Dining Room Makeover to Sitting Room

A couple of weeks ago I revealed that I was turning my dining room into my sitting room. My living room will become my new dining room. After I made the decision to move forward with a dining room makeover – to a sitting room – I came across an inspiration photo on Houzz. I decided my sitting room needs a little more work to look the way I want. Here’s my inspiration photo:

Neutral Farmhouse Living RoomPhoto by Bret Franks Construction, Inc.


I love the wood and white and neutral tones. It looks elegant yet rustic at the same time. You may remember having seen it when I featured this home, the Randolph Cottage, in my Charming Home Series.

Although my dining room is large enough for my table, a dry sink, a corner hutch, and a buffet – it feels cramped when all my children and their families are gathered ’round the table for holidays. We need a little more elbow room and the living room will give us that breathing space.

I thought it would be fun to share photos of my dining room from over the years. We can fit 10 people around the table. Drop leaves on the sides of the table can be propped up.

Blue and White Farmhouse Dining Room


In this picture of pink and white in the dining room, you can see my hutch has been moved to this corner. I keep moving it back and forth from one corner to the other just to change things up. This is the view from my living room.

Pink and White Dining Room


Here’s the hutch in the other corner right around Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Table


Below is my summer dining room as seen from the kitchen. If you look closely, you can see the floors are a little chipped up. They’re painted. When I moved here one of the first things I did was rip up all the rose-colored carpeting from the 1980s. They were painted white underneath, which was pretty, but not practical with three young children.

I didn’t have the ambition to strip them and refinish them, especially since they’re pine, which is a softer wood. Paint helps protect the wood, and I chose chocolate brown to look like stained wood.

Summer Country Dining Room


And here’s my dining room this past Christmas. I bought chair covers for the two end chairs. I’ve since bought new end chairs which I plan to reveal during my Spring Home Tour on March 15th.

Farmhouse Dining Room in My Christmas Home Tour


So like I said, a couple weeks ago I shared that my dining room makeover resulted in a new sitting room. I enjoyed reading your comments about additional ways to decorate the “new” room. It got me to thinking and one thing led to another … and the next thing I knew I had moved all the furniture out to sand and re-paint the floors, along with the walls and trim.

Dining Room Makeover with painted floors and walls


Hubby did all the sanding, and I did all the painting. That’s our deal as we work from room to room (we’re painting every room in the house). You can see some of the other colors the floors have been over the years after hubby’s hard work of sanding. Sanding is key when it comes to painting floors. It gives a little grit for the paint to cling to. I used Benjamin Moore’s porch and floor paint – I finish half the room – let it dry for a few days and then paint the other half. I don’t add polyurethane over the paint. I did that once and it kept peeling up and looked horrible.

If you ever decide to paint floors, I have found the best thing you can do is let them cure for several days before even stepping on them. If you use latex paint, you can step on them in about three to four days. If you use oil paint, you need to wait about two weeks. The paint is dry to the touch, but it’s still soft.

Sanding Floors before Painting


The first thing to get painted was the ceiling. It has embossed wallpaper to look like a tin ceiling, and as you can see, it has yellowed over the years. Normally you wouldn’t paint over wallpaper, but this embossed paper is specially made to be painted. I used White Dove by Benjamin Moore in a flat finish.

Painting Embossed Wallpaper on a Ceiling


Here’s what my dining room makeover to the sitting room looked like a couple weeks ago – before all the painting began. The walls in this picture are Steamed White. I changed them to a creamier white – White Dove by Benjamin Moore. The trim has been changed to Pure White, and the floors are now Java. I’m still working on other parts of the room before I do the big reveal during my spring tour on March 15th.

Farmhouse Sitting Room

I can’t wait to share this new room with you. And I’m so grateful for all of your suggestions! I did decide to put a rug underfoot instead of keeping the bamboo script mat in here. The dining hutch and the dry sink are going away, too. I think I’m going to sell them – or else put them in storage until I figure out what to do with them.

How about you? Do you have any rooms you’re currently working on?


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I love that you aren’t afraid to think outside the box! It’s wonderful that your hubby is so helpful when you embark on new ideas. Many men aren’t that willing to make changes and if they are the extent of their help is maybe helping move furniture. Kudos to him!

  2. I can’t wait to see the end result after all your hard work. Since my husband and I are almost empty nesters ( our youngest is a junior in college). We have just begun to rearrange furniture, paint, etc. new countertops and some new flooring are in the very near future too. It’s time to do some updates and it’s going to be a lot of work but I’m looking forward to it.

