Dining Room Reveal

Dining Room Reveal | Bright, bold, and colorful small apartment dining room. | sincerelysweetpeablog.com

Hey friends! Today, I’m so excited to finally share our completed dining room with y’all, but first, let’s rewind a little. As many of you know, we moved into a one bedroom, 600 square foot apartment in Cincinnati back in January (see the full before here). When we first moved in, I had planned on using the tiny space you see immediately when you walk in the door as a workspace, simply because it seemed too small to use as a dining room. With that plan in mind, I bought a new desk from IKEA, pulled it all together, but it just didn’t work. It wasn’t very welcoming and I hated not having a place to eat meals with my husband. So, I started researching small, round, bistro-style tables. I found some that I really liked, but I really wasn’t digging spending money on a table and then even more on chairs. I know, I know, I was being real cheap, but I didn’t want to spend that much money on something that would most likely not work once we buy our own home. Thankfully, before we moved, my Nana offered to give us her old kitchen table and chairs, so, I called her one evening and asked for the measurements. I got out my handy dandy painters tape and tape measure and taped off the dimensions on the floor. It fit and was the perfect size! Next thing I knew, I was designing a dining room instead of a boring, not so welcoming workspace.

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Ready to take a look? Here’s what the space looked like two days after we moved in.

Dining Room Reveal | sincerelysweetpeablog.com

Here’s what it looks like now!

Dining Room Reveal | Bright, bold, and colorful small apartment dining room. | sincerelysweetpeablog.com

Let’s start with the dining table. Like I said, this was a generous hand me down from my Nana and I’ll be honest, even after taping it off, I was a little nervous about the size. Yes, it’s only a four-seater, but what I originally had in mind was a round table big enough for only two or three chairs. In the end, I’m super happy I just went with it because the table actually makes the space seem bigger than it really is. It also seems more intentional and really defines the space.

Lesson learned: Instead of cluttering a small space with many small pieces of furniture, try one or two larger pieces. It makes the space seem bigger, less cluttered, and more defined.

While we’re talking about the dining table, we might as well talk about the beaded chandelier. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but in the room that is both our dining space and living space, there is no overhead lighting. Dumb, I know. Since there really was no surface to put a lamp on, I knew I needed a hanging light above the table. First, I went with a 15” drum shade from IKEA that served the purpose, but aesthetically, not what I wanted (you can see my roundup of affordable, renter friendly lights here). For a while, I thought of ways I could DIY a light using the one I already had, but nothing was coming to me that I absolutely loved. Finally, I just bit the bullet and decided to make the beaded chandelier we have now and y’all, I’m so glad I did. It makes such a statement that you notice right when you walk in the door! And, I love that in an apartment of our size and nature, it’s a little unexpected.

Lesson learned: Go with something you love and that’s unexpected.

Dining Room Reveal | Bright, bold, and colorful small apartment dining room. | sincerelysweetpeablog.com

Next up, the bookshelf. For a while, I had been looking online for a tall bookshelf to put in this exact spot, but everything I came across was just way too expensive. I really wanted something tall because everything else in the space and in the adjacent living room was at the same level and I needed something to add a little height. Thankfully, I was shopping at one of my favorite local antique malls and stumbled upon this beauty for $50. Sold! It was originally a polished brass, so to update it, I gave it a coat of my favorite gilding paint. As far as styling it, it took me a while to get it exactly how I wanted. However, from my many edits of this thing, I’ve figured out that variety is key. Use a variety of accessories, texture,  and heights. Also, if you find yourself with an open bookshelf like mine, make sure your objects look good from all angles.

Lesson(s) learned: Bring in furniture of different heights to add dimension to a room. When styling a bookshelf, use a variety of accessories (I will be doing a post on this soon!).

Let’s talk about the art. I’ll admit, it took me quite a while to nail it down. I found the bottom piece first and really loved it, but I was hesitant to spend that much money on something I may only use for a year or so. I scoured the internet in an attempt to find something I equally adored and a little cheaper, but found absolutely nothing. I loved everything about the piece; the subject, the colors, and the smooth brushstrokes, but I knew it wouldn’t be enough for the space on it’s own. So, I searched some more and found the piece above it. I chose that piece because the color and the smooth, flowy-ness (I know, totally not a word) of the lace that I thought mimicked the brushstrokes of the piece below.

Lesson learned: When choosing multiple pieces of artwork, find common characteristics like color, style, subject, etc.

Palm Beach Inspired Styled Bookshelf | sincerelysweetpeablog.com | Need inspiration on how to style a fun and colorful bookshelf? Take a look at this one by Sincerely, Sweetpea.

Palm Beach Inspired Styled Bookshelf | sincerelysweetpeablog.com | Need inspiration on how to style a fun and colorful bookshelf? Take a look at this one by Sincerely, Sweetpea.

