B&A: Dining Room

Being renters, one of our favorite DIY projects is painting. It is the easiest and cheapest way to make a space feel “your own”, to feel unique, and to feel more homey. We were super lucky when the owner of our rental said that we could do whatever we wanted to the house–minus making major structural changes (so no tearing down walls or changing the gross popcorn ceilings).

When we moved to SC, we found our amazing house for rent on Craigslist. All of the “main rooms” in our house were this beige, light khaki color-seen below. One of the first things we had to change was that. I am not a neutral-walls person unless there is a lot of other stuff going on in the room. Since we are 27 and 31, we haven’t accrued enough cool art or furniture to have stuff everywhere that would warrant white walls…so alas, we need color to give a little interest.


This is the dining room when we came to look at the house–so previous renters furniture and whatnot. I was excited to have a room dedicated to dining, even though we hardly ever eat in there. It has really functioned as a pass-through space until we decided to make it into an actual dining room. So step one, PAINT. (YES, those are the same paint colors–just different lighting)


Confession: we are normally really lazy painters. We’ve done almost every room in our house now, so we’ve gotten pretty good at cutting in and edging (my job) and rolling without bumping the ceiling (Davids job). But with the dark color we’d chosen and the amount of molding in this room (which we love), we decided we better take the extra time and tape the walls. Here’s the hubby doing that. I helped, REALLY!

Color choice–again inspired by Emily Henderson, was a navy blue. I’ve always thought that dining rooms are allowed to be dark and dramatic, and we have HUGE windows in all the rooms, so I figured we could go dark because this room gets a lot of light.



Oh yeah, the other rule of paining in our house–cold beer. It really makes the whole experience more enjoyable. Cold beer also helps when assembling Ikea furniture–just a tip.

So we chose our navy, Annapolis Blue, by Olympic. and we almost always use Behr’s paint and primer in-one. But this time, the Olympic paint guy was at Lowe’s and convinced us to use their stuff instead. So we caved–and we regretted it right away. We loved the color but we’ve NEVER had to do more than one coat with Behr paint and primer in one-and we’ve done dark colors in other rooms. But as you’ll see, we definitely were going to need more paint. Did I mention we were lazy painters? So more than one coat did not make us happy.


BUT, after that second coat, the blue was perfect. It was smooth, it was moody and dark, and it was exactly what we’d wanted. It took too long to do because of the two coats things, but we were so happy with the result, we quickly forgot.



And so what does it look like now?




A little closeup of the bookshelves (and other look at our DIY work–those used to be “birch” color–light wood color–but we spray painted the whole piece white).


These little birdies were one of our wedding cake-toppers, and we love them.


David is a big game player–especially when Mike comes over, so here is his little stash of chess boards and backgammon game. This is not all of them. 🙂


Remember when I said decorating can be hard when combining guy and girl stuff? Here’s a way how to hide display boy stuff.


And here’s how we display lady stuff, like our China and little hedgehog that I got from my grandparents.








Okay, so there ya go. A little “B & A”–BEFORE AND AFTER–of one of our rooms. We have tons of fun with this type stuff, and it will probably continue to change over the next year or so. I move a lot of things around…often…and we’re having some people over on Wednesday, so the dining room will probably be totally different later this week. But one thing that won’t change, that amazing navy blue.


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