Mar 302015

In my very first post on this blog nearly 2 years ago, I shared my dining room update.  I had become tired of the “granny” look of dark wood Duncan Fyfe style and was hoping to replace the look with something more fresh and contemporary.  However, when I tried to sell the set together or individual pieces, I was offered very little.  We were also installing dark hardwood so the dark wood had to go.

Looking at that very first post, I am a bit embarassed at the layout and photos etc.  But what it does tell me is just how much I have learned and grown in these many months.  

In that first post, the dining room was still a work in progress,.  So today, I would like to share the dining room in its now more finished state.

Before:  Dark and Granny-like

dining room update granny fresh paint furniture

I couldn’t sell the pieces for much so why not paint!


After:  Bright and Fresh

dining room update granny fresh paint furniture

How it looks from the doorway

I just love the fresh look.  I was worried it might be a bit feminine for my husband but he loves it too.

Note:  This post contains NO affiliated links.  Just the facts.

I love turquoise.  In the original post, the buffet and china cabinet were painted BM Buxton Blue but once they were in the room, we felt there was not enough contrast with the walls so I added one more coat of a darker BM Province Blue.  Sadly, I don’t remember the grey colour’s name.

I not only painted the furniture, I also painted the shiny brass fixtures with Antique Brass from Rustoleum and the valance over the drapes.

All the fabric for drapes and upholstery,  was purchased at Tonic Living, a Toronto based online fabric store.  I made the drapes and had someone upholster the chairs but since then, I have learned a bit more about upholstering and would most likely do it myself.

I picked up the two chairs with the knot fabric on Kijiji for $15 each.  Not bad!

The Eiffel Tower poster started out as a photo I took on our visit in 2011.  I saw a very expensive print on Etsy or somewhere and I decided to try doing something myself.  I uploaded my photo to Photoshop Elements, added a layer with words describing the history of the tower, a layer or two of textures and then just played with it.  I think it is fantastic in this room!

The Roman Numeral clock was in our family room and was purchased at Homesense, the Canadian version of the US Home Goods.


I love my apple green bird! He brightens up any room

We received the 3 prints over the buffet as a wedding gift.  They all depict skiing scenes and were so appropriate for us because we met in a ski club!  We still love them after nearly 28 years!  They were in the living room but look so great in here.


The bar cart with crystal and tulips

I still haven’t painted the bar cart I picked up at an estate auction.  I shared it with you in this post where I asked for colour advise.  It is still too cold here in Toronto to do spray painting outside.  But when I do finish it I will be sure to share.


The china cabinet and my wood “runner”

Originally I thought I wanted to get rid of the china cabinet because I had a mini buffet and mirror on this angled wall.  But once I saw how these pieces looked painted, I knew I wanted to keep it.   The mini buffet and mirror were perfect in the foyer!  See it’s transformation here.

We love the white table because we no longer feel the need to protect the wood with a table clothe.  But we still need to protect it from hot dishes.  One day, I stumbled over an unfinished pine shelf board and decided to stain it with my favourite walnut stain and plop it on the table.  We love it as it ties into the hardwood floors the knotted fabric and it withstands hot plates!

I picked up those cute lotus flower candle holders at one of my rare trips to Target.


I love the large art piece on the right!

We have a very large family room with a full sized snooker table and I had purchased the large art piece above for that space.  I was looking for something to fill this wall when I had a brilliant moment and brought this huge piece from the family room to this room and was so pleased with how it looked.  To fill the wall again in the family room, I created a “Carry On” poster you can see here.

The other change we made which made a BIG impact is we removed the french doors to the room.  They were awkward and hit the cabinet.  When complaining to my neighbour she looked at me and said “Why don’t you remove them”.  Like why in tarnation did I not think of that.  It was brilliant.  Not only can you see the loveliness of the room, we actually go in there more!


A colourful vignette lovely dried hydrangeas, citrus and my favourite apple green bird!


My sweet Chester

My Labradoodle doesn’t photo-bomb, he just hangs out.  But this picture is not just about him, it really shows the lovely detail of the legs in this set.  Personally I think it really makes them pop, much better than natural wood.

Pinnable copy

What a change!

 I am so happy I couldn’t sell these pieces! I L-O-V-E this room.  And I saved us a ton of money!  I also like the fact I was able to “shop my home” for items to decorate in here.

I hope you enjoyed seeing this transformation.
I would love to hear what you think.
Have you ever been this daring?

For me, it is all so much
Nicer Than New!




  101 Responses to “Dining Room Update: Granny to Fresh”

  1. WOW! what a difference! it’s so fresh and modern now! just lovely.

  2. I Love it! I have a big old china cabinet in my dining room right now. Its dark… and BIG! I have been struggling with what color to paint it… and I think I am so inspired by yours I am borrowing the color plan!
    Looks Fantastic!

