Does Your Dining Room Need a Make-Under?

Although it’s a simple and small space, this dining room is a fresh and inviting place to share an intimate meal.

 Simple and Elegant Dining Room


This was not always the case!  This homeowner was looking for an interior decorator to give her a new perspective on this dining space, without breaking the bank.   Rather than a makeover, this room really needed a make-under.  This room was like a woman who wears make-up in such a way that all you notice is the make-up.   Below, a make-under  highlighted and enhanced this woman’s natural beauty:

Before and After “Make-Under”


The overdone make-up in this room includes  the high-contrast colors, the brassy light fixture, and the showy window treatment.

dated outdated

Dining Room Before Design Intervention

By choosing a fresh, light color for the wall (vs. the dated pinky-beige) and painting out the area below the chair rail in trim color (white), the room appears less choppy and more elegant.  By choosing simple panels that hang above and outside the windows, we revealed (rather than concealed) the beautiful view and natural light.  Both of these changes put the focus on the inherent beauty of the architecture of the room (moulding and windows).

blue room by the decorologist

Dining Room After The Decorologist

The brassy light fixture got a make-under, as well.  We didn’t replace it – it’s the same light fixture, only better.  Here is the rather dated brass light fixture before:

Brassy Light Fixture

I had my clients take down the brass fixture, remove the glass hurricanes, and simply spray paint it before rehanging it.  Just a can of metal primer and a can of metal finish spray paint in iron or oil-rubbed bronze – less than $10 for a whole new light fixture!

spray paint metal

Updated Light Fixture

The showy window treatments, high-contrast color scheme, and brassy light fixture were distracting – now you notice the architecture of the room, the lovely view, and the special collection of dishes my client has collected.   Next time you think your room needs a make-over, perhaps you should consider a make-under instead!

Pipe Dreams, Airstreams, and Pinterest

Let me be clear – I am no camper.  But I have had a pipe dream for years about restoring an Airstream trailer.

 All images in this post are found here


Wouldn’t it be fun to decorate it out all retro-dreamy, like a giant dollhouse?




My girls could use it as a playhouse in the backyard. [Read more…]

IKEA Bookcases – So Many Ways to Use Them!

The Expedit Bookcase is one of IKEA’s best-selling products, and it’s no wonder.  They’re inexpensive and incredibly versatile, making them the best value I’ve found in a bookcase.  They’re backless, so the color from the wall behind can show through.


[Read more…]