Budget-Friendly Dining Room Updates From Expert Designers

We asked. They answered. Expert designers share what to buy if you only have $200.

Start By De-Cluttering

Trish Beaudet, Finishing Touches Interior by Design, Inc.:
Concentrate on four things: de-clutter, paint, fabric and lighting. The dining room is a place where guests enjoy relaxing meals so free the room from things that do not relate to the room’s purpose. Simply stated, a dining table, chairs and server/buffet create a perfect foundation.

For around $30, paint the room a color that has sophistication and depth. Also, you can try paint techniques, like a color wash or a soft suede finish, to give the walls a custom look. Practice your technique on a poster board to achieve the perfect look before moving onto the walls.

Beautiful fabrics in a dining room are a must have. Custom window treatments can be expensive, but there are many retailers that offer beautiful readymade panels and drapery hardware for around $75. To add a touch of romance and elegance, hang your rod at the highest point on the wall and choose a panel length at least 10 inches longer than needed to add drama.

If you can wrap a present, you can reupholster seat cushions. The average chair only requires a half a yard of fabric. Look in the remnants section of a fabric store to find fabulous finds at a discount. Can’t find enough of one fabric to complete your chairs? Don’t be afraid to mix in another fabric.

For around $5, give an existing chandelier a facelift with spray paint to change the finish. If your chandelier features candelabra bulbs, remove the shades for a more elegant feel.

We have spent a total of $130 for paint, drapery treatments and fabric. With the remaining $70, invest $50 in a large framed mirror to visually open the space. Lastly, utilize your existing place settings and wine glasses and spend the remaining $20 for a few table accessories. A grouping of candles always creates the perfect ambiance.

Check out more of Trish's romantic design style on Designers' Portfolio.

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