Monday, October 14, 2013

D.I.Y Dining Room Makeover

I have been very busy in the past three weeks challenging my very best in the interior decorating department.
Thankfully, I came out triumphant as the outcome was more than satisfactory than I originally expected.
My project was my Dining Room Makeover.
A Do-It-Yourself undertaking in its truest sense as Dearest Husband was initially unsupportive.
I could not blame him. After all,  I have none/or  very little experience in the decorating aspect especially in stripping down wallpapers or painting the wall.
But as I have often told him, I wouldn't know unless I've tried. So try I did!
There are the professionals anyway who can do the job properly should my DIY turn out a disaster but at least I gave a try.

Here is the before photo of my dining room.
My apology as this is the only before photo I have.  In the midst of the all the preparations and chaos I just forgot to take a before photo.
My dining room at Christmas time last year

The old wallpaper is beautiful with its lovely print.  Unfortunately, it is not a dining room wallpaper.
It is more of a bedroom or living room feature wall.
As soon as the wallpaper was up I just knew straightaway that it was the wrong wallpaper choice.
It overpowered and dominated the room as an average size as it is. Worse, it was even on 2 walls.
I thought that perhaps a new set of furnitures might just remedy it but sadly it still didn't.
Fed up and been unhappy for a time already,I finally decided that its about time it should have its long over due necessary makeover. This whether by a professional or by myself which ended in a DIY by yours truly.

As above mentioned, I have no prior experience in stripping down wallpaper.
A bit of research and a few episodes of home makeover TV shows did the trick for me.
It does look easy on the TV and on Google but the truth is far from it.
It requires the right tools and lots of patience and time.

The first wall  took me about 3 hours and I was so amased and proud of myself as it went on smoothly with barely visible scratches although some paint peeled off together with the wallpaper.
As soon as I found my way of doing it properly,  I then allotted an hour or 2 in the evening when Little Girl was already asleep or at daytime when she was at school.

Then came the hardest and tedious part.
Cleaning the wall by removing the residue is the most laborious part.
Some tiny bits of the wallpaper were so stubborn it didn't peel easily. This was a very necessary evil though because if left, it would only produce an unsmooth surface once the wall is painted.

And here is the clean walls finally stripped off  its wallpaper and ready for painting.
Floors and furnitures were covered and glasswares/chinawares were emptied out from the cabinet.
Skirting boards to the floors and around the windows were also taped.

And here's me in action!

Painting sounds easy but surprisingly, in reality it actually did.
It is the preparation that is the tiresome part. Paint colour selection is not even easy to begin with.
Since I stripped the wallpaper off, I wanted to revert it back to its original colour to match the two untouched walls. Now, the problem lies on which shade.
We had no idea what brand or shade was used when the walls were originally painted. We even had to refer to the house manual but there was nothing there to suggest any help.
We bought several paint testers in the end  until we found the closest.

Finally,  here is the collaged photos of my finished Dining Room!
I simply carried on the theme and colour scheme of the living room - cream and chocolate brown with solid oak furnitures.
This way, should it happen that we would finally decide to take down the wall between the living and dining room, at least there is already a continuity between the two main rooms.

Here is a photo of our living room (which the dining room makeover design is inspired by).
Cream and chocolate brown colour scheme
Solid oak furnitures all from the Winchester Collection by Furniture Barn
Accessories/Furnishings are Filipino woodcraft mostly from Kultura Filipino mixed with Wedgwood collectibles

Of course I understand that the above collaged photos of the makeover are not that appealing so here are the bigger, individualized versions.
Dining room photos from the different angles of the room.
Floor lamp by Next bought 2 years ago which has been discontinued so I could not find a matching ceiling shade anymore
Table runner by  SM Home Accessories in the Philippines
Wooden candle holders from The Range
New Ceiling Shade from Dunelm Mill

I am very happy and surprised of the finished article.
It came out so well put together considering the furnitures and the soft  furnishings were bought at different shops at different times.
The makeover made the  room bright, cosy and spacious.
The curtain was even a last minute second choice as I was originally eyeing  for the Debenhams Lucille curtain but had to return it as the chenille material  is not appropriate for a dining room.
A light material is essential so as not to overpower the  room as there are big solid furnitures in it.
In the end I settled down with Como Printed Curtains by The Range at almost half price and much closer to my living room wallpaper print.
The only new things we have  in this makeover are the clock, the ceiling shade and the curtains in which Dearest Husband happily put it up for me as he observed and realised that I was doing well with the makeover.
Even bragged to his colleagues how good I am with the decorating!

