Traditional Dining Room Design Plans


I gave myself one big home goal for the last few months of this year, and that was to come up with a design plan for my dining room makeover. And I think I’ve finally figured it out – with some help!

Let’s take a look at how this room has evolved since we moved in almost two years ago.

When we got here, the walls were a pistachio green color. Pretty, but not my cup of tea.

Dining room with pistachio green walls

I immediately knew that I had to paint the walls. It’s funny to me now how the room is going back to its roots with a green paint color, but we’ll get to that later. ☺️

Kendall Charcoal Walls in Dining Room

So, I had the walls painted Kendall Charcoal. And I loved the color! I especially loved the color next to the light wood farmhouse furniture I brought with me from our old house. It looked great.

But after living with this farmhouse furniture (that I built for my old house) for a while, it just wasn’t right for our new home. Our home is more traditional, not farmhouse at all. Also, the table was just way too large for this space. So I sold the farmhouse stuff and was on the hunt for more fitting stuff, when I got a call from my mom!

Dining Room with antique wood furniture
This antique dining room suite was a gift to my great-grandmother by my great-grandfather.

If you missed the story earlier, this new antique furniture came from my great-grandmother’s home by way of my grandmother’s house. My mom has always wanted this furniture, but when it came time to take it, she decided to pass it on to me! It feels like the perfect match and I love it so much.

So, now the mission was to decorate the room (and adjoining rooms) to complement this furniture.

Update: Come over and see the dining room progress!

Decorating Plans for a Traditional Dining Room

So, I went hunting for some inspiration.

And in the meantime I worked on a much smaller makeover in our powder room. I didn’t tell anyone at the time that the powder room was kind of a test run for this dining room makeover. I wanted to see how I liked painted trim and wallpaper. And spoiler alert – I LOVE it!!

Now, I know it’s different when decorating a small bathroom vs. a larger dining room. But, I really do love the combination. And it showed me just how beautiful it would be!

But I still felt out of my comfort zone decorating this room just based on my own decorating experience. I also wanted to settle on the wall colors and wallpapers for the butler’s pantry and laundry room before I did anything in the dining room. The rooms flow into each other and it made me nervous to only decorate one room at a time.

I mean, I haven’t done a ton of high end traditional decorating before. So, I hired Sydney at Sydney Collins Interiors to help me with my vision for the space. I’ve seen her work and knew she would be the perfect designer to help me get this right! (Find her on Instagram here. She does virtual e-design, so reach out to her if you need help, too!)

My inspiration started with this gorgeous pear plate, which is one of Miss Mustard Seed’s art commissions. I absolutely love the colors! So, this is the vision I had for the space and what I sent over to Sydney – with requests to help me also pinpoint the laundry room and butler’s pantry ideas.

Dining Room Makeover Idea Board

Gingham Curtains | Scalamandre Raphael Green Wallpaper | Wicker Lamps | Pleated Lamp Shades | Ornate Brass Mirror | 8-Light Brass Chandelier | Pear Plate | Block Print Fabric | Jute Rug | End Chair | Trim Paint Color: Farrow & Ball Card Room Green

My plans for the dining room makeover include:

  • Wallpapering the walls
  • Painting the trim
  • Adding curtains
  • Putting a mirror over the buffet
  • Adding lamps on the buffet
  • Possibly getting different chairs for the ends of the table
  • Getting a new rug
  • Making seat covers for the existing chairs

So, she tweaked my original plan some and sent this back to me:

Traditional Dining Room Concept Board | Sydney Collins Interiors

Dining Room: Gingham Draperies | Trim Tape (contact Sydney to purchase) | Scalamandre Raphael Green Wallpaper | Paint Color: Carolina Gull by Benjamin Moore | Pear Plate | Seat Cover Fabric (contact Sydney to purchase) | Braided Jute Rug | Brass Mirror | Double Gourd Lamps | Pleated Lamp Shades

Sydney chose Benjamin Moore paint colors for all 3 rooms, which I love because they are easier to access. And she chose some beautiful double gourd lamps with a lamp shade in a color that coordinates better.

