Moody Dining Room Makeover


Whew, what a difficult One Room Challenge! Not because this was a tough room to decorate, or because it required a big remodel, nope…rather because in all 6 (actually 7) weeks we had to get it done, the items I ordered didn’t arrive until a week or so ago. It was definitely a race to the finish…as a matter of fact, I am still missing a few small items, like the wooden doors I ordered. Oh well,my guest house dining room will continue to develop in the weeks after this challenge, but that is normal.

It was definitely a race to the finish…as a matter of fact, I am still missing a few small items…

I hope my airbnb guests will enjoy the cottage dining room. This was the last of the ‘worst’ spaces in the cottage guest house. There are still a few rooms that need some minor decorating, but nothing hideous like this space was. Let me remind you what the ‘before’ looked like:




Not a pretty sight. Not to mention that it is a small room and no good way to remove walls or even extend openings. But that’s okay, because good things can come in little packages!


My property is 16 acres of wooded bliss, but those beautiful woods cast quite the shadow on the backyard of the cottage, so this back room can be quite dark. I love being able to see all the trees out back, and I like that there is a line of trees that provide privacy between the main house and the guest house in the summer months, so rather than trimming back the woods I decided to embrace the dark space.


Considering it is already a naturally small and dark space, it probably seems counter intuitive to go with such a dark color on the walls, but when I say I’ve decided to embrace the moody elements of the space I meant it!


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I actually love the moody vibe. To keep it from feeling dark or depressing in the space I made sure there were plenty of sparkly gold elements, large scale art to break up the wall color, and of course adequate lighting.


The previous light fixture wasn’t helping things at all, it was an awful outdated one-bulb ceiling fan. As soon as I replaced it with this gorgeous sputnik light fixture from MODCREATIONStudio, the room not only lit up, but it got an entirely new lease on life. Oh my goodness guys, it’s perfect.


I also choose to go with a white topped high gloss lacquer dining table, and white chairs to keep things light and filled with contrast. The best way to embrace the dark color I painted the walls is to highlight it with contrasting pieces, and although I was also considering some beautiful grey tufted dining chairs, they just didn’t pop in the space.

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I really love the dining room table, and since it wasn’t my original choice I was a little worried about how it would look. I just couldn’t do justice in my photography to that lacquered top…it is magnificent! It reflects everything on it and becomes a feature in of itself.


I didn’t want to take away from the chic style that glossy tabletop offered, so I simply gave it something sparkly to reflect! My gold Better Homes & Gardens brand lanterns and honeycomb glasses take the sparkle and shine to a whole new level. Oh, and how awesome are those marble plates?? The great thing about the plates is that they are melamine, so my kids can’t break them. Practical and pretty, now that’s what I’m talking about.


Last week I shared these items all gussied up for Christmas and showed you how to make stunning holiday tablescape on a budget. You’ll notice I still left a few of the Chrismtas-y pieces there.


Then there is that gold Lekoch flatware… I’ve wanted gold silveware forever. When I saw their black handled gold set, it was love at first sight. Until  I saw their white handled gold set, and then their blue handled set… haha, I wanted them all, but I finally decided to mix and match the black with the white and keep it simple. Now I wish I had mixed in some of the blue anyway (it is an beautiful bold hue).


If you haven’t noticed yet, the entire theme of this space is moody with pops of color, contrast, and green plant life. I didn’t just fill this room with live plants, I also echoed natural elements and plant life in the art.


This gallery wall is a show stopper, and all the pieces on this wall are custom created pieces designed especially for this room and my theme. Even though I had them custom painted, you can have them on your wall too.

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See, I have an ‘in’ with the artist, seeing as how he raised me and all. 😀 I’m really excited to share that my dad is launching his own line of art! After years of working in the animation industry for companies such as Disney (yes yes he did work on the Little Mermaid, NO I was not named after the witch…that would just be wrong), he is diving into the world of fine arts.


I’ve been helping him set up his online art studio Donald Towns Art, and all of these prints are available as of today! The top left leaf print is called Enchroaching Fall, the next to that is Hostas (wouldn’t this one be awesome in a jungalow styled home too?), the bottom left is entitled Puddle Walk, and finally Sense of Calm on the bottom right. Which is your favorite?


He also painted that beautiful waterfall scene in the small painting you see here.

The right art can really make the space, and you know me…I love a good gallery wall.


This project was fun, but being under the gun to deliver in a few weeks, and then having everything go awry was slightly more stressful than I anticipated.


Would I do another One Room Challenge? Ask me again before the spring ORC starts. Heehee.

By the way, did you see my One Room Challenge from earlier this year? This kitchen was a complete disaster, and now it is just too cute! Check out that makeover here.


