Blush & Moody Dining Room Makeover – ORC Week 2 – The Design

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Welcome back to week two of our One Room Challenge (ORC) dining room makeover! So excited you are here and following along on our (crazy!) adventure of transforming our dining room into a beautiful blush and moody space in just 6 short weeks. If you’re unfamiliar with the ORC, it’s a bi-annual event hosted by Linda at Calling it Home and House Beautiful that happens every April and October. It includes 20 featured designers and hundreds of guest participants that all team up and tackle a room makeover in 6 weeks. Each week throughout the season, we link up our projects and encourage each other in the process.

Let me tell you, it’s a blast. And not only is the camaraderie amazing, but I love that the quick timeline always kicks us into gear and we get stuff done!

If you’re joining me from the ORC site, welcome! I’m Rachel Joy – DIY addict, home renovator, and self-taught interior designer. Through this blog, I strive to help others discover the ease and fun of decorating on a budget. So glad you’re here!

farmhouse bathroom

Be sure to read last week’s post so you can see the before pictures of the space and the plan for the project. This week I want to dive into the design a bit more by showing you my inspiration and sharing with you the process I went through when designing this room. I’m hoping that by going through this process with you, you might be inspired to take a similar approach next time you do a room makeover.


The first thing I did in planning out this room’s makeover was think through the needs for the room. Since it truly is a multi-purpose space (entryway, dining room, reading nook, and office) there were a lot of things to consider. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Closed storage – I need to be able to store my 60 piece china set, crafting supplies, kids project supplies (like coloring and play doh) and loads of table linens in this space.
  • Formal table seating – I want the table to seat at least 8, but possibly extend up to 14 since we have large groups over for dinner pretty often.
  • Hidden desk – While I don’t want to get rid of the desk entirely, we recently installed a large desk in our extra bedroom and it’s our primary working space. So I’d prefer if this desk is hidden in such a way that we can use that space for storage when the desk isn’t in use.


My next step in designing this room was to look for inspiration. I have been loving the blush colors lately (you can see how I used them in my Valentine’s Day decor here) and have also been craving some dark, cozy walls. We’ve always had light and bright colors in our home, but there’s something about the depth of dark walls that has been calling to me! Here are the inspiration pictures that really spoke to me.


I love the deep navy color in this one with the gold accents.


This room made me choose to get an ornate rug! I love the style it adds to the clean, modern colors of the walls.


I have a built-in, open hutch in the space between the dining room and kitchen that I plan to paint the back dark like this one.



I have a natural roman shade installed on the window already, but this shot made me want to add curtains too!


I love the “casually cozy” feeling this window seat has with the layers of pillows and a throw.



I already knew I wanted a farmhouse style table, and these just confirmed my liking of the “X” base with glossy black chairs and slip-covered captains chairs.




Now that I knew both what I needed and what I wanted, the next step was to bring it all together in a design that was both beautiful and functional!  Here’s another glimpse at how my mood board ended up looking:

For this room’s design, I knew I wanted the rug to be the focal point, so that’s where I started. I chose this rug from Mohawk Home because I loved the pattern and colors and felt that it would easily go with the rest of our home’s decor too. Most of the colors and patterns for this space (the deep black/navy paint color for the walls, the curtains and throw pillows for the window seat, and the paint color for the chairs) will be matched or coordinated with the rug so I’ve “estimated” them above and will finalize them in the coming weeks, as the rug just arrived on Monday!

Choosing a rug can be hard! You have to consider the room layout, size and style. Not sure how to choose a rug for your home? Click here to download my Roadmap to the Perfect Area Rug and I’ll walk you through the steps!


I’m sure by now you are dying to know what we’ve accomplished this week, right?? Well, I’ll be honest, we were out of town all weekend so we just barely got started on the shiplap wainscoting. We’ve demo’d the top half of what was already there, and installed most of the bottom half of the main wall.

If you’re wondering why we had shiplap that abruptly ended 1/3 of the way down the wall, it was because we used to have a built-in bench seat for the table there along the peninsula and then around to the end of that shiplap. I promise, when the bench was there it didn’t look so odd… 😉

And, like I said, the rug arrived on Monday – isn’t it just fabulous?? It’s everything I’d dreamed of.

My biggest task in the coming week will be patching the sheet rock and picking a paint color for the walls. I’m leaning towards a black with a blue undertone (rather than a true navy) but we’ll see what looks best with the rug. 😉 If you’re in the process of selecting a rug for your space, make sure you download my Roadmap to the Perfect Area Rug! It will walk you through each step in the process of selecting a layout, a size and a style that’s best for your room. Trust me, choosing the right rug is really important to a room makeover’s design! I’ll also need to select throw pillows and curtains and get those ordered this week so they get here in time.

Here’s a look at our mini-project list and where we stand:

  • Demo upper shiplap
  • Remove all recessed lights
  • Install one light above desk
  • Install shiplap wainscoting
  • Patch sheet rock on wall and ceiling
  • Paint walls and shiplap
  • Paint chairs
  • Build table
  • Install frame moulding and crown moulding
  • Install new storage tower doors
  • Decorate!

Hmm… Not much to show for this week. Ha! But I imagine next week will have many more marked off. 😉 If you’d like to see real-time updates, I’m posting throughout the week to my Instagram Stories!

Again, a special thank you goes out to our official sponsor of this project, Pillowcubes. Never heard of them? Well, let me introduce you! Pillowcubes pillow inserts are handmade to order in Tennessee. Every pillow receives attention to detail from start to finish, which ensures excellence and quality every step of the way! They offer lightning-fast shipping, and excellent pricing, making their online pillow-buying process a breeze. Seriously, if you need pillows, check them out. They’re amazing and so easy to work with! You won’t be disappointed!

Don’t forget to head over and check out the progress on the featured designers and other guest participants‘ projects too. 🙂




2 thoughts on “Blush & Moody Dining Room Makeover – ORC Week 2 – The Design”

  1. Oh gosh, Rachel, is that rug beautiful!!! The shiplap ain’t too shabby either!!!!! I can’t wait to see more of this gorgeous space! High five girl!



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