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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®.

Starting to Strip

The wallpaper in August’s room, that is.

He had already gotten a head start on removing the wallpaper shortly after we moved in, so we’re finally helping him finish the job. The top layer peeled off just fine, but we’ll need to wet the paper backing that’s left behind and scrape it all off in sections.

Wallpaper Backing Left Behind

Stripping Wallpaper

Looks like our weekend is booked!

Calvin’s Nursery

The nursery is ready! Let’s take a look, shall we?

Calvin's Nursery | Making it Lovely

The white walls are perfect. They keep the room from feeling weighed down by all of the wood, but there’s still plenty of color in the art, rug, bedding, and toys.

Calvin's Crib Bedding | Making it Lovely

The nursery was once a kitchen, from when our house had been split up into apartments. When we first started converting the space back into a bedroom, I was a little worried that the cabinetry would still feel kitchen-like, but now I’m so glad we kept them! I haven’t chosen shades yet for the windows, and I may make or buy a garland to hang over them, but even without those elements the built-ins add a lot of charm to the room.

Calvin's Nursery with Wood Built-ins| Making it Lovely

The changing pad is at counter-height (hello, former kitchen), and there’s plenty of room for everything I need within reach. The drawers below function as the dresser, a diaper pail and laundry basket are off to the right, and we have tons of storage. Board books, cute toys, and a few decorative pieces are displayed in the glass-front cabinet (which has a light inside, at the top).

Calvin's Nursery with Wood Built-ins| Making it Lovely

I wanted to be sure to include the the felt flowers that Eleanor made for Calvin, and my motto during pregnancy is in the nursery too. They’re to the left of the changing pad, by the lamp.

Nap All Day, Sleep All Night, Party Never

As much as I like the built-ins now though, they do take up full wall. The room is 10’x12′ but the floor space is only 10’x10′ because of them. A rectangular rug would have been OK in the room, but I was really hoping for something square and I found the 8’x8′ sky blue Eskimo rug at Lulu & Georgia, which they kindly provided for us. It isn’t super plush because it’s a flat weave, but it isn’t scratchy like some flat wool rugs can be, so it’s a nice surface to play on.

Play Table in Calvin's Nursery | Making it Lovely

Calvin's Nursery | Making it Lovely

The glider and ottoman are tucked into the little nook between the doorway and the built-ins. I thought about moving the diaper pail for the photos, but it’s a necessary part of the room and that’s where it is, so it stayed. It’s close to where I sit with the baby, but there’s no odor other than when you open it briefly to throw something in.

Nursery Glider | Making it Lovely

I had wanted to use the rectangular wooden play table that we’d had in Eleanor’s room at the old house, but it was too large so I grabbed the round one from the playroom upstairs. I know that it looks dangerously close to the radiator, but it’s fine. For whatever reason, that one doesn’t get as hot to the touch as the rest do (though the room stays comfortably warm). I had a bunch of art to choose from for that wall, and I thought about shelving too, but in the end I decided to hang that round mirror. It used to be in my office, in the old house, and I hadn’t found a good spot for it in this house until I tried it in the nursery. Also, I found the zebra on clearance and bought it as a nod to what the nursery could have looked like, had I gone with my original plan! (Which I still think would make for a very cute nursery.)

Play Area in Calvin's Nursery | Making it Lovely

There are baskets to the left of and beneath the crib are for toys. The room is definitely not wanting for more storage, but I think it’s nice to have some toys out and within easy reach rather than hiding all of them behind closed doors. Calvin is just starting to play with them (mostly bringing everything he can get his hands on to his mouth), but he’ll be interested in everything soon enough. Eleanor and August have been coming in to check everything out too.

Baskets Beneath the Crib | Making it Lovely

The crib is the same one that Eleanor and August both slept in, and I made that crib skirt when August was a baby. I bought the set of screenprints by Ryan Kapp five years ago at Renegade Craft Fair, and am glad I finally found just the right spot for them and had them framed.

Calvin's Nursery | Making it Lovely

So nice to have a sweet room of Calvin’s own, out of what was once a weird pass-through former kitchen. Yay!

Calvin's Nursery | Making it Lovely

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A Discount from Lulu & Georgia

They would like to offer my readers 20% off their order, from now until February 18, with the code makingitlovely20. Thanks, Lulu & Georgia!

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