Ideas for Decorating a Small Dining Room Space

Botanical and audubon bird gallery wall ideas for a dining space.

Remember last week when I was posting about how I wasn’t digging the way the rug looked in the dining space for my $100 Room Makeover Challenge hosted by the lovely Lemons, Lavender & Laundry? Thanks to Marty’s comment (go look at her blog, she’s got a gorgeous home!), I completely rotated the layout/rug and boy did it make a difference.

Arranging a functional layout in a small dining space. Love the round table, black ceiling and botanical vibe.

Why I hadn’t thought of that before, I don’t know, but it shows the power of creating a functional layout in a small space. Now the chairs don’t feel like they’re infiltrating the kitchen walkway area, and the space under the large audubon art print (now gallery wall, more on that in a bit) doesn’t look empty. I was searching for a console table to go in that space but couldn’t find anything to fit the budget constraints, and now I don’t have to. Overall, it simply feels bigger, yet more inviting and cozy, if that makes sense?

The other unexpected perk of rotating the whole set-up 90 degrees is that now I gained more real estate in front of the windows. I added a mirror I had on hand to the wall by the patio door, and I still have my agate side table in here as a plant stand…I think it’s too short to be a proper plant stand. I also shopped my house and brought over the gold and black butler stand I had in the guest room. 

Mirror and plants in a light and airy dining room or breakfast nook space.

The butler stand/tray will likely stay since it’ll look great styled with some dinner/barware, and it’ll really pop once the curtains get put back up. They came in yesterday, so I’ll steam them over the weekend. 

I love the large bird print that serves as the inspiration for the whole space, but it looked rather meh up there on its own. I printed some of my fave free audubon prints and framed them as you saw last week, but I bought a fourth frame so I could have two flanking each side of the larger print. I’m loving the way it looks now that it’s a gallery wall with lots of contrast.

A chandelier frames the view of an audubon bird and botanical gallery wall in a dining room space.

And on the table, I splurged on some nice faux wisteria floral stems from Michael’s Spring Market to put into my most favorite ginger jar. I say splurge because these were $20 total, BUT I would definitely have spent more on real florals that would have died within a week (or less, given my track record).

Gorgeous faux wisteria bushes in a ginger jar chinoiserie vase on a dining table.

In addition to my faux florals, I also did buy an actual “low maintenance” indoor plant from Lowe’s for my gold planter. Then I found out my gold planter doesn’t have a drainage hole, so I’m stumped on what to do to NOT kill this plant. 

My husband suggested we drill a hole in the brass pot (nope!), I’ve also seen suggestions to plant it in a plastic pot with drainage and stick that in the brass planter (easy enough?), and I’ve seen tutorials that state to use pebbles on the bottom with some activated charcoal stuff…and that all sounds like more money I don’t want to spend on this darn plant. I’ll likely go the plastic planter route and hit up Dollar Tree this weekend. 

See, this is why I buy nice faux florals, y’all! #plantproblems

Ok, let’s see, what else did I accomplish for this space? Oh, I found this pillow shoved in a closet that I completely forgot I had, and it suits the space fabulously. I think I need one more pillow to really zhush up the bench, and this black and white throw pillow is calling my name. It’s stunning in person!

Black bench with a palm leaf pillow and botanical and audubon gallery wall in a dining room space.

By next week’s update I should have the curtains up, (hopefully) figured out the plant situation, and found some other accessories for styling leading up to the big reveal the week after. Time is flying by! 

Here’s how much I’ve spent to date:

  • $20 on indoor plant and potting soil from Lowe’s (is it weird to return a plant…it’s weird, isn’t it?)
  • $10 on additional picture frame from Big Lots
  • $30 on faux florals from Michael’s (two wisteria bushes and some fern type stems)

I hope you’re enjoying seeing my dining space transform (and my office space, too!) 

Brass and crystal table lamp and chinoiserie vase with roses and succulents make for a feminine office space that is glam and chic.

I admit I’ll be sad when both of these makeover challenges are up this month, but I’ll move on to other spaces. If you’d like to follow along my decorating adventures, you can subscribe to my blog via the form on the bottom of this post or in the sidebar.

Decor Sources (Affiliate Links Used Below):

Eclectic audubon and botanical dining room space makeover for $100.

Curtain Panel || Rug || Fabric || Gold Planter Stand || Botanical Throw Pillow (Similar)

Ginger Jar || Chinoiserie Dinner Plate 

Free Audubon Printables || Picture Frames (Similar) || Dining Table (Similar)

See the Other $100 Room Makeover Updates This Week:

An InLinkz Link-up



  1. Melissa Clifton
    January 17, 2018 / 2:18 pm

    Wow! I am loving this room – the black and gold mixed with the gorgeous chandelier!! I feel you on the real plants too! I stick with faux because I'll kill everything else!

    • Monica Benavidez
      January 17, 2018 / 4:30 pm

      I'm so glad I'm not the only one who goes the faux plants route. I thought everyone had real plants and I was the weirdo killing plants left and right.

  2. Patti Estep
    January 17, 2018 / 2:22 pm

    Love those Auduban prints and the faux flowers are gorgeous! Your room is so light and bright. I would love to spend tons of time there.

