Rental Refresh: The Dining Nook Transformation

dining nook

I think I was a little ambitious when I posted the first Rental Refresh post back in August. I was far too excited about the whole process that I posted our before photos before any work had been done! Probably not the best idea because it takes SO long to make progress on each space and I don’t think there’s any room in the house that is completely done except for our dining nook!

This space might be my favourite spot in the house. It’s always bright and airy even on the gloomiest of days and we’ve already had so many great dinners and cups of tea in the space. I love the built-in shelves and how perfectly our dining table from our old flat fits in the space. To give you a little refresher, this is how the dining nook used to look…



This is not a great angle for showing the room off, but you get the idea. This space flows through a wide doorway into the living room which means that you can see it from many vantage points. The green and beige colours made the space feel really dated and made your eyes go funny because it wasn’t always easy to tell that they were different.

We rectified the situation by painting everything white. It’s easy to maintain, keeps the whole house bright even through the winter and opened the entire home up. We chose a warm white called Pale Birch by SICO (not sponsored) so that the space wouldn’t look too stark; it’s beautiful with all the natural light that comes in.

To add a little bit of fun and cozy the nook up a little bit, I thought it would be really pretty to paint the ceiling a dark grey! It was my plan from the start and I’m so glad we decided to do it because the dining nook looked a little flat before we painted the ceiling. Adding the grey was the perfect accent, adds a beachy feel which works perfectly for the oceanfront property, and warms the space up! We chose Downpour by SICO for our perfect grey. You might catch this colour in another area of our home too!

dining nook


I love how the ceiling looks with our white curtains and black curtain rods. The contrast is perfect! We also added a DIY hanging light to the ceiling to create a focal point over the table. If you’ve been around for a while you might recognize this light from our last apartment in Halifax! The shade was a broken lampshade that I found at Value Village two years ago for $1. The shade used to be silver but I used a metal spray paint to paint it black to match some of our accents. The black and white IKEA cord finishes off the look! It’s so cozy in the evenings.

Transformations are never perfect all at once so there are still a few things to do. We need to figure out the best place to bring the cord down the wall so it’s not in the way and I noticed that some of the paint on the light fixture needs touching up. It’s a work in progress which makes it much more fun.

dining nook

The Shelves

The dining nook came with this shelving unit already attached to the wall and it was so fun to style. When we moved in it was one of the first areas I styled because I wanted to unpack all of my trinkets. Now that the seasons have changed it needs a rejig to get rid of the pink and summery tones. Styling shelves is one of my favourite ways to renew a tired space and it keeps my home feeling fresh at all times. I might write a whole blog post about this to give you some of my tips for finding the perfect balance when styling shelves.

We eat most of our meals in this spot because there’s no room for a table in the kitchen. I took advantage of the eating area by displaying my cake stands, teapots and mugs, and cookbooks. It sort of feels like our own personal cafe when all our friends are sat around the table. It’s the perfect spot to reflect and watch the waves of the ocean and I’m always grateful to live in Halifax when I look out the window.

dining nookdining nookdining nook

Obviously, the biggest transformation in the dining nook is the paint. The space feels like a blank canvas with the crisp white paint, and I love the grey ceiling. But, it was equally important to me to hang floor to ceiling white curtains in the space for privacy and warmth in the space. We chose the cheap $14 white curtain panels from IKEA and used four panels in total to generously cover the whole window. It took me so long to wash and iron the curtains to perfection but the time spent was worth it!

What do you think? Is there anything you would do differently?






  1. Mary Ann Trevors
    October 19, 2018 / 9:34 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your dining nook !!! What a perfect transformation. You go girl !!!

    • October 19, 2018 / 10:15 am

      Thank you MaryAnn! You’ll have to come by some tea and treats some day 😊

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