My Southern Dining Room

Our house has a very traditional floor plan, with a formal living room (which we use as a school room), a den, an eat-in kitchen, and a formal dining room on the main floor. I had always thought that formal dining rooms were an often wasted space, but the breakfast area of our kitchen is very small, so I was happy to have the larger dining room for any meals that involve more people than our little family of four.

My intentions were to keep the dining room very informal with a farmhouse style table, but when I was visiting my grandparents prior to us moving in, I was thumbing through a House Beautiful magazine, and…although I was born in the north, I was raised in the south, and I suppose the southern girl inside of me had been secretly longing for a beautiful, formal dining room all this time, because when I saw this picture, my informal farmhouse style dining room plans went right out the window!


My mother and her husband had some furniture they were storing in their basement and were planning to list on Craigslist, and I knew with a little bit of work, they would achieve the look I was going for. I purchased their furniture, a quart of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Gray and some of her Soft Clear Wax, and got started on the biggest furniture project I have ever taken on!


I painted the furniture with one coat of paint and then distressed the edges by lightly sanding with steel wool and sand paper before applying a coat of clear wax to seal the finish. I recovered the seat cushions with painter’s drop cloth that I first bleached out and then painted with red stripes of acrylic craft paint to achieve a french grain sack look, which was all inspired by Miss Mustard Seed.


Here is our finished dining room…


We brought the chandelier with us from our old house. I was always in love with that chandelier and couldn’t bear to part with is, so we put it in the contract that we would be taking it, and I am so glad that we did!


We painted the walls with Regatta by Sherwin Williams which was a bit scary, because it is such a bold and deep color, but I love the way it turned out!


Several years ago, we were visiting Phillip’s Granny and I fell in love with her dishes. I casually mentioned that I loved them and that if she ever planned on passing them along, and no one else in the family wanted them, I would be very glad to have them. A short time later, she sent me several boxes packed with these beautiful dishes that she had been collecting bits and pieces of throughout the years. I think she had enough pieces to host a formal dinner for about 18 people! Even though I have had these dishes for several years now, and we use them as our main dishware, all of the other beautiful pieces were stored away in cabinets, because I never had any space to display them. I am so happy that they now have a place of their own!


For my table centerpiece, I thought I’d play around with a mix of formal and rustic, so I paired some silver with a piece of burlap.


I wanted a set of coasters to go with everything, so I cut some 4×4 squares of burlap, sewed a on a small piece of lace, and glued them to a 4×4 square of cork that I cut from a roll purchased at the craft store. So far, they have held up well!


So that is our dining room, my tribute to the southern lady inside of me. But as formal as it looks, we have enjoyed many causal meals in there including the weekly take-out pizza, and it also frequently serves as my cutting table for large sewing projects. It’s a well used room, which is what matters the most to me!


I hope you enjoyed the tour of our dining room. If you missed any of my previous home tour posts, you can find them here…

School Room

Living Room

Hope you are having a happy first week of fall!



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  1. Love it!!!!!!

  2. Lisa Taylor says:

    Very pretty! Glad you took the chandelier with you, it’s perfect! I also love the fact that the furniture and dishes have family history! You did a beautiful job!

  3. LOVE it!
    I really love that you and Jennifer Kindle (Who I see has commented) are so brave with your furniture!!! I love the look and just can’t bring myself to painting my wood stuff 🙂

    Happy nesting:D

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      Thank you Katie! You should get an old piece of furniture from a yard sale or thrift store to experiment with. That way, there is no sentimental attachment if you don’t like the way it turns out!

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