When you walk into the Money Pit, the first room you see is the dining room. It is a long, thin, windowless room with the stairs on one side, a walk in closet in one corner and a giant mirror that the previous owner had pretty much permanently installed (so no earthquakes can shake it down.)
Here it is from the MLS photos (although when we toured the house the furniture had already been removed):
Needless to say, not really my style!
Here is it the day we moved in:
The first thing I did was pull out that fixture and replace the switchplates. I found a nice oil rubbed bronze chandelier that matched my side tables for $75 on clearance at Home Depot. I didn't need to paint the room because the color was fine, and I left the mirror because it wasn't terrible. It definitely made the room feel bigger
Then I went with a black-brown color scheme. The only thing I needed to add was the dining table, that I picked up at IKEA. Everything else was from my old house.
Along the long side wall I put up random picture frames which I spray painted matte black so they all matched. Then I framed black and white family photos to unite the look. I know that formal interior design rules say you should only have personal photos in personal spaces (like bedrooms) but I ignored that rule. Since I'm not a formal girl, and my family are the ones who spend all their time in these rooms, I included personal photos in my public living spaces.
And now, since it is almost Christmas, the rooms are eve more decked out:
I wish they were all this easy!