Dining Room Make-Over

I am really excited to be sharing my 1K make-over with you because it really is the simplest one yet!

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My dining room wall has bothered me since we moved in: the magnificent family heirloom cupboard and dining room table just vanished in the space – in spite of their large sizes! – and the antique Chinese chairs and paintings really didn’t pop as they should. I loved the light fitting but it was way too insipid for the space. It’s the first thing you see when you come into the main living area of the house and it just didn’t pack any punch.

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I realized that a dark background would make the wall disappear so that the furniture would stand out against it and thus charcoal wallpaper, a dado, some black paint and beautiful new pendant became the perfect solution!

Paint                                     R70
Dado                                     R64
Wallpaper                          R400
Wallpaper paste              R45
Specialist Brush               R78
Light Fitting                      R320
TOTAL:                                R977

I am always amazed at the instant impact a change of wall colour has on a room!

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As a basic principle, darker colours make a room appear smaller. But the other, lesser known fact is that is that darker colours also work like shadows: they disappear. So if you want something to stand out, then you can “remove” the background by making it dark. The stunning light was a gift from a close friend after a recent overseas trip. {It’s a Knappa from IKEA, in case you can get your hands on one!}

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Using a high-gloss enamel, the surface below the dado also becomes light-reflective so that it is not as dark as you may expect. First, mark out the height where the dado will be. Then first applied the wallpaper (there are great instructions on the back of the paste packet) and then paint the lower part of the wall. The line was not very even once I’d finished, but it doesn’t matter since the dado finishes it off neatly. Pre-paint the dado and then fix in place with your trusty hot glue gun. Easy!

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And an unexpected treat: in the late afternoon, the sun makes the most beautiful patterns against the wall as the light falls through the back of the chair! Just note that high-gloss paints are not as resilient as a PVA so it may not be suitable for a high-traffic area.

Don’t be afraid of painting your walls in dark colours: they are truly rich and magnificent. And if you decide that you don’t like it, you can always just paint over it again with vanilla. A few coats should do it 😉

A few notes on Wallpaper:

Wallpaper is not a very common thing in South Africa and can be quite expensive. Paintable papers are also a great option if it’s only texture you’re after: simply apply the paper and paint in a colour. For a great tutorial on applying paper, you’ll have to wait for the new e-book that we’re currently doing in collaboration with Margaux Tait {or you can find one here 😉 }. And if you’re at a loss as to how to calculate your required wallpaper quantity, then use this great online tool. And then, be brave – it’s really not that difficult!

Comments · 4

  1. Vandag weer gekyk, want die muurpapier is SO mooi!! Kannie wag om dit te sien nie.
    Ook ingeskryf op Margeux se “blog”. Alles lyk baie mooi!!
    Good luck!

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