Decorate your Dining Room for Less

DIY, Joyful hosting / Monday, June 30th, 2014

Decorate your dining room for less

We moved into a newly built house last December. All walls were white and there were no window treatments. Endless possibility, with potential for big expense. The first room we decided to decorate is the dining room. Its long and skinny, with windows on 3 sides. It is my favorite room in this house.

My normal tendency is to go conservative and use neutral colors, but it ends up looking bland. This is our first home with white trim, which made us feel a little more freedom to use COLOR. Our decorating budget is pretty low, so it was our goal to spend as little as possible, but have it look the way we want it to look.

Window Treatments

Max Studio Home Curtains found at Home Goods

Initially, I planned to stencil plain white curtains using fabric paint and a wall stencil. By my estimate, this would have cost $100 for 2 pairs of curtain panels (AND a lot of sweat equity AND potential to mess it up).

When wandering through Home Goods, I found 2 pairs of Max Studio Home white and silver curtains for $80. I had a $75 gift card for Home Goods (best gift ever), so I only paid $5 out of pocket.

We hung the curtains using Threshold Square Drapery Rods in Oil Rubbed Bronze from Target ($60 for two, and TODAY you get a $15 gift card when purchased online, along with free shipping if you use your Red Card!).

We chose to leave the three windows on the back wall uncovered since we love the view. If we decide to cover them for privacy later, we’ll use the same curtain rod, and sheer white curtains from IKEA (estimated cost for rod and 2 pairs of curtains, $50).

Area Rug

Dining Room Rug - Threshold Patio 7x11 Rug
Threshold Outdoor Patio Rug

First of all, let me say the cost of area rugs is ABSURD! We needed a 7’x10′ (or larger) rug because our chairs were scratching the floor, despite the felt pads on the legs. With new home construction outside, there is dirt and dust everywhere!

After shopping around, the lowest price of a rug I somewhat liked was $300+. I literally jumped for joy in the store when I found this 7×11 Threshold outdoor patio rug at Target (This one is no longer being sold but check out this similar option released spring of 2016). We paid $120. The material is fade resistant, and so far, stain resistant (as tested by my 1 and 3 year old kids – every spilled food has washed off with a rag and a little water even after a full year!). I love the pattern and color, and am very pleased with how it is holding up.


accents 2
Painted Wine Bottles and Mason Jar
accents 1
Painted Vase, Votive, Bottle and ‘Runner’

You may have seen previous posts about painting jars and bottles for accent pieces in this room (See: DIY Spray Painted Wine Bottle and Candle Holder, DIY Glass Enamel Mason Jar and Vase, and DIY Crackle Painted Glass Bottle).

Because I already owned the glass containers, tape and spay paint, I just had to purchase craft paints (3 for $1.99 a piece).

I wanted to make a table runner, but don’t have a sewing machine. I also don’t like how fabric runners tend to wrinkle (I know I won’t iron it!). I bought a 1/4″ thick board ($5 at Hobby Lobby) and used painters tape and leftover craft paint to paint stripes. I now have a wrinkle free ‘runner’, that matches the accents.

IKEA artificial plants and pots
IKEA Fake Grass and Pot
IKEA Fake Plant and Pot

For the ledge between the kitchen and dining room, we purchased these flower pots ($1.99 a piece) and fake greenery ($3.99 a piece) from IKEA. We had this IKEA candle holder ($7.99 new) already, and added it to the ledge.


Finished, painted room
Glidden High Endurance Plus Paint in Alluring Aruba Blue

We purchased one gallon of Glidden High Endurance Plus paint (Walmart, $17) in Alluring Aruba Blue ($17). We used one new paint brush ($7), one roller ($1.99), and one roll of blue painters tape ($5).

The first streak of paint was a little unnerving because it is a bold color, but we love how this room turned out!

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Art by Pam Faessler
art 1
Art by Pam Faessler

The framed pictures are watercolor paintings printed on canvas. My mom, Pam Faessler, created these and I love having her artwork on display in our home. AND they look great with the paint color!

Finished Room

Here is the BEFORE picture and a few more pictures of the finished room. After everything, we spent $324 (which included a $75 gift card, so really $249!), which is about what the area rug would have cost if we hadn’t found this patio rug!

If you want the rug, hurry up and buy it while they still have it, at an even better price!

Finished Room, view of sliding door
Finished Room, view of sliding door

Finished, painted room
Finished room

Finished room, view of side windows
Finished room, view of side windows

Future Projects

In the future, the bench by the window will either be sanded and painted yellow, OR will get a yellow and white patterned cushion (made with outdoor fabric). For now, I can’t decide, so when this gets done, I’ll do an update post. And SOMEDAY (not soon), we plan to get a very long extension table (up to 130″) and new chairs, probably in Espresso finish.

A girl can dream…

9 Replies to “Decorate your Dining Room for Less”

  1. Thanks! The rug was a lifesaver. I had even considered stenciling one, but wasn’t sure how that would hold up when chairs are dragged over it, and I didn’t find a plain one big enough/cheap enough to bother. It’s pretty amazing how many styles of relatively inexpensive patio rugs are out there. Anything that can be ‘washed’ with a garden hose is a keeper, especially with small kids, in my opinion.

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