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®.

Sources & Paint ColorsNeed design help? Let's work together.

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  • Sarah
    February 24, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I would bring in some new table linens, a vase, and new salt and pepper shakers.

  • Jessica
    February 24, 2015 at 11:09 am

    I ADORE the flowers & foliage you used! So much texture.

    If I had $100 to Target to spruce up my dining room… I would either put it towards a new sideboard (something white and bright and airy), or I would splurge on some new statement-piece candle holders and vases. And I would DEFINITELY replace my yellowy bulbs with something more natural.

  • Alexandra
    February 24, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I would definitely spring for new linens (we have to have a tablecloth to cover the leaf in the middle with a different finish) and more vases and/or candle holders for the center. I’ve started slowly replacing our old bulbs with GE Reveal bulbs and love them already! We need plenty more for the rest of the house though.

  • Karen
    February 24, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I’d love a corner shelf unit so I can display more of my servingware, and another side table for a lamp.

  • Lena
    February 24, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I’d spruce up my living room / dining room with candle holders (love those hurricanes!), linens, and new art work for the walls. We already use the GE Reveal bulbs and I love them!

  • Deb
    February 24, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Replacing my bulbs would definately lighten things up in my dining room! New few new accessories or maybe something for the wall, would give the room a whole new feel!

  • Sara W
    February 24, 2015 at 11:23 am

    If only $100 would purchase a new light fixture for the dining room, but instead, I’d purchase new cloth napkins & table cloth for the living. And, because we use placements at every meal, I’d snag a few new ones too.

  • Jessica
    February 24, 2015 at 11:23 am

    We don’t have a proper dining room as yet, so I think a $100 gift card would go toward designating a dining space and actually using it! A new light fixture would be nice, but $100 toward a new table that better fits our bigger-than-when-we-bought-it family would probably be what I’d go with.

  • Carlotta
    February 24, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Would definitely update all my table linens or get some new flatware.

  • Alyson Odom
    February 24, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I would definitely update my light fixture above my table! it’s riding on the struggle bus…

  • Virginia (The Heartographer)
    February 24, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Aren’t those GE bulbs fantastic? I just put two GE Reveal bulbs in some new lamps for my home office, and it’s a HUGE improvement! I’m an online dating coach, which means I often video chat with my clients at all hours since they can be located all over the world. When it’s dark out, I need to have the space and my face illuminated in a way that doesn’t make it look weird or ghoulish! (Poor lighting is one of the worst video chat sins IMO, right next to terrible audio.)

    GE Reveal bulbs have by far the best color temperature that’s flattering and daylight-ish even for my Aussie and UK clients who might talk to me when it’s nighttime on my end. AND I don’t mind that I leave them on for so dang long since they’re way more energy efficient than even CFLs. Oh, and their “2700 Kelvin warm white” actually reads like a true warm white IMO, even though they’ll behave differently in a dimmer than an incandescent bulb would because the technology is so different. I sound like I’m Nicole with a proper sponsored post, haha, but I’m seriously just a really happy (and REALLY picky) consumer. Great sponsorship, Nicole! :)

  • The Modern Gal
    February 24, 2015 at 11:30 am

    We’ve been in the middle of updating our dining room for about … five years now? I’d probably put $100 toward either a new light fixture (those bulbs would probably work wonders in our space) or some artwork for the large, empty wall. I’ve been thinking about doing my own DIY version of Lord Bodner’s Octopus!

  • Rebecca N
    February 24, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I would get some artwork for the wall, and maybe a pretty vase or two! And the lightbulbs would be great for replacing the ones in our lamps.

    #100reveal (the official rules say we have to use this hashtag, so I’m playing it safe even though you didn’t mention it)

  • kristin
    February 24, 2015 at 11:33 am

    I would love to update the fabric on the back of my dining room chairs.

  • GG
    February 24, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I love those hurricane candle holders and need new lighting! New flatware, as someone else suggested would actually be the most useful though.

