Dining Room The Victorian House

Making Over the Dining Room

Our dining room had creamy white walls when we moved in, and a large freestanding oak hutch that the previous owners left to us. Brandon and I plunked our dining table and chairs in the room, filled the hutch and arranged a display on its shelves, and that was about it. I would love to put up wallpaper eventually, but we still have some work to do on the first floor that will have us opening up the walls so it doesn’t make sense to paper them now. I was growing tired of the wall color though, and I figured it was time for a new coat of paint.

The dining room windows are north-facing and the house next door is pretty close, so we don’t get a ton of natural light in there. I didn’t want to go too dark with the walls since I had already painted the adjacent room black, so I chose Benjamin Moore’s ‘Basking Ridge Beige.’

Dining Room

It’s a subtle, historical pink, one shade darker than the color I used in the nearby library. I love the way it turned out, but at night the room still read as really yellow.

Dining Room with Fluorescent Lighting

I’ll be working on four projects over the next four weeks, making over rooms with just $100 from Target and GE reveal® LED light bulbs. I knew right away that the dining room would be my first pick for this series, because swapping out that old fluorescent bulb would definitely improve the look and feel of the space. I also decided to use sheets of wrapping paper that we had on hand to line the hutch, new candleholders that I’d repurpose as vases, and napkins that played off of the pierced metal hurricanes.

GE reveal® LED bulb, patterned paper, and candleholders and napkins from Target

I put together this video, detailing the changes to the room.

Dining Room | Making it Lovely

So much better! We eat every meal in our dining room, and we need the light on more often than not. The wall color looks far more true with the new bulb than it did before. Also, I’m so glad that my idea for fixing the lighting fixture with parts from a decorative knob worked! That hole in the bottom of the glass always bugged me.

Dining Room with Reveal® LED Lighting

Ah, the table. It would be lovely to have fresh flowers all the time, but of course I can use the candleholders for their intended purpose too, and the napkins work with them either way.

Table Setting | Making it Lovely

The dining room was fine before, but it’s making me much happier now.

Dining Room | Making it Lovely

GE LightingI’ll be hosting a Twitter chat with GE Lighting, along with Mandi from Vintage Revivals and Brooke from All Things Thrifty this Thursday night at 7:30 Central. I hope you can join us!

Also, Target will be holding a demo day for GE LED bulbs (including GE reveal®) across the country on March 1 with $1 off coupons. The bulbs are also on sale, buy two get one free March 1-7 with no coupon required.


If you had a $100 gift card to Target and GE reveal® bulbs, what would you bring in to update your dining room? Comment below for a chance to win your own #100reveal makeover!

See the complete rules for more information.

I’m so excited to be a GE reveal® #100reveal sponsored blogger. Opinions are my own, projects have been chosen by me, and additional products used in the project were selected by me and provided by GE reveal®.

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  • Reply
    February 24, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    If I had a $100 Target gift card, I would definitely use it toward getting new lighting and seating at our dining table. Love those metal Threshold chairs and stools!

  • Reply
    Katie Richards
    February 24, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Funny enough, we’re mid-makeover in our dining room! Our ’50s ranch is shaped like a cross with the dining room in the middle intersection of the two parts so it is DARK! We’re planning to upgrade to LED bulbs in the fixture (classic, clean drum pendant) because the light is on almost all day. If I didn’t spend the gift card on the lightbulbs, I would look for colorful frames to brighten up the pale cream walls

  • Reply
    February 24, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    A table runner and some napkins. Might throw in some candle sticks.

  • Reply
    February 24, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    i don’t get a ton of natural light in the dining room so I can’t wait to try the GE reveal bulbs. I’d get some accessories in spring colors because I am so over this winter weather!

  • Reply
    Erin R.
    February 24, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    New bulbs for the chandelier and new shelving for above the buffet. Maybe some cute new napkina too.

  • Reply
    February 24, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    I would love some new ways to bring color into my dining room. Either through new linens or curtains!

  • Reply
    susan altfeld
    February 24, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    A rug! or maybe some sconces…

  • Reply
    February 24, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Some pretty plates and a table runner.

  • Reply
    Nicole McNicol
    February 24, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    I would pick a storage ottoman or a great lamp! :-)

  • Reply
    February 24, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Great reveal! My dining room would be complete if I had lighting and artwork. The key is in the final details.

  • Reply
    February 24, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    I’d start by buying a house with a dining room! I’m on the market for a house and excited checking out blogs and Pinterest for ideas. I’m buying this just me … so I couldn’t be more excited!

  • Reply
    heather f
    February 24, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    our dining room has one wall that is aubergine and has 2 hand made rugs from oaxaca mexico that we love. 2 walls have windows, but it is still super dark.

    I want over head lighting and a fan for the room. I wish you could come and style it for me!!

  • Reply
    February 24, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    My dining area is totally empty! I would love some accessories to welcome guests to my home for dinners.

  • Reply
    February 24, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    We’re getting a new table this weekend, so we’ll need some new chairs to go with it. I’d love to get a storage piece to show off our wedding china and new lightbulbs in our existing pendants would be the finishing touch.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 12:52 am

    I have great windows that face a not-so-great brick wall, so I’d go for new window treatments & something to swap out for a horrible ceiling fan

  • Reply
    Sarah W
    February 25, 2015 at 1:08 am

    This is great, Nicole! I always love what you do! Just goes to show how a little change can make a big difference! If I got my own #100reveal makeover for my dinning room, I would definitely get some kind of light fixture for over my table (with a GE bulb, of course). My dinning “room” is really just a section of our open living space and the only overhead light is in the kitchen. We’ve put a lamp in the “living room” area, and one on the desk, but there’s nothing by the table and it bugs me! I could definitely use some new napkins too! Great giveaway!

