The Evolution of My Thrifty Dining Room

Hello again awesome Friends!! How are you feeling this fine January morning? My Hubby can’t make it till midnight, so I partied with my 13 year old and a bottle of sparkling cider ha ha.


I’m kicking off the new year with the evolution of my dining room! Although this space is far from where it originally started, I’ve never shared any kind of before and after. That’s probably because it evolved over time.

Let’s go way back to the beginning. When my Hubby and I met, we both owned our own homes. We sold mine since it was more market-ready and his was bigger, and I moved into his. Our dining room was a combination of his glass table and my countrified chairs:


I covered the chairs in black fabric to try to blend them into his décor. This is all that was in here, and this was my dining space decorated for Christmas.

Then I found chairs at a yard sale to redo to go with the glass table:


Better. I was slowly starting to infuse a little more of my style into our home, but these chairs were pretty neglected when I found them and weren’t super sturdy.

Then I found this dining set for $85:


Game. Changer.

Goodbye glass table and sketchy yard sale chairs!


And finally, here is this space now:

Dining Room Evolution from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

(Don’t mind the curtain rod to nowhere. I hung curtains, didn’t like the curtains I bought, never took down the rod just in case I find some I like. 🙂 )

Dining Room Evolution from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

My hutch wasn’t in the original dining room photo. It was in the space between the living room area and kitchen. I was only using the bottom buffet part at the time. You can barely see it before I painted it, on the right in this old hot mess photo:


I did eventually paint it, but I just never thought it would fit in the dining room. Then one day I decided to test it out and it just barely fit!

Dining Room Hutch from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I added the paper to the back last Winter as part of a decorating challenge. Then for Christmas, I changed it to green. I changed it back this week. I just love the black!

After removing my  Holiday centerpiece, I didn’t really want to use the same things I had on my table before Holiday décor took over.

My kids wanted to spend their Game Stop gift cards, and guess what is just a few doors down from Game Stop? TJ Maxx AND Pier One woohoo! How could a Mom get so lucky?  So I went in search of the after-Christmas sales to see if I could spy a few deals to possibly use on my table.

I was looking for some sort of wintry branches for a centerpiece at Pier one when I came across these Juniper branches at 50% off:

Dining Room Evolution from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

Perfect! I love the wild nature of them. I don’t have any Juniper bushes, but I wonder if you did if you could just snip some off of them to make an arrangement?

Dining Room Evolution from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I cut one of the juniper branches up to add to a couple of pieces to some of my thrifted ironstone to add a bit of greenery to my hutch:

Dining Room Evolution from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer


Dining Room Evolution from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I also picked up the mercury glass candle holders on my dining room table that day at TJ Maxx. They had quite a few of them marked down…these were a steal at $6 each!

I also picked up the mercury glass candle holders that day at TJ Maxx. They had a huge section of them marked down...these were a steal at $6 each!

And they can be used year round so total score. The center piece of mercury glass was a Target clearance find from years ago. I’m sure you’ve seen that before. Now I can just change out the Juniper in the Spring for flowers!

The wreath on the window was another after-Christmas sale score from TJ Maxx.

Dining Room Evolution from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

It was only $7.50! I added the greenery pieces to it.

Dining Room Evolution from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

Everything else is old and you’ve probably seen it all a dozen times, but it’s always fun to add a few new pieces to refresh a room. That ENJOY sign is still one of my favorite pieces in here. I painted it from an old shelf out of my garage years ago.

Dining Room Evolution from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

Actually my drum table does have a newbie on it now that I remember…

Dining Room Evolution from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

The wire bird cloche was a sweet thrift store find in early December. I added a few ironstone plates and bowls to it.

Dining Room Evolution from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer


Dining Room Evolution from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

One more look back at the beginning:


And now:

Dining Room Evolution from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

And that is the evolution of my dining room! It’s always fun to look back. Even before blogging I always took pictures of my spaces. That before photo was snapped because I loved my dining room decked out for Christmas I’m sure. Do you do that?

This post is perfect for our Get Your DIY On “Our Favorite Room Makeovers” theme for this month.

Here are the favorite space makeovers my Co-hosts are sharing…visit the links below the graphic to see any of these room redos!


Big Girl Room Makeover by April at House by Hoff

Living Room Makeover by Mandy at The Hankful House

Five Favourite Room Makeovers by Krista at The Happy Housie

Five Top Room Makeovers by Abby at Just a Girl and Her Blog


The party fun starts this Sunday, January 3rd, at 7:00pm EST.

Bloggers, come share your Fabulous Room Makeovers, so we can inspire our readers!


For the tutorial on how to make the ENJOY sign {Seriously EASIEST sign to make ever!}, click HERE:

Seriously the EASIEST sign ever to make!



Don’t Miss a Thing!

If you like what you see, there are several ways to follow along!

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I love to share at these great parties:

 The Happy Housie Design Dining and Diapers Liz Marie Blog Funky Junk Interiors Savvy Southern Style Tatertots and Jello DIY Show Off  Between Naps on the Porch  Just a Girl and Her Blog Sand and Sisal Interior Frugalista

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  1. Gorgeous!!! I love the idea of the cloche for dessert plates too.

    Happy New Year!!

  2. I enjoyed seeing the evolution from when you and your husband combined households to now. I love your style. The dining room looks fantastic.

    • I’m glad you liked it, Debra! Now if I could only dig up old living room photos…before the one I shared lol. We’re talking bachelor couches! Our spaces have come a long way. Happy New Year! 🙂

  3. Pat Williams says

    Christy, I have always loved your dining nag room. It looks like you have changed your rug a few times. Do you remember where you got the current one from?