  • AshleyB
    February 24, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Our dining room definitely needs more light. We replaced the overhead fixture, but I could use some lamps (plus snazzy new bulbs!) for our buffet table. Thanks! #100reveal

  • Natalie
    February 24, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Our dining room needs to have the walls painted and get some curtains. We bought our house in August, and it’s the only room downstairs we haven’t painted. While the current color is fine; it’s just fine. And the walls just look dingy compared with all the freshly painted walls in the rest of the house. It could also use some curtains to tie the rug and the artwork in the room together.

  • Dawn FO
    February 24, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Definitely a new tablecloth, a frame for some lace my husband’s great grandmother made, & I adore those hurricane lamps.

  • Ellen
    February 24, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I would use the gift card to replace my fixture’s bulbs and get some fun new accessories for the room. I love seeing what color choices you pick for the walls in your house because I also have a house full of unpainted oak trim & floors and I think it can be hard to pick the right color. So many houses in magazines & blogs have white trim, but we’ll never paint ours. This house made it 92 years in its natural state. :)

  • Robyn Thorson
    February 24, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I would put the money towards a sideboard, art, and new white dishes. #100reveal

  • Caitlin
    February 24, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    I would update my dining room with candles for ambiance and a beautiful table runner for my new dining room table!

  • Stacy
    February 24, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Oh, I love that color on your walls! My dining room table is square, so I would love a modern looking lazy susan for the center of my table to make it easier for everyone to access the salt and pepper. I also would love some non-fabric placemats. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Arianne
    February 24, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Place mats and coupes.

  • Ali
    February 24, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    I have been curious about those bulbs as I don’t love the light given by most CFLs. Nice to see them in action.

    I would love to get some new linens or update my glassware.

  • joanna
    February 24, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    I would love to fix up the light fixture in my dining room!

  • Kim
    February 24, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    I need to work on my dining room! I need a big light to replace the ugly ceiling fan we currently have. I’ve been keeping my eye out!

  • Kaitlin Jenkins
    February 24, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    I would use it to dress up the table with some linens and accessories, as well as to pull in some better curtains and something on the wall- ours is a boring blank slate begging for some loving!

  • Rebecca Musser
    February 24, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I would love to update my centerpiece and items on the buffet. Reveal bulbs remedied my buyer’s remorse over a new couch some years back. The couch seemed much too gold in our room, and not the neutral beige I thought it to be. New daylight bulbs in the lamps and I was a much happier camper!

  • Lauren Ashley
    February 24, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    If I had a $100 Target gift card, I would purchase those GE Reveal light bulbs, new table linens and those hurricanes! I love them put together as vases!

  • Sarah Q
    February 24, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    I would definitely bring some new lighting into our dining room!

  • Merry
    February 24, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Nicole, I love how you changed the look of your dining room with fairly simple changes. The reveal bulbs really made a difference with the color of the walls. My dining area could use some help so I would definitely get a new table runner & some vases for the table. Those new reveal bulbs would be great with a new lamp since right now everything looks yellow with my florescent bulbs. Thanks #100reveal

  • Lauren
    February 24, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    We eat in our dining room every day, too! Is really love to have a small bench to sit under the front windows. :)

  • kara breems
    February 24, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    funny you ask, i’m looking to replace the chandelier in my living room – and it takes 6 bulbs. i’d love to get LED so i can paint the [exposed] bulbs gold, but 6 LED bulbs will cost me more than the chandelier did (thank you craigslist!). With a gift certificate to buy them i would be in business!

    also, i also lined my vintage hutch with fancy (Rifle?) wrapping paper. such a great, fast, cheap way to make a bold statement.

  • Dulcie
    February 24, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I would love to buy a new (matching!) set of napkins – I have such a hodge podge. Also, a new table runner, candle holders, and a salt and pepper shaker.

  • Jennifer
    February 24, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Our dining room currently has no furniture, so I would update our table in the kitchen with window treatments and table linens. #100reveal

  • Carly G
    February 24, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    New bulbs for my chandelier, and a new tablecloth, cloth napkins, and some candles for my dining room table.

  • julie
    February 24, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I would purchase a new chandelier to replace the 80’s brass one that i currently have and use the new reveal bulbs!

  • Raquel
    February 24, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    My dining area is small, and right now what it needs most is a new lighting fixture/chandelier over the table, something a little more contemporary but classic. Like your’s, it gets very little natural lighting, so it needs help! And I’d love some new centerpiece ideas.