She changed the chair cover fabric and added some coordinating trim tape to the gingham draperies. And that patterned jute rug?! Lovely!

And I can’t even get over how much I love the colors for the butler’s pantry and laundry room. I will do separate posts on what I plan to do in those rooms. But it feels good to have color schemes done!

I updated my original vision with her changes:

Traditional Blue and Green Dining Room Makeover

Yes!!! It’s exactly what I wanted! Just a few tweaks and it feels ever more cohesive and perfect.

I know many of the items are more high end that my normal room makeovers. But I really want to go all out on this room. I want to do justice to the furniture and complement the style of the traditional home and furniture.

I know there would be ways to get a similar look on a budget. But I’m saving my money and will be buying things a piece at a time and watching for sales. Maybe I’ll share some budget versions of these pieces along the way.

I ordered the brass mirror last month because it was on sale. And I just ordered the gingham draperies because they are on sale now. I’m watching the rest of the items as we go through the holidays so I can maybe get them for the best price!

I’m so excited!!

Tell me what you think in the comments below. It’s going to be so fun to watch this room come together in the new year.

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  1. I love all the colors, They will flow through your house beautifuly. I can’t wait to see this all finished. Its all so pretty. You do a great job with it all Laura. I love wallpaper then it fell out of favor. I will have to think on adding some somewhere ha, ha!!

    1. I think they will flow well, too! I know the green will pair nicely with the pink in my office across the hall. 🙂 Thanks so much, Patti!

  2. I love it all! I soooo want to wallpaper my dining room, too. But the cost!! It’s been a few years since I purchased wallpaper and I’m shocked at how the cost has risen! Any suggestions for where to find wallpaper more reasonably priced? Thanks!

    1. Hi Patti! I know… so pricy. That’s why I’m having to puchase these items a little at a time. 😬 But my advice would be to choose to wallpaper small spaces. 😉 In my powder bathroom, I only wallpapered the top 1/3 of the room, and it’s a tiny room. So, I only ended up using about 1 roll (a little extra because I knew I had 2 rolls to work with). But I really could have done 1 roll and made it work. So, find small spaces for your pop of pattern!

  3. Love that shade of green. I have the same furniture set, and have been in a quandary as to what to do with it. I am looking to you for inspiration to update my dining room. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I too am delighted that you are embracing your beautiful formal dining room furniture. It is very similar to mine which we still enjoy. We bought a table like yours that seats 12 and we saved and watched for sales when we first built our house. We recently re-upholstered the chair bottoms and two chairs for the ends. We haven’t put down a rug but with the pads on the chair legs they glide easily on the hardwood floor. I love all of your colors and will be eagerly waiting to see your progress.

  5. I also have antique wood furniture in my dining room (my grandmother’s). I have been trying to figure out how to redecorate the dining room and have been struggling to decide what ‘goes’ with the furniture. Everyone seems to be in to painting the wood and I just can’t bring myself to do it so I am very interested to see the final result.

    1. Yay! I’m so glad you’re along for the ride! My mom told me that if I wanted to paint this furniture, she’d take it right back! 🤣 So, no painting for me! But I didn’t want to paint it. I think it’s beautiful, and thankfully darker wood furniture is making a comeback. But either way, it’s still pretty and no need to paint it for me!

  6. Hi Laura,
    So much vicarious fun!
    I think you might be unhappy with the jute rug. They are very difficult to remove spills from, you can’t use a standard carpet cleaner on them either. Go for something soft to calm the busyness of the wallpaper. Jute is too rustic and a bit passé.

    It is thrilling to me to see younger women embrace solid wood furniture again. I am 74, and currently refinishing a walnut table from 1890. It will always be a good piece of furniture. So will yours!

    Jan Terzian

    1. Thanks for coming along for the vicarious fun, Jan! So fun to have you here!! And I’ll take note of the jute rug suggestion… It was in my inspiration space, so that’s kind of why it’s there. But I’m keeping an eye out for something else that might work, too, and give me that same cozy feel. I love that you’re 74 and refinishing a table!! I know I’ll be updated and redecorating my home for as long as I’m able. 🙂 xo, Laura

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