A Detail-Filled Dining Room Makeover

These finishing touches, which rely on paint and trim, are big on style for those of us short on time (and cash)!


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dining room
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    We chose a fashionable color scheme of aqua blue, cocoa, and tangerine for this dining room makeover. The aqua blue looks light and fresh with the white furniture, while the cocoa adds just the right amount of sophistication and warmth. Bright bursts of tangerine come from accessories, which are easy to change (we think hot pink would look great in this room, too).

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Paint Pick-Me-Ups

    Grab a paintbrush and get going on charming updates for standard dining-room elements

    Window Shade
    An inexpensive roller shade looks custom with the addition of paint stripes. To make the stripes, mask areas with painter's masking tape before applying crafts paint. Ball fringe makes a flirty finish at the hem. Simply hot-glue the trim to the back of the shade.

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Paint Pick-Me-Ups

    Chandelier
    Silver spray paint adds an understated gleam to a formerly bright-brass chandelier. To make the lampshades, coat the shades with two layers of gesso so paint won't bleed through. Paint scallops of light blue crafts paint on the top third of the shade after painting the lower portion a darker blue. Use a paint pen or an artist's paintbrush to add dots of white and cocoa.

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Paint Pick-Me-Ups

    Floor Cloth
    Who would guess this cheerful floor covering started out as a scrap of vinyl flooring? Cut it to size (and any shape--no need to stick to a rectangle) with sturdy scissors or a utility knife and straightedge. Prime the back side with latex primer. Let dry, then roll on a base color. Use crafts paint and an artist's brush to add the details after the base coat is dry.

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Fabric Finesse

    Give the soft touch to your dining room with these easy fabric ideas.

    Cushion Accent
    Give a custom look to a ready-made chair cushion. Use a covered-button kit to make fabric-covered buttons (use the same fabric for drapery panels for a coordinated look). Stitch through the cushion to attach the buttons for a tufted look. Tie 1/8-inch ribbon around the button shanks to mark the spot with an X.

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Fabric Finesse

    No-Sew Curtain Panels
    Pick up pretty fabric from a discount bin to fashion some quick, elegant curtain panels. Use an iron to press under the sides and secure with fusible interfacing. Clip on curtain rings and hang 'em high. We let ours puddle on the floor just a bit for a luxurious look.

    Now that you've seen what dressmaker details can do, check out the following elegant surprises.

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Unexpected Accents

    Our favorite finishing touches are the ones that guests admire--and we know cost only a few cents and a few minutes to make! Look closer to see some of the pleasing details.

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Unexpected Accents

    Fabric Background
    To jazz up this china hutch we added panels of blue polka-dot fabric. To get this look, cut foam core to fit the back of your hutch, then wrap the fabric neatly around the panels securing it with glue in the back. Then, slide the cute (but temporary) panels to the back of the hutch.

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Unexpected Accents

    Ribbon Accent
    A wide ribbon with colorful brown and blue stripes wraps the apron of the dining table. This detail is so simple, you may be embarrassed to accept the rave reviews, but just smile and say, "Thanks!" Simply attach the ribbon to the wood with double-sided tape. To create custom stripes, layer solid color ribbons.

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