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Monday, October 15, 2012

Pulling a Switcheroo~ Our Dining & Living Room Before and Afters

I find more and more people now a days are thinking outside the box when it comes to utilizing space in their homes. When it comes to formal living rooms, what purpose does that room really serve? Collects dust, maybe holds a Christmas tree once a year, and typically looks a little stuffy. Most of the time, it's never used in most households out there. If you and your family do use your formal living room, I congratulate you!

When we moved into our home, I had no idea what to do with our living room. It went from being the previous owners main living room that looked like this....

{Previous owners main living room}

To pretty much an empty room that had an identity crisis....

{Slowly adding furnishings}

{Huge focal wall I had no idea what to do with}

{Added the art, but after several months moved it elsewhere that made more sense}

After a year, it was still pretty much empty and had no purpose. It's a fairly large size room with a beautiful window that let's in tons of natural light and I hated to see this waste of space. It wasn't in our budget to run out and buy additional furniture to fill up the space. Ya'll know that I hate to buy pieces just to buy.

After living with it for awhile, a lightbulb went off one day.  I thought to myself..."Why not switch my  living room and dining room around." At first, I thought am I crazy??? 

Here are some  pictures of my dining room before..again the first couple pictures are the previous owners layout. You'll notice we painted the walls a neutral. The orange and blue was a little too much for the eyes. We also removed the marble serving table that was attached to the wall. We moved that outside by our patio table and now makes a great serving table.

{Previous owner's layout}

 How its looked for the last year..

{Our dining room set up after we moved in}

The dining room always felt a little tight. The only reason we used it as a dining room is because the previous owner had hers set up that way and that's where the chandelier was.

As soon as I thought about making the switch, I started moving some furniture around and after I was finished, I absolutely loved how the rooms suddenly felt right !! It was a miraculous transformation that now made total sense.

It's a bigger space and our table centers perfectly with the main window. We added a rug and had the electrician move the dining room chandelier to the "new" dining room. The only thing still missing is my grandmother's grandfather clock, a couple chairs for the head of the table and a picture or two for the wall.

What do ya'll think of now?

I'm loving the new space!! Our buffet we bought from the Salvation Army matches perfectly with our table and chairs and the buffet lamps frame the mirror nicely. No more undesirable wall. I've been eyeing a couple chairs for the head of the table from Restoration Hardware. I think a nice slipcover chair will break up the wood a bit and add some softness.

What do ya'll think? Good choice??

So now your wondering what the "new" living room looks like...

This is now a great space for visiting and acts as an extension of our kitchen. We moved the chandelier that was in our master bedroom into the new living room and replaced it with a ceiling fan. The furniture I had worked great with the chairs. I bought two metal pieces hanging on the wall from Home Goods for $40.00 each. Here was another wall that needed interest and these worked out perfect, plus they didn't cost a fortune. I did buy a wall stencil from Royal Design Studio, but thought it would be too busy. I hung our wedding picture I had in the entry up and called it a day. The coffee table I bought from Salvation Army and ended up painting it black.

It's a wrap and we love how the new space feels. I always think that when you move into a new place,  it's always better to live with the home for awhile and figure out what works and what doesn't work.

We moved into our home in August 2011 and it's finally come together. It was such a fun creative process switching the rooms around and breaking out of the box.

I would love to hear if you also pulled a little switcheroo and changed things up in your home?? Does your dining room act as a home office now or your living room act as the dining room?? Do tell!!

I'd love to hear from you!!


  1. I think your switch looks GREAT!

    In fact, I read this post this morning and ALL DAY LONG I've been imagining my living room and dining rooms swapping places. It just makes so much more sense!

    So, thank you for the great inspiration! Hopefully I can pull the swap one day when the husband is around to tell me I'm crazy ;)

  2. The room changes worked out so nicely. The dining room has such a welcoming look and the sitting room is more central to the rest of your home.

  3. Allison, this room switch looks fantastic and makes so much more sense. I did this for a client one time and it basically freaked them out, but I asked them to leave it that way for two weeks before they changed it back. They got over the fact that you don't have to use a dining room as that, and now they love it because it's a better way for them to live in their own house!