  • Reply
    Emily (justem)
    February 25, 2015 at 2:20 am

    I love seeing your old (well, new old!) dining room! Our home is 90 years old with beautiful built-ins,but it this hideous modern light fixture in the dining room that just doesn’t fit. If I won a #100reveal prize I would definitely replace my light fixture and also paint! And a new table and chairs someday… ;) Thanks for the chance to win! :)

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 2:29 am

    i would get rid of the atrocious “80s cafe” light fixture in my dining room! Target has such cute stuff to update a classic look. You’ve inspired me!

  • Reply
    Sarah S
    February 25, 2015 at 4:21 am

    We have acoustic ceiling tiles in our dining room, and those flat, square, recessed lights that pull down to change – they’re very yellow as well. I’d love to change both those out, but that would run a lot! I think for $100, I’d look at some new curtain hardware, or possibly something to organize coats and shoes better. (Our dining room also has our front door in it.)

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 5:32 am

    The new color in your dining room looks great! And wow — what a difference that new lighting makes. Hmm…if I had $100 for my dining room? I’d use it to strip the 1950s wallpaper and repaint the room, probably in a sage green.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 7:58 am

    I love that color! And who couldn’t use a 100 dollar gift card to Tar-jay?


  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 8:22 am

    I would like a new light fixture in my dining room.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 8:32 am

    I’d love a new Spring tablecloth to brighten up my dining room- along with some of those new GE Reveal LED bulbs, of course!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 8:49 am

    We just moved into a new house and my dining room needs so much help! On my list: a new rug, table linens, art, curtains, and maybe some vases and candles.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Oh man, if I won I would put the new bulb and $100 towards brightening up my bedroom. It has one small window and is absolutely dreary. I’ve fixed up most of the rooms in my house and left the master for last.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 9:50 am

    We have a big window in our dining room, which lets in great light all day long. But I hate the vertical blinds! I would get some soft, see through curtains, so even when they are closed for privacy – light can still come in!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 10:02 am

    I could use some floor lamps in my dining room. We don’t ceiling light in that area so I’m opting for floor lamps instead to brighten up the room at night.

  • Reply
    Kim B
    February 25, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I would bring in some new table lamps to brighten some dark corners.

  • Reply
    Jessica @ SundayLoves.com
    February 25, 2015 at 10:52 am

    This is perfect timing, actually. If I won a card for Target, I would grab some drapes. I’ve been over there looking and that’s exactly what we need. And we only have two windows in there, so it would be perfect. We already have the fixture from West Elm and the furniture! :)

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 11:20 am

    With a $100 gift card from Target I’d buy some new curtains and some art work for the walls. Haven’t gotten that far in the dining room yet.. it would be great to finish!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 11:58 am

    I just (like 2 weeks ago!!) moved into a fixer upper, our dining room is both unsettled and in total need of a new light fixture – right now it is just a ceiling fan, no light! I would update my lighting and bring in a mirror to bounce some sun light around!

  • Reply
    Ashley Bee
    February 25, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    To update my dining room, I would use the Target gift card to purchase either chairs or oversized art. I would use the GE Reveal bulbs to replace the horrible daylight CFL bulbs in my pendant light. They are too dim and distort the colors in my house.

  • Reply
    Megan C.
    February 25, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Our current dining room chairs are falling apart. I would put the gift card toward purchasing four of these beautiful chairs in aqua: http://www.target.com/p/threshold-windsor-dining-chair-set-of-2/-/A-15744178

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    If I won, I would get a sweet new light fixture to add drama, and new bulbs to make the room less yellow feeling.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    our pet’s food bowl is in the dining room and I would get a better looking food holder for him. We should all dine in style.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    I would get new pendants for over the kitchen counter or new kitchen linens.

  • Reply
    kristin | W [H] A T C H
    February 25, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    i’d add new end chairs for the dining room table!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Love,love all your ideas Nichol! You a big inspiration to me.
    I would defenetly could update my dining room with new curtans,lamp and new carpet :)

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    I’m actually in the process of adding 2 bookcases to my dining room. With a $100 gift certificate from Target I’d paint the bookcases, add some knick knacks to the shelves, and update the bulbs in the light fixtures!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I’m sorry to ask such a dated question but I love the picture lights you had in the library of your first home. Do you remember where you got them?

    • Reply
      Making it Lovely
      February 25, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      They were from IKEA, but the were discontinued years ago.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I definitely would love to update the lighting. It seems a bit stale in that room. We have a vintage apartment unit in Oak Park with a beautiful wooden farm table like yours. I would like to get some chargers and lovely table linens to keep the table set more often. It looks nice when it is done up!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I’d love to get new artwork on my empty walls. New lighting would be great also.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    the Bedroom! our lighting is horrible – we just turn off the lights and jump into bed.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    The hand in the hutch:


  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    I would copy you on those vase/candleholders to start. That’s a very lovely little makeover you did!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I would love to have some new dishes to make a beautiful tablescape!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Either curtains or a rug! Yes! Great dinning room. It looks great!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    I would repaint my table and chairs. The ten year-old paint job is looking dingy and chipped.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    I would use my $100 for a new window treatment. My house has a big sliding glass door by the table and my white sheers are just way too boring for my orange and green kitchen.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Your dining room turned out adorable. Mine really needs some big, bold art and new napkins for sure.

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