A dining room makeover | Featuring Laura Ashley

I mentioned a couple of week’s ago that I was planning a dining room makeover.

I’d put together a little mood-board, picked out the wall-paint and chosen a couple of bits and pieces to give the room a bit of a refresh.

The room was OK before — not hideous — but it was all a little bit bland and mismatched. The carpets were old and tatty, the paint was scuffed and the lights and chair cushions had certainly seen better days.

dining room makeover

Our dining room — before the makeover

dining room makeover

And from the other angle — nice but a bit meh

dining room makeover

Fagnolia paint and bland, saggy cushions — time for a refresh!

dining room makeover

Uninspiring uplighters.

dining room makeover

Tools of the trade ;)

The biggest thing that needed to be done though was painting the dining room table and chairs.

I decided to freshen it up and get rid of the fagnolia cream finish that it had had since we bought it, in favour of a cotton white shade from Laura Ashley.

In the past I’ve used Annie Sloan chalk paint but decided to try something new; Laura Ashley’s decorative furniture paint was fabulous. Really easy to work with and gave a lovely chalky finish.

It was quite a big task as the table is fairly large and there are 8 chairs; all with lots and lots of surface area.

I took the rattan seats off the chairs, gave all the surfaces a light sand with medium grade sandpaper then set to work with the paint.

It goes on really well and gives a lovely coverage and *might* have just taken the top spot for favourite furniture paint! ;)



It took a couple of weekends; sanding, painting, waiting for the coats to dry — in between looking after two little three year olds! I daresay, if you didn’t have any other distractions, you could probably paint a large dining set in a weekend.

Teamed with fresh white and duck-egg blue checked seat pads, the painted dining room table and chairs looked so much better.





The rest of the room took slightly longer — painting the walls and the woodwork plus waiting for a qualified electrician to install the lights*

*I may be a fearless DIYer but I’m not stupid. The first rule of home improvements is

‘Know your limits.’

And electricity is definitely not to be messed with!! ;)

I’d chosen some gorgeous fisherman style wall lights that were really similar to a little side lamp we have up in one of the guest rooms. Very simple but very lovely — and so much more stylish than the up-lighters that we inherited with the house.

(Sorry up-lighters.)


So there we have it!

A few little changes and one tired — shabby but not chic — dining room, given a little makeover and looking so much better!!


Anyone else got a tree in the middle of their dining room?? No? Just me then…




Not a million miles away from how it used to be but cleaner, fresher and with a little bit of added jshoosh (is that even a word?).

Still no pictures on the wall or knick-knacks on the shelves or fireplace yet; but I made the decision from the start that I didn’t want to rush in and put everything back the way it was to start with.

I’d perhaps like to find some pretty tiles for the hearth plus I’d like some blinds — or curtains — for the windows and maybe a lovely mirror for over the fireplace.


There’s plenty of time to make decisions on that and I don’t want to rush things. After all that painting, this is the nice bit. Time to relax for a bit!

Huge thanks to the lovely folk at Laura Ashley who collaborated — very patiently — with me on this dining room makeover! :)


All photos, thoughts and words — as ever — are entirely my own.

Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. 18th Sep 2016 / 9:21 pm

    I have enormous dining room envy! I’m desperate to brighten ours up!!

    • 19th Sep 2016 / 12:32 pm

      Aaah thanks lovely. It’s been a long time coming — so nice to have a little change!!

  2. 19th Sep 2016 / 11:13 pm

    I love it, Caro. Absolutely love it. You’ve done such a brilliant job. And I have to say, it was amazing to follow along on InstaStories. I loved all the little snippets as you were painting and waiting for the new carpet x

    • 20th Sep 2016 / 11:44 am

      Aaah thanks lovely. The Instastories was my way of keeping sane!!! It made me feel better that people could see the progress rather than a ‘before and after’ — so nice to share the during as well!!! xx

  3. From Day Dot
    21st Sep 2016 / 8:21 am

    It just shows what a difference a few small changes can make! It looks fab and that is such a beautiful room, with the fireplace and wooden doors and tree/beam haha. Sanding is the worst bit, so props to you for doing 8 chairs and a table – my hands always cramp up in to that ‘sanding position’ in your picture so I look like a lobster – not a good look but always worth it! #HomeEtc x

    • 4th Oct 2016 / 12:30 pm

      Aah thanks so much Sarah! Yep — I was regretting the ‘I’ll just give the dining table an chairs a little makeover’ decision but hey! It’s all good. Definitely worth the effort :)

