Dining Room Updates!

These easy dining room updates were completed in a weekend and are a simple way to refresh any dining space!

Simple Room Updates You Can Do This Weekend

It’s probably happened to all of us. There’s some area or aspect of our house that’s not our favorite, but it’s also not terrible, so we live with it. We walk past it day after day and think, “Someday we’ll probably change that” but never seem to get around to it.

But as time goes on, that “thing” starts to bug us more and more. And it continues to sit there, just laughing at us, chiding us, reminding us that it’s still there, it’s still ugly, and it’s still waiting for us to do something about it.

And then we can’t take it for one second longer, so finally, FINALLY we decide to do something about it.

At least, that’s how it usually goes in our house.

For me, the dingy white paint that our builder chose was “that thing” over the past two years. When we first moved in, it wasn’t terrible. I was thankful to have a neutral, blank slate to work with.

Ryan Homes Palermo Dining Room on Move-In Day

Our dining room on the day we moved in, September 2016.

But the longer we’ve lived here, the more it has felt stark, sterile, and unwelcoming, so slowly, room by room, we’ve been painting over it.

Dining Room Updates

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

We hadn’t done much to our dining room since we moved in other than lay out a rug, switch the light fixture, and add furniture.

Dining Room Before Photo

Our dining room in June 2018.

Since we don’t use the dining room often, it wasn’t super high on our priority list when it came to projects, but it is the first room you see when you walk in the door, so a few weekends ago, I cracked.


I decided I couldn’t take a blank, dingy white dining room for one more day, so I broke into my paint stash, grabbed a brush and roller, and got to work.

Coastal Dining Room painted with Sherwin Williams Rainwashed

table | X-back chairs (similar) | upholstered chairs | bench | slipcovered chairs | light fixture

The new paint color is Sherwin Williams Rainwashed, color matched in Behr Marquee paint. It’s funny how sometimes we live with things we don’t love for years, but then in reality it really only takes an afternoon to make an improvement!

But then like the mouse and the cookie, everything else kind of spiraled out of control from there. If you give a girl a painted room, she’s going to want to switch around the furniture. And if you let her switch around the furniture, she’s going to want to re-style the surfaces too. And after she restyles the surfaces, she’ll realize that she needs to change up the decor on the walls.

And on and on and on. 😉

Rearrange the Furniture

I had been wanting to rearrange the furniture ever since we got our new table in June because the space between the table and the china cabinet was a little too tight for my liking. So we moved the china cabinet over between the windows…

White China Cabinet in Coastal Dining Room with Aqua Glass Demijohns

…and brought the dresser-turned-sideboard over to the stair wall.

Dining Room Sideboard with Round Mirror and Gallery Wall with Gold Frames

This arrangement gave us so much more room to move around in the space and felt less cramped. I would find myself avoiding walking through this room before because the layout didn’t flow very well and it was a tight squeeze– it is so much better now!

Re-style the Surfaces

I had fun rearranging the items on the shelves of the hutch to match the rest of the room, and I also collected a bunch of my aqua glass demijohns to line up on the table as a centerpiece. It’s simple, but it went well with the somewhat coastal feel of the space.

Coastal Dining Room with White China Cabinet Hutch and Aqua Glass Jars

aqua glass jars- HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby, Target

While I was at it, I also added some aqua jars to the top of the sideboard, filled with hydrangeas from our hydrangea bush out front.

Gray Dining Room Sideboard with Round Wooden Mirror

I’m always amazed at how switching around a few accessories can really help give the space a fresh feel!

Switch Up the Wall Decor

Since I had to take everything off the walls to paint anyway, I decided to change out some of the wall decor while I was at it. One of my favorite things we added in this room was this little gold-framed gallery wall of family photos, taken by our incredibly talented friend Jenny while we were at a lake house with friends over Labor Day. (If you are in the DC or northern Virginia area, look her up!)

Dining Room Gallery Wall with Gold Frames

gold frames | round mirror- Hobby Lobby

I also found this cool mirror with a patterned white overlay at HomeGoods, and I knew the white would pop off the aqua walls beautifully.

Dining Room with China Cabinet and Mirror with White Wooden Patterned Overlay

Finally, I still loved my “In Christ Alone” canvases in this space, so we made room for them in between the windows beyond the table.

Canvas Art in Coastal Dining Room

I made these canvases using the same tutorial I shared in this post.

Let’s take a look at a the before and after shot…

Dining Room Decor Before and After

I’m so glad to be rid of the dingy white walls!

Future Plans for the Dining Room

If I’m being honest, I am calling this “phase one” of our dining room decorating. One of the reasons I’ve put off the painting in here for so long is because I’ve always envisioned some sort of white board and batten going part of the way up the wall in this room, which will be a decently big project.

If we want to put up board and batten, we’ll first need to trim out the windows like we did in our living room and upgrade the trim in the doorway and on the cased opening to match as well. I know we’ll get there eventually, but this quick weekend facelift will tide me over until we find the time to do “phase two.”

Plus, we’re going to be hosting some of the family get togethers during the holidays this year, so it will be nice to have a “refreshed” space for that!

Coastal Farmhouse Dining Room in a Ryan Homes Palermo

(I bought that bench unfinished and stained the top and painted the bottom to match the X-back chairs!)

I also recently attacked our guest bedroom with paint and am planning to do our master bedroom soon as well, so keep an eye out for those updates coming to the blog soon(ish). 🙂

Shop Our Dining Room

Looking for more dining room ideas? These posts can help:

Free Printable Dining Room Decluttering Calendar

How We Organize Our Dining Room

Best Storage Pieces for the Dining Room

15+ Gorgeous Farmhouse Style Dining Tables

How to Measure for and Install Plantation Shutters

Have you done any dining room updates recently to prepare for holiday hosting? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Have a great day!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.


  1. Lisa Crookston says:

    Where did you purchase your rug? Is it easy to keep clean?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Lisa! It is the OSTED rug from IKEA, and yes, it has been easy to keep clean! It’s natural fiber and a neutral color, so it hides a lot, and anything that has been spilled on it has blotted out easily. I hope this helps!

      ~Abby =)

  2. Jennifer Adams says:

    Love the look of the bench, but does it work well with kiddos?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      My kids are 7 & 9, and it works perfectly for them. It’s kind of nice because we can even squeeze 3 kids onto it if we need to. 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Jennifer!

      ~Abby =)

  3. I like the added color in your room, yet it is neutral enough to switch out to another color(s) if you wanted. Your aqua glass collection is just perfects to add some pops of color, as is the hydrangeas! The room feels like it is very serene yet kept my eyes moving from accent to accent. NICE JOB!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Kathy! I’m definitely loving the changes. 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  4. Absolutely Gorgeous Abby!!!!!!
    You did a wonderful job!! ?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thanks so much, Melinda! Have a great week! <3

      ~Abby =)

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