  4. Love the table 🙂 Not sure why I have an affliction to glass top tables, perhaps I’m always worried about them breaking. They just seem “cold” to me. When my husband and I met we were 49 and 50, got married a year and a half later (both first timers, imagine that!). Neither of us had furniture to speak of 🙂 I now have a 4 seat (minus 2 chairs) yellow cracked ice table in the kitchen and we are building a farmhouse table for the dining room – its coming along nicely! Thanks for the great photos and blog, love your process! Happy New Year!

    • Thank you, Catherine! I felt the same way about our glass table, plus it was rectangular so the corners always made me nervous when my son was a toddler. Your kitchen table was a fun find, and it’s always so satisfying when you build something yourself! Happy New Year to you as well! XO

  5. You surely turned a house into a home:) I love all of your makeovers! Happy New Year!!

  6. Christy, happy 2016! Loved the before and after photos. It’s always so much fun to see how things have changed over the years. I too take lots, and I do mean LOTS, of inside and out photos. I wanted to ask about the collage photos that you post , what app do you use? Picmonkey? Thanks again for a very enjoyable blog, Its one of my favs.

    • I have always taken a ton of photos. I’m not sure why, but I’m glad to have them. 🙂 Yes I do use Picmonkey for my collages. Thanks for always leaving such sweet comments…I truly appreciate them! Happy New Year!

  7. Christy:

    Your new dining room looks amazing! I love the black and white color scheme, and the dinette set turned out beautiful.


  8. Thanks for the tour of your dining room evolution. It is just lovely! The greenery in the centerpiece sets everything off so nicely–perfect for wintertime.

    • Thanks, Ruth Anne! I thought it would be a fun share. It has certainly come a long way, but it took a little while to get there. I thought the greenery would be perfect for Wintertime too. Happy New Year! 🙂

  9. I love the black and white! Its so chic! And the hutch is gorgeous! I wish I had space for that!

  10. Shirley Dunn says

    Love your dining room now. The table & chairs & hutch look so much better painted white. Love TK Maxx ( as it is called here in England). Hardly ever come out without buying something. Sadly we no longer have Pier One over here . Happy New Year!

  11. I love the change in your dining room. you go girl and take charge of that gorgeous always do fabulous stuff with you re dos and I am always inspired by you. because of you I finally found the courage to paint over my brown etargee.So thank you.Love Susie

  12. Yes! the glass table had to go….but LOVE those first chairs!!!! Did you sell them?
    Everything looks fab!!!! Love the look now.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! to you and your family!!!!……can’t be witty…have the flu, feels like a
    truck parked in my head!!!
    Addie xxoo

    • Oh bless your heart…you still managed to give me a chuckle! I did sell the chairs to a neighbor at one of my yard sales. They were perfect if you just wanted to look at them, but they were very creeky to sit in. Happy New Year, Addie!! Feel better soon! 🙂

  13. Such an incredible transformation, Christy. I love the black and white – so crisp and classic yet fresh at the same time. You’ve done a beautiful job- wish I could come over for dinner and enjoy it in person:)

    • What, you don’t like the original photo? Ha ha! I had the hardest time when I moved into my Hubby’s house because he actually had décor, and it was miles from my own. Mine was very beachy and did not mix with his at all. Luckily it didn’t take me long to realize that his Mom decorated his house, and he didn’t really care how it looked. Whew! Then I started replacing everything lol. And I SO wish you could come to dinner too! If you lived near me, we’d be best pals for sure!! XOXO

  14. Hi Christy, just ran across you on Pinterest while looking for dining room table makeover ideas. I was happily surprised to see your garage sale find… because I have the exact same table and chairs! I’ve been looking for ideas to paint it and have been leaning to white. Can you tell me what paint you used for the table top and the table/chairs? I love the contrast. Thanks!

    • Hi Terri! I used Annie Sloan’s Old White chalk paint for the table base and chairs. Nowadays I would have used Cottage White by Behr and made my own chalk paint. See my full tutorial for painting furniture with chalk paint here: For the top, I removed the original stain using this method: Then I used Minwax Polyshades in Espresso which is a stain and poly in one. I would use a wood conditioner first. Hope this helps!

      • Thanks, Christy! A couple of questions if you don’t mind…. your article said you wouldn’t use the combo stain and poly again because it didn’t allow the wood grain to show through. Any recommendations on what to use? Also, I bought medium steel wool instead of fine cuz I didn’t read your article thoroughly. Is that a big deal?? I have to go back to Lowe’s anyway so I could return it.

        • If I were to redo my table today, I would use a wood conditioner first, then I would apply a separate stain and poly. I just thought it was a shame that the two-in-one covered the beautiful wood grain and it kind of “sat” on top of the wood instead of being absorbed into the surface. It still looks good, that’s just my two cents. I redid the top of a library table here in this post: where I used a separate stain and poly and the top turned out gorgeous. You may want a darker stain color if you like how dark my dining table was. As for the steel wool, you really need the very fine steal wool, otherwise it will scratch your surface. Hope this is helpful. Let me know how it goes!

  15. LOVE you gifts!! Could you tell me where you purchased the rug under the dining table? Jill

    • Thanks, Jill! That was a very generous gift I received from Shaw Carpets after meeting them at a blogging conference. The design is Essex Trellis.

  16. I LOVE the dining room table with the stain and white. I want to find a table like that and do the same thing. Love your site.

    • Thank you, RoAnna! I loved this set the moment I saw it…so glad I was able to convince the Hubby we needed it. 🙂


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