Dining Room Redo: The First Change

After changing my dining room to a sitting room, projects around the house came to a sudden stand still. I caught a wicked viral infection that took forever to go away. The bug took its toll on me both physically and mentally and I’m finally feeling back to my old self. A couple weekends ago we installed a new shelf as the first step in my dining room redo.

Dining room redo with a simple farmhouse shelf


The shelf is an $8 piece of wood from Lowe’s that I painted white. I used a semi-gloss finish so it’s easier to wipe down when it gets dusty. Unfortunately the store didn’t have any scroll-work brackets so we had to go with a plain option. I will, however, be keeping my eyes open at vintage stores or the flea market for fancier brackets.

Plant vignettes for my dining room redo


The dining table is up against the wall (when not in use) in what used to be the living room. When we have company, we’ll pull the table out into the middle of the room.

Making the best use of dining room furniture placement in an awkward room.


This room is in the center of the house and has a ridiculous traffic pattern. Here’s what the room looked like a few years ago when we used it as a cozy living room. You have to walk through this room to go upstairs, to go into the family room at left but not seen, or head into the laundry room which is the door at right.

Farmhouse living room


A couple years later we replaced the too short barnwood shelf with a vintage mantel and added a cute pink chair to create a cozy reading nook. Once I decided to move the mantel into the new sitting room, I gave the pink chair to my daughter.

Pink Chair in a cozy reading corner


Next week I’m joining a group of bloggers to share summer table settings. I’ll pull the table away from the wall for the occasion. It’ll give you an idea of the awkwardness of the room’s layout. But I think the dining room redo is going to be perfect for the way we’ll use it in the future.

Dining room redo with simple styling and furniture placement


For now I’m adorning the farmhouse shelf with simple greens.

Trailing ivy for a dining room redo


Plants are good for purifying the air in your home. I have a “Plants n ‘At” Pinterest board devoted to all things green.

Boxwood topiary on a farmhouse shelf


I’m so proud of myself for spending less than $15 on a new DIY shelf for my dining room redo. I said I wasn’t going to spend a lot of money for this room. I’m saving that for a new farmhouse table and side chairs.

Farmhouse Shelf for a dining room redo

Still left to do is paint the room and floor. But first I have to paint the hall and stairway walls and floors. It’s always something, right?


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  1. Your shelf is great! Your room is lovely!
    Let me know if you find the brackets on line. I am also shopping for them.
    OH!!!!!!!!!!!! new farm house table! Will it be round? Or, I guess, the long works best for space in your room.
    I am searching for a round pedestal table.
    Glad you feel better.

  2. we flipped our dining room and living room spaces also, the dining room was too small to accommodate our large dining table that is now in the bigger living room space and we made the smaller dining room into a cozy sitting/reading/TV space. It works so much better. Who says you have to use the dining room as it was intended anyway. We enjoy and use our spaces so much more now, I think you will too once you get it decorated the way you want it.

  3. I think it’s lovely. It’s a beautiful beginning….with the grey trimmed mirror, the greyish vases and… the grey chairs give it that oomph. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? Keep us posted on your creative additions. I have faith in you.~Mindy

  4. Hi Jennifer
    So glad to hear that you are feeling much better. We give thanks for your healing.

  5. Hi, enjoy your ideas. Here are two suggestions you might like: 1) Remove your dining room shelf from the wall, with the brackets still attached to the shelf. Turn the whole shelf upside down, so the brackets are on the top of the shelf, instead of in plain view on the underside. Reattach the brackets and the shelf to the wall, in the new upside-down position. Afterward, arrange the pretty things on your shelf so they camouflage the brackets. 2) Pull your dining room table away from the wall. Turn the table so the unused end-side of the table is against the wall. Place a tall vertical mirror on the wall over the table, with the bottom of the mirror almost touching the top of the table. It will add light, enlarge the space and give you better use of the table.

  6. Sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling well. We would never know by all the nice blogs you have been sharing. Glad you are back to yourself. I always enjoy seeing how you arrange things on your shelves and mantels. You make the simplest of arrangements look so sweet. Spotted your sheep. Are you going to start a collection?