    Coming to you from :

    • Jen, go for it! It was a daring move but with research on the How-to part, it was a labour of love! I know it was going to be good after the first coat of primer!! Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon.

  3. WOW! I love the colors!! 🙂

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

  4. Oh my goodness your hard work paid off BIG! What a beautiful transformation a room filled with light. Love the colors you selected. Hugs!

  5. Love, love, love it all. Great makeover. Can’t wait to feature you next week. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

  6. What an amazing makeover! You did an excellent job styling the room together!

  7. It’s great to be able to look at things with ‘new’ eyes to give them a fresh new look, you’ve done a lovely job!

    • Thanks for coming by and commenting! You obviously “get” why I call my blog and little business “Nicer Than New”. My transformation is quite nicer than new! I hope to see you come by again soon!

  8. Your dining room is so pretty now. I love how light and fresh it is with the new wall color!

    • Hi Jennifer! I absolutely love the transformation and the room in general! The wall colour and removing the french doors to the dining room really opened it up and we go in there more often. You have a great Easter and drop by again!

  9. Hi Joan,
    This is my first time to visit you and oh did I have a fun time…………..what a wonderful transformation on this furntiure and room.
    It is so beautiful, and you did such an amazing job on the painting, it really turned it into such a fresh, light and modern looking
    room. Hope you have many many wonderful times in this lovely room. All that hard work sure paid off……….certainly a room
    to be proud of……….

    Blessings for a Wonderful Easter,

    • Thanks for stopping by Nellie and commenting. We do love the room. Removing the carpet and adding hardwood to both the dining and living room was really the beginning of the trasformation. Removing the french doors to the dining room really opened it up and we go in there more often. You have a great Easter and drop by again!

  10. Wow, what a difference! Your new diningroom is exquisite. Pinned it 🙂

  11. Wow, I love your dining room — especially the creation of your own customized piece of artwork. It is very bright and fresh.

  12. Your room looks great! I love how light and airy it looks. I have been debating about painting the table I received from my grandparents. It is almost 100 years old and I am just not sure about painting. But I love how your’s looks! I also liked how you shopped your own home to accessorize. And, of course, I love Chester! He’s adorable! If you get a chance, I would love for you to visit my blog too!

    • Hi Pamela, thanks for dropping by and commenting. My take on painting wood furniture is it is just that: wood furniture. Paint can really transform a piece. The other good news is if your REALLY HATE it, it can be re-painted or stripped! I do not regret painting the dining room furniture. In fact, after painting, just for fun, I posted the buffet on Craiglist for a realively high price and had way more interest than I did with the original look. I guess colour is in! I will drop by your blog today!

  13. It’s beautiful! I love it!! Your dog is adorable too. Thank you for linking up at Idea Box!

  14. I love it! I also like your bar cart. If I remember correctly, it was gold and you were asking what you should do. It looks great!
    Thank you for sharing on the Wake Up Wednesday link party.
    We hope to see you next week!
    Kate |

    • Hi Kate. I did post about the bar cart but I haven’t painted it yet. I kind of like the black but it has paint bits from an overspray so I need to do something with it. Thanks for dropping by!

  15. This is so stunningly beautiful… From the colors you chose to the curtains to that gorgeous poster of the Eiffel Tower. I love this! Definitely gives me food for thought in revamping parts of our home. Thank you for sharing at Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in next week’s issue.

    • Hi Mel! Thanks for the fabulous compliment. I too love my Eiffel Tour creation. I may do a post on a how to so stay tuned. Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment!

  16. Love the colour you painted the furniture! The dining room looks stunning now!

  17. I love your makeover! The colors are so pretty, and those drapes are gorgeous! You are one of my features at Snickerdoodle Sunday this weekend, so thank you for partying with us! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Dee for the compliment and the feature! I’ll be dropping by to check it out and share a new post!

  18. I love it! It’s beautiful, and definitely not “granny” anymore 🙂 I love the fabric for your curtains too, I actually used it on a french chair makeover I did last spring. Also, since you in Toronto you might have heard of Fusion Mineral Paint . . . have you tried it? It’s awesome, definitely worth a try for future furniture projects. Happy Easter, have a blessed week!

  19. Wowza-what a difference! I can see why you love your new room now-great job!

  20. I like how you describe it as ‘granny’! Lol It does look much brighter and inviting though! Great job! Thanks for sharing your progress at Inspire Me Mondays!

    • Thank you Brandi for dropping in to comment on my dining room! I hope you will come back soon or consider following me!

