Need help with Dining Room!

A Makingspace
22 May 2017

This room needs help. Walls to be painted for sure (colors recommendations?), chair rails & ceiling trim removed (or painted white) and new light needed. (Eventually, we will paint all our oak trim white, but that's down the line). We also need a buffet/sideboard--what color? Style? And should I put a rug down? A square one? I feel like this room has potential, but I am not good at this stuff & need help!

I need some ideas about paint color and definitely chandeliers. I considered this light below, but feel unsure on it. What light might look best?

Comments (146)

  • mdcathy

    I like the oak trim---and it really accentuates that ceiling feature---painting it white will actually detract from it. I agree about no rug---it is, afterall, a dining room where food could be spilt. The only room in my house with carpeting is my dining room and I hate it---if you do go for a rug, think indoor/outdoor one as they are much easier to clean---and there are lovely ones out there nowadays. Definitely need larger art work. Lighting fixture is really about what you like. Nice to shop online but I like to see in person so I would do some shopping around---find something you like and then compare to what you see online---at least seeing something in person that is the same size would give you a better idea.

  • A Makingspace
    I ordered a light! It's the west elm capiz
    Zigzag chandy. :) next up will be paint but still unsure on color.
  • A Makingspace
    Tdpi if you can find a link for that one above can you still post it? I like it!
  • A Makingspace
    Thanks outshopping! Having a colored buffet is a good idea too.
  • groveraxle

    Wayfair has 117 sideboards that are 14" or less in depth:

    Sideboards & Buffet Tables You'll Love | Wayfair · More Info

  • Pat Brown

    Keep the chair rail & trim in the ceiling. Add crown mold to dress up the walls since you have trim in the tray ceiling. Like the light gray with white on the chair rail & trim in the tray ceiling. Consider painting the area below the "wood trim" in the ceiling the same color as the walls. This would break up the white ceiling & white trim. Would you consider painting the base boards white & window trim white?

    The house we previously owned had stained wood trim. In the dining room we had white trim with white crown mold & white base boards, looked nice even if rest of trim in the house was stained.

    Agree, use over size art work.

  • A Makingspace

    Pat, I'd consider painting window and baseboard trim white, too, but always thought I'd need to just keep painting allllll the rest of the house? Our dining opens up to kitchen on one side and entry/stairs on the other, so worried it would be noticeable if not all the same? Wish it was magically all white. It's every freaking where.

  • Pat Brown

    My dining room had a cased opening leading into the kitchen & a cased opening leading into the great room. All the trim through out the house was stained even the doors. It worked great. I was happy with the looks of the dining room, gave it a dressier look.

  • A Makingspace

    Look, we have progress! West elm
    Chandelier is in and up. What do we think?

    And now what? Thinking selecting paint color?

  • outshopping422

    It looks it!!!

    A Makingspace thanked outshopping422
  • A Makingspace

    Thanks, outshopping!!!

  • outshopping422

    The soft grey that Grover used would look so pretty :)

  • A Makingspace

    peanut, you just following? :) I'd love input from any and everyone?!

  • barrowp

    Chandy looks fabulous!

    A Makingspace thanked barrowp
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  • A Makingspace

    Thanks barowp!!! it surprises me every time I walk by, not used to seeing it there! ;)

  • Harper
    It looks beautiful. The console table I pictured seems to be only available at Home Depot, Canada, sorry.
    A Makingspace thanked Harper
  • A Makingspace

    Thanks Tdpi!

  • Caroline Van Winkle

    Have you considered white wainscoting with white baseboard and chair rail.

    on your shortest wall, a built in dish cabinet to the ceiling, with an expensive wall paper with the ceiling matching wallpaper, then gold insert with large brass chandelier

  • momjk

    Re painting trim: Baseboard needs to be left wood to blend into floor, and connect to wood window framing. Please don't even consider painting that window trim! It is gorgeous! Chair rail could be removed. Or maybe better painted to lessen the busyness, and less contrast in a room you're wanting focus on the chandelier, art work, etc. Not a white contrast against wall colour. Wood crown moulding in tray ceiling is nice. Could either be painted to blend with ceiling colour. Or if want, use as part of a more played-up ceiling.

  • A Makingspace

    Thanks,momjk! Always nice to hear positive comments about my trim, haha. Initially I was considering painting chair rail and just ceiling trim white, now we are thinking of removing chair rail entirely and just painting ceiling trim white to blend in with ceiling.

