The Start of the Dining Room Makeover (+ 20 Fab Concrete & Terracotta Lamps)

Have we chatted dining room update here on KN? I’ve shared a little bit on my Instagram but I honestly can’t remember if we’ve even mentioned it here on the blog. Today, I’m sharing the beginning of my latest project and the progress thus far, along with the end result of my months’ long concrete lamp hunt (I’m also sharing 20 favorite terracotta and concrete table lamps that caught my attention along the way). There’s no design board or laundry list of things to do because 1. we’re already “in” the transition, and 2. it’s not going to take much to make the space look totally different!

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Dining Room Revamp

First, a little backstory. I have loved our dining room and while we don’t use it often, it is the first room you see when you come through the front doors. I’ve mentioned before though that while I’ve enjoyed the blue walls, we had them painted by the builder; not being able to do much testing beforehand (and giving into the pressure of a well-meaning but ultimately wrong third party), we went with a color that was darker than I had envisioned. I wanted a barely-there blue and while the Lauren’s Surprise that’s on the wall is pretty, it’s a lot more pigmented than I ever wanted — especially when the sun isn’t shining on it directly. We’ve lived with it since we moved in in March 2015 and with other projects, I never had the push to revise that original paint job. Once we started the conversation room (hoping to have it finally finished before the end of next month! We’re getting close!) — which is positioned opposite the dining room — the new moody vibe just wasn’t pairing well with the dining room. It was time to finally make a change.

Even though I was ready to go for a new look, I wasn’t quite ready to do an overhaul. I like our furniture but most of it isn’t in great shape anymore. When Maggie was a pup, she was a big-time chewer. The dining room was her favorite snack and the legs on the table especially are proof. But, I’m not ready to invest in more furniture just yet. I likely will and it will be more of a gradual process but for now, I wanted to change the vibe without changing everything the room has collected.

So, if I’m not changing out the main furnishings, what am I doing? Well, I’m depending on the walls to do most of the work for me. I wanted to make a dramatic statement while tying into the conversation room (see the plan HERE), and while I was ready to fund the transition, I also wanted to keep significant costs at bay. No wallpaper. We had a pretty standard wainscoting (I’m sure a lot of you do, too), with basic crown molding, and a trimmed out tray ceiling. Instead of working within the same painted confines of its current state, I decided to add large picture frame boxes above the chair rail to mimic the already-installed boxes below the chair rail, and to slather it all in a single coat of paint.

Here’s what it looked like before…

Blue and Yellow Spring Decorating Ideas

Chairs | Rug | Entry Chest | Cherry Blossom StemsChandelier (new version)

and here it is after the additional boxes of molding were added. I’ve used picture frame molding as a way to dress up walls all over the house, but I typically start from scratch. This was the first time I added on to an existing feature to make it more. In terms of cost, without changing any of the other molding and just adding the simple inexpensive trim, it was incredibly cost effective. It was also easier for the carpenter because aside from measuring the exact spacing, he didn’t have to reinvent the wheel and I didn’t have to determine the width and length of boxes. It was more or less just “finishing a puzzle” and filling in the blanks.

Dining Room Makeover Plans w/ Black Paint & Picture Frame Molding

So, can a room with baby blue walls and a traditional crystal chandelier transition into a darker space with more organic supporting accessories? Yes, yes it can 😉 Here’s how it looks, post paint but pre-anything else.

Black Dining Room Makeover Plan

Chairs | Rug | Chandelier (new version)

I cheated when it came to paint color. Instead of trying any and everything, I only sampled the three small cans I used when debating the color of the ceiling in the conversation room. While I used Tricorn Black — a dark, pure black — on the conversation room ceiling (see that ceiling HERE), I opted for Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams — a dark, warm charcoal / soft black — in a satin finish for the dining room. Pretty crazy to see what paint and an added wall detail can do, still in the presence of the exact same furnishings that were in the room prior to the color change!

Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams Paint in the Dining Room

Even this bar cart moment has a totally different feel than it did in corner of the blue dining room.

