I am normally not one to write a post about steps taken to create this or that, however, I am always willing to share with you what I did to create a certain look. For this month’s rental hack, Kathryn from Up To Date Interiors asked us share rental hacks that we have used in our (rental) dining room. Since I am always asked a lot of basic decorating questions, I thought I would share some steps that I use whenever I am decorating a space like a dining room. We all get stumped and sometimes we need these little reminders to check off of our list.
5 Steps to Creating a Dining Room that you will Love
- Start with the basics. Think about what you have. I am going to assume you have furniture and we will start there. Does it fit the space that you need it for? Is it the right shape? Are there enough seating? Do you have extra space to add another furniture piece to either balance the room (if off center) or to use as a place to store your entertaining goodies (china, napkins, etc…).
- If the above checks out fine, add a rug and some curtains for texture and pattern. If you find yourself having to purchase new to you furnishings, try purchasing them second-hand. Craigslist, thrift stores, and garage sales will be your best bet for you to get the most bang for your buck. Don’t forget to check the “free” section of Craig. If you live by a major city, you may just be able to score some hot deals. If needs be take a drive and see what you can find on the side of the road. Trust me, people throw some amazing things away, you just have to be willing to use your imagination.
- Once you have the main items in place (including some curtains and a rug), hang some art up. If you have the space create a bar area. Decorate the space accordingly to the way YOU live. If you like to entertain, let that show. If your dining room is used to double as an office, place an armoire/hutch/secretary’s desk in there to hide your paperwork. If you do not plan to use it and you just want it to look fly, make it that way.
- Layer it up. The best way to create a finished look in your dining room is to layer your decor. Layer, layer, layer. When you go layer, allow your eye to go up and across, almost like you are telling a story with your eyes (you need a beginning and an end). Britt Kingery chats a bit about layering and offers some great advice when it comes to that. If you are into creating tablescapes, this is another area where layering becomes your best friend. Use what you have (your accessories) to your advantage. If you like to collect knick knacks curate them in a what to where it looks like collection of artifacts. You can do this also with things you use on a daily. I know when renting, most of the time you have little to no storage so use layering as a way to display and store your “pretty stuff” (i.e. if you collect pillows, place them on some open shelves and display them in a way that it looks like art, color code them, mix and match them by pattern). Don’t look at the boring as if it needs to be hidden, Let it shine by displaying it.
- Add fresh flowers or greenery to the space or on the dining table. I find that by doing so it makes the space feel more alive…like home.
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Totally off topic, but I wish I was not so ashamed to take pictures of my eat-in kitchen when I lived in our townhouse rental in North Carolina. That kitchen was the epitome of a rental…the cabinets were ugly, dingy, and dark, the flooring was every linoleum lovers dream, and the wallpaper was somewhat okay but yellowed. Yes, as a blogger who was renting I was afraid to show the ugly in my home. I wish I owned it and showed it off because we ended up making it look like every chic stylist dream eat-in kitchen with our off the wall gallery wall, open shelving, and our black on black kitchen set. It was pretty and the subtle changes I made really made the space feel more like it was mine and less like it was borrowed.
Own your rental, style it in a way that makes you happy because in the end YOU are all that matters. I never know how to end a post, but I hope with this post I at least gave you the confidence to want to create a lovely space that you can entertain and be proud to say, I did that! That is all I have for you, but if you love this post and the steps I shared you may want to check out Up To Date Interiors and Monica Wants It to see how they spruced up their rental dining rooms.
Want more, check out these ladies and their dining room hacks