Blue dining room with white rejuvination pendants and a white shiplap ceiling, box trim wainscotting, floral curtians, black bentwood chairs, dark wood table, black sideboard, clothespin art, jute striped rug
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Traditional Dining Room Makeover Before-And-After!

If you have clicked over from the One Room Challenge Website, welcome!  I’m glad you are here! This week is the Reveal of our 90’s modern dining room makeover!   I am an interior designer and serial DIY’er based in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada!  You can catch up on my One Room Challenge project in the last week’s posts here:

Week 1/ Week 2/ Week 3/ Week 4/ Week 5

I’m so excited that this day has finally arrived – it’s reveal day!  Before I get to the photos, I would like to thank Linda, the founder of the One Room Challenge and the founder behind this amazing event.  The event has grown to be such a big part of the online design community and I look forward to every new season!  I always find some new friends and designers to keep tabs on and the inspiration is endless.  As soon as I finish up with this post I plan on diving deep into the reveals that can be found here: (Click the image:)

One Room Challenge Logo

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Table of Contents

Before and After

If you remember, we moved into this house on September 30 and on October 5, the demo began in this dining room and it’s been a whirlwind since then.  Remember the columns?  The drywall structure that was posing as a light fixture?  The eight-foot high “pass-through” to the kitchen?  The speckled window trim?  All gone, and good riddance to you, I say!  It was sort of a modern style 90’s design and I’m more of a traditional gal at heart. Here’s a before photo to refresh your memory:

photo of a dining room with brown walls, arched opening with columns, minimal furniture, wood floors

And here is the same view today:

Blue dining room with chair rail, shiplap ceiling, floral curtains, striped jute rug and modern lighting.

WOWSA right?  I swear it’s the same room.  We removed columns and the drywalled light fixture, closed up an opening at the top of the wall, cased out the new arched opening and window, added a chair rail and box panel moulding, added shiplap and crown moulding to the ceiling, painted, and swapped out the lighting for new modern pendant lights

I largely reused all of our existing furniture like the wooden dining table with the exception of the 6 bentwood dining chairs that I picked up on Facebook Marketplace and made over.

For a true “Before” here are the real estate photos from the listing. This room (this whole house!) is really not my style, I like muted cool colours and vintage vibes with a hint of modern design and this house had zero of those things.

Here’s a few more before and after shots:

The Structural Changes to this Modern Dining Room Makeover

The biggest change has to be the removal of the columns.  We thought about opening this up for more of an open concept, but we really didn’t want to mess with the flooring, so closing up the areas where the columns were made the most sense. 

It also made the room an intimate and cozy dedicated space which is nice for a formal dining room space.  Closing this off also allowed me to isolate the room colour-wise so I could use different colors for the main space.  I went with Valspar Relaxed Navy and it really is just that – a chilled out, not quite too dark, greyed-out navy that looks ultra-dark at night time but in the day has the smallest hint of green and the new color scheme turned this room into a jewel box.

This room has very grand, great ceiling height, and the existing mouldings were doing nothing to accentuate that feeling.  Adding crown moulding and box trim wainscotting really helped bring this entire space to a whole new level. 

The planked ceiling idea was born from necessity – we had a huge hole in the ceiling to patch when the old fixture came down and I thought rather than try and patch the textured ceiling, it was the perfect opportunity to make the ceiling a feature?  We installed prefinished planks from Metrie and they are a dream, the quality is amazing.

The Design Elements of this Modern Dining Room Makeover

When thinking about what I wanted for the design of this space, I wanted to try a moody patterned curtain.  I found this fabric called “Deni Ink” from Calico Corners and I knew it was the one.  I ordered a swatch and I was so thrilled with how it looked with my existing rug,

I decided to use it as my inspiration piece.  A fresh coat of Paint on the walls a deep blue just made sense to keep with the moody vibe, and then after that I kept everything else neutral, working with the colours in the curtain fabric.  Lots of black, white, wood and tan, so the colour wouldn’t overwhelm the space. 

The existing flooring is really very warm and the old red/ brown walls were much too similar to the tones in the floor, it felt like the inside of an oven.  Cooling things down with a lot of cool blue in a bold hue was a great way to balance out those warm floors and my existing wood furniture. I went with a bold hue on the walls and kept everything else in neutral colors.

floral blue curtains with beige flowers on a widnow with white upholstered chair in front of window with blue pillow on it
window with blue and beige floral curtains and golden retriever laying on the floor in front of window

I talked a little about the marketplace chair makeover in this post, but these dining chairs were a pretty easy fix.  A little glue, some spray paint and new faux leather seats and they are looking like new again.  My husband thought that some of these were beyond repair, I’m so glad I was able to breathe new life into these vintage beauties!

