Watch the full video episode here.
Photos by Canary Gray for HGTV.
On the final episode of Rentfluencer on HGTV’s Instagram Video, I helped a beautiful little family with their dining room. Marisol and Nick just moved from Miami to Minneapolis with their two-year-old son into a cute craftsman home. If you have a room in your home that feels heavy with a lot of woodwork, this post is a good resource on how to embrace it!
Their place has a ton of charm and I loved all the woodwork. A classic Midwest-styled home with so many built-ins! But they were unsure of how to style them. The couple was accustomed to the coastal vibe from Florida and just didn’t know what to do with all that woodwork. Through some simple design choices, I wanted to curate a look that would suit them while retaining the old home’s charm.
MY PLAN TO LIGHTEN AND BRIGHTEN THE SPACE
Brighten up the walls
Switch out their coastal vibe furniture
Update light fixture
Style the built-ins and walls
1. Brighten up walls
I knew the walls needed to be lighter, it was just a matter of picking out the right shade of white that will complement the wood tones.
I decided on Benjamin Moore’s Simply White to cover the dark beige. It’s a warm fresh white that looks great with their mid-tone wood and won’t be much of a contrast from the pinkish white already on their ceiling that we couldn’t paint.
*Tip: choose a white that complements your trim. Determine if you need a cool or warm white. Gather lots of swatches and review them in different times of the day
2. Switch Out Their Coastal Vibe Furniture
I found a super affordable table at an antique shop from FB market and couldn’t believe it was the perfect size! The mid-century style didn’t fight with the built-ins and I wanted to keep the round shape to soften all the angles in the room.
After searching several retailer’s website, I came across these dining chairs. I had others in mind as well but this style paired best with the table and looked comfortable.
Tip: put felt on the bottom of the chairs so you don’t damage the floors (and protect your deposit!). Especially, if they’re old original floors like this.
The old bench cushion looked tropically outdated, so I got them reupholstered with a simple ticking stripe fabric. Nick and Marisol are holding on to the old cover to put back before they move out.
3. Update Light Fixture
When changing out a light fixture make sure you get permission from your landlord. Also, make sure you keep the old light fixture so you can replace it when you move out. Look for lighting that is proportioned to your room.
I found this modern casual chandelier which was a display model in a store so I got an additional discount taken off! I love the brass and simple candelabra design.
Tip: During installation, make sure you don’t just turn off the light, also turn off the breaker that goes to the fixture you’re replacing.
4. Style the Built-ins and Walls
The trick is to only bring in what you love. We cleared off their room and shopped their home to bring in items that are meaningful or beautiful to Marisol and Nick’s eyes.
Books are great style items. Tip: take the dust jackets off your books if the color works better- it adds more texture and looks less busy! I like to mix stacking and leaning some of the books to give a good visual flow.
Here’s a tip for parents. Kids toys are always really colorful so hiding them away in neutral baskets is the perfect solution.
Sometimes, things that have meaning may not be the most aesthetically pleasing object – ahem like Nick’s collection of football helmets. However, displaying one in an artful way is a good solution.
For some color, I usually opt for easy maintenance plant or faux if the space won’t get sunlight.
Last, don’t overfill the shelves! Just because they’re there, doesn’t mean you need to fill them up. I think even leaving some empty can provide visual relief if you have a lot of built-ins.
Bring in artwork that are personal. I wanted to give them a little piece of Miami and the beach so I got some photos from Etsy framed for them!
I love having family photos displayed. It doesn’t get more meaningful and personal than this. The best way to make these photos look great on the walls is to print them in black and white with matching frames.
Nick Marisol love their dining room and it now fits their style. I’m so happy that I was able to help them embrace the woodwork and their old home’s charm.
Wall Paint: Benjamin Moore Simply White
Dining table was a FB marketplace find
Chandelier – similar one here
Bench fabric is from Joann’s