My mom’s dining room needed a makeover desperately, what once was bright and cheery had become dull and drab. I was so excited when she gave me complete reign to design a new dining room full of fresh life. Raised in New Orleans, my mom is a mix of Cajun heritage swirled up with an English war bride. I wanted this room to embody her upbringing and history. My grandmother’s set of Schumann-Bavaria China in the Dresden Flowers pattern was the perfect inspiration piece, so I built the room around this family heirloom. Here are some French Cajun dining room ideas straight from my mom’s newly spruced up dining room. FYI – if you like anything you see I will post a source guide at the end, so scroll down to see it. Here is the before pic of mom’s dining room. It’s a little gold 🙂
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The plan started with this stunning china pattern. Growing up I remember having tea and eating off this China…every day when visiting my grandmother in Louisiana. It wasn’t saved for special occasions or only brought out at Christmas. It immediately draws me back to tea and cookies with my Neena, my mom’s mom. The fact that my mother has this China is a sad fact indeed, you see my grandmother has Alzheimer’s and this cruel disease has her unable to live alone any longer. When she moved into assisted living her things got dispersed among the kids and my mom got the China. How bittersweet to have something so beautiful at a cost so deep. I guess we can choose to look at it and think of the sweeter times when Neena joyfully served us delicate cups of freshly brewed tea with a side of assorted cookie treats. Every single afternoon. The first selection made for this dining room makeover was the rug. I love this rug. Neena would have really loved it too. It draws the bright and cheerful colors out of the china pattern and gives a tremendous burst of joy to what could be an otherwise dark room. If you’re looking for a big impact in a room rugs and paint are your best bet! A bright pink rug can seem a little over-daunting, so I was thrilled my mom was game. By going big on floor color I knew to let the rest of the room talk softly in more neutral tones filled with texture.The walls got painted a neutral color palette. We continued the same base creamy white (Crinoline from Monarch) my mom had in the rest of her house through the bottom portion of the dining room walls and the inset spaces where the china hutch and windows sit. On the top portion of the dining room walls I chose Intellectual Gray by Sherwin Williams. This is a very versatile color that bends to the colors it’s paired with, not too blue but a solid neutral. The Pine Street Grocery sign is a nod to the street my mom grew up on in New Orleans, I will show you how to make a large sign like that soon!My dad thought we were crazy for wanting to paint the dining room set, so we backed off of painting the table and chairs (and came up with an alternate solution!) and compromised by just painting the china hutch. For this china hutch I chose a beautiful deep, moody gray by Amy Howard at Home, her One Step Paint in the color A Good Man Is Hard To Find might be one of my new favorite go to colors. This gray does have a touch more blue in it, but it pulled some blue tones from the pink rug and looks so great. The inside of the china hutch was painted Kimbel, a light gray color from the Amy Howard at Home line.
I finished the china cabinet by using some Cracked Patina finish which gives that chippy, chunky aged feel to a painted furniture makeover. One Step Paint doesn’t need a sealer, but I used a dark wax on the edges and frequent touch points to age the piece even more. I love the dramatic difference this paint job made. I opted to keep the original hardware because I love brass and it’s still having its day in the spotlight.
To keep this post from being a mile long, I will stop for today and share the rest of the room later this week, so stay tuned (update: part two is up here!), I have some tips on inexpensive updates with big impact for you! For now here is a shopping guide to the products I used and similar substitutes on the furniture! (see how to make a tassel like the one below here!)
French Cajun Dining Room Source Guide:
For the China Hutch makeover:
- Amy Howard One step Paint in A Hard Man is Good To Find
- Amy Howard One Step Paint in Kimbel
- Amy Howard Cracked Patina
- Amy Howard Dark Wax
- Paint Brush
- Wax brush
- Steel wool to distress the dark wax
Crinoline from Monarch
Intellectual Gray from Sherwin Williams
Stay tuned for part two of this French Cajun Dining Room makeover! I’d be thrilled if you shared or saved this post! Thanks friends
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