    • Monica Benavidez
      January 17, 2018 / 4:31 pm

      Thanks, Patti! It was a space I avoided and now I look forward to eating there more than I do eating at the kitchen island.

  3. [email protected] Stroll Thru Life
    January 17, 2018 / 2:30 pm

    Oh I am so thrilled with how the rug looks. It is perfect for this area. Love that you brought in the tray table too, it is also perfect. I have returned plants to lowes before and it is fine. Take it back and get a great faux and call it good. They have some really fabulous faux ferns at Hobby Lobby that would look amazing. So splurge on faux and call it a day. Thanks for the shout out, I really appreciate it.

    • Monica Benavidez
      January 17, 2018 / 4:33 pm

      Your suggestion is what made this space come alive, Marty! Can't thank you enough. I'm definitely going to return the plant this week then and put that $20 towards a nice faux plant. 🙂

  4. Emy Flint
    January 17, 2018 / 4:10 pm

    Your dining room is looking lovely! I have a few plants potted without drainage holes. You can also add packing peanuts if you have those lying around. I've used pebbles from my garden as well. Or if you have random bags of those glass marbles that seem to appear out of nowhere. Maybe that's just my house…

    • Monica Benavidez
      January 17, 2018 / 5:17 pm

      I have so many packing peanuts from our move a few months ago- I'll try that. Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  5. Dee in BC
    January 17, 2018 / 5:47 pm

    That is a gorgeous brass planter! When I worked doing interior plant design and maintenance – yes, there really are people who pay to have someone install and maintain their houseplants! – we regularly used beautiful and unusual containers. Just line your decorative pot with a saucer or shallow bowl (something to keep water from coming in direct contact with the brass pot- that would cause rust if your pot isn't 100% brass and will cause discoloration even if it is. Add a layer of pebbles or small rocks – aquarium pebbles work, so do those bags of small polished rocks from the dollar store – the good news is these can also be spread to cover any visible surface soil under the plant, too . I've had friends use plastic buttons and tiny Lego bits. Anything that won't rot to keep the bottom of the plastic pot your plant is living in from staying in direct contact with any standing water – that will rot the plant's roots and guarantee it's ☠ death. The plant in the plastic hanging containers is a pothos. A great, easy to grow choice. It will thrive in most homes short of scorching direct sun or absolute gloom. Don't worry. You don't have a black thumb. You just need to meet the right plants for your home. .

    • Monica Benavidez
      January 25, 2018 / 1:53 pm

      This information is so helpful, thank you! I did end up finding a small planter that works perfectly with the brass pot, so let's hope I don't kill the plant!

  6. The Home I Create
    January 17, 2018 / 7:06 pm

    Monica your dining room looks so beautiful already, I can't wait to see the reveal! Also I love love that lamp in the last photo!

  7. molly | awfully big adventure blog
    January 17, 2018 / 7:59 pm

    Sooo pretty, Monica! Love that the little change of rearranging the space made such a big difference! Unrelated to the room, but I have to mention that your photography is beautiful!

  8. Nicki Parrish
    January 18, 2018 / 2:58 am

    It's coming along splendidly! Love it so far.

  9. Wendy Duffy
    January 18, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    The wisteria you got at michaels is beautiful! This space is so pretty and the table in front of the window is PERFECT! I love all the natural light you get too. Great space.

  10. Lemons, Lavender, & Laundry
    January 18, 2018 / 7:32 pm

    Who knew a 90 degree turn would make such a difference?! I am absolutely LOVING this space!!! P.S. I also kill everything and only have fake plants in my house. I would TOTALLY return a plant, even if everyone stared at me like I was insane 🙂

  11. The Honeycomb Home
    January 18, 2018 / 9:08 pm

    Monica, this is such a beautiful space already!!

  12. Meredith Wouters
    January 19, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    Oh my goodness it's looking great! So glad you were able to work out the rug dilemma!

  13. Maria - House by the Preserve
    January 23, 2018 / 4:05 pm

    WOW! The room is looking amazing! LOVE the color combination!

  14. angelaxx06
    January 25, 2018 / 7:05 am

    monica that smalll black bench seat is killing me. ifeel llike coming and taking it like the guy in that commercial have to have it. just kiddding but it is exactly my taste. i love the botanical rint to i saw that your husband bought it for you did you tell him wha to get or did he pick it. its good either way. anyway it lookks amazing of course i do not doubt your talent. you always deliver spectaculer designs. how are your knees? i am having issues with my feet so i think about your stuggle often. hope you are getting relief.thxangela

    • Monica Benavidez
      January 25, 2018 / 1:57 pm

      Hi Angela! 🙂 My husband picked it after he saw me oohing and aahing over it in store. He happened to stop by HomeGoods without me and saw it was half off and snatched it up for me!If you love my bench, you may want to have a look at this one from Target. With a nice bench seat cushion it could be perfection! It's so affordable, too. finally got an injection in my knee, so I am MUCH better, but I had an allergic reaction to the shot. I think I'm finally getting over that part and can enjoy being pain free for 6-12 weeks. I hope you get your feet taken care of- you have to use them everyday! I know how much chronic pain sucks- I'll be keeping you in mind and hoping you find relief soon. Hugs, Angela!