  4. flying solo
    21st Sep 2016 / 10:58 am

    Wow, it looks like something out of a magazine, so clean and fresh looking and what an amazing amount of patience you have to re do the table, I love a good upcycle, I bought a table and chairs with the intention of doing just that, needless to say it was re sold faily quickly when I realised the mammoth task that lay before me! Hats off to you lady x #HomeEtc

  5. 21st Sep 2016 / 11:07 am

    Oh your room is beautiful and so light! Like you I love tweaking rooms to give them a fresh feel, and you’ve done a gorgeous job. x

    • 4th Oct 2016 / 12:28 pm

      Thanks so much lovely! It’s not a massive change but enough just to freshen it all up — it was all looking a bit meh before!! Much better now :)

  6. 21st Sep 2016 / 7:14 pm

    It looks perfect! The chairs looks really great. I used Laura Ashley paint to do a dresser years ago and was really impressed. Where is your rug from? That tree trunk is amazing! x #HomeEtc

  7. 21st Sep 2016 / 7:32 pm

    Just wow! What a superb room and utterly beautiful transformation :) Looks amazing and you’re very clever! Love Jess xx

    #Home Etc

  8. 23rd Sep 2016 / 5:17 pm

    Caro your home is SO beautiful!! Having seen so many beautiful old houses and cottages whilst we were away, if I can ever tear myself away from London I’d love something exactly like yours. Fab makeover Xx

    • 4th Oct 2016 / 12:01 pm

      Aaaw thanks ever so much chickie!! We gradually crept away from London… first Marlow, now the midlands. Amazing what you can get for your money!! Our first flat is now worth as much as our current cottage!!!! Wish we’d held on to it!!

  9. 23rd Sep 2016 / 8:33 pm

    It looks so lovely Caro, our house is ALL spotlights, whilst it looks contemporary I so miss having proper lights x

    • 24th Sep 2016 / 7:22 pm

      Thanks so much Becky — I’m SO chuffed with it. Took longer than I’d anticipated but SO worth it!! xx

  10. 23rd Sep 2016 / 9:31 pm

    Really gorgeous makeover Caro. Simple but lovely. You have such a great eye for these things :-) Emily

    • 24th Sep 2016 / 7:22 pm

      Thanks so much chickie — it look an awful lot longer than I first anticipated!! It wasn’t a drastic change either but little changes make the world of difference sometimes, don’t they? xx

  11. 26th Sep 2016 / 7:11 pm

    Wow you’ve been hard at it with all that sanding! Worth it though. Results are fabulous Caro! #HomeEtc

    • 4th Oct 2016 / 11:59 am

      It was SUCH a big job Nicky!! But really worth doing — so glad I persevered! :)

  12. Amy Fox
    26th Sep 2016 / 9:56 pm

    Caro I like it! It’s amazing how a few little changes make it look like a new room. I love the dining room table and chairs! x

    • 3rd Oct 2016 / 4:58 pm

      Aaaah thanks so much Amy!! It’s been on the cards for so long!! So nice to have finally ticked it off the list!!

  13. 26th Sep 2016 / 10:24 pm

    Gorgeous as ever Caro!! Love the lights! I’m in the middle of painting our dining table and chairs too and it’s not easy with 3 kids, school runs, swimming etc etc to fit inbetween but slowly getting there xx

    • 3rd Oct 2016 / 4:59 pm

      Thanks so much lovely! Yep — it’s hard isn’t it? Trying to do any kind of DIY these days takes treble the time it used to!!

  14. Kerry
    28th Sep 2016 / 2:48 pm

    That paint looks amazing and I absolutely love how jam packed with character your home is. So beautiful! xx

  15. 2nd Oct 2016 / 9:52 pm

    Looks great – and good to know first hand about the paint. Love how just a little bit of a change can make such a difference. And yes, that’s totally a word! Thanks for hosting X

    • 3rd Oct 2016 / 10:23 am

      Thanks chick — the paint is a revelation. Love it! I didn’t think I’d have my head turned by anything other than Annie Sloan but the finish of the Laura Ashley is fab :)

  16. 3rd Oct 2016 / 1:58 pm

    Caro….lovely! That new shade on the chairs, really makes a huge difference! I’m currently sat staring at a pair of similar boring up lighters that are on my list of things to change!! I just need to find the perfect fitting first. Take your time with the bits and bobs…they can make or break it ;) Thanks for linking up #bloggershomes xx

    • 4th Oct 2016 / 11:39 am

      It’s not a dramatic change, that’s for sure, but it’s definitely fresher than it was before!! :)

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