Home Decorating Lighten Up

Lighten Up

Dark and dated are not words that should describe a dining room, so when faced with wood-paneled, low-ceiling, rooster-ific space in a 1950s ranch house, Annie immediately knew her mission: to lighten and open up the room, and make it both functional and fabulous.

As part of the Woman’s Day Fresh American Spaces Makeover series, Annie first bleached and whitewashed the paneling on the walls. (Check out the how-to here.) She kept the walls, ceiling, and floor in the same pale tone, helping to blur the horizon line and make the room appear taller. She also swapped out the dark rug for a lighter, more graphic one and visually raised the ceiling with a transparent glass lantern.

The expandable dining table and comfy leather chairs (plus two extra upholstered ones, stored against the wall until needed) are perfect for dinner with friends and for craft projects, and the wide-set, open shelves make it easy to display pottery, plants, and the occasional happy chicken. Ditching the old behemoth of a china cabinet that took up most of a wall, Annie brought in a glass-doored lowboy (which does double duty as storage for linens and as a buffet table) and a wide mirror to reflect light and make the room appear larger.

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