My Charming Cottage Country Dining Room: The Big Reveal

Today is the day that I finally reveal what I’m calling my cottage country dining room. It took a while to give this room its makeover, but that’s in large part because I took my time making decisions. I need to apply this newfound philosophy of “slow decorating” to the rest of my house. I find I often regret decorating decisions that are made in a hurry. Not this time. The dining room is now my favorite room in the house. (This post contains affiliate links – see my privacy policy.)

cottage country dining room with wallpaper


The biggest strategy that’s currently shaping my decorating decisions is that I’m making changes that suit a home for two people. The dining room used to be in the living room area and I had a large, heavy table that could be expanded (three table leaves) to accommodate my entire family. But we only had all-family dinners about twice a year. So, I gave that large table to my daughter, Bridget, and moved the dining room back into its original space (what I was using as a sitting room) with a smaller, expandable table from Pottery Barn and cross-back chairs from Arhaus.


My “new” cottage country dining room feels so much better to me now. Hubby added board and batten trim to the walls and I put up the Fable wallpaper by Rifle Paper Company. We painted the board and batten more than once. The first color was too dark. The second color was too light, but thankfully I only tested a few places with the light paint. The solution? I mixed the two paint colors to create a custom shade that went beautifully with the wallpaper which has a cute bunny pattern.

cottage country dining room with board and batten


From the other side of the dining room, you get a small, sneak peek at the new living room color, which is a Coastal Cottage by Benjamin Moore. I said I wanted to add more color in my home and that’s exactly what I’m doing. In a future post, I’ll share the reason for the inspiration.

The new rug, which I absolutely adore, is the Eden Lattice rug by Rifle Paper Company. Word to the wise: I found this same rug on Birch Lane for hundreds of dollars less! So make sure you shop around for the best price. The new lighting fixture is a wood-beaded pendant light. I had ordered a different fixture but the delivery kept getting pushed back and I lost my patience and canceled it. I’m happy with my second choice.

small space dining room in cottage style


You might remember that my faux vintage mantel was on this wall, but I removed it and gave it to a local vintage shop to sell. Since the dining room is small, I wanted to make sure I got the best use of space. The dining buffet holds our formal dishes and more. The mantel served no purpose other than to add character and look pretty. But with the wallpaper, board and batten, and crown molding, there’s enough character in to create a cottage country dining room vibe.

Vintage, painted dining buffet


On the buffet is a vintage oil jar, mirror, and my owl head planter.

owl head planter


This fox head print was on my mind ever since I saw it in a hallway decorated by Urbanology Design (see it in the first picture of this post). Surprisingly, that fox was shown hanging on the same Fable wallpaper (in a different color), although I didn’t realize it at the time I bought the fox.

framed fox head print


I wasn’t intending to put so many animals in my dining room, but on a recent shopping trip to Cocoon in Geneva, I spied these adorable, brass animal faces and couldn’t resist taking the mouse and fox home. I just love the glasses chain on the fox. I’ve seen these heads in both brass and polyresin (the latter being less expensive).

brass animal heads


The centerpiece on the table in my cottage country dining room is simple with three small vases, one with a sprig of fall faux foliage.

fall centerpiece in cottage country dining room


The smallest is my newest acquisition from a local potter. I love the relief pattern and the way the blue fades into the pale green color.

simple fall centerpiece


When I thought about what style this room is, I decided upon cottage country style because it’s a little bit country, and a little bit cottage. From the living room looking through the dining room, you can see into the kitchen and get a peek of the Dutch Tile Blue paint (Sherwin Williams) that I used on the trim and bead board. I’ll share photos of the kitchen as soon as it’s ready, which might be closer to Christmas. Felix the Cat decided to get in on the photo-taking fun.

Eden Lattice Rifle Paper Co. area rug in dining room


I still plan to get some type of window treatment for my cottage country dining room, and possibly chair cushions. But for the most part, she’s done. Now it’s time to finish the downstairs bathroom and the living room.

