Five Easy Ways To Update Your Dining Room

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When your dining room looks dated and heavy, it’s probably time for a change because nothing makes a dinner party feel depressing than an outdated dining room. Fortunately, a few changes can make a big impact without breaking the bank and before you know it your dining room will be the life of all your dinner parties.  

I love having a dining room. Guess I’m old school but having a space just for hosting family and friends is important to me. My love language is having people in my home and feeding them around my table and having a designated space for dinner parties is important to me on so many levels.

Since this space was feeling a bit dated and dark it was time for an update. With a small budget and big ideas I set to work on creating a space that felt more welcoming and bright.

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Dinning Room table and chairs with rug underneath table and vase of greenery on table.


Dining Room Before & After

Our dining room felt dark and heavy and had a very farmhouse feel that just wasn’t my style anymore. The cabinet, chairs and chandelier all felt a little foreboding and the space needed a bright refresh. You will see in the dining room before and after that some items I kept and transitioned into the updated space.

Gray and white dining room with table and chairs with one single cane dining chair in the corner with round gold mirror hanging on the wall.

Update Your Dining Room on a Budget

You can update any space on a budget and still be happy with your new space an it’s easier than you might think. If you can’t start from scratch that’s ok and I’m going to show you how to update your dining room on a budget.

Instead of overhauling everything, focus on the elements of your dining room that you like and can use in your new updated space. It’s not necessary to replace everything but instead mix-and-match styles and materials to create a look you love. Here are five ways to update your dining room and still have money left over to throw a dinner party for all your friends and show off your space.

dining room table with chairs on rug with vase of greenery sitting on table and bay window in background

Paint the Walls

One of the easiest ways and least expensive ways to update a space is with a can of paint. You’ve heard that before I’m sure, but if you have a limited budget the least expensive ways to give your dining room a tremendous update is paint. With minimal effort you can change the entire feel of the room with just paint.

The dining and living room were still a greige color we painted when we moved into the house seven years ago. However, the other rooms were a wonderful gray color so these two rooms needed to get on the same page. We painted both the dining and living room together Sherwin Williams Passive Gray and the room already felt better.

Light wood cane chair sitting in corner of dining room with round gold mirror hanging on wall above chair

Change the Dining Room Light Fixture

We had a large and dark chandelier in our dining room that felt like an eyesore. It was too big for the space and seemed to take over how the entire dining room looked. Just by switching out the chandelier the space felt updated and modern. You can add depth, interest and refresh a room without breaking the bank just by changing the light fixture hanging above your dining room table. There are so many budget friendly options too making it easy to update this element of your dining room.

Dining room with bay window, farmhouse table and can chairs with brass chandelier and vase of greenery on table

Update Dinning Room Furniture (Some)

Overhauling everything isn’t always necessary. Determine what you can use in your updated space and remove the rest. Maybe you have a table you chairs you could keep and paint or a buffet that just needs some refinishing. Think through what you can re-use and set aside pieces that just aren’t going to work.

For many years we had the farmhouse look and the black painted heavy furniture just wasn’t me anymore. The original cabinet and chairs I had for over twelve years and were a Craigslist find that we painted; so I felt like we got our use out of them.

The table I kept but the cabinet, chairs and rug I sold on Facebook Marketplace . In the end I sold it for half the “used” price I paid for it. I was happy and felt I got more than my twelve years worth of my initial investment. Sell what you don’t like and use the money toward some new furniture pieces.

The other great find was the cabinet. It was FREE! A FB Marketplace find that I stumbled upon and the lady just wanted to get rid of it because she couldn’t get it up the narrow stairs in her Washington D.C. row house. Is it the exact cabinet I truly envision for the space? No, but it works for now and better yet it didn’t cost me anything. Well, it cost my husband as he had to move it…thanks babe!

With using the current table and now a free cabinet, I had the money from the sale of the old set and the rug to use toward the chairs.

china cabinet against wall in dining room with table and chairs

Mix-and-Match Styles

Back in the day everything matched. As a girl I recall our living room had a matching sofa and loveseat, coffee table and two end tables that matched the coffee table. Oh, and matching lamps on each of the end tables.

Today, having all pieces in a room be identical is not as common. It is not necessary that everything match and in fact it’s better when they don’t because it helps create a room with depth and interest. It’s unpredictable in a good way. The room feels designed and not just something you purchased off the furniture showroom floor and had delivered.

My dining room table is more farmhouse and my new chairs have a more modern feel to them. By mixing the two styles I create depth and interest to a room.

dining room table with chairs on rug with vase of greenery sitting on table and bay window in background

Update Dining Room Decor

Paint…done! new light…Yup! some furniture updates…check! Now for a few new accessories and decor items to tie the room together. Updating a rug, artwork, curtains and accessories is simple enough to bring life to your new space. Use what you have. Likely you have a vase you could use or up-cycle into a new design; maybe you have some frames or artwork not being used to bring into this space.

Our jute style rug was fraying and the look needed changing. We kept the artwork that was in the room originally and added decor elements around those. Curtains were added to help soften the overall room and add a little more dimension while still keeping things minimal. Simple blue and white stripe pillows were placed on the upholstered end chairs.

Dining Room Decor Ideas

Look around your house for items you already have. Use a large mirror to make a small dining room feel larger. Crate a gallery wall from mix-matched frames you might already have and fill them with vintage prints. Add some floating shelves to display books or personal items. Wallpaper always updates a space and can create a WOW factor. Keep it simple and make sure your dining room is a reflection of you and your style.

Possible Decor Items:

  • Large Mirror
  • Simple Curtains
  • Artwork
  • Floating Shelves
  • Wallpaper
  • Keep it Neutral or add some color
Dinning Room with table, chairs, and artwork in between two windows.

Final Thoughts on Five Small Upgrades To Update Your Dining Room

The before and after says it all. This room went from a dark, farmhouse feel to a brighter, more open modern/updated space. Better yet, I didn’t break the bank doing it. Painting the room myself, FB Marketplace finds, re-using some furniture and decor pieces gave this room an entire facelift.

If you have a room that needs updating figure out what items must go and what you can continue to use. Create a space that works but don’t go into debt trying to do it.

looking into a gray and white dining room with dark wood table and cane chairs with a vase of greenery and curtains hanging from the windows.

Dining Table (similar) | Chairs | Round Gold Mirror (similar) | Rug | Chandelier | Curtains | Upholstered Chairs | Curtain Rods

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Five Easy Ways To Update Your Dining Room

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