Before and After: Open Concept Living and Dining

One of my biggest pet peeves is wasted square footage. We all spend time and money to not only own, but heat, power, and clean these spaces so why shouldn’t we take advantage of every square inch we can? If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook you've seen the "after" photos of our first floor, but when we purchased the Judkins House it was staged with a very large living area and just a small dining room. That layout didn't work for us: We wanted to downsize the living room area to accommodate a larger dining room, as well as a home office for my husband.


I took to my graph paper and found a perfect-for-us solution. By using half the current living room for our seating area and the other half for dining to create the ultimate double-duty room, we could transform the old dining room into a home office.

After

The result? AMAZING! I can’t tell you how happy we are with each space and they actually all get used now. In this post I’m going to focus on our living room/dining room project, but keep an eye out for a post on the home office space coming soon! Below is a quick process breakdown of the changes we made and all the fun before-and-after shots.

Before
Before

The original living room was rough. The first step was to remove the old silver wallpaper and not-so-elegant fireplace mantle. We then let the pros take over to knock down the textured ceiling and then re-insulate and plaster.

In Progress

We did up the ante in the dining room with a few architectural elements. The first was a new fireplace mantle. We found a pre-made one that fits the style of the home and existing molding to a T. We also had an old, rather odd, framed-out space that used to be a window ages ago, so we turned it into a bar cabinet. No one ever said they had too much storage, especially when a cocktail is involved!

In Progress

My husband Ryan and I took on the painting and then it was time to move in some furniture. Over the course of the next year or so, we carefully curated new, found, and custom pieces to fit the space.

After
After
After

On the living room end, we made due with our existing sectional but added personality with a red velvet chair and a card-catalog media cabinet. A few pieces of art by yours truly and a couple of plants give the space its warmth.

After

On the dining room side, we commissioned a cherrywood dining table through Saltwoods. I can’t say enough good things about their craftsmanship: it's worth the investment! I searched high and low for the perfect chandelier and sideboard. And then, on a whim, I made a trip to a local estate sale and stumbled upon the tapestry reproduction now hanging on the far end of the room. The size is perfect and it has all the colors used on our first floor, helping to unite the spaces.

After
After

Now we have a functional, beautiful space that our family enjoys daily. I hope your takeaway from this is to think about your space not as it is presented to you, but how you can make the most of it for the way your family lives. And if you need help reimagining it, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

After

Sources: fireplace artwork | patterned pillows | solid navy pillow covers | placemats | head dining chairs | area rug | mirror | sideboard | chandelier | sconces | glass candle holders | wood table lamp | media cabinet | wall color | velvet chair


Similar: tapestry | dining table | dining chairs | throw blanket | glass table lamps | coffee table


Some product links in my posts may provide me with a commission upon purchase. This does not affect the cost to you, but is hugely helpful to me as a small business. I appreciate your support!

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Welcome!

Hi there! My name is Erin and I'm the owner of Erin Davis Design, an interior design firm founded in 2017. Here on my blog I serve up tips for creating a home that's functional, beautiful, and right on budget. I hope you'll cozy up on your sofa and stay awhile! Want to get to know me better? Check out my about page. If you're looking for personalized design help then head on over to my services page.

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