A Dining Room, Before and After Styling

I came across this dining room by Kathryn Ivey recently and loved the black chippendale chairs and IKEA Stockholm rug against the white backdrop and dark trim. Then I came across the same room, as shot for Better Homes & Gardens. Subtle changes make a big difference!

Kathryn Ivey's Dining Room Before and After Styling for Better Homes & Gardens

The tabletop is more styled and lush plants and flowers fill some of the visual emptiness compared to the previous photo. The 5×7 rug was swapped out for an 8×10, which is a much better fit for the room. (We have the same one in our dining room — such a good rug, in wool, at a great price!) Other changes to note: the chair cushions bring in a little color, and the natural tones in the wood table are echoed in the wicker planter and straw market tote in the kitchen.

And yet another iteration was shot, this time with her and her husband. This is the way the home appeared in print (BHG, February 2015).

Kathryn Ivey's Traditional Dining Room with Black Chinese Chippendale Chairs in Better Homes & Gardens

The rest of the home is wonderful too. I was never a big fan of blue until a few years ago, but give me a turquoisey teal now and I’m all over it! The color makes appearances throughout, as does my other favorite, pink.

Kathryn Ivey's Bedroom in Better Homes & Gardens

Kathryn Ivey's Living Room in Better Homes & Gardens

Fun, right? It’s a rowhouse built in the 1890s, but it feels very now with a lot of color in a mostly neutral shell. You can see more of the BHG feature here.

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  • Jessica
    February 2, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    I like the BHG-styled room (those blue chair cushions and the plants add a lot of warmth and life), but it is driving me nuts that the rug is not centered in the room. That leftmost strip needs to go, which probably isn’t possible. The house is very cute, though.

  • Wendy
    February 2, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    What an interesting contrast. No wonder my house never looks like the magazines!

  • Becky
    February 2, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Wow, what a difference! The styled room looks so much warmer and more welcoming. I would LOVE this as a series. I feel like I am always falling a little short of the mark with the details in my home, and seeing the small changes side by side would be incredibly helpful.

  • Suzi (The Pillow Studio)
    February 3, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    That is so interesting to see how a few little changes make such a difference. I’ve got to remember to incorporate more plants! Love those black chippendale chairs in the kitchen and how the pillows on the sofa play back to that gorgeous Chiang Mai ottoman! Great house. Thanks for sharing.

  • georgia
    February 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    Great post about the impact of styling.. also the unsung hero… good lighting, photoshop and photographer :) Thanks for sharing.

  • thirtyyearhouse
    February 7, 2017 at 11:20 am

    I’m interested to know if people list their houses somewhere as “homes for magazines to stage”. I think that’s a thing! Is that a thing?

  • Laura
    February 15, 2017 at 11:13 am

    How is your rug holding up, stain-wise, with your kiddos? I’m considering a rug under our dining table, but am very apprehensive (4 kids = mess)

    • Making it Lovely
      February 15, 2017 at 11:26 am

      It’s not great. We spot treat as we notice things, but there are definitely stains near the kids’ seats. That said, it isn’t super noticeable unless you’re specifically looking, so meh? If you want it to stay pristine looking, this isn’t the rug to get. If you don’t mind it being a little worse for wear while your kids are young and messy, it’s the best rug at its price.