5 Easy Budget Dining Room Updates

budget dining room updates

There’s nothing this homeowner loves more than a bit of a budget update/makeover and I’m pretty sure quite a few of you reading this are definitely on the same page. Don’t get me wrong, Pete and I dream all the time about winning the Euromillions and disappearing on holiday for a couple of months whilst a team of people come in to do loads of lovely things to the house.

But seeing as that’s not our reality, I’ve been trying to do some cost-effective updates where I can, either upcyling existing furniture or seeking out reasonably priced alternatives. I don’t like the idea of changing things up just for the sake of it constantly, but I do appreciate that if you’re giving a room a makeover it’s good to give it a bit more cohesion.

Here are some budget dining room updates from our 1930’s dining room overhaul in case it gives you some inspiration!

Budget Dining Room Updates – Dining Table
budget dining room updates

Our dining table and chairs have been with us for a very. long. time. When Pete and I first got together, he had a bachelor pad out in Ely and as I was renting in London, we weren’t sure if/when we’d move in together. So we bought a dining table and chairs from Cargo (remember them?!) and 5 minutes later I convinced him to move to London and rent with me.

The dining table and chairs stayed in Ely for a while through a couple of rentals then when he sold his house they went into storage until we bought this place. It’s been around 15 years and whilst they’re not exactly my dream stylish set anymore, they’re perfectly functional and aren’t worth replacing yet until we create the proper kitchen.

The dining table when we first moved in
Photowall Tanglewood wallpaper

To give them a makeover, I decided to whitewash them using a mixture of one part white paint, two parts water. It was the easiest update and cost me nothing as I already had some white paint. I also did the chair legs, and the effect is a much calmer, more welcoming Scandi vibe rather than the quite orangey-wood look they had before. Adding some cheapy chair covers I found on Ebay and the whole dining table and chairs has been transformed for the sum of £15.99. Definitely one of my best bargain makeovers.

Budget Dining Room Updates – Make A Multi-Purpose Space
budget dining room updates

It’s no secret, I’d LOVE a utility room. Originally when we moved in we planned to extend all across the back of our house creating a new open plan kitchen/living area, turning our existing kitchen into a utility room and downstairs toilet. We no longer plan the BIG building project because um, well there’s just two of us and I’m the only cook!

We do however plan to turn the dining room at some point into a kitchen/diner and still be able to create a utility room. Until that time it’s been important to focus on creating not just a room that we can eat in but also one that works practically to house the animals. Knowing we’d be removing a book case from the one of the alcoves, I mentioned to Pete the idea of using two of the shelves to create a new eating area for Boo and it worked perfectly. We already had the shelves, the paint I used was leftover from other projects and all we needed was to buy the brackets.

Budget Dining Room Updates – Upcyling Lamps

It didn’t even occur to me to make do and mend with the standing lamp we had in the dining room once I finished the makeover. It’s been with us for ages but the brushed chrome stand and floral patterned lampshade clashed with the new colour scheme and I just thought I’d get rid of it and buy a new one.

I realise though just how much I liked the light the lamp gave out and realised that with a bit of gold paint I could transform the base and stand and then use some soft grey Frenchic paint to cover the lampshade. It was like getting a brand new lamp for free!

Lamp before

Since then, we have bought a new table lamp for the drinks cupboard in the alcove, a budget friendly £10 terrazzo base from B&Q and a large blush pink lampshade, also £10. Unfortunately the lampshade was a little too big for the corner, so my painted lampshade has now gone on the terrazzo base, and the pink lampshade is now on the painted gold stand in the corner. I’m getting better at thinking outside the box with this old hose project of ours.

Budget Dining Room Updates – Painting A Fireplace

Obviously this isn’t relevant to everyone but the amount of people who messaged when I was giving our dining room fireplace a facelift made me think it was worth including. I am OVERJOYED that we have fireplaces in both the living room and dining room, they’re such a gorgeous feature although whilst we do use the one in the living room we don’t have any plans for the dining room fireplace other than a decorative focal point.

Fireplace before

That said, as much I love it, I also considered it a bit of an eyesore for the longest time and struggled to consider a way I could turn it from an ugly duckling into a swan. Of course paint solves everything and I used leftover masonry paint to clean up the inside, the hearth and marble surround, before using a stencil to pattern the hearth and inner surround. Finally the outer surround was painted with more leftover paint. Total cost for this project was no more than £10 and I think you’ll agree it looks MUCH more spectacular now.

Budget Dining Room Updates – Upcycling A Mirror

Now I say this is budget dining room update with a little bit of a concession that I did in fact buy a mirror to go above the fireplace in the dining room. We do have a mirror knocking about in one of our spare bedrooms but as much as I tried to make it work it just looked wrong for the space – I had my eye on more of a slightly ornate mantel mirror rather than a bog standard one.

Even so my goodness I had no idea just how eye-wateringly expensive mirrors can be until I started looking and I almost gave up on the idea as a first stage room makeover, thinking I’d add one at a later date. Then I found exactly what I was looking for at Argos and it didn’t cost the earth. The only hitch was I didn’t like the pewter frame colour but I decided it was nothing that some trusty gold paint couldn’t fix and I had given it a completely new look in just a couple of hours.

I hope this has given you some ideas, not just for a dining room but any space in your home. Home renovations are expensive business and for us, we have to think about where the money needs to be spent that I can’t do a budget makeover on like new windows for example 😉 until then, I’ll keep doing what I can to wield my paintbrush in a penny-pinching way!

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