thank you so much for your advice and ideas. Hopefully, I can pull all of these together.

  7. pinali vasoya says:

    moreover, the chest doesn’t match with the dining table so you could get some nice storage chest and may be mirrored chest with look great with grayish blue colored dining table and with geometric tapestry chair seating….i love the whole idea it will surely give awesome make over.
    cant wait to see what you will do.

  8. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Hi Cyndy,
    I am new to your site, and have been reading through lots of your posts over the last week. Your advice is helping me to narrow down my color choices, but I will probably still send you some questions!
    I completely understand what you mean buy “knowing what size of screw” regarding details, but then still going in several directions (in my head!) with the overall plan for a room!
    Usually, there’s a turning point, where once you make a decision on a certain thing (like the art work or the mirror), other things fall into place.
    I agree with the other posts here – go with your “gut” feeling!
    When you say you have 10 sets of china, it makes me think you would be happier with the built-in (Cote de Texas style), and adding the antique mirror and velvet slipcovers would add to the overall elegance. Displaying the china and other items would also add to the “bling” factor – more items like the champagne bucket! Yeah!
    And depending on your style (if you do or do not entertain children in the dining room), you could use a washable velvet as a tie on cover on the chair seats!
    I will also ask myself – what will we be doing in this room & how do I want the people to “feel” here – I then pick things accordingly – (furniture pieces & accessories, etc.)
    Can’t wait to see more pictures as your dining room comes together!
    (The windows are amazing!)

  9. Kelly T says:

    I really love the mirrored wall, can you imagine how good the light would reflect from you beautiful chandy? Could you put that artwork with all the color on top o the mirrored wall? I would have a hard time deciding too! Your ideas are always spot on so don’t overthink it!

    • Cyndy says:

      Ok Kelly, THAT is a great idea! I could still use mirrored squares but leave the middle open for art (maybe small molding for art insert in middle)! That would save $$ on mirror antique mirrored squares. Love this idea and then on the right wall, I could do two smaller framed coordinating pieces. Thank you so much! My brain is churning now and I can totally see that! I’ll keep you posted.

  10. Julia says:

    Perhaps with a little modification, a built-in cabinet would be useful and gorgeous. Inspiration from HGTV Candice Olson:

    • Cyndy says:

      Wow, Julia! That is such great inspiration. It hit me after a couple seconds that I needed to click over to page 2! LOL! Yes! That is a really workable idea that I could totally modify. There is storage and a buffet/bar for entertaining, which I would love to have. I love the lines and the glass shelves, which keep the room elegant. I could design a piece even more modern as well. Awesome and my mind is really churning with this! Thanks so much for sharing with me. I’ll keep you posted!

  11. Your chandelier is beautiful! I can’t wait to see what you do with your walls. Your inspiration ideas are amazing.

  12. NancyM. says:

    I love the idea of the mirrored wall and also the built-in. With that much space you should go for the storage you need. Would it be crazy to back the built-ins with mirrors? Your dining chairs are gorgeous. If it were me I wouldn’t cover those backs! Just change your seat covers.

  13. DEE says:

    My thots: use the painting as focal point. more “texture” color and interest than the antique mirror. Perhaps try mirrored “drops” on the chandelier – or larger crystal ones, or maybe even use a “chain” of glass or mercury glass beads separated by links similar to the metal or some other material on your current chandelier. I am absolutely NO expert, but I see a need for warmth, enhancing the chandy to make more of a statement. LOVE the narrow buffet idea. It would be so practical, sleek and “easy to clean.” Nix the bookcase/shelf idea – too cluttered, has to be dusted, etc. and takes away from the elegance of the furniture. Again, I know nothing but I know you are talented!

  14. Diane says:

    I think what is bothering you is that it’s too bland an a bit matchy.
    I love dining rooms that envelope guests in a deep, yummy color..(With your chandelier on a dimmer, of course.) Or…There’s always ‘the accent wall’ which I’m noticing is back in style…built-in corner cabinets or the buffet for serving…with lighted, mirrored or painted-back display cabinets would look great and be useful. With glass doors.Then you will have a surface to add interesting candlesticks, tureens, etc. If you can achieve that w IKEA cabinets, go for it. Have glass or ‘a slab of something’ cut for the top. Consider an area rug under the table. It would also glam up the space. I simply have sea grass over Saltillo tile in my current house, but it still adds texture and interest. You can’t go wrong with a large mirror or large piece of art, flanked by sconces. perhaps. Address your windows last. Depending on the view, you might decide to leave them uncovered. And yes, upholstered his/hers chairs to break up the matched set and add elegance. Place the other two against the wall on either side of the buffet.

  15. Diane says:

    I think what is bothering you is that it’s too bland an a bit matchy. Your lovely chandelier gets lost. I love dining rooms that envelope guests in a deep, yummy color..( chandelier on a dimmer, of course) Or…There’s always ‘the accent wall’ which I’m noticing is back in style…built-in corner cabinets or the buffet for serving( if you can achieve that from IKEA, go for it)…above, lighted display/storage cabinets w glass doors..paint or mirror the backs. Then you will have a surface for interesting candlesticks, a large tureen, etc. Consider an area rug under the table. It would glam up the space. I simply have sea grass over Saltillo tile in my current house, but it still adds texture and interest. You can’t go wrong with a large mirror or large piece of art, flanked by sconces. perhaps. Address your windows last. Depending on the view, you might decide to leave them uncovered. And yes, upholstered his/hers chairs to break up the matched set and add elegance. (Place the other two against the wall on either side of the buffet.)