And lastly, the big pink mirror. I was lucky enough to find that beauty at a flea market for an absolute steal and couldn’t be more tickled! I chose to put a mirror on that wall because it was cheaper than buying another piece of art, makes the room seem larger, and makes a big statement. I went back and forth on the color for a while. First, I thought I wanted it white, but in attempt to create more contrast, I settled on pink. Finding the perfect shade of pink was a real challenge though. After trying four paint samples against the wall color, I finally landed on Behr Beauty Queen.

Lesson(s) learned: Use mirrors to make a space seem larger and make a statement for less money, but be mindful of what your mirror is reflecting.

Dining Room Reveal | Bright, bold, and colorful small apartment dining room. | sincerelysweetpeablog.com

Dining Room Reveal | Bright, bold, and colorful small apartment dining room. | sincerelysweetpeablog.com

Dining Room Reveal | Bright, bold, and colorful small apartment dining room. | sincerelysweetpeablog.com

I know that was super lengthy, but I hope taking you through my thought process and tips helps you tackle your own space!


Table: Handed down (similar)

Chairs: Thrifted

Palm Leaf Placemats


Cane Dessert Plates: HomeGoods

Pink Linens: Handed down (similar)

Glass Hurricane

Rattan Basket: Target on sale (similar)

Pink Velvet Pillows

Art: Top and Bottom

Frames (painted gold): Hobby Lobby (similar)

Bust: Hobby Lobby

Gold Sphere: Hobby Lobby

Gold and White Boxes: Sugar Paper for Target

Pineapple Bookends

Brass Planter: Thrifted

Ginger Jar (painted pink): HomeGoods

Gold Shell: Hobby Lobby

Pink Striped Box: DIY here

Small Basket: JoAnn Fabrics

Books: The Book of Palms, Nasty Galaxy, All In Good Taste, domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home, Pizzazzerie: Entertain in Style, Savor, Curls and Cashmere At Home, STYLED, Saints of Old Florida, Things We Love

If you missed the reveal of our kitchen, you can see that here.

Dining Room Reveal | Bright, bold, and colorful small apartment dining room. | sincerelysweetpeablog.com

Dining Room Reveal | Bright, bold, and colorful small apartment dining room. | sincerelysweetpeablog.com



  1. August 21, 2017 / 3:02 am

    So pretty and fun! Love the gold and pink combo. I’d have dinner there any night, lol. Visiting from Makers Party.

    • kalynabrams
      August 22, 2017 / 12:42 am

      Oh my goodness, thank you so much Victoria for your sweet comments! I’m glad you like the pink and gold, it’s my favorite! Have a great week!

  2. August 22, 2017 / 11:42 pm

    I really love your pink and gold combo. Its all look modern but soft and feminine as well. It is a very very pretty room. Your attention to detail and how you thought out every single piece in here really shows in the final result. Beautifully done.

  3. kalynabrams
    August 23, 2017 / 2:38 pm

    Thank you so much for your sweet comments Leanna, they mean the world to me!

  4. August 23, 2017 / 5:56 pm

    What is not to love here? I am visiting via Wow Me Wednesday because I am looking for other bloggers that are linking up their design and decor ideas. Yours is perfect for me. I love all the color, that pink? I die. 😀 The shelving is perfectly styled and it is fresh yet timeless. So glad I stopped by.

    Pamela, Be Colorful Coastal

    • kalynabrams
      August 24, 2017 / 2:41 am

      Pamela, I’m so happy you found me! The pink happens to be one of my favorite parts too! And thank you for noticing my bookshelf, it took me a while to get them just right, but I really love how they look now! Thank you for such sweet comments!

  5. August 26, 2017 / 8:10 pm

    Wow! This is an incredible change to this room. I usually don’t care for pink, but you made this look classy and pretty. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Wow me Wednesday. Nancy Jeannette from la

    • kalynabrams
      September 10, 2017 / 10:27 pm

      Thank you so much Nancy! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. August 28, 2017 / 10:34 pm

    I am featuring this beautiful room at Totally Terrific Tuesday tomorrow. Great room reveal!

  7. September 2, 2017 / 1:09 pm

    The pink mirror really caught my eye. It is nice to see a pop of color to brighten up the space.

    • kalynabrams
      September 10, 2017 / 10:29 pm

      I’m so glad you like the pink mirror! I went back and forth on what color to paint it for a while, but I think I made the right choice. Thanks for stopping by Debra!

  8. September 9, 2017 / 3:28 am

    This is so pretty, Kalyn! You did a beautiful job, I’m especially glad that you went pink with the mirror. It totally makes the space!

    • kalynabrams
      September 10, 2017 / 10:36 pm

      Thank you so much Jennifer! I’m really happy that I decided to paint it pink too, it’s the perfect statement!

