Diningroom remodel

This post is a bit off-topic from my usual posts, but I just wanted to show that I am capable of handling a bigger tool than a glue gun. Plus, I hope my successes might encourage you to get up from the craft table once in a while and try something beyond your normal comfort zone.

We have 9-foot ceilings on our main floor. For years, I wanted to do something more formal in the dining room. One of the things I had on my list was a coffered ceiling. And I didn't just want something simple, I wanted a little pizazz.

I started by framing out the shape. I used 2x4's framed up vertically. I wanted just a bit more of a drop, so I added a horizontal 2x4 on the top just for fill. I made square frames for the corners, and rectangular frames for the sections in between. Measuring accurately is important for this step. After the frames were completed, my husband helped me lift them and mount them to the ceiling. The frames needed to be secured into the ceiling joists to support the weight adequately.

My next step was to attach the drywall. It wasn't necessary to be totally accurate with the drywall because I knew I would be putting up crown molding later. I installed the metal strip to the outside angle to help with getting a sharp edge.

Then I mudded the exposed areas of the drywall. I was going to have someone do the mudding but I thought the estimates of $400 and up were a little too steep for my budget. Especially considering I did it myself (an amateur) in about 6 hours. At that rate, I think I need to change careers. In any case, applying drywall is rather like icing a cake. You just have to be patient and really check your work because paint doesn't hide drywall blemishes. When the mudding was finished, I painted the drywall with several coats of ceiling white paint.

Then I put up the crown molding. The dental molding was chosen because it matches the molding on the corner cabinets. Crown molding is not nearly as difficult or as expensive as I once thought, so it's currently on my list to put in every room of the house.

We purchased two corner cabinets off Craigslist and painted them white to match.

The dining room is not very big, so the corner cabinets work much better than the large china cabinet I used to have in there.

We also decided to install french doors, so we framed out a transom on the top of the pre-existing door frame and mounted the doors. (The wallpaper in the photo went out later too, but that's a whole other project.)

The glass we installed for the transom has an etched leaf pattern in it.

I also wanted to have wainscotting, but didn't want to spend a lot (do you see a theme in my projects?) I decided to try it with drywall, partly because I thought it would be cheaper and easier, but partly too because I don't have a router. I cut the shape I wanted from the drywall and installed it over the existing drywall. I had to be very exact in my cuts.

Then, I purchased, cut and installed a wood trim to the inside edge of the frame. I used drywall mud to fill the seam between the drywall and the trim.

Then I installed a chair rail along the top edge, filling in the seam with caulk.

After it was all assembled, I painted it white. I'm pleased with the finished effect, but I'm not convinced this method was any faster, easier OR cheaper.

I painted the walls a cranberry red to match the carpet in the adjoining room, and the carpet in the diningroom was replaced with hardwood. I just wasn't up for spending the money on a new dining set when we only use the room once or twice a year. All in all, I like what we did, and it makes my little dining room appear more majestic than it is.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

And be sure to check out the endless list of inspirational ideas at my home page childmade.com.

Linking up at Make It For Monday


  1. Lady, I do think you need to change careers. You can come to my place and do this. LOL. AWESOME JOB.

    Visiting from BNOTP

  2. WOW .......... now, that's impressive !!!
    A huge undertaking, but the end product is worth all the work you put into it. It's beautiful.

  3. Wow! I am impressed. I am so in awe of you drywalling!! It looks really nice.:)

  4. A huge amount of work but the WOW factor is unbelievable. Good for you.

  5. WOW...just lovely...your photos make it look easy (and I know it isn't) Thanks for sharing

  6. I think that looks fantastic!

  7. Simply fantastic! Love the end result and a shout out to you for doing this project on your own! Dee Dee

  8. Very majestic! That last photo looks like it could be in a magazine.

  9. GORGEOUS!!!!! What an amazing change!
    Thanks, friend, for linking up to Thrifty Thursday on Tales from Bloggeritaville! Great thrifty treasure!

    Tales from Bloggeritaville

  10. Unbelievable! What a beautiful room. Great job!

  11. WOW! Gorgeous! You really know your way aroung power tools - great work.


  12. You are too good. I signed up as a follower! Sure do wish you would visit my blogsite and join me too. I am raising a 17 yr. old grandaughter and battling lung cancer but I am drinking from my saucer cause my cup has overflowed.

  13. YOu go GIRL! Great Job. I love it all.

  14. WOW! What an amazing job! I am totally impressed. I've got a Power of Paint Party on Wednesdays. I'd love for you to link up your room.

  15. What a beautiful dining room!! Love your style of decor, sort of traditional romantic

  16. I'm impressed!! Your dining room turned out beautifully! And what a lot of work you did on your own! I wouldn't have a clue! Those white cabinets look like they were made for that room! The cranberry colour is terrific and your dining room table looks perfect in the space. A job well done!


  17. Seriously??? I was waiting for the part when you tell us you were just kidding and you hired someone to do all this work!! LOL OMG!!!! I am SO impressed and in awe of what you did. It is beautiful! Great job!!!!

  18. WOW!!!! The smallest tweaks always yield the biggest results. You've nailed this one!

    Thanks for linking up to SNS!

    FJ Donna

  19. That ceiling is just jaw-dropping beautiful! THanks for sharing!

  20. I can't believe you did all that by yourself. It is simply stunning!!!
    Thanks for adding your project to my linky party. :)

  21. What an amazing transformation, I especially love the ceiling.