Dining Room Painted in Sherwin Williams Iron Ore Charcoal/Warm Soft Black Paint

Bar Cart (similar) | Faux Olive Branches (similar) | Driftwood Chargers | Bowls | Floral Plates | Gold Rimmed Wine Glasses | Carafe 

I struggled with what to paint, between the ceiling, trim, window casings, baseboards, etc. But, because the trim color was “Creamy” — like the rest of the main living area — and I didn’t want to get into deviating nor necessarily using that color in here, I decided to slather the entire thing in the dark paint. And, I love the result! But, now that the paint is on, we have work to do. Again, while the overall look will be a drastic contrast, the actual changes within the room will be way more minor. Here’s what I have left to do in the more immediate future.

Dining Room Makeover Plan -- Bold & Natural

I love the drama and moody vibe but I also don’t want it to feel gothic. We have some lightening up to do! I’m adding the same full, ivory pleated panels that I’ve added in other rooms, to frame out the window. I’ll also be switching up my art, adding some green plant life, and switching my rug to a neutral, versatile canvas. I am going for the wool jute rug in the natural option because I think it lends itself to a marrying of styles. (PS: if you have this rug, I’d love to hear how you feel about it in person and over time! I’ve seen positive reviews but always love to hear from KN readers first-hand experiences!) It can go in a more formal area but keeps it casual and doesn’t make a space formal like a more ornate rug may. I think it will help bridge the traditional look I’ve always had in the room to support more of the earthy elements I’m adding.

Pottery Barn Wool Jute Rug for Dining Room

Wool Jute Rug (photo via Pottery Barn)

One of the very first things I started looking for after deciding the direction of this room was a pair of organic, natural lamps that had a concrete lamp look to them. I really started getting into the rustic, heavy finish around the time I talked about statement vases last year HERE and thought the juxtaposition of the roughness would look pretty against the more dainty, traditional elements of the room. I looked and looked, decided on a pair and changed my mind, and finally hit “order” on these moonstone lamps. They stand at 27″ tall and let me tell you — they are so much more beautiful in person! I found them for 20% off, plus free shipping HERE. I actually ordered them with a backordered notice, but surprisingly, they actually shipped a few days after I ordered, contrary to the anticipated in-stock date. I can’t say that’s what will happen right now, but I didn’t think I would have them for a few months, and I received them in a few days.

Concrete Lamp Roundup -- 20 of the Best Organic, Concrete, and Terracotta Lamps

Moonstone Lamp

There’s so many varying tones in the base — from gray to terracotta-rust to even hues of subtle green — that it would be easy to coordinate in a lot of different spaces. I have some pretty large statement vases in the conversation room, across the entry from the dining room, so I’m glad I carried that finish through to this room. They aren’t even plugged in yet or situated just right but I was so excited to get them unboxed and set up!

Best Terracotta Lamps & Concrete Lamps

As a total side note, I haven’t had a good source for my crystal chandelier (that’s been in stock) for a few years now. It looks like Schonbek may have just slightly updated my chandelier with bronze candlesticks instead of ivory! I literally just found it this morning after a few years of looking. You can find it HERE.

Hunt for the Perfect Concrete Lamp — 20 Favorite Earthy, Concrete, and Terracotta Table Lamps

I poured over options, finishes, heights, shades, and availability dates for hours over the past couple of months — determining what my space most needed and trying to find a balance of everything I was looking for. Along the way, I found some pretty fabulous table lamps — one or two I would love to find a home for somewhere else in our house. You can find the link to each of these below the following graphic.

20 Concrete Table Lamps & Terracotta Lamps

1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6. | 7. | 8. | 9. | 10. | 11. | 12. | 13. | 14. | 15. | 16. | 17. | 18. | 19. | 20.

I had originally planned on Number 6 (comes in three sizes and shapes) before finding Number 1, which I ultimately went with. After finding Number 1, I briefly considered changing gears and going for Number 2. I was determined to make Number 19 or Number 20 work in the conversation room but ultimately went in a different direction since I already had several organic finishes going on in that room. I’m hoping to find a spot for one of those somewhere, still!

