3-Step Makeover: Multipurpose Dining Room

See how this dining room morphs from one family's unofficial work space to a stylish, hardworking room that accommodates meals, homework, and gatherings in just three steps.

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  • 1 of 19

    Stage 1: Simply Bland

    A beige, off-white, and brown color palette creates a bland starting point, but the architectural elements and window treatments hint at this dining room's style potential. A large bump-out with bay windows, complete with window seat, makes an ideal banquette for the round table that fits into the nook. Built-in bookcases offer floor-to-ceiling display space and lots of storage opportunities. A splash of color and new storage options to address the room's second function as a home office will give this dining room the update it needs.

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    Stage 1: Classic Furnishings

    A mahogany sideboard finished with a dark arabica stain and paired with antiqued brass hardware shows off the homeowners' traditional style. The sideboard provides additional storage but would benefit from new lamps and artwork that are in scale with the piece's height and width.

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    Stage 1: Plain Sitting Area

    Across the room, the sitting area leaves much to be desired. The host chair, small side table, and floor lamp offer function, but the blank walls and neutral palette are not inviting.

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    Stage 2: Palette Potential

    Carefully chosen accessories bring color, pattern, softness, and metallic shine to make the room more inviting. Inspired by the dishes on display in the built-in bookcases, a palette of eggplant purple, lime green, and off-white gives the dining room a splash of color. A solid purple scallop trim dresses up the windows' Roman shades, and upholstered host chairs bring comfort to the table. An off-white color coats the walls, drawer fronts, and cabinet doors adding the warm hue that gives the architectural elements visual depth and highlights the intricate details.

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    Stage 2: Proportionate Display

    Above the sideboard, a large-scale landscape painting better fits the space and commingles the deep purples and bright greens of the dining room. Metallic-finish lamp bases add a bit of glamour along with function. Colorful magazine files bring style and order to the pile of magazines that previously occupied the table.

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    Stage 2: Furnishings

    The dining room's furnishings are now anchored by a soft rug with a garden-inspired pattern that brings the room's green and purple color scheme off the shelves and into the room. Moving one of the old dining chairs between the sideboard and bookshelves gives the homeowners a place to sit when reading magazines.

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    Stage 2: Clutter Buster

    The bookshelves get a dose of organization thanks to file folders and charging station on the lowest shelf. Labels keep supplies in the correct space and help the shelf look organized. Charging stations are ideal for multipurpose rooms because they hide cords and hardware in style.

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    Stage 2: Welcome Seating

    A green leather settee makes a bold style statement opposite the sideboard. The plush seating and bold color create an inviting scene. Framed artwork above the settee draws the eye to the sitting area.

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    Stage 3: Modern Color

    The modern color palette of purple, green, and off-white is accented with dark furnishings and metallic accents. Fabrics, accessories, lighting, furnishings, and artwork all work together to bring a stylish twist to this traditional space. The drum chandelier's trendy shape and metallic finish updates the look.

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    Stage 3: Regal Seating

    Slipcovers in rich purple velvet trimmed in coordinating fabric and beaded fringe offer color and warmth to the space.

    Budget Tip: Slipcovers are a great budget saver. They completely change the look and mood of the room without the cost of purchasing new furniture.

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    Stage 3: Layered Window Treatments

    Drapery panels in a silk stripe add texture and softness to the bay window. Roman shades are dressed up with a scalloped edge and beaded trim. Together these window treatments add a sense of luxury to the room.

    Get the Look: Layering window treatments adds interest to the room and gives multiple options for blocking light. Choose fabrics that have the same color palette but vary in pattern size.

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    Stage 3: Surprise Color

    The built-in bookcases now sport a green background that makes the china collection visually pop off the shelves -- putting the pieces center stage. Painting or wallpapering the inside of a bookcase is a great way to add style to a room without spending a lot of money.

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    Stage 3: Be Inspired

    The china collection, which inspired the room's fashionable palette, remains center stage in the dining room, thanks to the bookcase makeover.

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    Stage 3: Plush Seating

    Pillows outfitted in a variety of fabrics add texture to the window seat. Making the window seat more comfortable encourages conversation long after the meal is over.

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    Stage 3: Metallic Accents

    The sideboard receives a glamorous makeover with the addition of metallic lamp bases and vases. Removing the magazine files draws attention to the artwork and adds to the dining room's sophisticated look.

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    Stage 3: Sneaky Home Office

    One side of the bookcases houses a pullout desktop and office storage without infringing on the dining storage required for silver, serving dishes, and entertaining supplies. Office supplies, filing systems, and computer components stay easily accessible thanks to a flip-down drawer front with pullout desktop. The arm chairs from Stage One flank the sideboard and serve as desk seating or additional table seating.

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    Stage 3: Command Central

    Files, magazines, and other necessities hide behind cabinet doors. Inside the cabinet, corkboards covered in fabric hold to-do lists and other important papers.

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    Stage 3: Walls that Wow

    Tree-pattern wallpaper in trendy purple hangs behind the sassy green leather settee. Thin molding frames the wallpaper to create a modern work of art. Additional nature-themed accents, such as the tree-stump side table, add texture and additional storage to the sitting area.

  • Next Slideshow Small-Space Dining Rooms

    Small-Space Dining Rooms

    Turn a small dining room into a focal point of your house with these tips and tricks. Our small dining room ideas will make your space look larger, help the flow of traffic, and increase storage in a small footprint.
    Begin Slideshow »

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