  21. Popping over from Inspire Me Monday =) Beautiful makeover. Huge fan of turquoise and grey. Making your own customer artwork from a photo is brilliant! Be sure to share your recipes, crafts, upcycles & DIYs at Two Uses Tuesday (Mon 8pm EST to Fri 11pm EST) over at Sarah Celebrates if you don’t already!

  22. […] a DINING ROOM UPDATE that is inspiring! Joan’s new look is just amazing!!! There are tons of ideas to […]

  23. […] a DINING ROOM UPDATE that is inspiring! Joan’s new look is just amazing!!! There are tons of ideas to […]

  24. […] a DINING ROOM UPDATE that is inspiring! Joan’s new look is just amazing!!! There are tons of ideas to […]

  25. Looks so beautiful and fresh in your dining room now! Nothing better than using what you have and a little bit of paint. It turned out so lovely.


  26. Featuring this LOVELY non-granny room at tonight’s Trash 2 Treasure Tuesday. 🙂

  27. I have to admit the room looks better. As I was reading, I was thinking “don’t tell me she painted those beautiful wood pieces”.

  28. Love Love Love the blue sideboard! The colors in your room are just beautiful!

  29. […] Dining Room Update: Granny to Fresh I never would have expected such a transformation from the “before!” […]

  30. […] Dining Room Update: Granny to Fresh I never would have expected such a transformation from the “before!” […]

  31. Wow! What an amazing makeover! I LOVE the color you painted your buffet and china cabinet – SO pretty! I found you through your feature at Kammy’s Korner. You definitely deserved it – really great makeover!

  32. This is my first visit, Joan, and I think your dining room looks fantastic! I, too, am in love with turquoise & enjoy adding pops of it throughout my home. I’m so glad you were featured at Meatloaf and Melodrama, which gave me the opportunity to visit your blog. I was also featured. It seems we’ve both been up to quite a lot of painting!

  33. What a beautiful transformation…. so light and airy and inviting now. 🙂

  34. Looks so bright and cheery! Love it. You did a fantastic job.

  35. I’m coming back to your blog again. I really like your work. Painting all that furniture is a big job. Well done. You have inspired me to kick it in the but and get foing on my stuff. 🙂

  36. I love your dining room! Thank you for sharing. I am planning on painting my dining room table and chairs as soon as this Idaho (USA) weather warms up! Sorta like Canada here but it is “high desert”!
    My granddaughter (15) has just moved into a new home and wants to decorate her room with “Paris” theme. Would it be possible to get a copy of your Eifel tower? I would love to give it to her for her room. She has turquoise walls and white furniture with chevron stripe spread of gray and turquoise. The photo would be the center of her room! Would it be possible to get a copy?

  37. This looks fantastic! I will feature this week at HSH!

  38. Looks great! My dining room is on my to-do list as well. I was cracking up that I picked two of your posts in a row to visit. lol

  39. I love how your dining room turned out. The blue is beautiful. Those are some beautiful pieces.

    • Hi Trish! Thanks for dropping by and commenting. The pieces are very pretty. It seemed a shame to sell or paint but we wanted a fresher look. Very happy I painted them!

  40. What a change! Your dinning room is looking oh so lovely. I’m really digging the colors you’ve used in there. So pretty and fresh looking.

    • Hi Robin! Thanks for dropping by and commenting. We love the new look! Even in the dead of winter, it reminds us of spring!

  41. What a transformation! It looks so much more bright and airy! The dog seems to love it too!

    • Hi Jennifer. The dining room is so much brighter and removing the french doors at the entry makes it more welcoming too. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I hope to see you again soon.

  42. […] Dining Room Update | Nicer Than New […]

  43. Love the update — light and airy! Great job!

    • Thanks Benita for dropping by and commenting. We just love the new look and are moving on to add more colour into our home. I hope you drop by again and consider following me in some way.

  44. Joan what a beautiful transformation. Thank you so much for sharing #wednesdayswisdom.

  45. This is gorgeous! So fresh and colorful – I love all of it!

    Thanks so much for linking to The Handmade Hangout! 🙂

  46. I love how the new dining room turned out! Very fresh and fun looking! Thanks for sharing at Idea Box!

  47. […] Nicer Than New has a treat for us today!  Her Dining Room Makeover!  From Granny to FRESH!!! Check it out…you are going to be inspired! […]

  48. WOW, you really transformed this space and I love how it turned out! What an inspiring room makeover! Pinned 🙂

    • Thanks Katie for dropping by to comment and pinning my dining room makeover! Take a moment to follow me on Bloglovin, Pinterest, Facebook or whatever. Have a great weekend!