  9. Amy McConnell-Salmento
    September 9, 2017 / 3:41 pm

    I love your curtains.Where are they from?

    • kalynabrams
      September 10, 2017 / 10:33 pm

      Thank you so much! I actually made them myself. I found the fabric at Hobby Lobby back in the spring. It’s called Grace Floral White by Anna Griffin. I have looked and looked online, but I can’t find it anywhere to purchase.

  10. Nicki Lossing
    September 9, 2017 / 9:42 pm

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this room! Absolute perfection!! 🙂

    • kalynabrams
      September 10, 2017 / 10:34 pm

      Thank you so much Nicki! Your sweet comment means the world to me!

  11. Angela
    September 11, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    Love the room! How did you make the Chandelier! It’s beautiful!

    • kalynabrams
      September 12, 2017 / 4:25 am

      Thank you so much Angela! I will be doing a blog post on it very soon, but I just used a flower wire basket from Home Depot, wooden beads, jewelry making wire, and a pendant light kit from Hobby Lobby.

  12. September 26, 2017 / 6:17 pm

    love how light and bright it is in here, and i loved your tip follow ups after every item.

    • kalynabrams
      September 27, 2017 / 2:12 am

      Thank you so much!

  13. October 3, 2017 / 2:57 pm

    Love what you have accomplished here as it looks gorgeous. Can’t wait til you buy that home and see what you will do! I have a similar eating table purchased at a yard sale….has a butcher block top which is scratched and needs help. What did you use to paint the top assuming your table top was similar to mine? I really want to do something to this and your help/guidance would be awesome! Many thanks!!

    • kalynabrams
      October 3, 2017 / 3:55 pm

      Thanks you so much Julie! Our table had a butcher block top as well! I used Rust-Oleum’s Linen White chalk paint (I bought mine at Home Depot). I really like that paint because it leaves a smooth finish and covers well. To seal the top, I used Americana Decor Creme Wax (found at Michael’s). Just to be safe, I did two coats. My only complaint about using this wax, is you have to be super careful when applying because it seemed like little hairs kept getting caught in it, but I’m sure that’s the case with any wax. It has protected the tabletop really well though. We’ve spilled multiple things and were able to wipe it up with no stain left behind. I hope that helps! If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate! Thanks for stopping by!

      • October 3, 2017 / 8:39 pm

        Thanks for your prompt reply……….yes few more questions………… sounds like we have the same table though I could sit four across and two at the ends if need be. Anyway, what prep work needed to be done re the top? sand? or make sure the top is clean and apply the White Chalk paint? How long to dry? How many coats? How much did you buy? Then when applying the Americana Decor Creme Wax you said two coats – how long to dry before each coat? How much did you buy? If you had to do over, would you still have used these products? Is paint brush the best way to apply both products or go about another way? Currently my ladder back chairs were painted black (cane seats plain) and the table legs were painted black too. Kitchen is open room painted soft grey, oak cabinets (cannot change per hubby), black appliances, quartz countertop is white background with soft grey/black specks. Also no window treatments – kitchen looks out into woodsy backyard. All shared to give you some idea re next question and that is if I paint the table top white, should I do the legs too or leave the legs black as they are? Open to any suggestions/ideas. I also inquire about drying time because I would be doing this when hubby is not home(!) and need to get some idea how long this is going to take! tee hee

        • kalynabrams
          October 4, 2017 / 9:57 pm

          Julie, as far as prep work goes, I didn’t do much. I suggest using a microfiber cloth to dust it and make sure it’s totally clear of any little debris. The great thing about chalk paint is it adheres pretty well, so I didn’t sand the top. As far as drying time, I followed the directions that were provided on the package for both the chalk paint and wax. It’s been a while since I painted the table, but I think I gave the top two-three coats. I say, just use your best judgement. However, after each coat was dry enough, I did sand the tabletop with fine grit sandpaper (I used 3M Pro Grade Precision 220 Fine Grit that I got at Home Depot). I only bought one 30 oz can of Rust-Oleum Linen White and one 8 oz container of Creme Wax. If I did it over, I would use these same products, I’ve been really pleased with how they’ve held up so far. I used a paint brush to apply both products. For the chalk paint, I used a Wooster “Shortcut” 2 inch brush I bought at Home Depot and I used the big brush from a set of Martha Stewart paint brushes I bought at Michael’s. A good way to avoid cleaning your brush in between coats is to put them in a zip lock bag and then put them in the freezer. As far as what color to paint the table, could you email me a picture. I’d hate to suggest something without really seeing it and it not turn out great. Also, if you like I can email you a list of products so you know exactly what I’m talking about. For some reason, it won’t let me link things here. My email is kalynabrams@gmail.com. I hope this helps!

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