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Dining Room Transformation

One of the most exciting aspects of moving to the suburbs was the fact that I would finally have a dining room. A WHOLE ROOM DEVOTED TO ENTERTAINING? Count me in! There is nothing I love more than to cook delicious food for the people I love. I knew I wanted to make this room warm and inviting but most importantly, a little less formal than the pre existing, bling-bling chandelier that hung from the vaulted ceiling.

I love combining rustic and industrial elements together. I like to use antiques and other unusual findings with my more modern furniture pieces to create a unique look. My first design challenge was deciding what to do with the gold and crystal chandelier. It is extremely gaudy in my opinion, BUT with the right understated pieces it could be used to create a shabby/chic sort of vibe. I also knew a chandelier of that size would cost a fortune, so in time I could change it out for something a little more modern.

Here is a before photo, the entire house was painted the same vanilla color. I also wasn't sure the point of the chair rail on the monochromatic walls. I always thought the chair rail was to create separation.

The first step was to paint the bottom portion of the chair rail white in anticipation of either shiplap or wainscoting (which we still have to accomplish). Secondly, my husband painted the top of the chair rail "Bottlenose Dolphin" by Valspar, it appears more blue in photos but in person it is more of a dark grey (shocking I know). I thought this particular color was a nice accent to the gold chandelier and the white trim.

One of my biggest design inspirations is looking back at trends throughout history. I love using antiques in my decor and luckily my Mom is an antique dealer. She (and my Dad) find the most amazing pieces that really make a unique statement. Since she is SO generous with her treasures, I get to use a great deal of them throughout my home. Below are some antique dinner plates from countries all over the world. I cleaned them up with soap and water, let them dry completely and then applied plate hangers to the back. After applied to the back of the plate, I let them dry for 24 hours. Once they pass the "can they hang off of my thumb" test (super scientific), I used one step hangers to hang them in an abstract design.

The next challenge was to find a table and chairs along with a sideboard. I wanted the furniture to feel less formal since the chandelier is extremely formal. In the future I would love to hang something like this beauty from

My usual go-to furniture store is, I really love their prices and the fact that they have free shipping is pretty fantastic. I found our dining room table along with 6 chairs all for under $1,000. We are a family on a budget and the fact that we have a 2 year old boy also factors into our furniture purchases. I really feel that it IS possible to have a beautiful home without spending tens of thousands on home furnishings.

I also found this rustic buffet for along side the table on wayfair. I use it mostly to house my large platters and some of my milk glass collection. Each season, I redesign the buffet along with the dining room table. Check out the gallery below to see some photos of the room's progress.

Leave me a comment, I would love to know where your favorite places to shop for home furnishings. Have a great rest of your Sunday evening everyone! Just a few days from now we will be kicking off the kitchen remodel. I can't wait to share.

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About Ashley

Ashley Mancione is a wife, mom, freelance graphic designer/developer and home decor enthusiast. Stay tuned to read more about styling House 3, favorite recipes and her DIY adventures.

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