Our Dining Room Refresh + How to Improve a Space with Very Little Cash - Pretty Real

Our Dining Room Refresh + How to Improve a Space with Very Little Cash

5:24 PM

Dining room with black chairs, boho mirror, and boho tablecloth
Have you ever looked at a room and you just couldn't take it anymore?! This describes our dining room. Even my 10-year-old comments, "mom, we need a new table!" Our table was purchased during my farmhouse phase so the style no longer reflects the rest of our home. But I could get over that- really, I could!-- if it wasn't for the quality of the table deteriorating before our very eyes. It was not built for kids or moisture and the top is destroyed. We plan to replace it eventually but it did not make the project/house expense list this year. Besides, I'd really like to push it a little longer in the hopes that there will be fewer messes and more cleaning up after themselves in the future. (I know, I know, but a mama can hope!). So here's what I did to avoid replacing all the things, which is what I really wanted to do! And here's what you can do to makeover a room with very little cash if you're in the same predicament!

Dining Room Decor with a boho mirror

Phase 1: Paint the buffet 
Lesson: Give a piece of furniture a quick makeover!

Fast forward to Thanksgiving looming and my sad dining room looking anything but inviting and I decided I had to do something about it! Initially, all I did was steal a little buffet (also farmhouse. #thanksjoanna) from another room and paint it. Sort of on a whim. It made a world of difference! And all it cost me was $10 for the paint. Look around the room you hate- is there anything you could give a new life? 
Disguising an ugly table and other budget-friendly makeover tips

Phase 2: Swap the chairs
Lesson: Shop your home!

But then one thing led to another and I decided to use our outdoor dining chairs, indoors. I'd seen these chairs in many indoor dining rooms and always thought they looked great! Can you steal something from a room you use less frequently to help you freshen up your space? Shop your garage, attic, or guest room to find decor or accessories that aren't being used.
Thanksgiving Table Decor
chargers (Love these! Perfect for kids since they wipe off!)  |  Candlestick Holders  |  Table Runner  |  Vase
Phase 3: Cover the table
Lesson: Hide the ugly stuff!

Since it was almost Thanksgiving and my new buffet was lookin good, I decided to buy a few linens for the table. The primary purpose was to cover up the shabby table but it also gave the room some style. I spent about $60 on chargers and a table runner. Hiding the ugly stuff can mean buying a few baskets to hide necessary clutter, buying a new area rug to hide a floor or wall to wall carpet you hate, or in my case, buying a pretty table runner to hide my dilapidated table. ;)
beautiful boho mirror
Phase 4: Replace the art
Lesson: Replace just ONE item you don't love.* 

I really could've stopped here but I was in "refresh mode." At this point it dawned on me, It wasn't in the budget to replace the table and chairs, but why not replace just one thing for much, much less? Initially, the price tag was even less for this amazing mirror but it ended up looking a bit too cottage-y with the buffet so I swapped it for this one (which has been marked down btw)! I also LOVE this one! *One caveat here- don't buy something to match things you hate!  If your room has a farmhouse vibe and you're trying to go modern, don't buy a weathered gray mirror that would match your current room but that you won't love when the newness wears off. Speaking from experience here! I chose this mirror because I think it will work well with my dream chairs when the time comes.
Use an outdoor rug in a dining room and other helpful budget and family friendly tips
Phase 5: Replace the rug 
Lesson: Sometimes you just need a bit of patience.

Technically a rug wasn't part of the refresh- our rug was really gross so when I happened upon a flash sale on Amazon months ago, I snagged a jute rug for $70. I really should've passed on it, as I'd already decided to get an outdoor rug I could hose down if when needed. When it arrived it was damaged and the exchange process took so long (during the holidays) that outdoor rugs were appearing on the shelves by the time all was said and done. Since I'd already returned the replacement rug and tossed the former rug, I jumped on it when this one was in stock and on sale! The moral of the story is, sometimes it's best to just wait on certain purchases.


4 Ways to Make Over a Space for FREE (or very little cash)

Wood Footed Tray with Marble salt and pepper shakers and brass candle

Chalk Painted Buffet

The room isn't perfect by any means. Looking at these pictures makes me both happy and also long for chairs that aren't so obtrusive. ha! But it's considerably better just by working with what I had (mostly!). What about you? Is there a space you can improve by following these tips? What other ideas do you have for us?! Hopefully next year I'll be back with a complete makeover- new furniture and moulding would be a dream!

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