See my dining room last Christmas, before these changes were made. I liked the room well enough, but felt the desire to infuse more color.


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  1. Beautiful! I love seeing the changes you’ve made over the years. You have such a great style and your rooms are lovely. I sure enjoy your blog.

  2. Good Monday Morning Jennifer. Thank you for the showing of your recently redone Country Cottage dining room. I love the wall paper, and soft colors you have used, (I’m a wallpaper and soft color person.) And I also love your charming antiques, and other great critter additions. (I also have some antiques incorporated into my home decorating.) So, that all adds up to, I love your Country Cottage style. ..And I can see you have a black kitty cat, who is very close in appearance to my younger son’s black kitty cat. …May you have a blessed week ahead as you continue your renovations/make overs.

  3. Oooooh, I love the new dining room design. The color & wallpaper are beautiful! I actually like the light you ended up with more than the one you initially selected. What a beautiful space!

    1. Thanks, Danielle. I like the beaded light better than the other one, too. I’ve been trying to step out of my decorating comfort zone these days (and keeping my fingers crossed).

  4. Jennifer it looks amazing. I love the softness of the color and wallpaper and the whimsy in your wall decor.

  5. The dining room is so cute and I personally love the owl, fox and mouse. The fox print is nice too. The wall color and wallpaper are calm and peaceful, but still playful with the decor pieces. Ok, ready for the next room : )

    1. Thanks, Diana! It’s always a little scary making big changes like color but I’m happy with the way this room turned out! And now I want to wallpaper every room! LOL.

  6. Love the look. It’s so cozy and classic and the color is perfect. What are you doing with the old dining room space? I can’t wait to see.

    1. Hi Susan!
      The old dining space is becoming a living room again. This room is always a struggle with furniture layout because there are so many doors and the staircase. Right now, it’s fairly empty until I figure it out. LOL.

  7. Beautiful makeover. The colors are great. I really like the fox head print. I too decorate slowly. Finally finishing the kitchen paint and waiting for a new range hood. It feels like we are packing up to move. Haha. Just two of us here and I convinced my husband to make it the way we like it instead of always worrying about “what if we sell the house? Will someone else like it?” My opinion is that most people will change things and remodel. Since I don’t feel like pleasing ALL the people I am choosing what I like. Thank you for your news letter. Have a great day.

    1. You are so smart to abandon the “what will sell” in your home. Styles, themes, colors change all the time. If you are planning to actually live in, and enjoy your home, make it your own. If and when you sell, you can always get a fresh coat of paint, leave the floors for whatever the buyer wants, I had friends who put in all new hardwoods at huge cost, to sell. New owners put in wall to wall carpet.

  8. It is so pretty but also fun. I love all the animals you have in your dining room. The color you chose and the wall is exceptional. I would never imagined it would be any less than what you did, you are so good. Thanks for sharing, now what can I change in mine!!!lol!

  9. Absolutely LOVE IT!! This room has so much charm, character and coziness. It is so inspiring, and I bet it’s even sweeter in person! Good job, Jen.

  10. Jennifer, that is so lovely, I wouldn’t change a thing. Well done! One of the great joys of an old house is the lovely decorating that can be done.

  11. Your dining room looks so pretty. The board and batten with the blue paint is gorgeous. I love the changes you made. Enjoy your new, cozy dining room!

  12. The room looks so good! I love the colors and the rug. And your new dishes are lovely. I like the muted colors and simple style. I think you really show the powerof paint !

  13. I love it. The bunny wallpaper is a standout. I gravitate toward having animals scattered around my house. They are joyful. The color is beautiful.

  14. I love it! In fact, I love the combo of the color and paper so much that I make use it myself! The chairs, the rug, the carpet are the perfect choice. And I love the few from the room into the kitchen. Just the right amount of charm. Bravo!

  15. Excellent color choices with paint and wallpaper. I adore all the animal decor they brings smiles to my heart. Wonderful cozy home.