Welcome to the second article in a series, where we take you room-by-room through the transformation of a 1923 Craftsman home in North Carolina’s historic coastal town of Beaufort, recently labeled the South’s best small town in 2019 by Southern Living Magazine. In this post, we showcase the dining room renovation.
Check out Part 1 of the series–Family Room here.
Zesty’s mission was to transform the home into an irresistible vacation rental with a modern, clean, coastal feeling. While the dining room was already spacious and inviting, the adjoining kitchen was outdated, dark and gloomy. The challenge was to update the space on a modest, rental-friendly budget. We’ll reveal the dramatic kitchen transformation in a future post. Stay tuned!
We had a decent starting point in this room. The dining room, along with the rest of the home, has soaring ten-foot ceilings and plenty of room for a dinner party, but the furniture and rug were dark, and the overhead chandelier was too small for the space. The room features a wall of windows, but two-inch shutters and a large credenza restricted the light. We wanted to transform it from a barely-used room to the heart of the home.
I always like to focus on light and cleanliness first when staging. A dingy space or an unorganized area can feel dirty and small, which can instantly turn off buyers or renters. We gave the walls and trim a fresh coat of my favorite paint color, SW Chantilly Lace. Honestly, white paint seems to magically make a room seem larger every time. When we removed the shutters, light flooded into the room (as well as dust!). For privacy, we hung Pottery Barn curtains hung close to the ceiling which highlighted the height of the room. A 48″ Crate and Barrel eight-arm chandelier (on a dimmer) directed a large amount of light up to the ceiling and we hung a mirror in the same brass finish to amplify the light. Two consignment store lamps add task lighting to the serving area.
We removed the credenza from in front of the window and added a large buffet to the opposite wall. This provided a surface for serving as well as storage. To improve the flow of the room, we incorporated a round, 60″ table from a local furniture company, McQueen’s Interiors. Although we considered adding a rug, we decided against it for a couple of reasons 1-in a rental home, keeping a dining room rug clean can be a chore, and 2-not having a rug expanded the walking circumference.
A space that’s well-balanced and has natural elements feels harmonious. The artwork needed to be relaxing and soothing. We were thrilled to feature original art from two local artists. Natural materials are great and here we included wood, seagrass, raffia, and linen. The large fig tree and monstera leaves are artificial, but you’d never know it in photographs or in person. World Market is my go-to source for greenery. Play with a variety of shapes in a room, including both round and rectangular pieces.
With all of the wooden elements in the room, it felt like it was lacking some shine and sex appeal. Can you believe the zestiness of this bar cart (below)? The exposed screws along the edges felt a bit nautical to me, but it also says “It’s vacation time!”
This house was so much fun to stage. We want to stay there, too!