I want to give a special thank you to all the amazing brands that made this space possible. My sponsors include Better Homes & Gardens brand carried exclusively by Walmart, Lekoch for providing that amazing flatware and cutting board, MODCreationStudio for the stunning sputnik fixture, and Donald Towns Art for gracing my walls with beauty.



I hope you enjoyed my One Room Challenge adventures! If you want more details, or missed a week. Get the whole scoop here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 5, Week 6.

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22 Comments on Moody Dining Room Makeover

  1. Stacie Bannon
    July 10, 2018 at 2:25 am (3 years ago)

    I love the room makeover! Beautiful colors and design. I’m happy to also find your fathers prints. I will be ordering the Hostas one soon.

    • Ursula Carmona
      July 15, 2018 at 9:48 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you! I’m so glad you like his artwork…I might be a little biased, but I think it will look amazing! 🙂

      • Ursula Carmona
        July 15, 2018 at 9:49 pm (3 years ago)

        If you shoot me an email, I might be able to get you a discount. 😉

        • Stacie
          July 18, 2018 at 12:34 am (3 years ago)

          Thank you Ursula! I will contact you about your fathers gorgeous prints. All of your hard work with your interior design pays off with such beautiful makeovers.

  2. CJD.Sign
    April 13, 2018 at 8:34 pm (3 years ago)

    I just love the dining room. I think it looks larger, actually! And WOW on the fireplace! What a great spot for it!! I love the green plants and how they play off the dark and the light of the room! I don’t know if you have changed it up for Spring or not, but I do love this look. You have given me inspiration for my little dining room!

    • Ursula Carmona
      April 15, 2018 at 10:09 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much! I added a few bright beautiful yellow flowers during the Spring, which really popped against the dark walls. Other than that I didn’t do much else. 😀

  3. Heather Baskerville, CKD
    January 27, 2018 at 11:52 am (4 years ago)

    WHERE TO START!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! Best to you! Thank you for sharing!!!

  4. Monica Benavidez
    November 30, 2017 at 12:04 pm (4 years ago)

    Ursula, this is all SO gorgeous! I am in love with those prints- he’s very talented. I may need to save up and snag one for my foyer.

    Love it all, great job as always!

    • Ursula Carmona
      December 5, 2017 at 12:54 pm (4 years ago)

      Oh thank you Monica! That means a lot to me! Well keep an eye out on donaldtownsart FB or IG, because he’s always having flash sales that are crazy good.

  5. Mitzi Erthal
    November 28, 2017 at 6:02 pm (4 years ago)

    Wow!!! You’ve got it – the ability to turn drab and dull to inspiring! I always love your designs.

  6. Diego Lopes
    November 24, 2017 at 12:15 pm (4 years ago)

    It looks SO MUCH better, it’s amazing! Beautiful job done there, congrats!

  7. Alisha
    November 22, 2017 at 4:35 pm (4 years ago)

    I love this so much, it feels so complete, lived-in and welcoming!

  8. Revital Mitchell
    November 17, 2017 at 7:02 pm (4 years ago)

    I kept on saying OMG!!!! Wow!!!!! Gorgeous! You are amazingly talented!

    • Ursula Carmona
      November 19, 2017 at 7:52 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you! I’m so happy you like it. I’m pretty happy with it, and a little sad it is in my guest house and not in my main house! lol!

  9. B.Dillinger
    November 17, 2017 at 12:26 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh MONA…..(you have a new nickname) since I respond so often…your like my sister (in my head). hehe…this is INCREDIBLE…oh girl you did this thing so right. I love the moody theme and you delivered this challenge with such class and style did you not?! I soooo want to be a guest at the AirBnB.

    What are you making for dinner???!!


    • Ursula Carmona
      November 17, 2017 at 5:18 pm (4 years ago)

      LOL! I just love you! 😀 Thanks so much! It was kind of a nail biter makeover, I wasn’t sure I would get anything done on time…but I made it!

  10. Jazz
    November 16, 2017 at 9:50 am (4 years ago)

    Wow! This room is simply gorgeous. You have such talent.

    • Ursula Carmona
      November 16, 2017 at 11:32 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you! That is so sweet of you. <3

  11. Diane
    November 16, 2017 at 8:14 am (4 years ago)

    Great job in the dining room. My fav part is the fireplace u added. I didn’t look at all the weeks of so im thinking you added the fireplace. IM glad I read your post because all of my house is dark. 😨 would you believe my walls are painted cottage white by Behr and my house is still dark. I never thought to use white or bright as a basic pop of color to undo all the darkness. I have a new benchmark now to reenvision this house.
    PS-go Dad!

    • Ursula Carmona
      November 16, 2017 at 11:38 am (4 years ago)

      I definitely have a couple rooms like that. It’s like they eat the white for lunch… Glad I could help with a little inspiration! And thanks for the kind encouragement of my dad…I’m so excited for him!


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