Here are a few of the accessories in closer details.
As with my living room, I want my Filipino heritage evident in my home furnishings.
Top left :  Big Statement Clock by Edinburgh Clock Works Co.
(colour to match my mirror and dining chairs)
Bottom left: Large brown twig Balls from Kultura Filipino in a large clear vase with lead crystal decanters on both sides.
Upper Right: Giant Wooden Spoon and Fork from a native shop in the Philippines
Bottom Right:  A Filipino frame picture from Gaisano home accessories

I forgot to mention that I also bought a new display cabinet to accommodate my ever growing bone china collection and crystal glasswares courtesy of mother-in-law and her sister
Left photo: Large solid oak  glazed display cabinet bought more than 2 years ago from Marks and Spencer
Right photo: A similar smaller version but still solid oak glazed display cabinet bought at Home Sense at a bargain price of £199.99!

Here is a closer look at my chinawares/glasswares!
Left photo: Royal Doulton in Regency Gold collection courtesy of mother-in-law as wedding present
Angela Collection by Wedgwood from aunt-in-law
Right Photo: Some Royal Doulton glasswares from mother-in-law 

the rest of the different types of crystal glasswares and decanters all from aunt-in-law
Tea Set Revelry Collection by Coalport purchased by myself

Angela Collection by Wedgwood
Some of the crystal glasswares from aunt-in-law
Tea Set Revelry Collection by Coalport

The makeover is not truly finished yet. I still want to put a brown rug underneath the table and a mini cupboard or a wine cabinet by the floor lamp, all funds permitting!
I apologise for this very long post but I just want to share in details what went through my dining room makeover as I put too much passion and dedication in it.
Indeed, it was a labour of love.
It was physically exhausting and made me even poorly over the weekend yet the result was just simply rewarding.
Above all, it made me realise that there is actually an interior decorator/designer in me!
Would I do it again? Yes of course! In fact, another room is in mind. And that will be in one of my future posts, hopefully!

Good night.


  1. this is beautiful mummynors! you did an amazing job, i think the cream and chocolate brown colours really complement the cabinets, tables, chairs and the decors.
    ...and I'm salivating with your ever growing bone china collection and crystal glasswares..
    the house is really beautiful, i love what you have done!
    More DIY Projects to share

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thank you very much. I feel so proud of what I have achieved considering I have no knowledge nor experience on wallpaper stripping and wall painting. Not bad huh for a first time.

      Visit me again so we can dine in my new dining room using my beautiful chinas and glasses.

  2. ..ooops i mean table only hehe

  3. Kudos to you MummyNors, you made an amazing job on the wall stripping, can't even tell it was wall papered. That's one reason why we stay away from wall is just too darn difficult to take it out. Of course no one ever thinks of those stuff at the time they put it up. This make over made your dining room brighter and less cluttered. With a small room like that, you do need to keep it simple on the walls. Your accessories such as the curtain does give a right flow from your living room to your dining. I love that your windows have a built in shelf space to put some decorations on.

    I am not so much into china as I feel they take up space and not utilized everyday. I do however think you have a beautiful collection there. We are planning on putting all our renovations on hold until after the holidays, maybe next spring. Just can't find time to squeeze any project at the moment. I look forward to your next DIY project on your home! :)

    1. Thank you. The first photo is the before photo with the wallpaper still on.
      I know what you mean with the chinas and glasses. It was also my initial reaction but how can I say no to a free whole collection of Wedgwood, Royal Doulton and Waterford that hopefully I can pass on to Little Girl?
      We have a dining room anyway for the storage so what we have in the kitchen is just solely for our everyday dining.
      That is why mother-in-law really encourages me to use them and so far we have occasions that we can get to enjoy them.
      I am with you in doing the renovations at warm months. I wanted to do some furniture painting but with the wet and cold weather we are having I don't think I stand a chance at it.