Before & After: This Dated (and Beige!) 1943 Dining Room Is Now Totally Unrecognizable

updated Jun 9, 2021
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Before: Dining room with beige walls, dated ceiling fan, and tan carpeting

It’s amazing how drastic a coat of white paint can be in a small space — or any space, for that matter. There’s a reason it’s a go-to for many designers and DIYers: It’s a budget-friendly way to make a big impact. White paint feels more modern than the beige of the ’90s and early aughts, and it can add so much bright light to a space without the electrical hassle that comes with installing light fixtures.

And it turns out, a coat of white paint was just what this dining room needed. DIYer and YouTuber Delaney Hoskins and her husband Cameron Hoskins live in a 1943 home that they’ve been updating themselves and documenting online. Here in the dining room, “the walls were a cream color that hadn’t been painted in years,” Delaney says.

So she and Cameron cleaned and painted the walls and replaced the clunky brown ceiling fan with a boho bamboo option that better suited their style, the KNIXHULT pendant from IKEA, and already the space felt more breezy, bright, and open.

To really open up the space, Delaney and Cameron knocked down half a wall between the kitchen and dining area. The wall, where a tiny pass-through window — a relic from a design era long past — is now a bar, which offers a more casual dining option and provides extra seating for guests. “This was surprisingly easy and made the biggest difference in making the space feel bigger and more modern,” Delaney says.

But the entire project wasn’t so simple. Refreshing the floors — nail and staple-covered hardwoods underneath a layer of thick tan “stained and dingy” carpet — was the hardest part for the couple. “It was a lot of work on hands and knees, but it was worth it,” Delaney says. After removing all of the staples and nails, she and Cameron sanded down the floors with a rented orbital sander and then stained and sealed them with polyurethane. The floors cured for a couple days, and then it was time to add furniture.

“The easiest part was painting and decorating,” Delaney says. “Those two things really changed the space and made it feel like home!” For the windows, she opted for sheer white curtains from Target (hung on curtain rods from IKEA) for a bit of privacy while still letting lots of light in.

Her dining table is thrifted, and her bookshelf-turned bar cart is from Target, as are the barstools. The candlesticks (also thrifted), table runner from Kmart, and plants (including a faux banana leaf plant) help bring some vacation-ready boho vibes.

“It’s the perfect space for entertaining!” Delaney says of the new dining room. Her advice for other DIYers on a budget? “Really try to look outside the box of your space, and see how you can make a room look and feel more open and modern. For us it was taking down a wall and painting.”

Her open, inviting dining space is certainly another win for white paint and will be perfect for post-COVID gatherings.

Inspired? Submit your own project here.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: Losing a Wall (and the Carpet) Makes this 1943 Dining Room Unrecognizable