Give your dining room a springtime update

A sisal rug will lighten up the space and give your dining room a touch of nature.
Living Space

Aside from holidays throughout the year, your dining room may not get much attention any other time. That’s when it can feel stale and dated. Giving your dining room some fresh style updates doesn’t mean a major investment. Instead, try some quick style shifts that can make your dining look more inviting and feel refreshed this spring.

Cut a rug

Quick and inexpensive, rugs are one way to enliven your dining room. Take out heavy wool carpets and switch to sisal. At springtime holidays, sisal will lighten up the space and give your dining room a touch of nature. Or, try a rug in a light color to lift and brighten the room.

Musical chairs


Another fast and easy change is with fabric. Swap out heavy patterns and upholstery with new chair pads in a light fabric or in a bright, cheerful pattern, like chintz.

Chair pads make a wonderful and quick change and can be easily removed later for fall and winter gatherings when richer, warmer colors or fabrics are called for. If chair pads aren’t an option, check your chairs to see if the seat cushions can be popped out. With a pair of scissors and a staple gun, you can re-cover your chair seats and reclaim some much-needed style. Pair with a lightened set of drapes, and your dining room goes from dull to delightful in an afternoon.

Speaking of drapes ...

Look at giving your drapes a style once-over too. Remove heavy valances and just leave panels. Today’s window look is decidedly less fussy, so simple clean lines on your windows will look and feel updated and current. You can also try taking down the panels and adding a valance with clean lines and a leave the windows open. Sometimes, it’s your drapery hardware that needs updating. If your rods are heavy or the style is tired, take them down and give them a coat of spray paint. Or, switch them out with simple rods and rings.

Mix and match textures

Balance your dining room with hard and soft textures. With a wooden table, chairs, buffet or china cabinet, the room may feel too hard and look too wooden. Soften up the look with upholstered chairs. Another trick to make heavy wood feel lighter is using linen or light-colored chair covers. This will really lift the room. You can also replace end chairs with upholstered chairs that have arms.

In dining rooms, chairs can often feel too matchy-matchy. For budgets that have more flexibility, adding a new set of dining chairs can inject a new look and feel to your living room.

Another option is to go soft with table linens. Give the whole room a dose of elegant softness with a floor-length table cloth. If you can’t find one that fits your table, use an inexpensive floor length catering table cloth and then add a coordinated, more elegant topper in an expensive fabric. The two cloths will soften up the room and add an unexpected dimension to your table.

(For more information, contact Kathryn Weber through her website,