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Mom’s Mid-Century Modern Inspired Dining Room Makeover Reveal

I’m so excited to share my Mom’s mid-century modern inspired dining room makeover reveal with you today!  Since designing this space, the world turned upside down and so there were many delays completing this makeover and the design changed a little bit.  We also ended up painting and hanging wallpaper on the HOTTEST days of the year – definitely not the plan, haha.  But it was totally worth it because we both love how it turned out!  This dining room makeover even spread into the adjacent living room as well, with fresh paint and some furniture/accessories, but I plan to do a proper makeover in there in the future.  For now, at least it better complements the beautiful jewel of a dining room we created.  I’m going to give you a tour and talk about some of my design decisions and then I’ll follow up next week with some DIY tutorials for everything from hanging the wallpaper to sewing the curtains – along with a weird little DIY you might spot.

Mid-Century Modern Inspired Dining Room Makeover RevealMid-Century Modern Inspired Dining Room Makeover Reveal

I have been so excited to share these photos – although I will admit that it’s difficult photographing this apartment.  It gets a lot of light, but it’s different than my own home, so there was a bit of a learning curve and I definitely haven’t fully captured how warm and cozy this space is now.

Blue and Green Dining Room DecorHygge & West Bloom Wallpaper Taupe

Here’s a reminder of the before (you can see a whole tour of the “before” in this post):

The before wasn’t bad, it was just rental bland: beige walls and beat up white trim, a plain light fixture and mismatched curtain rods left behind by previous tenants.  My Mom lost her house a few years ago so I wanted to transform her rental apartment into a space that felt more like home.

Mid-Century Modern Inspired Dining Room Makeover Reveal

The Hygge & West Wallpaper:

I will fully admit that wallpaper is not the most practical choice for a rental apartment, but we went for it anyway!  I’m probably going to regret having to strip this when Mom eventually moves (fingers crossed her landlord loves it so much it can stay, lol) but for now it really makes the dining room feel very elegant and luxe because Hygge & West wallpapers are screen printed by hand and look really high end in person.  We chose Hygge & West’s Bloom in Taupe (c/o Hygge & West).  When I shared the choice in my Instagram stories there was a lot of doubt – I think you were surprised I chose a neutral!  But I chose this wallpaper with my Mom’s taste in mind.  She has always loved this pattern, plus her style gravitates more toward soft neutrals (remember the grey and pink kitchen makeover we tackled, years ago?).  Although it’s very subtle, I knew this wallpaper would be a beautiful backdrop for some slightly bolder choices, like the patterned rug, soft aqua ceiling and green silk curtains.  I love the movement in the design (it has an organic quality I love), and the clean, crisp mid-century modern vibes.  We loved it so much we ditched our plan for artwork in the dining room (for now) because we just wanted to showcase as much of this beautiful pattern as possible.

Mid-Century Modern Inspired Dining Room ChandelierLake Inspired Dining Room Decor

The Hand Tufted Wool Loloi Rug:

My Mom LOVED my own dining room Loloi rug so we chose a very similar rug for her space (c/o Loloi).  The rug (from the Ziva collection: ZV-04 Denim) has the same hand tufted wool design, but in a slightly busier pattern and moodier color palette.  The rug defined the color palette for the dining room and I pulled cool colors for the ceiling paint and curtain fabric.  Like me, my Mom prefers the the calmness a cohesive and coordinated color palette lends a space.  Interestingly, lately my Mom has embraced a cooler color palette – but while I love a brighter turquoise and teal, she prefers a softer grey blue or indigo.  Although, to be honest, we’re sort of meeting in the middle because she’s been loving some jewel tones and I’ve been loving some really soft grey greens and grey blues so eventually we will start to have a problem because shopping together only works if we like different things, haha.

Loloi ZV-04 Rug in DenimVintage Dining Room MakeoverMid-Century Dining Room FurnitureLoloi Wool Rug in Blues and Cream

The Tabletop Accessories:

They’re eye catching so let’s get right to the accessories!  FinnStyle generously provided some beautiful new sea blue Kastehelmi plates and bowls, along with that gorgeous Iittala Alto vase in the same captivating color – you saw them already in my Mother’s Day Lake Superior inspired tablescape.  The sea blue hue really pops against the clear Iittala dishes and glassware my Mom already owned, that we have found thrifting and on eBay over the years.  The brass flatware is something I also thrifted awhile ago (here’s a really pretty brass flatware option you can buy, with great reviews).  Ultimately it’s Etsy shop-bound because my Mom has her own pretty flatware, but I loved it with the brass chandelier for these photos.  The blue-grey napkins belonged to my maternal grandmother and I dyed them years ago – they just happened to work really well in this space too.  I’m so excited that Mom has a beautiful new dining room because we both love setting a pretty table.  We’ve thrifted a lot of treasures over the years and we love to enjoy them and use them.

Mid-Century Modern Inspired Dining Room Makeover

I’m still avoiding going into stores, so I stopped on my road to pick the flowers and I love the sunny pop of yellow.