Dining room with Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams Paint

I’m hoping to have this revamp completed likely around the same time as the conversation room — by the end of next month. While it’s pretty much just accessorizing and making a few switches at this point, shipping and lead times have been a little crazy over the past year, as we all know. I’ve also been intentional about moving a little at a time. By the way, it’s been a couple months but I’ll be sharing an update on the conversation room in the next week or so! And, while I’m working to get these two spaces finished up, I’m also just about ready to start on a space I’ve been itching to get into for the past year — Eliza’s playroom. If you aren’t already, you can subscribe to emails to catch the reveal at the bottom of the post. Follow along on Instagram for behind the scenes and daily updates in stories HERE.

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39 Comments

  1. 2.7.21
    KimberlyAnn said:

    You’re dining room is already looking stunning Kel…I can’t WAIT to see what else you do with it..loving the huge rug and lamps, addition of the plant…just…wow!

    • 2.7.21
      KimberlyAnn said:

      *Jute rug

    • 2.8.21

      Kimberly Ann, Thank you so much for your sweet note! It feels so good to make the changes. It was time and I am so glad to have made some progress.

  2. 2.7.21
    Michele M. said:

    WOW!!!! The power of paint. That looks really cool. Love the lamp/s choice.

    I am not completely convinced about the jute rug choice – think you should stick with a patterned traditional Oriental rug to bring in the colors of the base of the new lamps – greys, rusts, some black, some ivory – I think the jute is too casual for that space.

    BUT almost everything you do in that incredibly gorgeous home of yours ends up looking pretty danged awesome. Hope you don’t dislike the look of jute in what to me looks like an exotic European designed dining room. I am sure – with it being close to your newly designed conversation room – they will play well together visually.

    Well done, really love that all over dark space. It is awesome. I think all your older stuff works perfectly in there, too.

    • 2.8.21

      Hi Michele, Thank you for taking the time to visit and for your kind note. I definitely value your feedback! My rug choice is actually a wool/jute blend. I wanted to have a different play on this room and am mixing the traditional with some of the newer textures of today. I am anxious to see how it all turns out.

  3. 2.7.21
    Heather said:

    Wow, just WOW. Your room looks amazing!

    • 2.8.21

      Heather, Thank you so much for your sweet note! I am so excited to make the changes and can’t wait until the makeover is complete.

  4. 2.7.21
    L Murray said:

    In regards to the wool jute rug, I had it. I do have a lot of natural fiber rugs and can tolerate the negative qualities because I like the look of them and they are inexpensive. However, I had the PB wool jute and it is a poor quality jute. It constantly sheds even with vacuuming without a beater bar. It holds tons of debris and chunks of fiber come off of it. Just my opinion, but it always feels dirty and it is very messy, and hard to maintain.

    • 2.8.21

      I appreciate your note! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your feedback.

  5. 2.7.21
    Joanna said:

    I love it! It is so elegant & moody now. Perfect for a dining room.

    • 2.8.21

      Hi Joanna, Thank you for taking the time to visit and for your kind note. I am pleased with the color. It’s made a big difference!

  6. 2.7.21
    Donna said:

    LOVE the new paint/wall color!!! Stunning

    • 2.8.21

      Hi Donna, Thank you so much for your sweet note! This was a much needed change. I am so glad the makeover is now underway!

  7. 2.7.21
    Gail J Prowant said:

    I love your room. It looks amazing. I vote for the jute rug. I have the rug in black and I love it. I am going to be switching it out for a lighter rug in my living room because our new living room is so dark. I hope to use it somewhere else in my home because I do love it.

    • 2.8.21

      Gail, Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. I really appreciate your feedback on the rug! I love that you have the vision to switch things out in your own home.

  8. 2.7.21
    Denise said:

    If you do NOTHING else, it’s perfect! Stunning and WOW have been already been used but STUNNING and WOW! Congrats!

    • 2.8.21

      Denise, Thank you so much for your sweet note! It feels great to have begun this makeover. It’s been a while in coming!

  9. 2.7.21
    Haneen said:

    Kelley, I’m loving these changes!! Welcome to the dark side! lol 🙂

    • 2.8.21

      Haneen, You are just the best color coordinator. Thank you! xoxo

  10. 2.7.21
    Brenda Cullen said:

    Kelley this is such a dramatic change and I AM LOVING IT !!!! ALL of it!!
    You are just so good at decorating and when we don’t think your home good look more lovely, you come up with something like this! ❤️

    • 2.8.21

      Brenda, You are simply the sweetest…thank you!