  4. I love the rooms now, but what about carrying food to the new dining room through the living room? If you dont use the dining room that much, I guess its not a huge deal. You have me thinking about switching mine too!

  5. You were right...these rooms now look like they were meant to be like this!

  6. I absolutely love it and we are getting ready to do something similar. The "living room" now will become the dining room, the teeny tiny dining area that is part of our galley kitchen will open up to more countertops so I can have some more storage and surfaces to work with and our living room will move into the garage turned library. I'm super excited because I will finally have enough room to get my 6 person farm table:)

  7. I love this. I love how the DR looks so at home with the large window. And I love the look from the kitchen to the DR (through the LR). The eye flows through which makes the entire space seem to flow. I also like that the LR is cozier...the furniture seems to create a more intimate space that could lead to conversation or relaxation. :) Thanks for sharing.

  8. Love the decor....and I love to utilize any room to it's full potential! When i build a home of our own, I plan the main rooms carefully so I may use them in different ways.....Families evolve and situations call for changes.... You did a great job on your switcheroo and what works for you.....just joined your blog and would love to have a visit from you....NeeCee at found you at my daugters site...Trendy Treehouse :)))

  9. Because we already had an eating area in the kitchen, we changed our formal dining room into a library. (Who wants to clean up TWO eating areas? Not me.) And you're absolutely right. We would have never come to our library decision if we hadn't lived in the space for a while. That was several years ago and we have never once regretted our decision. Your home looks like a dreamy showroom. It is absolutely lovely. Big gold stars to you for your perfect patience and perfect taste.

  10. THis is really unbelievable because we just had this conversation last night in our house!!!!
    I want to switch mine over - better half says absolutely not lol - I win every argument when it comes to home design so have to let him win sometimes ( we have a corner fireplace in our living room that I can just picture lit at xmas dinners...............
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your switcheroo - great job!
    I'm your newest follower - would love to have you come by and follow back when you have the time!


  11. I think the switch was a great idea! Your home looks very inviting and I think the furniture now fits your space perfectly!!

    Happy a crazy beautiful weekend!!

  12. the switch!!! Your sideboard is beautiful, what a great find! Love the chairs with slip covers, I think they would make the perfect addition to your dining room. I'm trying to find a couple of end chairs for my table as well! :) Hopped over from A Creative Princess and I'm happy to be your newest follower. Would love to have you stop by for a visit. Blessings ~ Judy

  13. That room is gorgeous! Gorgeous home.

  14. love it! It is so much more, well, cozy :)

  15. Both spaces are amazingly beautiful!

  16. Great idea! Both of the rooms look beautiful.

  17. Your home is GORGEOUS!! You did an amazing job switching these rooms and giving them new identities. You've decorated them with in such a timeless and elegant way and yet it all feels so warm and welcoming at the same time. Well done! :-) Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Inspiration Friday this week!

  18. Simply stunning! Love, love your diningroom. I shared your beautiful home on Pinterest. Hugs, Diane

  19. I really like the switch! The dining room fills out the former formal living room nicely and it really looks like it belongs.

    My family used to have a formal living room too we never knew what to do with it so it ended up being a catch all kids play room... lol

    Found you threw thee networking blog hop

    Beauty Flawed

  20. I love what you did! My house has a "great room". No separate
    living/family/dining area. I love the concept but my space is a bit too small for all of that. I wish I had a living room I could escape too when everyone is making noise in the family room, lol!

  21. Oh, BTW, I am your newest follower from Lena B. I hope you'll visit and follow back :)

  22. This looks fabulous! What a great idea! New follower from the blog hop :)

  23. Wow your house is so cute! I love it!
    Dropping by from the Live Laugh Rowe blog hop. :)

  24. I'm impressed that you found that buffet at the Salvation Army - fits in perfectly with the rest of the room.

  25. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful post on Simple & Sweet Fridays. What a gorgeous home you have. New Follower!


  26. Could the two upholstered tuft-backed chairs that you used in the "switched" living room be used as dining room chairs for each end of the new dining room table?

  27. Fantastic! Inspiring!

  28. This is really great. We are house hunting and sometimes it is hard to visualize rooms different from what they are shown as. This gives me hope! It looks fantastic. I really love the arched window in the "new" dining room.



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