Sea Blue iittala Glassware Sea Blue Kastahelmi Sea Blue Iittala Glass Iiitala in Teal Black Eye Susan FlowersVintage Brass FlatwareVintage Brass CutleryIittala TablescapeBlack Eye Susan Bouquet

The Pim Chandelier from Kichler:

I am obsessed with the Pim Chandelier, c/o Kichler.  I reached out to them because I spotted this light online and loved the brass finish and the shape of the glass shades – they remind me so much of my own triple bubble dining room light fixture, which my Mom has long coveted.  So this was a way to bring that look into her dining room, in an even more sophisticated and glam style.  I think the mid-century modern shape plays beautifully with the wallpaper and I love the warm gold finish against the cool blue grey ceiling.

Teal Tablescape Blue and Green MCM Dining Room DecorMCM inspired dining room lightKohler Pim Chandelier in Fox GoldBrass MCM Style LightBrass Mid-Century Style ChandelierKichler MCM Style Dining Room Light

The Premium Spa Silk Shantung Curtains:

By the time I had chosen the wallpaper and rug, I had already been shortlisting favorites on the Online Fabric Store website so we could sew some custom drapes.  I remembered this gorgeous silk and was confident it would complement the Loloi rug perfectly – and it does!  It’s so dreamy – I have some videos in my Instagram stories (saved as a highlight: ORC 2020) – and you can see the incredible sheen of the silk.  I think the silk plays up a little bit of formality in this space, which suits the era of this building.  Also, my Mom had never had a dining room – my childhood home only had an eat-in kitchen – so I wanted this dining room to feel really grand (even if it’s small).  Online Fabric Store generously provided the silk and I’ll be sharing a tutorial soon.  The creamy  white curtain rod is one I had in my house before we enlarged the windows.  They no longer fit, so I’m thrilled my Mom can use them.

Green Silk DrapesBloom in Taupe by Hygge & WestMCM Style Dining Room Decor

The Vintage Table, Chairs and Credenza:

We scored with this vintage table and chairs – and matching credenza – on Kijiji (you can read more about them here)!  Mom hated the MCM teak chairs I lent her because they were so uncomfortable.  These chairs are much comfier but still have the clean and minimal MCM lines she loves.  Plus the matching credenza was the perfect size for the wall right outside the dining room – what a happy coincidence, because there isn’t room inside the dining room for more furniture but having the credenza just beyond the doorway is still practical.  I shared a post about how I quickly refinished the set and recovered the chairs in a pretty linen blend fabric in blues and greys.

Modern Vintage Dining Room MakeoverVintage Credenza and Lotte LampVintage Table and ChairsVintage MCM Credenza

A coordinating set wasn’t my original plan but the scale and style (and price!) of this set was too good to pass up – and I do like the cohesiveness it lends the spaces.

Sherwin-Williams Open Air

The Wall, Trims & Ceiling Paint from Sherwin-Williams:

I have always wanted to do a colorful ceiling!  I’ve done colorful floors, colorful cabinets, colorful walls – this was the final frontier, haha and luckily Mom was game!  Because the wallpaper was so neutral, this was the perfect space to try a softly colored ceiling.  It’s pretty plaster too, and the ceiling height is actually nearly 9 feet, so it was worth highlighting (my own ceilings are not worth highlighting, which is why I’ve never done a colored ceiling at home)!  The ceiling was painted SW-6491 Open Air (c/o Sherwin-Williams), and it’s the perfect pale aqua without looking like a nursery pastel – it has a sophisticated and muted quality.  We loved it so much, we carried it to the ceiling in the living room as well, for a nice cohesiveness between the two somewhat open spaces.  I am currently eyeing up a sample of this exact color for a project at home too.

Open Air by Sherwim-Williams on CeilingSoft Grey Blue Painted CeilingModern Vintage Dining Room Decor

For the trim in the dining room and the walls in the adjacent living room, we pulled a color from the background of the wallpaper: SW 7566 Westhighland White (also c/o Sherwin-Williams).  It’s a soft, warm and clean white – and such an upgrade from the builder’s beige.  This apartment is all different shades of beige and so we plan to carry this creamy white throughout.

Mid-Century Modern Inspired Dining Room Makeover Reveal

The Extra Little Details:

My Mom owned the plant stand and I just repainted it a creamy white to freshen it up a little (on the left, in the photo below).  I had hoped to thrift some other little odds and ends – like maybe a bar cart or tea cart?  But I haven’t thrifted in months so we had to make do with what we had.  I wish I could have updated the pocket door to the kitchen but I didn’t want to paint anything not already painted, and it fits so tight that the finish has rubbed off so I doubt a paint job would hold up anyway.  The lamp on the credenza, along with the accessories and artwork, were pieces my Mom already owned.  I had planned to thrift some treasures but for now we shopped her space but we might restyle down the road.

Hygge & West Bloom Taupe Wallpaper

Mom and I LOVE how this mid-century modern inspired dining room makeover turned out!  It’s a little bit elegant, but also a little bit fun; it has a vintage vibe and, with it’s watery color palette, it’s a little bit Lake Superior inspired too.  It’s definitely got my “style stamp” on it, but it also showcases my Mom’s aesthetic too and her love of neutrals and the way she embraces pattern more than I do.  I can’t wait to have family dinners in here (my Mom is an excellent cook)!

