Dining Room Decorating Tips

Transform your dining room with tips from this amazing makeover, which blends bright hues and fresh style and combines a dining room and an office space into one room.

This once drab dining room was uncomfortable, cavelike, and lacked good traffic flow. But thanks to a makeover from designer Elain Griffin, the space now fits the fun-loving family it belongs to.

Dining Room Furniture Think a dining table has to sit in the middle of the room? Think again. Griffin turned the table sideways and scooted it up to the window seat, putting the room's best feature to good use. The shift also solves an awkward traffic flow and frees space for an office at the other end of the room.

The table, chairs (mismatched for a casual feel), and drum shade all have clean lines for a young, fresh look.

Hit of Color Aqua grass cloth attached to the back of the shelves with adhesive transfer tape gives the room an easy-to-change pop of color.

Citrusy Hues The window seat is padded in a brightly patterned cushion and back rest, along with an ensemble of just-as-colorful throw pillows in coordinating prints and solids.

Double Duty Giving the room extra function as an office meant that Griffin had to get creative with furniture. The skirted table pulls double duty as a buffet with hidden office storage.

For a sized-to-fit console table, Griffin screwed 2x4 legs into a plywood top; a center leg adds stability. The skirt is made from indoor outdoor fabric that resists stains. Ribbon-width fusible webbing makes adding grosgrain trim a breeze.

"We needed an ornate moment above the clean-lined table," Griffin says. She loved the laser-cut mirror but not its color, so she spray-painted it. Ditto with the lamps.

Dual Purpose "It's a desk in a dining room, not a dining table in an office," Griffin says of the pretty work zone she eked out of a freed-up corner. White paint on the $175 antique secretary and white accessories brighten the area. An old chair looks splashy in orange.

Drop ZoneThe dining room is off the foyer, so Griffin brought in an upholstered bench to use as a drop spot for bags and mail. The top lifts for storage.

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