HFHS House: Dining Room (Before + After)

Dining room before and afterDining room If you’ve been following along with our Habitat for Humanity project house reveals, then you’ve probably already seen a few glimpses of the dining room. One thing that we loved about this house from the first moment we walked in the front door was the layout. The living room, dining room and kitchen feel separate but also open and easy to access (and see) from any of these spaces. This makes the house feel big and inviting—which is great! 

The dining room initially had old, smelly, stained carpet (same as the living room) and one wood paneled wall among other dingy, stained walls with holes and cracks that needed some repairs. You can’t tell from the photos, but two of the walls in this room ended up needing almost a complete skim coat before we could add a fresh coat of paint. 

We restored the hardware floors that were underneath the carpet, bleached spots in the ceiling, repaired walls, and painted most of the walls white. We painted one accent wall with grey chalkboard paint to add just a touch of personality to the space. 🙂

Dining room chairsDining room Dining room Dining room Dining room Dining room In most dining rooms, the biggest expense/purchase tends to be the dining room table and chairs. Since a dining room table that seats six could easily fit into the space, we decided to build one for the future family that they can use. You can read that DIY tutorial here

Dining room Dining roomWe love how the simple updates to this space made it feel so much more clean and also fit in well with the updates we made to the living room and kitchen. We hope that future family loves it too! xo. Emma, Elsie, and the ABM team.

And be sure to check out more photos in this month’s Real Simple or on their website

Sources: Bar stools/Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Chairs/Wayfair, Rug/Serena and Lily, Chandelier/School House Electric, Rolling Cart/CB2.

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Janae Hardy and Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • I love how simple and sophisticated this is. Would love to know what the greyish blue colour on the walls is!

  • How beautiful you have made this house. I wish I could be the one moving in!
    Megan x
    London Callings

  • oh my, i totally love the new dining room, looks so fresh, comfortable and absolutely homey. i really love the light fixtures for the dining room! so unique and add so much personality to it.


  • Fabulous transformation! As a new homeowner and avid reader of ABM, I am LOVING these before and after posts. I’m pretty sure the Habitat house has the same general layout as my own which is handy as heck as we’re about to start renovating our own kitchen and dining room.

  • Love the front door color! We might do that in our own house now! Great light fixture also.

  • Hi Becky! You can find the paint sources here: https://abeautifulmess.com/2015/01/hfhs-project-update-paint-colors.html 🙂 -Jacki

  • Hi Jessica! We actually got that one from http://www.schoolhouseelectric.com, but we are planning on doing a light fixture DIY soon! 🙂 -Jacki

  • Absolutely love the light bulb lighting fixture! Lighting fixtures are sometimes overlooked but it can really bring the room together

  • Those Chairs are amazing! Are they thrifted/DIY?

    My kingdom for more than a 4 chair set.

  • Hi Sarah! Yep, isn’t it cool? The house was built in 1921. 🙂 -Jacki

  • Hi Andrea! We actually used a grey chalkboard paint. It’s Worn and Weathered Tin by Benjamin Moore 🙂 -Jacki

  • Do you have a tutorial for the hanging light bulb fixture? Thank you!

  • Looove that table and that light fixture!!! So cute! You guys do such great work!
    Leah Faye

  • This is incredible. Recently as I was house hunting I’ve been passing up every house that has even the smallest amount of wood panelling in it. Thank you for showing me how a space like that can be updated to look like this.
    Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

  • It’s a gorgeous makeover. Makes the space look so much more open and bright. The light fixture is really fab! Excellent work.

  • Love the table, such gorgeous wood! And the light fitting is absolutely amazing! xx

  • Wow, what A difference these changes make. I love the leaning photo on the cart.

  • Amazingly well done! Beautiful color pallet and lovely little details. I’d love my dining room to look this good!!

    xo. holly erinn

  • I really like the door colour and the light fixture.


  • My fiance and I made the dining room table – such an impressive looking project that didn’t take too much time or effort. Thank you for the tutorial! Everyone that sees our dining room table just raves about it!

  • ADORE!!! And the dining light fixture is beyond perfect:)


  • Wow, this is amazing. The before pictures really show how much you have done. I love the shades and colours you have chosen. sadly with a puppy and 4 year old in my house I can only dream of such colour schemes!!

  • Wow, the transformation is amazing. The before pictures really highlight how much work you put in. I absolutely love the colours and shades you have used xxx

  • What color paint did you use? I’ve been searching for a nice warm grey for my living room and that doorway wall looks perfect!

  • will y’all consider posting the paint colors through out the house you used. I’d love to know the actual numbers or names of the colors – the clean pallet looks great!

  • Wow, gorgeous.

    That room is really not that pretty beforehand 🙂 but what an incredible difference afterwards. And I love that they’re getting great style as well as function. Lovely.

  • Oh my, it’s beautiful! I’m seriously in love with the kitchen area! Great job!

  • Wow!! This looks beautiful!! Is all the furniture going to go with the house (besides that lovely table you made) or is this just for staging? BTW-LOVE that turquoise door in the kitchen. Really enjoying seeing all the updates you have done on this house.

  • Is that a phone nook? My parents’ 1940s home had one. So cute! What year was this house built?

  • I love the style of this – it’s right up my street. I particularly like the cluster of light bulbs.

    It looks like the ceilings are quite low and I have always thought that lighting like that wouldn’t work with a low ceiling. We have low ceilings in our house so maybe I could try low hanging lighting after all!

    Amy x

  • Seriously obsessed, you guys rock!

    Elsie has inspired me to start scrapbooking for the first time in over a decade! I really want to buy the messy box subscription, but I will be moving in a couple months. How does it work for college students who are moving every 6 months? 🙂


  • Such a fresh and clean look! I am really loving that To Do List, too! The fun little things are things that we should really prioritize more. 🙂



  • I love this! What a gorgeous change! It definitely feels more open and bright.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.