Here Are the Links to the DIY Projects We Tackled:

Refreshing the Dining Table with NO Stripping & NO Sanding

How to Sew Silk Drapes (DIY Back Tab Curtains)

How to Hang Hygge & West Wallpaper

How to Paint a Fireplace with Chalk Paint

How to Recover Dining Chairs

Mid-Century Modern Inspired Dining Room Makeover Reveal

Mom’s Mid-Century Modern Inspired Dining Room Makeover Sources:

RUG: (ZV-04 Denim c/o Loloi)

WALLPAPER: Hygge & West Bloom in Taupe (c/o Hygge & West)

DINING ROOM LIGHT: Pim in Fox Gold (c/o Kichler)

CEILING COLOR: Open Air (c/o Sherwin-Williams)

WALL & TRIM COLOR: SW 7566 Westhighland White (c/o Sherwin-Williams)

CURTAINS: DIY (Premium Spa Silk Shantung Fabric c/o Online Fabric Store)

CURTAIN RODS: West Elm (discontinued, here’s a similar one)



CREDENZA TABLE LAMP: Vintage (here’s a similar style)

VASE: (Iittala Aalto Vase in Sea Blue c/o FinnStyle)

PLATES & GLASSWARE: Iittala (Vintage & c/o FinnStyle)

FLATWARE: Vintage (here’s a similar style)

DYED NAPKINS: DIY dye project (here’s a similar color, comes in other fun colors too)

Mid-Century Modern Inspired Dining Room Iittala TablescapeVintage Glam Dining RoomGlam Vintage Dining Room MakeoverSherwin Williams Westhighland WhiteMid-Century Modern Inspired Dining Room Makeover RevealMid-Century Modern Inspired Dining Room Makeover RevealMCM Inspired Dining Room

The Fireplace Sneak Peek:

I mentioned that this makeover extended to the living room and the fireplace got a bold coat of paint too!  Click here to see the fireplace before and after.

Mid-Century Modern Inspired Dining Room Makeover Reveal

Don’t Forget to Pin for Later:

Glam Modern Vintage Dining Room Makeover



  1. Sarah
    July 30, 2020 / 1:47 pm

    So so so so gorgeous!!

  2. Miss Boots
    July 31, 2020 / 2:01 am

    Great job! Your mom’s dining room looks elegant and pretty. Love the painted ceiling and carpet. It’s all so good!

  3. Mariele
    July 31, 2020 / 3:25 pm

    I absolutely love it. You guys did a great job. 🙂 It looks so elegant and personal now. I also really like how you put a big vase on that funny bump out you have in the corner–I was wondering how you were going to deal with that!
    If you have to take down the wallpaper when you leave, a good quality steamer (like the kind you get for carpet and upholstery) makes it go like magic with minimal damage. Much better than special wallpaper removers.
    I just have one question: what is that little red and white circle with an i in the center on all of the dinnerware? It was driving me crazy trying to figure it out!

    • July 31, 2020 / 4:43 pm

      Thank you for the kind words! We ended up wallpapering part of the bump out to sort of square it up and then because the trim is different there, realized we were kind of stuck not wallpapering the squared off part. I’ll explain better with photos when I share the wallpaper tutorial. But it is a fun place for a big floor vase so Mom stole one of mine lol.

      Thanks so much for the tip about the wallpaper – that’s so good to know!

      Oh – the those are the Iittala labels! It’s just the brand name and we just didn’t remove them. We actually never do – they just sort of fall off with wear/use but we don’t take them off. It’s one of our quirks.

  4. July 31, 2020 / 10:08 pm

    Tanya this is a stunning makeover! Lucky mom and (landlord!) I love love love that chandelier!!! Sad to hear your mom “lost” her house but glad she had you to create a beautiful home in this rental apartment!!

    • August 1, 2020 / 12:29 pm

      Thank you so much Barbara! I hope her landlord feels that way – he’s coming to check the smoke alarms this month so fingers crossed haha. Although he did love the bold stairwell makeover… I’m sad she lost her house too, because it was my childhood home and also it was part of a bigger, unpleasant issue, but I realized recently that it was always just a house. The warm fuzzy feeling I got when I entered the door has been transplanted here ,so I suspect it was the occupant all along 😉

  5. Heather
    August 3, 2020 / 11:19 pm

    Just absolutely fabulous, truly! I am not a wallpaper person but that wallpaper is making me want to paper something in our house. And the furniture! I am envious. What a wonderful space.

    A small request 😀. Light those candles to give the idea something special has already happened and there is plenty more candlelight to light more future occasions. My WWII refugee father passed his desire to see non-virgin candle wicks on to me.

    • August 5, 2020 / 11:08 am

      Thank you Heather, I’m so glad you love the space! And I remember the lit candle history – you’ve mentioned it before, but I forgot!

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