Casey’s Dining Room Reveal

Next week will be one year of us owning our condo. I can hardly believe it?! Where did the time go? Heck, I still need to plan that housewarming party I ambitiously wanted to throw right when we moved in #oops

Champagne is the perfect way to celebrate a new houseWhile a majority of the spaces in our home are just about complete, the “dining room” area was not even on our radar for our first 10 months of homeownership. Finn & I got all too used to the idea of eating our dinners at the kitchen island, and instead used the large space in the middle of the room as a dance floor.

our newly designed dining room is looking greatBut now that we finally have a dining room…I wonder how we ever got along without it! Crazy how that happens isn’t it?

we're excited to enjoy some great dinners in our new dining roomSo let’s take a little stroll down memory lane, and I’ll walk you through the steps we took to get our kitchen/dining room space where it is today.

we made the most of the little room we had in our small dining areaHere’s a shot from the MLS listing of the kitchen/dining area (notice the fish-eye making the room appear waaaay bigger than it really is)…the listing photo of the dining room made it look much bigger than it really wasAnd here it is now after living there for 1 year…

here's a look at the finished dining room redesignMuch more our style!

small personal touches on the kitchen islandOver the course of the first 6 months, we stained the floors, added a subway tile backsplash, changed the kitchen faucet, and added new pendants over the kitchen island.

this gorgeous window brings a lot of light into the kitchenThose little changes were enough to tide me over until I could add a dining area to the space.

we chose our dining room table from crate & barrelAfter lots of back and forth on the table, we ultimately decided to go with a marble one from Crate & Barrel. Once that was chosen, it was fairly easy to figure out the rest.

these chairs look great with the neutral decor of the dining roomI love the 2 gray chairs on the head of the table. They’re incredibly comfortable and are, without a doubt, the most coveted spots in the room.

these white chairs were budget-friendly and look great with the rest of the roomThe white chairs are also surprisingly awesome for their low price. I love the clean lines and think they really brighten up the space.

these stools are a perfect addition to the breakfast barWe ended up going with these white mesh stools for the kitchen island. They look nice against the dark brown wood, and really pop! Honestly, we don’t sit in them too often now that we have the table. But they’re certainly nice to have!

our new dining room is a perfect place to gather for work or family timeWe’ve enjoyed quite a few meals at this table already, and we both also work on our computers from this spot. It’s nice to sit here and do some mindless work (like editing photos), while Finn cooks in the kitchen or watches sports in the family room. If I have something more taxing to work on, then I’ll use our little office nook back in the bedroom. But the table is another great work option.

I’ve also realized how much I LOVE having a marble table for blog photos. Bridget & I each have a roll of faux marble paper that we’ve used in the past, but now I can simply take the photos right on our table. Much easier on big photo shoot days around here!

this bright and neutral dining room is small but functionaWhat I learned from our Dining Room Makeover

  1. Take your time: I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have purchased this same table if I bought it a year ago. I’m so happy that we took time to live in our space before buying a random table just so we could cross that purchase off our to-do list. It also gave me a chance to really figure out the style of our home before making that large, expensive purchase.mixing and matching chairs and styles is a fun way to bring style to the room
  2. Mix & Match: I could have easily purchased a wood table with matching wood chairs (& I think that look can work for many homes!). But I’m really happy we decided to mix and match for our space. Choosing to splurge on 2 dining room chairs, instead of all 6, definitely saved us money in the long-run…and I think it actually looks much better that way.
  3. Do your Research: I spent many hours looking at various dining room tables and chairs both online and in store. It’s insane the amount of reviews I read out there. But ultimately, I’m so happy that I did! I was reaaaaally hesitant about buying a marble table. Would it stain? Would it get watermarks? But I read lots of reviews and was instantly more at ease and felt more confident with our marble table purchase. Plus, I learned that I had to seal the table to keep it looking good…and I’m so happy that I did just that!this open concept dining room is small but we made use of all the space
  4. An open concept changes things: Our dining room is actually our kitchen/entryway/dining/family room space. It’s just one big ol’ space with a variety of purposes. Because of this, it needed to flow well. Our family room is really bright & white, while our kitchen is on the darker side. So I decided to have our dining space really merge the 2 areas. It has the white marble, but also darker gray chairs and black, streamlined legs. I kept the ENTIRE space in mind when choosing pieces, and that ultimately made for a much more cohesive open concept room.

Dining Room Source List

crate and barrel dining room table with white hydrangeasCatch up

Thank you for following along on our journey to create a dining room space that we love. Your input on the table, chairs, & stools was such a help throughout the design process. And you guys totally saved me from buying a rug for underneath the table (I think it looks great without one!). We love that you guys enjoy seeing the entire design process (instead of just the before & after) and it has been so enjoyable to share this experience with all of you!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.