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Island Dining Room

Join Host Susan Blake and designer Judy Swenson on a makeover journey to create an island-style dining room. Swenson designed the expensive Inspiration Room for a price tag of $25,000 but will complete this makeover for less than $2,000.

Inspiration Room

Host Susan Blake introduces designer Judy Swenson, who created tropical paradise in a dining room using salmon-colored walls, dark wood, Asian-inspired furniture and antiques, highly decorative textiles and an abundance of greenery. She mixed aged, distressed furniture with new, and set a magnificent table using a rich linen tablecloth and four sets of dishes per place setting as well as expensive colored glass goblets. The effect is exotic, colorful and exciting.

Makeover Room Before

Transforming the Makeover Room

Below are the steps taken to transform a sparsely furnished, bland dining room into a festive tropical room with island flair:

  • Painted the white walls a medium-tone beige (Benjamin Moore: #2158-50 - Manila), a more neutral color than the salmon walls of the Inspiration Room but still one that has lots of color saturation and provides a warm glow.
  • Hung a $10 bamboo matchstick shade at the window.
  • Placed an 8' x 10' sisal rug over the hardwood floor to soften the room.
  • Placed a dark wood Chinese pagoda-style console table on one side of the room.
  • Accessorized the wall and console with a Moroccan-style arch mirror with distressed gold finish, four botanical prints ($4 each) framed in dark wood, black iron and bamboo candleholders with parchment-colored candles, a rattan boat filled with river rocks, woven reed basket (placed underneath the console) and two palms in clay urns.
  • Hung four additional botanical prints framed in dark wood on the adjacent wall.
  • Made a floor-length tablecloth out of ribbed ivory canvas with a rose-ribbon trim.
  • Spray-painted brown chairs black and upholstered them with palm tree panels.
  • Set the table with a smoked bamboo table runner, dark wood chargers, palm tree dinner plates, rust and green floral salad plates, bone-finish napkin rings and chopsticks, twisted iron flatware, smoky mocha water glasses, amber goblets, mangoes in a dark brown wood bowl, and frosted tea light holders.
  • Hung a round peach colored globe over the table.

Makeover Room After

The Bottom Line

To see where the savings are, take a look at this direct cost comparison of some Inspiration Room items and the creatively comparable ones used in the Makeover Room:

Antique Asian console table, $1,200 / Fruitwood pagoda table, $285

Antique prints and accessories, $6,000 / New prints and accessories, $600

Antique chairs, $670 / Spray-painted chairs, $75

Place setting, $270 / Sensible Chic alternative, $60

Designer table top, $,500 / Sensible Chic version, $300

Elliptical bubble lamp, just under $400 / Peach paper globe, less than $10

The $500 Challenge

If you have only $500 to spend to create the tropical look of the Inspiration Room, makeover designer Judy Swenson suggests starting with a warm paint color, then adding the Asian feel with a dark wood console table and organic prints for the walls.

Makeover Information

planters - Home Depot
bamboo candleholders, smoked bamboo table runner, wood charger, twisted wood chopsticks, amber-colored wine glasses - Pier 1 Imports
dark wood boat with rattan handles, smoky mocha water glasses - Macy's
dark brown wood bowl - Marshalls
floral napkin rings - Villeroy and Boch
green napkins - Bed, Bath and Beyond
bamboo matchstick shades, peach paper lantern - Cost Plus World Market

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