  16. Robyn says:

    go with the mercury mirror. timeless piece. I’d wait and focus on storage inspiration. Keep it simple and elegant and low maintenance. 🙂

  17. Jackie says:

    For me it has to be the Cote De Texas. All that china, strategically placed with extras hidden in the base. Wooden shutters at the window which would be painted the same colour as the walls so it all blends. You will have enough colour from the china. Pick out one strong colour from the china and go for the seats with that. Will look forward to the future and what you go with…..lovely whatever you do and good luck.

  18. Linda says:

    I definitely would have waited for the mercury glass chandelier. For the focal wall, I think a custom built narrow-shelf hutch or cabinets with antiqued glass at the back of the shelves is the way to go. You get the reflective quality that you’re looking for, and hopefully, some pops of color from your china collection. You had so much pattern in the dining room prior to painting. The walls look boring at this point. I’d have the hutch on the back wall and a large, colorful painting on the wall to the right. If you re-ordered the Restoration Hardware chandelier, you could use the one you have up until then, and maybe Amanda could sell it after the R.H. one comes in. That would be a win-win. (And the dining room needs to appeal to you more than to your husband!) I like the idea of slipcovers for the tops of the chairs. How about a pattern for the backs and a solid for the fronts, with welting to tie it together?

  19. Lynnette says:

    I would get a wooden buffet for storage. Put dining lamps on it. Over it place a painting (?antique) or a mirror. On the other wall you could do a china cabinet display.

  20. sandyc says:


    1. Great choice with the chandy – love the RH but it would have been the focal point of the room and everything else would have been probable clutter.
    2. All your ideas and inspirations are great. Who cares if it’s YEARS before you “feel” it? (it won’t be although it seems it has been). I’ve been in my home for just over a year and, though I’ve done a lot in some rooms, I’ve still got a long way to go. The most important and reassuring thing I’ve learned over the past year was to stop “angst-ing” over and “yes, but”-ing everything and instead quietly and calmly look at everything, collect ideas, envision and evaluate and let go of some ideas, and then let the perfect thing simply “wiggle its finger” or “call my name”. It has worked for me and I’ve been delighted with the results, and I know it will work for you too!
    3. One more inspiration source to add to your collection, if you haven’t already, is Maria Killam at Colour Me Happy. She redid her new home in 2012 and around June 29, 2012 (“Daisies Are Perfection”) and later she showed pix of her DR/LR. Her DR set-up is somewhat similar to yours in that she has big windows to the left, a blank wall with a buffet and a wall to the right with an enormous picture. And in later posts, she addresses her challenges with window coverings in both the LR and DR. Might be some more ideas there.

    It’s going to be fun to follow.

  21. Jane says:

    Hi Cyndy,
    I love the idea of the base from Ikea and doing a built-in on top for displaying your china.(Cote de Texas) If your room is wide enough, you could build a small, matching server out of the same Ikea product for between your windows with a mirror/painting above. Then you could do a mirror or some type of painting on the other wall. (A mirror would make the room seem larger especially if you do the built-in you don’t want it too busy. I also love your idea to do something to the chairs in velvet to add some glam. I actually like the idea of jade because everyone uses blue! As for the windows, either shutters leaving the curved part of the window open or some elegant sheers to leave the room open but still look finished. And maybe a rug?

    As for your table, room color & chandy, they are just right. Remember you will be bringing color into the room from all these other venues. By the way, the chandy is gorgeous. Do be flustered because your prisms don’t show well in the picture. Good luck, I can’t wait to watch the progress! Should only take about a weekend or two right? LOL

  22. Jane says:

    That’s a “DON’T” be flustered about the prisms not showing.

  23. SUSAN CLOSNER says:

    Cyndy, I like the antiqued mirror across from the windows with low closed storage cabinet/server. I would prefer the closed storage for china because I think it is more elegant and less cluttered looking. Enjoy the china when you use it. I think too tall of a piece might ‘close’ in the room and feel too heavy unless you have high ceilings. I love the idea of the picture at the end and picking up the jade color in your seat cushions. I would wait on window treatments – may not be necessary. I think you are on the right track, you probably just needed to hear the positive feed back.

  24. Melody Christensen says:

    I love what you have done so far. I am a strong believer in mirrors, and that you can never have enough. Put in the wall shelving for your china, and mirror the back of it. You could then find something more modern and industrial looking for your serving piece, but I wouldn’t hesitate to put in another perhaps slightly smaller scale of that beautiful antique mirror for added glam and sparkle.
    Whatever you do, it will be beautiful.