  3. Oh my, Jennifer. Isn’t that the way it always is when you decide to do one thing to a room – that one thing turns into two and then into a complete makeover. I think everything you’re doing is going to make such a difference you won’t want to stop with this one room. I can’t wait to see the results. I know it’ll be great.
    I’m updating some areas of my house also – starting with floors in bedrooms (ripping up carpet, putting down hard floors) and then moving on to main area floors (laying new higher-end laminate). It’s a mess when you’re doing floors – everything has to go. Fortunately, my room painting is already done (except for touchup in the kitchen) but I have trim work to paint and a backsplash to install. Then it’s time to shop for new furniture. Mine is old and has needed replaced for quite some time. Baby steps are necessary on a small budget.

  4. Great work and advice, Jennifer! Can’t wait for the reveal 🙂
    Actually, I did just redo our Master bedroom and bath. We have been blessed to inherit family antique furniture so I have to work with dark furniture. I really do love it; not just because of the history but because I think it acts as great anchors in a space. But my mother-in-love had some wonderful mahogany bedroom pieces that she had painted a gray-green and gilded with gold. I had said that if we ever got that furniture the FIRST thing that I would do would be to refinish it back to its mahogany beginning. However, when we got it…well, it just never got refinished. I have lived with that green/gold furniture for over 10 years and managed to decorate WITH it. And it has always somehow worked.
    Recently my sister-in-love, who is a fabulous decorator, was over and we were taking my Christmas “tour” (now mind you, we are presently living in a 2/2.5 townhouse rental) and I mentioned that I still had not refinished our bedroom furniture to which she replied, “Oh, Deb, don’t you EVER change that furniture. It has always been one of my favorite things about your house!” It suddenly dawned on me that GG’s painted bedroom furniture was a unique “classic” !!!
    Well, about 2 months ago I saw and fell in love with the linen gathered bedspreads.(Actually I have ALWAYS LOVED top of the bed to floor gathered bedspread- even had one when we were first married 41 years ago!) I also realized that I had “stuck” with a rather masculine color theme in our bedroom 1) to appease the furniture color and 2) to appease my very masculine husband. However, I use blue/white Chinoiserie in decorating all of our downstairs so it hit me… WHY NOT REDO OUR BEDROOM TO MIX THE BLUE/WHITE and GREEN!!!
    So, I ordered the white gauze linen bedspread, matching curtains and began the redo.

    I wrapped up the transition last night and I must say it is quite stunning! It’s not at all the more masculine look that we have been used to, however we find it to be very restful (of course our walls are “rental off white” which works to our advantage!), serene and with the accent of my favorite quilt (small patchworks of blue checks, blue/green tiny florals/blue) it carries off the blue/white theme beautifully.
    Sorry for this epistle but you asked 🙂 and it was, for me, a very timely question! I’m a 63 year old purposely computer dinosaur, yet perhaps I will endeavor to send you a few pictures when everything is tweeked. 🙂 Thanks for your fun blog!

    1. Deb……Please do send pictures to Jennifer so she may share with all of us on her blog. Your furniture color sounds very much like bedroom furniture I bought about 35 years ago for our guest bedroom. I’ve kept it the same color also and just always managed to decorate around it. Surprisingly it has always worked with the comforters I have chosen. I would love to see what you have done. Jennifer’s blog has always been one of my favorites. Right there at the top of the list!

  5. My goodness! Thats a lot of Work! But I’m sure sure it was worth it. You have me remembering when we moved 9 years ago, although it seems like 2 years. Time flies……. Anyways, we refinished wood floors, painted everything, including kitchen cabinets, etc. 2008 was a hard year for selling homes, but ours sold in3 days. Our realtor suggested having everything ready for a new owner, and we did. It paid off. So, are you still thinking about a maybe move? The sitting room, I’m sure, looks really nice and comfy.

  6. Can someone give me so ideas of how to white wash original hardwood floors that have been carpeted for years and have all the little nail holes around the edges? How do I white wash? I want that beachy look. The floor is varnished, so I’m sure I’d have to sand. What kind of sander? Would I have to go take off all the varnish? How do I get the lighter/darker variations in the wood? Has anyone done this before? I’ts a big step! Thanks in advance, Laure

  7. You have done a lot of work in preparing the room switch and I’m excited to see the full reveal next month. I’ve always loved your decor style over the years so I know it will be beautiful.