Rearranging Your Rooms and Re-imagining Your Color Scheme

Not many people can see past the way the way they’ve been using their rooms, even though that may not be working for them anymore.  And if they have an obvious color scheme, they may be overwhelmed with the idea of updating – does that mean they have to get rid of everything and start new?  I love to help my clients re-imagine their space from a fresh perspective, which is what I did in this recent project in the Belle Meade neighborhood of Nashville.  

blue dining room bookcases

warm and welcoming dining space by The Decorologist


Let’s start from the beginning.  My client has lived in this home for well over a decade.  This long rectangular room has served as a dining room/sitting room combination for many years.  The color scheme was very bright and cheery, but my client wanted to freshen things up a bit.  Here is the “before” of the entire room:




Over several visits to her home, we chose fresh paint colors that would still work with her existing furnishings, re-imagined how to better use the space and the things she already owned, and rearranged furniture, art, and accessories.  The rarely-used sitting area became a warm and welcoming dining area, while the previous dining area became a lovely office space that was desperately needed.  Here’s a shot from the same angle after the transformation:

dining room office combination



We pulled the apple green wingback chairs from a bedroom to freshen up the new color palette and pulled down all the busy window treatments to reveal lovely views and a lot more natural light.

blue and green dining roomafter


We streamlined the color scheme of the room – it’s still bright and fun, but just a bit more sophisticated and definitely updated.  Here’s a “before” of the previous sitting area:


sitting area before


The home has two other living/seating areas, so this part of the room was under-utilized.  Now it’s a cozy space for an intimate fireside dinner:

bookcases in dining room



Here’s a before shot of the other side of the room where the dining room area was previously:

DSC_6238 before


And here’s the new study area after:

blue study office



Nothing except paint was purchased for this transformation!  As we settle in for the winter season, it might just be a good time for you to re-imagine and rearrange your own spaces.  Do these before and afters give you any ideas?

If you want to learn how to choose just the right paint colors for your home, quit dreaming and order my Color Workshop Video today.


  1. applehillcottage

    All you had to do was change it from yellow to green for me to love it! Less busy! Dining by the fireplace!
    Love it! Beautiful job…

  2. Mitzi Leigh Hinton

    Love it Kristi. Mind sharing the new paint color you choose? – M

  3. jeannie casey

    what was that color you used on the walls? blue?
    it looks great.

  4. Kizzy

    Absolutely STUNNING!!! Maybe one day the shock of your transformations will wear off for me. On second thought, probably NOT! What your eyes see for a space is amazing. You are truly gifted. Thank you for helping us to love our spaces, one home at a time.

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thank you so much, Kizzy! You are so sweet 🙂

    • Paula Van Hoogen

      I TOTALLY second what Kizzy says!!!
      Thinking outside the typical seems key here.
      You are clearly NOT stuck with how the builder tried to dictate the spaces.
      Fresh new perspectives cause our minds to grow, I believe.

  5. Kathleen

    I actually like both versions. One was very warm and cheerful and now it has a calming look.

  6. Sherry

    L O V E I T!!!!

  7. Kathi

    Another beautiful job,Kristie-I really love the pic of the new dining room in front of the fireplace! You are so talented!!!!

  8. Amber

    I love your style! I really love the curtainless windows, and wanted to try it in my house but my boyfriend is really against it for privacy and security issues. Do you have any suggestions for a window treatment that would look pretty minimal during the day but be able to close at night? What window treatments do you prefer? I initially thought white roller shades but my friend said she thought it would look unfinished. What do you think?

  9. Beth

    Beautiful & functional – my two favorite things!

  10. Kelly

    The Magic of Paint strikes again. Plus all of your changes made such a big difference. I bet she is very happy with the transformation!

  11. Cathy Z

    You rocked it once again! As you grow in fame (and you are!) please never stop posting befores with your afters – very fun (and instructional) to compare.

  12. Bridgitte

    Love that you moved the dining area to be beside the fireplace!! I would love to have a fireplace in my dining room 🙂 What is the paint color you used? It is gorgeous!

  13. Nicole

    Wow — love the transformation! I do love the blue/grey paint, and am curious about the paint color, too!

  14. Ella

    Some great inspiration!! I just moved into a house, so I am looking for some creative wall ideas. Love the house tour and transformation is outstanding.This also reveals your style of decorating.I have acquired lot of decor ideas from this post that I would love to incorporate in my rooms.

  15. Peter Feinmann

    Sometimes an expensive remodel just isn’t in the cards. If that’s the case you just need to think creatively and re-imagine what the layout of the existing space should be. A fresh coat of paint and more natural light can often do the trick!

  16. KmiR

    I wish you could add the paint color used to the post. It would help so many people.

    • Kristie Barnett

      I have written over 1100 posts and articles offering free advice about decorating and color, without ads that readers have to trip over. But a girl has to make a living. If I give away my color selection service, no one will hire me to do work for them that they can get from me for free. I hope you understand!


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