  25. Brookie says:

    I love your blog. I am sharing because you asked for input.
    Full Disclosure: I am no expert other than as a Realtor. I know what sells in New England. I use these three 3 important factors?
    1.Two/ 3 words describing the look you are going for. Be brief. First reaction.
    2.Determine Dominant Color. If you use the 60/30/10 rule it can help.
    3.What is your intended use. Is room used everyday, require storage etc.
    So, I personally Love the mirror, it provides day and evening light, old charm and serves a purpose. Although the colors in the painting are nice, the art it self does not speak to anything else in the room. What is it? If color is what you are after you can do better. By all means go with the pic on the side. The built ins are too permanent for my taste. I like to move things around. I suspect you do too. Since you did not really ask us about the Chandy I will not address. I say leave the window dressings for last so you see what you need to bring it all together. Remembering that you uncovered the windows for a reason . Likely to provide more light during the day and moonlight dinners. Thanks for sharing with us. I look forward to more.

  26. Jan says:

    Love, love the focal wall unit. How about it with drawers on the bottom for your storage. I think it would be perfect for your dishes and other mercury glass items.
    I agree with several ladies about putting the mirror on the opposite wall of the window. How about the mercury glass in a frame to match the dinning room table and chairs? You could choose your own size!
    I think the chair seats and curtains would be beautiful in a matching fabric. I love your idea of a velvet. A deep teal. Although I don’t know if you were thinking anything that heavy for drapes. Speaking of the chairs, how about a matching tassel hanging at either the top or bottom of the chair ? I got the idea from your picture of the blue chairs in the picture with the mercury mirror.
    I am looking forward to whatever you decide. You always do a delightful job!!!

    • Cyndy says:

      Oh, I love the tassel idea Jan for the chairs and a deep teal would be so rich and beautiful. I think I’ll wait for the drapes until the very end and see what the room will need. Yes, I need storage desperately for all my china and I think I can make it happen on one of those walls. Thanks so much for you ideas and encouragement Jan! I’ll keep you posted!

  27. debbie says:


    Maybe you should just walk away a couple of days but I would not look anymore. I find for myself, the more I look, the more confused I get. I definitely think you are on the right track. Everything you do is beautiful so I have the utmost confidence in you. All the inspirations you have selected are lovely. I’m no help at all. Thanks for sharing and take care.

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you for your kind words Debbie! I agree, I think I need to just step away and just give it a little more time. I think that’s a big part of my problem. You’re right, the more I stare in there, the more overwhelmed I am getting. Stay tuned, you guys have given me some great ideas and encouragement and I can’t that you guys enough!

  28. Julie spear says:

    God, I LOVE a post that’s asks for input from readers!!! And.btw, you don’t sound needy AT al! These are hard choices to meals with so much beautiful eye candy all available with one tiny move of a little mousey, lol! Now also, don’t listen to me at all, bcuz I tend to over do everything, but… Why couldn’t you incorporate a lot of what you want by installing some open glass shelving in front of a giant antique mirror background on that back wall (and bounce all the beautiful light from the windows) place a closed door cabinet below it, and hang a fab painting on that other wall? And I LOVE the idea of sexy velvet slips on your chairs – I love navy velvet, but green would be GORGEOUS, too!!! Thanks for letting me chime in! Just started following your blog and I just love it….. Happy decorating!

    • Cyndy says:

      I LOVE your idea for open glass shelving Julie with the antique mirror behind. That would be a great way for me to store my crystal but it keeps the room elegant and I can free up some space elsewhere! I agree about all that light that I have bouncing off of that mirror! I really had not thought about that and that convinces me even more that I need to go that direction. I’m so glad you wanted to chime in and I can’t thank you enough for your ideas! Stay tuned Julie, hopefully I can pull all these great ideas that you all have together!

  29. Jessica says:

    Hi Cindy!
    As always, I love what you’re doing in your dining room, the new chandy is fabulous! I want to paint my dining room, but the color I’m looking at is a dark smoke grey and my hubby thinks it’s going to make the room feel smaller because there is only two (smallish) windows… What is your opinion on dark wall colors and amount of natural light in a room? Can dark colors work or does it feel like you’re walking into a cave?

    Thanks again for the great post!
    I love reading your blog!

  30. Hi! I’m new to your site but love it! We are building a house and I’m at the point where I need to pick paint colors. I’m having the hardest time deciding on a true gray that isn’t too blue/green/purple/taupe, etc. I have gone through a number of samples and can’t nail it! I want it to be the dominant color through the main living areas. The color you have on these dining room walls looks like what I might be looking for. Could you let me know the name, please?

    Thank you!

  31. tj says:

    I think you know more about paint than anyone I’ve ever encountered—just found you today, and I’m so glad I did! I live in a 70 year old house with hair line/horizonal settling cracks. Light sanding of the drywall does improve them. I’m getting ready to paint and I wondered if you think your diy paint formula using the lightweight spackle, primer, and latex paint would work to help me smooth out these problems. I’m not exactly sure of the formula or how you mix them. I’m painting all the walls white and would appreciate your best quess as to which paint and primer to use. Also is there a white color that you’ve found to be easy on the eyes. Thanks for any help you can give me.

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