5 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Dining Room

Transforming your dinner party space as never been so simple — or budget-friendly

It’s the place where you gather with your family each night for dinner, where you talk with friends late into the night over dessert and coffee each weekend, and come the holidays, where you sandwich in three generations around the table for your annual party. Whether you’re looking to add new life to your house before you put it on the market — or infuse your next gathering with a fresh look — upgrading your ho-hum dining room is neither difficult nor expensive. Here are five easy projects you can do yourself at home to transform your entertaining space from blah to beautiful in just a weekend.

 

1. Hang Artwork

Bare walls can be boring. Think about how you can hang artwork in a bold way to bring attention to the walls. If you don’t have any art, make your own by framing illustrations from an old book, use family photos to create a grid of memories or hang decorative plates in interesting configurations. Hanging a mirror also makes a big impact as it reflects light and can make your dining room appear larger.

 

2. Lighting

A chandelier is usually the centerpiece of a dining room so make it a star. If you’re in the market for a new chandelier, replace the one you have for instant impact. If you want to keep what you have, consider spray-painting it or adding chandelier shades for a new look. Make sure it hangs at a height that allows people to have conversations when sitting at the table and looks proportional to the rest of the room. The general rule of thumb is to hang the bottom of a chandelier about 36 inches above the tabletop. No room for something overhead? Consider sconces, too. If you don’t have a way to electrify sconces on the wall, simple candle sconces look beautiful when lit for a dinner party.

3. Paint

Paint is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to completely change the look of your dining room. Whether you want to go for a deep chocolate brown for a more intimate and cozy look, or a bright white to lighten things up, you can’t beat the bang for your buck that you’ll get with new paint. Walls aren’t the only surface to consider either. Think about an interesting color for your ceiling or do some tests with different finishes of paint — a glossy paint will be different than a matte finish. Not sure what will work? Visit your local hardware store to get some samples in different hues and finishes to try. A novice painter? Read these helpful tips on the best ways to prepare your walls and get started to ensure that your project is a success.

 

4. Add Trim

Molding is like the icing on the cake for a room. It's decorative and adds a refined, finished look. If you already have molding, think about painting it a bold color or paint one color above a chair rail and another color below. If your walls have no architectural detail, adding a simple chair rail or crown molding can instantly transform and your dining room into something a bit more sophisticated. And if installing molding seems like too much of a project, think about using paint to give the effect of molding by doing banding of color on the walls or painting a band around a window.

 

5. Repurpose a Piece of Furniture

If you’ve got a sideboard or china cabinet that is begging for some pizzazz, reimagine your furniture without having to buy new pieces. Painting a piece in a bold color, staining it a dark finish, or even adding new knobs and pulls lets you reinvent your furniture without breaking the bank. And don’t forget the tops of your pieces, too. By adding a marble or glass top to a sideboard, it becomes great for serving drinks and food without any worries of damaging the finish of your furniture. And something as simple as a new tablecloth can hide a dining table that has seen better days while adding a new pattern and fresh color to your room for a small price.

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