kitchen DESIGN | Dining Room Reno REVEAL

I’m so excited to reveal the new Dining Room Renovation! A big part of doing the Kitchen Reno was getting this space ready first and I’m really happy with the results!

alison kent HOME KITCHEN thyme watercolor border graphic artwork

About Freakin’ TIME!

I’ve been planning out the designs of our ‘dream Dining room’ for ABOUT A DECADE, but logistically it had to wait. Now that we could finally move some other spaces around and clear some room, WE DID IT! And now it’s finally time for the big Dining Room Reno REVEAL!!!

The original plan was to renovate the Dining AND Kitchen together, but I just couldn’t wait so it’s officially been phased. The biggest design change for that was to go ahead and use IKEA cabinets for the Dining rather than wait to decide what I was doing with the Kitchen cabinets.

Once old kids closets had been moved about, an old, unused doorway drywalled over, and misplaced storage items relocated, we were ready to go!

Dining Room Reno DESIGN Hilights

So, want the Hilights?!!!

alison kent HOME KITCHEN compose Dining Room renovation design feature wall

IKEA Cabinetry

With statements already being made by an existing – and massive – wood trestle table from Pottery Barn, re-located open shelving from Crate & Barrel, open brick work and space for Beastie, the cabinetry needed to stay simple. White Shaker below, Glass above. And it works perfectly!

The glass uppers perfectly open the shelves to displaying my VAST collections of vintage, new or antique dish sets – I finally get to enjoy them every day. Everything from napkins to flatware sets finally has it’s place. Added bonus? Hubby and my Brother-in-Law got a great day-long bonding experience over it all LOL.

As an ‘extra’ bonus – there’s finally a COUNTERTOP to place food and drinks on, leaving the table free for settings and decoration as desired.

alison kent HOME KITCHEN compose Dining Room renovation design feature wall

Adding Pattern through Wallpapering

Since I’d been testing my Herbal Wallpaper in Grey as a temporary Kitchen backsplash, I’d fallen in love with it all over again. I decided since my upper cabinets were glass that I would line the back of the cabinets with it! I love seeing the soft pattern peeking out behind my dish collections.

The vinyl stick-on paper was easy to install on the cabinet backings prior to completing the construction of each piece. With 30″ wide cabinets, it took 1 1/2 roll widths to cover.

alison kent HOME KITCHEN compose Dining Room renovation design feature wall

BEASTIE, my Love

Because a space had to be left for an old heating vent along the wall, the lower cabinets just happened to break up perfectly suited to house my new Beastie butcherblock! The opening also provides relief above and below from too-continuous cabinetry.

With cleaning up the old butcherblock, we shortened the legs and added casters so that she would fit underneath the future countertops. Now whether she’s tucked away, or out to party, she’s THE center and conversation piece in the room.

alison kent HOME KITCHEN compose Dining Room renovation design feature wall

Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose

A few years back we indulged in some beautiful open shelving from Crate & Barrel to hold ‘everyday’ Kitchen items like platters, bowls, pots and pans and such. It was handily right next to where I prep and cook, but with the removal of some walls it no longer had a place to be.

Enter the Dining Room feature wall! VOILA! Still hosting my favorite day to day platters and oft-used items (I hate it when open shelving does nothing but collect dust). And once it found it’s new home, the fun was just beginning…

alison kent HOME KITCHEN compose Dining Room renovation design feature wall

the Feature Wall

Once the open shelving was repurposed, the whole wall was ready to become a GORGEOUS feature! I added plants of all kinds – faux, flat, and fresh; round candle holders that had been purchased as a set of 10 were cleaned and placed throughout for additional ambiance lighting; tall plants were placed on either side to keep the ‘jungalow’ theme going; and a few favorite pieces of vintage here and there to clinch it. The best part is that with so many parts, it continually evolves dinner after dinner.

Feature. WALLED. <mic drop>

alison kent HOME KITCHEN compose Dining Room renovation design feature wall

Let there be LIGHT!

The added benefit to IKEA cabinetry, is easy-to-install IKEA cabinet lighting! Puck lights were installed in the glass upper cabinets (although I wish in hindsight I’d added them to each shelf), and under counter linear lighting below.

NOW, with the dimmable remote on the cabinet lighting, combined with the dimmable overhead lighting and the candles placed throughout the green, leafy feature wall, all sorts of ambiance levels are possible!

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the ‘Jewelry’

It took three LONG months, but the cabinet pulls finally arrived!! I had been shopping around, but pulls all seem to look so boring after awhile, so after seeing these pop up on Instagram by Shop Meraki, I just went for it. THANKFULLY they came pretty much exactly as I’d hoped they would. The fine ‘leafy’ golden goodness is a perfect compliment to the jungle happening over on the Feature Wall.

Because they weren’t quite fitting back to back on the upper cabinets, I went for an offset ‘butterfly’ look, and I actually really like it! It’s different, and if you know me, you know I like a bit of unexpected in Design.

alison kent HOME KITCHEN cabinet pulls design kitchen designer leafy gold filagree
alison kent HOME KITCHEN design gather elevate compose home cook

Antiquing at it’s Finest

Not only do the cabinets hold some of my favorite vintage and antique finds, they are now beautifully complimented by this antique solid wood gilt mirror! I love this treasure from one of my favorite local haunts. I had been looking for the ubiquitous French gilt mirror that everyone seems to have, because nothing else had really stood out to me as an alternate.

But when ‘my guy’ showed me this mirror, I was in love! Decorative, carved out of a solid piece of wood, oval – and BEVELED oval! – mirror, old, pre-loved and UNIQUE. Just my style!

This space was going to be some open shelving at one point, but I decided I prefer something reflective to bounce light from the opposite corner windows deeper into the space. I tested it with a mirror (also vintage!) from my Bedroom, and I knew it was the right move.

alison kent HOME KITCHEN compose Dining Room renovation design feature wall

and a BONUS!

An added BONUS happened with this Dining Room design that I wasn’t expecting! In an earlier Reno to convert this space to a Dining Room from a Bedroom, we opened up a ‘cubby’ and exposed some existing brick for added texture to the space, but no one really noticed it before. Now it SHINES! Suddenly everyone is noticing this beautiful feature.

Aaaaaaaand, that’s Not ALL!

BUT – would you believe the hilights are still coming?!

The final countertop will be reclaimed (in a stunning way!) from the Kitchen once we demolish it, but for now it’s a handy few pieces of plywood held together with adhesive marble sheet vinyl. Works for now, right?! Most people who have seen it didn’t even notice it was plywood!

alison kent HOME KITCHEN compose Dining Room renovation design feature wall


This space has been so many things. When we bought the house, it was originally designed to be the Master Bedroom. Moving in, it transformed into a Den while we worked on other areas of the house. Soon enough it was a Nursery and other kids’ room until finally we took down the walls between it and the main Kitchen. It was SO VERY WELCOME as a Dining Room, but it wasn’t quite there yet… NOW, I can safely say the Dining Room is in it’s ‘final state’ for however long we live in this house.

(DISCLAIMER – totally forgive my awkward videos LOOOL! I’m still getting used to doing this <eyeroll> haha!!)

I hope this small Reno inspires you in some small way!
Let me know if it does – I’d love to hear how you’re transforming YOUR spaces!