The black hutch I had painted a soft blue-grey in my last house, but I knew that wouldn’t fly with the new color palette.  A fresh coat of paint was all this needed and now it fits right in again.  

Dining room with blue walls, white shiplap ceiling, modern white rejuvenation plendants, floral curtains, jute striped area rug, black bentwood chairs, upholstered end chairs, dark wood table, black sideboard, and oversized art

A new light was needed in here, and I’m so thrilled with the modern pendant lights from Rejuvenation – they were the big splurge item for this room and they really are a statement in here. The jewelry that pops against the dark walls. They help give the traditional space a modern look.

rejuvenation pendant lights with white glass and black wire supports with blue dining room in background

There is a little alcove just inside the room that was itching for a little piece of furniture.  My sister ended up giving me this antique buffet table she was getting rid of and it fits like a glove!  I love how the lighter wood tone mixes with the darker woods in the space and it looks just fantastic against the blue walls. 

I love the variety of styles in this room from contemporary to antique and vintage. This piece is going to be very functional too, it will work great as a little bar area and storage for table linens (and allllll the booze!).  The piece has a short mirror on the back so I had trouble hanging art over it, until I tried mixing up a few little pieces for a fun little gallery.  Bingo!

corner with blue walls and a antique wood buffet server with a small gallery wall of art over it and styled with a lamp and bar tray

Other art in the room were pieces I already had. I went with one large piece over the hutch to keep things less cluttered over on that side of the room, since the hutch itself is full of my pottery collection. Virtually all of the styling pieces  in the room are vintage, antique, or thrifted,  or just things I’ve had for a long time.  Since this is the first room in this house I’ve styled, I had a pretty big stash to choose from!

blue room with antique wood buffet server in the corner with bar tray and gallery wall above

I am so happy with the modern dining room design and how this room turned out, let me tell you it is my favourite room in the house now. I just want to hang out in there all day long.  It is really giving me the itch to get going on more renos in this house, now that I’ve set the tone, helping this new house feel like our own home. And maybe I’ll have a few dinner parties even now that I have the spacious dining room do do it in!  

Make sure you check out the other participants, there are some pretty amazing transformations this season (as always) and I can’t wait to see what everyone else did!


I’ve compiled a source list below.  Much of the furniture we already had or was vintage so where possible I linked similar sources instead.  

Curtain Fabric: Calico Corners (gifted)

Curtain Rod – Amazon

Curtain Rings, Hooks, Pleating Tape – Ikea

Ceiling Planks – Metrie (via Windsor Plywood), Similar

Paint – Valspar Relaxed Navy

Pendants – Rejuvenation

Rug – Rugs USA

Table – Pottery Barn (Old), Similar, Similar, Similar

Chairs – Vintage, Similar, Similar

End Chairs – Old, Pier One (RIP!) – Similar

Hutch – Old, Similar

If there is anything I missed in my source round up let me know and I’ll add it!  I’d love to know what you think, drop me a comment below!

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  1. So incredibly good, Erin. You did an amazing job. It really is hard to believe it’s the same room.

  2. This room would have been beautiful on it’s own, but knowing how far it came and how you saw the potential for what it could be really makes it incredible!

  3. I LOVE how this space turned out and all of your creative solutions! I feel like lighting is one of the best places you can splurge because it makes such a big impact in a room, especially a dining room. You are going to love having this room complete just in time for the holidays!

  4. I was so excited to see the big reveal. It’s absolutely beautiful. I can imagine your family and friends sitting at the table for hours!

  5. Thank you so much Nicole!! The alcove is actually my favorite part of the room, I’m so glad you like it!

  6. The details in this room are spot on! Love the fabric, the wall color, that vintage buffet/place for all the booze, and those lights!!!! Just gorgeous. Congratulations on your One Room Challenge. xx

  7. I’m a newbie here from the ORC and glad I visited. I love what you have done with this space.. The wall color is perfect and I simply adore how you blended the old and the new for a cohesive look. Everything is styled to perfection

  8. What a difference removing the columns did for your dining room!!! It looks so beautiful. I love the drapery fabric as well as the gorgeous blue paint color.

  9. Thanks so much Denise! Yes the ORC is such a great collaborative challenge, I’m an addict! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

  10. I didn’t know you moved but your new house looks like just your style. It has so many amazing rooms that you can put your own touch on. I have enjoyed seeing your renos…although I thought it was in your "old" house. This dining room is so nice!!!! I love your style and innovation! This definitely inspires me….I feel a renovation coming on.


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