  • Sabrina
    February 24, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Curtains for our window in the dining room!

  • jenni o
    February 24, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    new lights and new tablecloths!

  • Hillary
    February 24, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I’d love a bench for one side of the table and a row of candles down the table!

  • LizlovesCam
    February 24, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    I’d bring in new centerpieces and linens!

  • JessiBee
    February 24, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    This is a perfectly timed post for me! I just moved into a new place and the dining room has a ceiling fan. Not lovely. I bought a new hanging pendant and started looking for new lightbulb options. I love seeing the difference between the fluorescent and the LED.
    If I won I would love to put the Target $100 towards new dining chairs, candleholders and table linens as well as the GE Reveal bulbs!

  • Megan
    February 24, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Ooo! What a difference! I would love to try those bulbs out. If I were so lucky to win the giveaway, I would love to put that towards some new linens and pretty dishes, rose gold S&P shakers (that I’ve had my eye on forever!)and maybe a pretty something for the centerpiece. Thanks!

  • Allie
    February 24, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    New table linens for sure! I also need some art in there. Gotta try those bulbs for sure – I have to quit cheaping out and buying those horrible fluorescent bulbs. #100reveal

  • aaron reck
    February 24, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Some decorative items. Maybe some new table linens, napkin holders, and various different things.

  • James
    February 24, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    This is awesome

  • Jennifer @ guildencrantz
    February 24, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I would absolutely get a new lamp! I hate overhead lighting and, while three corners of our dining room have wonderful lamps (Two of which, actually, are from Target; the other is vintage), we have one dark corner when the overhead is out. Lighting is key to atmosphere. Target has fantastic lamps, and I’ll be looking into those GE bulbs for certain.

  • beks
    February 24, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Holy cow, before I scrolled down to the words “GE Reveal Bulbs” I was thinking she needs…! I just bought a bunch last weekend and have changed out most of my house. Big difference!

    As for my dinning room, I need walls :( My 1906 Victorian has 1970s faux wood paneling throughout. I’ve so far ripped it out of my dining room and have come to the realization that demo is the easy part and I have no drywall skills. So I’d go to Target and buy a bunch of wine to distract my guests and some more light bulbs. That is a task that I can definitely finish.

  • Erin
    February 24, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    I’d love to get some placemats for the dining room. I love our table but I’m precious about it, so I am always using a tablecloth to cover it up. Love the room transformation!

  • Carrie
    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!

  • 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

  • cathyv
    February 24, 2015 at 7:49 pm

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

  • Clair
    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!

  • 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.

  • Lisa
    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!

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

    A rug! or maybe some sconces…

  • Renee
    February 24, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Some pretty plates and a table runner.

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

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

  • Amanda
    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.

  • Laura
    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!

  • 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!!

  • Keegan
    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.

  • Joni
    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.

  • Rachel
    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

  • 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!

  • 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! :)

  • Debren
    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!

  • 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.)

  • Jamie@PaperedHouse
    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.

  • Sarah
    February 25, 2015 at 7:58 am

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


  • Lauren
    February 25, 2015 at 8:22 am

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

  • Karen
    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!

  • Meghan
    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.

  • Katie
    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.

  • Hanna
    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!

  • Joy.W.
    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.

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

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

  • 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! :)

  • susan
    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!

  • coral
    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!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Erin
    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.

  • Elizabeth
    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.

  • Mo
    February 25, 2015 at 1:45 pm

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

  • 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!

  • Antonina
    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 :)

  • Dorothea
    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!

  • katie
    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?

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

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

  • Nichole
    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!

  • Alison
    February 25, 2015 at 3:28 pm

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

  • mirabelle
    February 25, 2015 at 3:37 pm

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

  • Cassidy
    February 25, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    The hand in the hutch:


    • Making it Lovely
      February 25, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      I’ll never see it the same way again!

  • barbara
    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!

  • Heather
    February 25, 2015 at 5:07 pm

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

  • Risa
    February 25, 2015 at 5:42 pm

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

  • Kelly
    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.

  • Nicoletta
    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.

  • Alison
    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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