  49. Love your makeover! Wanted to let you know it’s my DIY Sunday Showcase pick for the week:) We’ll feature it this Sunday:) You did a fantastic job and I love your colors! – Wendi

    • Hi Wendi! Thank you for dropping in to comment and make my day by featuring my dining room makeover this coming Sunday. I will be sure to drop by as I do most Sundays with some new posts! Have a great weekend!

  50. […] Wendi’s favorite was a dining room update from nicer than new. […]

  51. This is AMAZING! I mean, I’m already a big believer in the transforming power of paint, but your dining room really says it all. It’s like eye candy. Nice to meet you on The Weekend Re-Treat, and pinning to my DIY Inspiration board. Happy weekend!

    • Hi Meredith! You and my daughter share the same name! Thank you for dropping by and taking the time to comment with such a lovely compliment! I hope to see you again soon!

  52. […] Dining Room Update by Nicer than New […]

  53. […] Dining Room Update by Nicer than New […]

  54. So beautiful!! I’m visiting from Happiness is Homemade Linky.
    PS – I also wanted to invite you to hop on board the Great Blog Train (blog hop) – we are traveling to British Columbia CANADA:

  55. I have an “granny” set that I have been hesitant to paint, but after seeing yours, it does really bring out the details, I think I’m one set closer to doing it.

    • Hi Heather, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I have absolutely no regrets about painting this furniture. What surprised me the most is the details of the design, pop out so much more in the painted version. Be sure to drop by and share if you do decide to paint!

  56. What a fabulous room you have created. I love so many things about it, my favourite, after the painted furniture (what a transformation) is your Eiffel Tower artwork, how clever of you to create it yourself. All in all, a fabulous room, love it!

    Judi in the UK

    • Hi JudeB from the UK! If you follow my blog, you will know my Hubbie is a Brit from Stockport but he has been here more than 30 yeas! We go to the UK yearly to visit his elderly parents and his / our friends. I love Britain but I think the rain would drive me bonkers… as well as your tiny refridgerators LOL! Stay tuned, I may offer that Eiffel tower print in my etsy shop. It really is lovely, if I do say so myself! I hope you drop by again or better yet, follow me somehow.

  57. This makeover is GORGEOUS!! It’s amazing how painting furniture can totally change the look of a room, without spending a ton on NEW stuff! I love those curtains, and the colors you chose for the hutch and sideboard! Thanks for linking with us at Motivational Monday, I’m featuring your beautiful room at our party tonight! 🙂

    • Thanks for dropping by Amanda. You are so right about painting! It’s so remarkable the transformation you can achieve. This project made me so brave to tackle others. So much fun!

  58. Joan, this is inspiring! What a task and a half. And what a great outcome! Love it. I hope you’ll share more of your fab projects at Five Star Frugal this week? Mimi xxx

  59. Last night I picked up 6 shield back chairs by the side of the road and I’m going to paint them so my new dining room will be bright and fresh like yours! Thanks for the inspiration.

  60. […] Dining Room Update by Nicer than New […]

  61. […] Vintage With Laces Forever Decorating shared her spring front porch. Dining room makeover from Nicer Than New   This week’s featured blog is Lovely Weeds–she shares the most wonderful things! If […]

  62. Oh my Goodness…aren’t you SO happy they didn’t sell for what you wanted????? This room is stunning and the painted pieces really add so much charm. I love it all!!

    • Hi Christy! Thanks for dropping by to comment. You are correct! I am very happy I did not sell for the pittance people were offering. We just love the room now.

  63. Absolutely gorgeous – love all the colors.

  64. Oh my goodness! So gorgeous! Thank you for linking up with us at The Creative Circle! I will be featuring this gorgeous makeover at our party today!

    • Hi Angela! Thank you for the lovely compliment and I am so honoured to be one of your features! I’ll be dropping by later!

  65. […] Nicer Than New did an amazing job transforming her old "granny" dining room into a bright and modern space […]

  66. […] Granny Fresh Dining Room Update at Nicer Than New {Christy’s Pick} […]

  67. […] Granny Fresh Dining Room Update at Nicer Than New {Christy’s Pick} […]

  68. […] Granny Fresh Dining Room Update at Nicer Than New {Christy’s Pick} […]

  69. I think your dining room looks gorgeous! It completely made that a happy room! I am in the babysteps beginning of blogging so I love to see a successful blogger’s beginning posts! It makes me have hope and desire to hang in there and not give up! Your room looks BEAUTIFUL and wow thost $15 chairs ROCK! I’m glad I found your blog and I’ll definitely be subscribing as soon as I post this!

  70. […] Vintage With Laces Forever Decorating shared her spring front porch. Dining room makeover from Nicer Than New This week’s featured blog is Lovely Weeds–she shares the most wonderful things! If […]

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