Sunny & Bright Dining Room Reveal | Our VA Home
I’m so excited to be sharing a final tour of the sunny Dining Room space in our Virginia rental today. This room is quite obviously a newer extension off the original floorplan; and thanks to large, gorgeous windows and new hardwood floors, it didn’t take much on my part to transform it into a charming place for our family to eat meals day in and day out. Come on in, and have a look around!
This sunroom, situated off the back of our Virginia rental home, is quite literally what “sold” us on this house from the get go. With four bedrooms upstairs (all of which we needed for people) and an unfinished basement, there were few options for my home office (which needs both space and sunlight).
This sunny, spacious extension positioned immediately off the kitchen was an obvious eating space, which then freed up the formal dining room to be my office (you can see my full Office and Craft Room Tour here).
Although the blue fringe curtains (from the landlords) were doing absolutely nothing to enhance the natural charm of this room, I started with a pretty great blank slate. Large windows with bright white trim, shiny hardwood floors, and neutral paint meant that I could load in simple furnishings to bring the space together!
This room makeover was 100% a “use what you have” transformation. Different elements from various rooms across several previous homes effortlessly came together to create a cohesive space.
Before I give you the full tour in pictures, below is a video tour of this completed room. The short video gives you a good sense of how and where everything fits together! Video not loading for you? You can watch it HERE.
One of my absolute favorite things about this room (besides all the windows) is its location. Not only is it positioned immediately off the kitchen (so it is simple to bring food to the table)…
…but it’s also diagonal from the family room. When sitting at the round table, the television in the family room is completely in view. So while this layout does provide some nice separation between meals and the TV, we can still eat breakfast at the table while catching up on the morning news.
The Table & Chairs
Back in our San Diego home, we made a big gamble and invested in this custom round pedestal table (because it fit that Dining Room so well). I have no plans of replacing this table…ever. So while a rectangle table may have filled out this long, skinny room a bit better (and accommodated our extended family who came over for meals quite regularly), the dark, sculptural table still looks quite beautiful situated right in the center of the bright and airy room.
Around the table are inexpensive white parsons chairs that really lend a casual, family-friendly vibe to the more traditional table. I love the contrast in both finish and style here, but will admit that you absolutely “get what you pay for” with rather inexpensive chairs. These have not held up well to the wiggles and giggles of our 3 boys, and every single one will need replacing in our next home. (Pssst – if you’ve come across a sleek white dining chair that is both solid AND affordable, let me know! I can’t find any I like!)
My Favorite Rug
Under the table is the blue-and-white checked rug that we’ve used for years and still looks amazing (if you don’t yet know my secret to having a rug under the kitchen table AND keeping it clean, be sure to check it out!)
If you look around almost all of the room makeovers in this rental home, you’ll see a trend emerging. More and more, I’ve been relying on a single, vibrant pattern on either the floor or the wall to carry my room designs (other examples: Playroom, Master Bedroom, Sam’s Room, Nursery). One look at the image below sums up why: you get sooo much bang for your buck with this one big investment.
By placing a strong dose of pattern on the floor, I was able to keep the rest of the room fairly simple. This room didn’t need wall color, tons of accessories, or expensive art to amp up the style. The rug pulls more than its fair share of the design weight, allowing me to not just bring this room together quite easily, but to do so really affordably too!
The other major design element in this room comes from the gorgeous floral curtains hanging on the big set of windows along the back of the room. I first made these drapes years ago, but they didn’t get a spot in our last home. I lovingly held onto them because they are some of my favorite floral fabric ever.
It may be difficult to see from pictures, but this single print contains almost every color used throughout our entire home. With this one set of curtains, I’m able to visually connect the green in my office, the turquoise in our hall bath, the royal blue in the rug (and playroom, family room), and the navy throughout the entire home.
The only other textiles in this space are the cloth napkins I made from a Target shower curtain about 10 years ago. One benefit of sticking to a particular color palette for so long is that so many old elements fit seamlessly together in this new space too!
In addition to the table and chairs, there are two other furniture pieces in this room.
In the right corner is the large, black butterfly cabinet we purchased while living in Okinawa, Japan ages ago. Although we’ve now gotten rid of almost everything else we purchased while living in Asia, this piece holds a special place in my heart and also falls into the “will never part with it” category. It currently holds all of our china, crystal, and other entertaining pieces.
In the 10 years since I first painted this old and dated china hutch, it’s never been arranged back into one unit until this home. All these years, we’ve been using the base as our media stand and the top as a stand-alone bookcase (neither of which were really needed in this home layout).
I’m so thankful that all those years ago, I had the presence of mind to paint/stain the top and bottom the same colors so I could reunite them as needed. Once back together, the only update I did for this room was to add the blue wallpaper along the back and clean up the hardware. The wallpaper is the same as on the family room walls, creating a nice visual connection between the two spaces.
When the owners of this house renovated the adjoining kitchen and added this sunroom addition, they clearly opted for an oversized island and first floor laundry room instead of kitchen cabinets. As spacious as the kitchen is, there are very few cabinets to hold dishes. Soon after moving in, we realized the china hutch could provide the dish storage we lacked in the kitchen!
I was initially worried that it would be annoying to have dishes out of the kitchen (both for meal prep and dishwasher unloading), but it was so much of a non-issue that we’re planning on keeping this arrangement in our next home too. I’ve always loved the sculptural nature of our dishes and enjoy seeing them on display rather than behind cabinet doors!
There wasn’t much wall space to fill in this room, but we did find homes for a few of our favorite collections. The State Artwork (that depict everywhere we’ve lived) fills the far corner nicely…
…while my Mom’s hand-painted art fills up another narrow wall right at the opening to the room.
These paintings hung in my home as a kid, and I love having such a beautiful reminder of my Mom’s artistic talents in the center of our home!
Beyond the decor, this room will always hold precious memories for me because it’s where we’ve celebrated every holiday and birthday during our three years here. Thanks to the sunshine and size, it’s the perfect “party space,” and I had so much fun decking it out for all sorts of celebrations over the years! Here’s just a few!
Products & Tutorials In This Room
- Paint: Berh Sail Cloth
- Black Curtain Rods
- Floral Curtains – DIY
- Rug – Blue Buffalo Plaid Outdoor Rug
- State Artwork – DIY
- White Pots – HomeGoods
- Storage & Organization
- Wooden Tray – IKEA
- Wicker Napkin Baskets – IKEA
This room didn’t get a lot of attention here on the blog over the last few years because it didn’t have many projects or big dramatic updates. As mentioned at the start of this post, this room came together entirely with items we collected over previous homes. So while it feels a bit like this room didn’t get the full “makeover treatment,” we ended up with a charming and comfy room to enjoy as a family all the same!