This Dreamy Reno Reset the Clock on a Blah Dining Room

HGTV Magazine editors to the rescue: Color, pattern and fab brass touches totally transformed the dining room in this New Jersey home. Let's take a tour!

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November 12, 2019

Kelly and Patrick with Easton, 20 months, in their new dinner HQ

Photo by: Dane Tashima

Dane Tashima

Kelly and Patrick with Easton, 20 months, in their new dinner HQ

After five years of apartment living, Kelly and Patrick Hilden were thrilled to find a cute 1930s three-bedroom house in Bloomfield, NJ. There was a lot to love — like the original floors and crown molding and sizable rooms — but it required TLC throughout, especially the dining room.

“Every single bit of trim was stained wood, and that needed updating,” says Kelly. Also begging for a kick: the bare white walls and dated light fixture, not to mention the couple’s country cottage–y table set (a leftover from their rental days that could only seat four). Together it all felt past its prime — a bummer for Kelly and Patrick, whose ideal Friday night involves hosting dinner for friends.

Younger Makeover (Hilden), Younger Makeover (Hilden)

Before: The white and wicker chair setup wastoo old-timey for the 21st-century fam who lives here. Meanwhile, the molding was nice, but the dark wood made the windows seem small. And brown florals on the rug? More blah than beautiful.

Photo by: Philip Friedman

Philip Friedman

Before: The white and wicker chair setup wastoo old-timey for the 21st-century fam who lives here. Meanwhile, the molding was nice, but the dark wood made the windows seem small. And brown florals on the rug? More blah than beautiful.

Luckily, HGTV Magazine had the cure: Splash color on the walls and pattern on the ceiling, and paint the trim crisp white. Then slide in a more contemporary table and a mod mix of seating. Add a little art and brass accents and it’s all fresh vibes, all the time.

Reno Details

The dining room post reno. Wall color: Blue Heron by Benjamin Moore.

Photo by: Dane Tashima

Dane Tashima

The dining room post reno. Wall color: Blue Heron by Benjamin Moore.

Rug

The room’s original brown 1990s-esque rug dragged it down; one with soft greens, blues, and pinks looks snappy, and the geometric pattern, trendy (it’s by Justina Blakeney X Loloi). There’s a bonus benefit: “The colors hide stains,” says Kelly, “which is necessary with a toddler!”

Wallpaper

The party’s up here! Pastel-dotted paper from Flat Vernacular is a fun focal point. “I don’t know anyone else with a wallpapered ceiling,” says Kelly. “It makes our dining room feel special.”

Art

Abstract watercolor-y prints from Minted reflect the room’s pinks and blues.

White trim (Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore) plus blue-gray Roman shades by Hunter Douglas: stylish!

Photo by: Dane Tashima

Dane Tashima

White trim (Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore) plus blue-gray Roman shades by Hunter Douglas: stylish!

Seating

Pink velvet chairs by Safavieh and an upholstered bench from Wisteria are way more 2019 than wood and wicker seats. They also fit twice as many people as before, when Kelly and Patrick had to borrow chairs from friends for parties.

Cabinet and Mirror

Kelly inherited the glass-doored cabinet from her aunt — it was sturdy, but too formal for them. Painting it gray (Dorian Gray by Sherwin-Williams) and hanging a ruffly mirror (from Ballard Designs) above made it modern.

Table

The old one was better suited for an eat-in kitchen. This 6-foot-long stunner with a live-edge wood top is much more fitting and inviting. “I worried it would look crowded, but the bigger table actually makes the room seem bigger too,” says Kelly.

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