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Anna's Attic / Decoration  / One Year on – Dining Room Mini Revamp

One Year on – Dining Room Mini Revamp

Why I decided on a mini revamp for our dining room

Before the revamp, set for a Christmas meal

I’ve always known there are benefits to living in a property for a while before making decisions as to what renovations are needed and what decorating decisions to make.  Some people even advise living through the seasons in a new home to see how differing light and temperatures throughout the year may dictate design decisions.  One year on I’ve asked myself if I’d waited whether or not I’d have made the same decisions again.

Time wasn’t on our side when we moved in, I was desperate to banish to cottage look as soon as possible and will admit that in doing so I made a couple of mistakes.  One of these is the design of our dining room, situated next to the open plan kitchen, dining, living space, the dining room took a hammering during the renovations.  As well as being situated next to the new kitchen living space the dining room is also accessed by the lounge.  As we had already decorated and fitted flooring in the living room and would soon do the same in the kitchen it made sense to crack on and decorate the dining room too.  Doing so meant that the fitters would be able to completely fit the ground floor flooring, another job ticked off the list.

I decided to go with a very simple scheme, Farrow and Ball’s Blue Gray for the walls and Worsted for the woodwork, as throughout the rest of the house.  Our bargain £5 dining table brought from the old house was used but it’s dark colour and grand proportions just weren’t right for the small room.  I added a large gold mirror in an attempt to increase the feeling of light and space.

Since the kitchen had been completed we’d hardly used the dining room, choosing instead to eat in the kitchen, the room had become somewhere we passed through but never spent any time in.  One year on I revisited the design as it just wasn’t doing it for me, it was missing something.  It lacked a sense of drama, the furniture overwhelmed the space and it felt a little neglected.

The starting point

I started by creating a Pinterest board, the keen eyed among you may have spotted that I was inspired in part by Pearl Lowe’s stunning home, I love how she mixes vintage pieces and bold prints.  The dining room opens onto the garden and I really wanted to embrace this and go for a vintage looking floral design, so, with florals as my starting point, I found myself on the Rebel Walls website.  There were lots to choose from, I ordered samples of Thorn Rose, Rosegarden and Briar Roses.

Great choice of vintage florals from Rebel Walls

Thorn Rose is a stunning rambling rose print on a black background.  Rosegarden, a reproduction of a 100-year-old original sketch for wallpaper with all the original details exactly as they were.  Briar Roses is a stunning Dutch master design, complete with the odd butterfly and lady bird and the most spectacular flora and fauna.  I decided on Briar Roses owing to my long standing love of Dutch old master style paintings.  I was thrilled when Rebel walls offered to collaborate with me, I worked with them to double the scale of the design, which ensured that it made a real impact in the small space.

The Rebel Walls website has a really helpful How To section, there is tons of great content covering everything from how to measure up, what tools will be needed, and demonstration videos too.

I measured the wall and placed my order, the mural arrived on one long roll.  Hanging was super simple, I mixed the Rebel Walls paste and cut the lengths to size, following the cut marks.  My Dad and husband took charge of the hanging as I was in charge of videoing and refreshments!  The things those guys will do for a cuppa and cake!  They used the paste the wall method as instructed and the mural was up in just over an hour.  A mural really is the perfect choice for anyone wanting to create impact quickly.

The Briar Roses mural fills the back wall of the dining room


Mixing the old with the new

Putting the mural up had made a real impact but there was still work to be done, I wanted the room to feel less formal.  Our dining table was perfect in the large formal dining room of our previous home but it was too large and too formal for the relaxed quirky space I was hoping to achieve here.  Replacing our existing dining table for Barker and Stonehouse’s Norman Keeler with it’s sturdy rustic timber base and galvanised metal top gave the room a more relaxed feel.

Barker and Stomehouse’s Norman Keeler Dining Table

Norman Keeler dining table by Barker and Stonehouse & Taylor Rug by Rug Vista

I’d seen a larger version of the Norman Keeler table when I’d visited Barker and Stonehouse and was really pleased to see that it was available in three different sizes when I checked their website.  The smallest, 180cm x 90cm would comfortably seat 6 guests when needed without overtaking the space when not in use.  The rustic look of the table perfectly complements the barn origins of our property and the metal top bounces light around the room too.

Colour scheme

The walls remained the same Farrow and Ball Blue Gray which they’d been painted the previous year, I also kept Farrow and Ball Worsted for the woodwork, as this is a colour used throughout the house.  The Briar Roses mural’s black background made a huge impact but it was the pretty colours within it, the pinks, greens, soft yellows and blues which made my heart sing.

The colours and details within the Rebel Walls Briar Roses mural are just delightful.  Shown here with the bespoke fairground light from Argent and Sable.

Storage and furniture

We’d bought a set of Ghost Louis chairs from Cult Furniture years before, I love the playful nature of them and the fact that they are clear means that they don’t dominate the small space.  It was apparent that storage was an issue in this room too, I needed to store lots of glasses, serving dishes, vases etc.  Luckily for me my Mum was getting rid of her dining room cupboard, I swopped it for a pair of lamps, everyone’s a winner!  I painted it with Fusion Minerals Paint in Ash, it perfectly compliments the dark mural.  The cupboard is the perfect height for our drinks tray too, behind which I’ve placed a Crital style mirror.

This storage cupboard is perfect for storing glasses and serving dishes and is the perfect spot for our drinks tray too

Soft Furnishings

I’d invested in some beautiful bespoke drapes by IStitch for the French doors when the room was originally decorated, in the softest pink linen by Romo, these hang from a super chunky wood pole.

I moved my favourite Taylor rug by Rug Vista from the kitchen, it fitted the colour scheme perfectly and also lightened the dark floor.


I kept the Iconic Lights oversized Astoria light that had previously been fitted above the dining table, it went perfectly with the dark mural and the black metal mirror I had introduced.  I worked with Argent and Sable a husband and wife team based in Norwich who hand make fantastic fairground style lights from reclaimed materials.  They created one of their star lights to suit my scheme and we collaborated on an Instagram giveaway too, where one of my followers won a light of their own!


I’d amassed a large collection of antique gold picture frames over the years which were waiting to be used.  I decided on a gallery wall, filling the frames with vintage florals and quirky prints from Florence Lee and Tin Design, accompanying them with china plates and my Mimi Kirchner Tattooed Man.

A metal bird cage from Hilary and Flo housing a pair of faux budgies from Rockett St George to add a quirky touch.

Quirky pieces, vintage finds and prints create fun eclectic look


I was really lucky to work with Rebel Walls and Barker and Stonehouse on this mimi revamp

Thanks to my Dad and Mark for their expert mural hanging.


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