Living/dining room reveal Part 1 {From a beige box to something more beautiful}

I’m really excited about this post, finally my dining chair upcycle is complete and I can show you our finished dining space! Let’s start from the beginning, when we first moved into No. 49 back in December 2014, everywhere was painted magnolia; it really was an uninspiring beige box. The open-plan living/dining room is on the back of the house with french doors opening out to the garden. The size and shape of the room worked for us and I knew, in time, it could aesthetically look a whole lot better!  This was our quick Christmas table set-up after moving in on December 21st. After putting up the tree, I threw a patterned tablecloth over the dining table – a quick attempt at injecting some festive colour into a dull and bland space. We hadn’t even put curtains up yet, Christmas cheer over privacy was our priority it seems!

When we did get around to fitting curtains, I chose these pencil pleat ‘Country Spot’ beauties from John Lewis (no longer available) and found some lovely antique brass poles to hang them on.

Can you see the array of tester pots in the bottom right corner? Decisions decisions!

The space still lacked personality and I was itching to make it ours and rid No. 49 of the builder’s beige. The quickest and easiest way to inject personality into a space is with paint. A room can be transformed in a matter of hours and easily changed if it doesn’t turn out the way you’d hoped. The walls were painted in Farrow and Ball’s ‘Stone Blue‘ which has amazing depth of colour and a gorgeous chalky finish. Blue is a receding colour too which means it creates a feeling of space as the walls appear to be further away from you.

What a difference, it’s a colour which really holds its own! After the paint brushes were put away, the next job on the list was to gradually replace the furniture we had brought with us from the apartment. The BJURSTA table and NORRNÄS chairs were from Ikea, a cracking set which served us well for four years in our first home but we wanted something a little less, well, orange.

I saw this lovely ‘Dorset’ extendable table in Next Home. I loved the colour of the wooden top and it was within budget at £299.

I knew our budget wouldn’t stretch to replacing the four chairs too so I promised myself I’d upcycle them at a later date. I found the beautiful map by Maps International on Not On The High Street. I loved the wooden hanging bars and its antique style muted tones; it reflects our love of traveling perfectly. It’s also a good size for that large back wall measuring 118.9cm (w) by 84.1cm (h) So with paint, artwork and new furniture, the space was really starting to take shape!

Lighting is key in living space and in the evenings, it needed some light in this back part of the room to create a cosy atmosphere so I went in search of a floor lamp. After not really finding one that was right, I came across a gorgeous carved plant stand in a local antiques centre which I thought I could use as a lamp stand instead. The barley twist detail is so lovely!

The table lamp was from Dunelm and during the evenings, the room now has a homely glow.

The artwork was from Parks Moon Prints. They’re a great company who salvage vintage dictionaries which are beyond repair and upcycle the undamaged pages into unique artwork. I’ve always been a fan of book page and music sheet artwork so I chose my favourite four designs and once framed, stuck them up with handy command strips.

Next up was those NORRNÄS Ikea chairs. Using Annie Sloan chalk paint and some floral fabric, I painted and re-upholstered the seat pads and I’m so pleased with how they turned out. Read about the whole upcycling process here.

The lace table runner was from H&M and the tiered stand was from Homesense and I love to decorate it as the seasons change. At the moment it’s a mixture of candles and succulents planted in teacups.

So there we are! The space is now far more personal and interesting. We’ve filled it with colours, accessories and artwork which we love and it’s now a space with personality and character.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour around my dining room. Got any plans for your dining space? Do tell!

6 thoughts on “Living/dining room reveal Part 1 {From a beige box to something more beautiful}

  1. Love this look .. could you do a few … how to do posts .. like upholster the chair pad … All looks amazing !!!

    1. Hi Alison, welcome to Design at 49 and thank you for your kind words! I have got a few how-to posts lined up which I’m excited to share with you in the next few months so keep an eye out for them. In the meantime, have a look at
      for my step-by-step guide to re-upholstering those Ikea chairs and for a previous blog post where I upcycle the TV cabinet. Enjoy! xx

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