  • barrowp

    Yes, with this room being open to other rooms with wood baseboards and window trim, I like the idea of removing chair rail and blending in ceiling trim.

  • A Makingspace

    Hey all, just an update there there has not been real movement on this diningroom since the new chandy installation. BUT I am still planning on completing this room this summer!! Paint, windows, maybe buffet. :) If you are interested, I am also re-doing our living room and need help there too! :) I accidently have two threads going on it:

    You all have been so helpful here, would love if you could take a peek at that room too! :)

  • barrowp

    Good idea to show those other threads. How do the dining room and living room flow together? Lots of the ideas you are working on (paint, trim, window treatments, rugs) should probably be made with both rooms in mind.

    A Makingspace thanked barrowp
  • A Makingspace

    These rooms are not connected - and you can't see one from the other. There is a large kitchen and hearth room in between (someday, I'll get to redoing those, too). But yes, I agree on the paint and trim. I am actually hoping to have the two rooms painted same color, just for ease and consistency.

  • Betsy Cain

    I haven't read through this whole thread (and I did see that you wanted a neutral wall color), but after reading that you like the style of Young House Love, I couldn't help but envision this dining room in Benjamin Moore's Calypso Blue! It's such a gorgeous, rich color. I've always wanted to use it somewhere! If this isn't a room you're in a lot except for dinner parties, it might be fun to go with a bold wall color. And if I were you, I would also take down the chair rail so as to modernize the room. And add fun patterned curtains? Just some ideas for you!

  • jansgirl

    Would suggest getting paint samples and trying them out in the room. If you are going to use this color throughout, you'll have to consider furniture, lighting in the other rooms as well.

  • PRO

    Definitely remove the chair rail. Looks like you have young family, so slipcovered dining chairs (crate and barrel, pottery barn has those). If you wish to keep the children's photos in the room, frames must be larger with large mats, that would give it a modern custom look. Maybe some plug in adjustable-arm sconces and a sideboard to finish the space. What's the style or color of your other rooms coming off the dining room? I think that should dictate wall color and rug. Good luck!

  • Anna S
    The width of a light over a round table is that it should be at least half the table's diameter.
  • WishICouldAffordThat

    This is such a terrific thread. I have really enjoyed reading all the suggestions, thinking about what might look good - so many different tastes, which is great! This is what I love about Houzz. Thanks to everyone who contributed and followed through, and to Makingspace for posting updates - please be sure to post the final "after"! (By the way, one of my favorite suggestions was one of the first ones - the subtle metallic finish in the ceiling coffer, made by MS Colours Inc. Love that!)

    A Makingspace thanked WishICouldAffordThat
  • A Makingspace

    Love this, wishIcouldafford! Yes, it's been super helpful so far! :)

  • PRO
    Suite Effects LLC

    I've read most of this thread, but admittedly skimmed, so I hope I'm not making a suggestion that has already been offered. I often recommend these two paint colors because they work with so many different hard finishes (floors, trim, etc.) and actually am in the middle of remodeling my own dining room. I used Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray above the chair rail and used SW Anew Gray on the bottom, painting the chair rail with the Anew Gray. They are right next to each other on the color strip and blend beautifully. For me, painting the lower half white is beginning to feel dated and can often give an "unbalanced" feel to the room, depending on how dark the upper paint is. You could paint the tray ceiling trim either of those colors as well to add some interest. That would be only 2 sections of your trim that are painted and if in the future you decide to paint all of your oak trim, you won't need to repaint those trim portions.

    Your chandelier looks beautiful. Just for future reference, MY rule of thumb for chandeliers is the length of the room plus the width of the room in inches, deviation of up to 2 inches either way. So, your chandelier should be 24"-28" (13 + 13 in inches) ... you're right in the target zone, but actually could have gone a pinch larger. Chandeliers are an accessory fixture and need to compliment the room size as well as the furnishings. Also, if you change tables in the future, you may find yourself having to buy another chandelier.

    Rugs in the dining room. How much will you actually USE your dining room. If this is the only eating space, skip the rug. You'll thank me every time you go to clean under the table. You don't need it and in small dining rooms, they eat up visual space. If you absolutely want a rug, a 12' x 12' is going to look the best because the room isn't excessively large and it is also square. You can get away with a "rectangle" rug IF your furniture (adding that buffet/sideboard that you want) creates a large, enough visual, rectangular floor space. If you can't put your table and chairs (pulled away from the table) on the entire rug, the rug is too small. Rule of thumb is minimum 18" from table edge to outer edge of rug, but 24" will look more balanced.

