The Makeover That Took 10 Years Off This Dining Room

HGTV Magazine chronicles a New Jersey family who gave their dated dining room a colorful makeover.

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October 29, 2018

Jessy and Karim with daughters (from left) Sasha, 11, and Surayyah, 13

Photo by: David A. Land

David A. Land

Jessy and Karim with daughters (from left) Sasha, 11, and Surayyah, 13

Five years after buying their 1950 center-hall Colonial in Somerville, NJ, Jessy and Karim Fofana were still staring at the same hopelessly dated dining room set that was purchased by Jessy’s mom at Goodwill for $200—and leaving piles of mail and the kids’ backpacks on it…until they cleared it for holiday dinners.

The table had served its purpose: Jessy used to run her public relations business from their old place, and it gave her somewhere to spread out. By the time they moved into this house, she’d rented office space. Still, the set came with them. “Our dining room needed help, but it was last on our priority list—we had major work to do on the house,” says Jessy.

BEFORE

David A. Land

AFTER

David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

HGTV Magazine to the rescue! Out went the unloved dining set, and in its place came a sleek walnut-finish table and woven leather chairs. The buffet got revived with bright white paint. Chic green for the walls, new lighting, and a diamond-print rug turned the room into a jewel box. “The old furniture made it look like we were kids in a first apartment with hand-me-downs,” says Jessy. “Now we feel like actual grown-ups.”

Reno Details

Art

A 40-inch-square framed photo from Etsy shop Myan Soffia makes a big impact and brings a hit of light to the dark wall. The retro bar sign in the image is a quirky nod to the bar tray on the buffet.

Photo by: David A. Land

David A. Land

Table and Chairs

An oval table from allmodern.com looks contemporary and clean—the opposite of its turned-leg predecessor. Woven leather dining chairs from wisteria.com are way more comfy and stylish than the former clunkers. “I always thought upholstered dining room chairs were a must, but these are awesome!” says Jessy.

Wall Color and Mirrors

“The greige walls had to go,” says Jessy. “I just worried green paint would make us feel like we lived in a pub. But it turned out so modern-elegant and really stepped up the room.” The arrangement of rattan mirrors—a gallery wall alternative—adds a cool 3-D element.

Photo by: David A. Land

David A. Land

Lighting

“We hated the generic black metal fixture that came with the house, but we never dealt with it,” says Jessy. A brass-finish chandelier with angled arms and shades by Hudson Valley Lighting feels fresh and bright. Sconces by Mitzi play off the fixture and cast mood lighting up and down.

Rug

The traditional rug had to go. “Anytime I tried to buy a rug in the past, I’d start looking, get overwhelmed, and give up,” says Jessy. The winner: this ivory rug from West Elm with a small-scale pattern—neutral but not bland.

Buffet

BEFORE

David A. Land

AFTER

David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

It was part of the original dining set; painting it white (Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore) transformed it from frumpy to fabulous. You can still see the carved detailing, and the original black hardware pops. “It looks so much better,” says Jessy, “but I have to admit, it’ll take some time till I stop thinking of it as ‘that old thing!’ ”

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