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 editor of The Listed Home
 | Website

Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.

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36 thoughts on “A dining room makeover | Featuring Laura Ashley”

    • 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    #Home Etc

    • 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!!

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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


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