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My Sister's Modern Dining Room Reveal

dining room makeover

Well hello!!

It's reveal time for this, my sister's dining room, and I'm super excited to walk you around, highlighting the areas that I think made this room a very functional space.

If you have a small dining room with no windows and in dear need of storage, you should stick around, because that's exactly what this room was in dear need of. Well, besides regular things like more lighting, a good coat of paint, and ample seating around a great table.

You can read about the plans we had for this room at the beginning of this journey right HERE. And I say "we" because my nephew Julian was the boss for this entire project. He was the one that was building and installing all the DIY projects that transformed his mom's dining room.

*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Let's start with the before, looking out to the living room.
a dated small dining room in dear need of a makeover

BOOM! Dingy room no more. 

A pendant light right above the table brought tons of light to the entire space. A new dining set gave the room a fun new dynamic, and perhaps the biggest change came via a wall-to-wall built-in buffet. Talk about storage that looks good!
dining room with modern dining table and pendant light
| Pendant Light - similar |

Now, to avoid the chair clutter the room previously had, we installed a banquette/bench all along the opposite wall. 

This bench not only improved the look of the room, but seating space was maximized tenfold. Did I tell you this banquette also has lots of storage? 

Yes. A win-win situation!
dining room makeover
| DIY - Banquette |

We bought the wooden chairs, but the modern table was a job done in cooperation with a local craftsman, a silversmith who made the metal legs, and a lumber store owner that put together the chunky top. 

Then, we assembled it, but not without running into a problem. Lucky for us everything was fixed as I showed you in my previous post HERE.
modern dining room
| Chairs - similar |

Don't you love a solid tabletop? Look at all that yummy grain!
oak dining top with green dishes
| Stoneware Dinner Set - similar |

One thing I have to admit is that taking pictures of this room, and more precisely of this pendant light was a pain! Those six bulbs sent bright lines all around the space. 😭
oak dining set with banquette

Let's take a look at the storage this room sported before: A tired cabinet that didn't have space for much.
glass storage cabinet

The new built-in unit solved so many storage problems!

We left the center of the unit open to break up that line of huge cabinets and to give interest to this area where we can display pretty items on a set of floating shelves.  
wall to wall diy built-in in dining room

The left side cabinet consists of eight shelves where my sister can store anything kitchen-related. It's like the pantry she never had!
wall to wall white built-in

In the lower middle section, six deep drawers hold everyday essentials needed in this room. Silverware, dishes, cups, bowls, glasses, placemats, napkins, etc.
Built-in with drawer storage

On the right side, a coat rack was what this room sported before. 
dining room makeover - before

Ha, not anymore! This is how it looks right now:
dining room makeover

Once you open those doors... The jackets and helmets have their very own place where to go! 

Isn't this neat? 

The beauty of DIY is building exactly what you need!  

Below, is more storage that they hadn't even claimed when I was there. :D
dining room makeover

If I sit by the banquette, this is the view across the table.
built-in with ample storage and floating shelves

I used their dishes to add a good pop of color to the room.
green dishes and pink footed bowl

If they prefer, this open area can also serve as a mini-bar.
Wine and drinks set up

modern metal fruit bowl full of green apples
| Fruit Bowl - similar | Wooden Board - similar |

Above the banquette, a set of window pane wall mirrors was my solution to give this room the illusion of having windows and to add a bit of depth to the space.

These mirrors were a special order that my favorite local shop EMPODIO there, in Bogota, delivered in record time. I love the simplicity and the quality of these mirrors. Just like that, this room was equipped with a set of windows. :)
dining room makeover - Empodio mirrors

modern dining room makeover
| Window Pane Wall Mirror - similar |

Here I was having fun styling those shelves. 
Cristina Garay styling the shelves

Well, my friends, that's it for now, I hope you have enjoyed this dining room makeover. 
dining room with diy built-in buffet and banquette

Save the inspiration and do share!

Check out all the DIY projects tackled here:

*This post contains affiliate links.

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  1. Wow, such a wonderful change to that space. The buffet/storage unit looks so good and serves so many functions including coat storage. Adding the banquette saved a lot of space and added even more seating. I like the idea of the mirrors since the room doesn't have windows. Great job! I know your sister is thrilled! Cristina, are you self-taught in design, decorating and building?

    1. Hi Sue, thanks!! My sister is very happy with this room and how it works for her now, specially all that storage she gained. Yes, I'm an autodidact in many subjects, among them, decorating, woodworking, designing, sewing, photoshop, and even cooking which I don't enjoy much. As they say a Jack of all trades, master of none! :D

  2. Beautiful as always Cristina. I love that you also use those talents to help your friends and loved ones (and I know they do too!)

    1. Thanks so much Janessa! I was usually very apprehensive about working for somebody else, thinking they would not like my work. I've been changing that mentality and I've found myself having even more fun than when working here at home.

  3. I've been anxiously awaiting this reveal, and it did not disappoint! Thoughtful use of a difficult space. Congrats to you and your nephew!

    1. Aww thank you so much for commenting, Martha! It's so good to hear that! I love working with my nephew, we make a really good team, although I wish I was as fast as he is! :)

  4. You amaze me with your talent. This is such an amazing makeover. Love everything.

    1. Marty, you're the sweetest! Love you pretty lady!😘

  5. Que buen cambio! Un espacio tan pequeño que ahora se grandioso con ese buen gusto y cada detalle que lo hace un espacio sensacional.

    1. Muchas gracias!! Mi lema es que no importa que tan grande o pequeño sea el espacio que habitemos, desde que se vea bien y funcione como queremos ahi vamos a estar felices!
      Un abrazo,

  6. I seldom use the phrase "jaw dropping" but that's what this makeover is. I had to laugh at the before photos. How normal for a family. We see so many "pretty" pictures.

  7. I can not imagine having a built in like this!!! Talk about multi purpose! Thanks so much for sharing this project that really makes one realize how important use of space really is:)

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