  11. 2.7.21
    Linda said:

    Kelley, loving the changes in the molding and the paint– the room looks stunning. You asked for any shares on the jute rug, so I fell compelled to share…I have this rug-I love the style and the vibe. BUT practically speaking we found it wasn’t the greatest rug under an eating surface. Doesn’t spot clean easy, the absorbing nature of the materials makes it hard to clean if a plate of food is spilled (our toddler grands) and for some reason the dining room is the new favorite spot for the dog to “toss his cookies” so to speak. Just adding our reality– good luck! Always love what you do…

    • 2.8.21

      Hi Linda, Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. I really appreciate your honest feedback on the rug. Thank you!

  12. 2.7.21

    Kelley.. I wasn’t sure what to think when u started redoing your din rm. When I saw it.. was already looking like a really awesome beginning of a beautiful room! May I tell you something? You may not use your din rm much now.. But there are sure to be Many Eliza & family bdays in that special room.. What Eye Candy to always see as u open your front door! And what better place to teach Eliza as she grows up about table manners & etiquette!!! Your din room will become your fav room!!! You will be able to share your blog passions with Eliza as she grows up..

    • 2.8.21

      Hi Debbie, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this sweet note. You are so right that I am confident the dining room will be used more in the future. Table manners and proper etiquette are so important and we want to make sure Eliza appreciates them as much as we do. It is already such fun having her help set the table!

  13. 2.8.21
    Ivory said:

    Your dining room looking amazing, glamorous, classy and extremely jaw dropping. Wow what a difference the black paint made. I love it!

    • 2.8.21

      Ivory, Thank you! I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by and for leaving such a kind note. I am so glad the makeover has begun!

  14. 2.8.21
    Cassie Adolphson said:

    Your dining room looks amazing!

    • 2.8.21

      Cassie, Thank you for taking the time to visit. I appreciate your sweet note!

  15. 2.8.21
    Denice said:

    Hi Kelly. We have the jute rug in our living room and love it! My son has the gray version in his living room as well. We’ve had a few spills, but if you wipe up right away, it’s good as new.

    • 2.8.21

      Hi Denice, Thank you so much for providing your feedback! It speaks a lot to me that you and your son have the same rug. I appreciate you taking the time to visit.

  16. 2.8.21
    Corinne said:

    Wow. I would have never done that. So, I’m excited to see how you pull it all together and your choices give me strength and vision to think outside of the box in my own home.

    • 2.9.21

      Corinne, Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I appreciate your note! I am incredibly flattered that you are following along. I can’t wait for the next step in this makeover process.

  17. 2.9.21
    Elizabeth said:

    You are so talented! I have gotten so many great ideas from you and should thank you every day because I got your exact kitchen sink and love it! I can return the favor in a small way by giving feedback on the rug. I have it and like it, but I agree with some of the previous posters that it sheds a LOT and is also a magnet for dog messes due to upset tummies. We have had the rug for several years now (about 7), and it still sheds a tremendous amount, even though for years my robotic vacuum was vacuuming it multiple times per week.

    • 2.10.21

      Elizabeth, Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. I so appreciate your sweet note! I appreciate the feedback you have provided on the rug. It is so good to know that you like it, but have also had challenges with it along the way. Thank you! xoxo

  18. 2.11.21
    Margaret said:

    Love the original room, and love the changes! I particularly am interested in seeing how you will mix the styles…I’m not that brave–yet!
    I have the PB jute/wool rug and I think it is wonderful. It is soft, it doesn’t wrinkle, it’s solid on the floor. We didn’t even use a rug pad and it works well anyway.

    • 2.11.21

      Margaret, Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a note. I really appreciate your feedback on the rug! I am excited to do the “mix.” I hope you will stay tuned for the next step in the process. xoxo

      • 4.11.21
        Kim said:

        I followed the link to your dining chairs but I didn’t see the color you have. The closest color is dove? Thank you- this room is divine!

        • 4.12.21

          Hi Kim, Thank you for taking the time to stop by. It appears the linen color I have is currently not available. The linen color option is available for the dining chairs I have in my breakfast nook. Here’s that link, if you are interested. I appreciate your kind note!
          https://rstyle.me/+u17R3Tl6OOBDsxA39Dn_rA

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