    Sorry to be so long-winded. You're off to a great start ... keep us posted with more thoughts and photos.

  • Sherri Tarran

    I love farmhouse decor! To me it means warm, family, cozy, etc. :) I think you should either go with a light grey or tan. I love huge clocks, family pics, vintage finds! Don't be afraid to show off your personality in your rooms!!

  • PRO
    Whardale International

    With the height of the room, I would be reluctant to advise removal of the horizontal elements (chair rails) which helps to give proportion to the room. From long years of pro history, I am also reluctant to advise painting oak. It has such definite texture that it is difficult to get an even finish. Have you considered that by painting the walls a darker color, you would lessen the contrast that currently exists and the oak would be less obvious? Possibly , if your color selection ends up in the grey range, it may look interesting to use a "whitewash" to the trim and give it look of a tradition English "fumed" oak.

  • greenacresmama

    Buy buffet first and then paint that entire space! I might do something crazy like navy on the ceiling. But don't! Paint it all a simple color first like you are thinking. If you want sparkle, think about wallpaper below chair rail. But find buffet next! Paint is easy.

  • mphilipsborn70

    Love that table. What are the measurements? Where did you find?

  • Caroline Van Winkle

    I am not sure you identified the kind of dining room you want...simple, country, extravegent, eclectic...this decision should identify the paint and accountrements that you wish your dining room to end up looking matter which one you decide on, make a long term plan step by step to ensure the effect you wish to end up with. Each of the respondents here are identifying what their dining room would look like, not necessary yours. I would go for extravagant myself because I adore the I would go for a gold ceiling, oriental partially silk wallpaper covering half the wall with wainscoting yet with the wallpaper covering the loser part of the ceiling. I would add a ceiling medallion for the chandalier and get a larger crystal or brass chandalier. I would go with blue, green, or even rose wallpaper with wainscoting painted white or a creme ending at the chairwell painted same color. The question is, what kind of dining room do you desire. You have heard mine, and many others, ow show us yours...because isn't that the real challenge, finding your real identity thru your home.

  • Deborah Longino

    Your ceiling is a great feature and you may want to highlight it with color or a new texture like reclaimed wood or even copper tiles. Reminder: any light fixture should be well above head height. You might want to pick your rug first and bring color from there to use in your room. You could go very dramatic with color or very stark and modern - lots of possibilities!

  • A Makingspace
    Thanks Suite effects! I love the paint color recommendations you gave and will look into those for sure. Any color that plays well with multiple tones and is neutral (and works witth oak) AND is a shade of light gray is a win for me.

    Glad the light is in the target zone for size. Funny it almost feels too big for me! Almost. But the crap light we used to have there was far too small, so having a light the right size takes some getting used to. :)

    We actually never really eat in here. But great point on the cleaning. I'm all for simplifying!
  • A Makingspace
    Mphilipsborn thanks! I like the table too. My inlaws gave it to us and I have no clue where they got it.
  • A Makingspace
    Caroline, great question. I'd say my style is more modern with scandavian/clean lines/farmhouse. I love YHL style for example.
  • A Makingspace
    Thanks Deborah!
  • Bonnie Pedersen

    The first thing I thought was the pictures of much too small for the wall.

    I love the ceiling we have cantelevered ceiling as well. However I feel the

    chair rail is way too low for the size of the room and would paint them out as you suggested. I love the dark furniture so would look for a cabinet or sideboard in the same color and pick a warmer color for the walls. Something

    that ties in with hour living room if it is visible from the dining room. Have fun.We have places now where they show you six colors that compliment each other. and show you rooms with accent colors.

  • shedrivesatruck

    I love your room! There is so much potential here. We painted a lot of our house with BM Revere Pewter. It is such a neutral grey and goes well with so many different colours. Your dining room set would look awesome with it! I also went a step further and painted all of our oak with BM Cloud White. It was a lot of work, but I've never regretted it. Everything looks so fresh. I think I would totally remove the chair rail, as it would give your walls a cleaner space to work with. Your new light looks amazing! You've had a lot of wonderful advice in this thread. I'm excited to see your finished project!

  • dreaminginwi
    These are 2 photos of interesting ceiling ideas saved from Houzz.
  • Tess Montgomery

    Paint the oak trim now! I just did this in our 1987 home as part of a kitchen remodel. That will change the look of the place so much, your other decisions will probably change and may become clearer.

  • jansgirl

    ahhh, what happens when a thread goes too long and everything gets rehashed.....