Office & Dining Room Reveal {DIY Home Makeover}


This office & dining room is about as done as it can possibly get. Sure, I could stuff more accessories into it, and I could put more stuff on the walls.

BUT, for now, it’s reached the point where it is done.

Let’s take a look down memory lane and start back at February 2011 when my husband and I first started working on this beast of a room. The dimensions are roughly 15×30, and it’s kind of divided into 2 rooms/areas.

This is what it looked like with the previous owners stuff still in here.

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Then we moved in October 2010, and I basically just put my crap in the cabinets and lived with that dark, dark, DARK hot mess until February 2011.


We took down the cabinets, and removed the wood paneling.



Lived in total chaos for a bit.


Drilled holes in all the cabinets for shiny chrome hardware using this template.

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Tried this terrible kit, stripped all that paint off and just painted them the old fashioned way.





Then we stripped off the accent wallpaper. WHY??? Why do people use ugly wallpaper?


Painted the walls. As you can see, we planned on installing crown and chair rail, which explains the haphazard paint job.

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I went nuts and painted the accent wall urbane bronze. Hated it. Changed it.


Changed the paint color from urbanze bronze to morning fog, and we installed new countertops we bought on clearance.


Installed crown and chair rail.

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Plus, we got rid of the fugly floors and installed wide plank, hand scraped, dark cherry laminate flooring.


Got rid of ugly fixtures.



It took us 16 months, about $3000 in materials (flooring, countertops, chandeliers, moulding, compound miter saw, jigsaw, nail gun, paint, accessories, hardware, sofa, curtains, etc.)

I’ll do a source list at the end of the post, but for now enjoy LOTS of pictures.

Won’t you come into my fabulous office and dining room?







I put these vases here because the under cabinet lighting is on top of each vase, so when it’s dark, the vase bounces off all these pretty designs on the walls/counters.





For the story about this chair, check out this post.



Pee Wee has a corner all to himself in here. 🙂


That map is a $4 thrift store find, and the Paris print is from Walmart and was $9.88.










I framed Restoration Hardware ads in $1 store frames for my “art”. That’s as close as it’s gonna get for me to have that very expensive chandelier in my home.


A LED tealight is used in both sconces. Ya know, to prevent a house fire.








Behind the chandelier print is a AV box thingy, which means eventually there will be a TV there. 😀


My overall goal was to have a neutral, metallic glam, relaxing kind of room. Sort of like if ZGallerie and Pottery Barn were to have a one night stand and have a baby… I did incorporate pops of blue, but should I take those out and do pops of pink or teal, it’d all work. I feel I’ve created a lovely, neutral room that I can change at any whim with colorful accessories and it’d still look wonderful.

Plus it has to function as a dining room and office, and it does both beautifully. I love that the sofa area provides extra seating for dinner parties.

I love it.


Now, I got most, if not all of the accessories on sale/clearance, so some may not be available anymore. If I did find it, it is linked in the source list below.

I know $3000 seems like a lot of money, but the bulk of that was the flooring ($600) and the Chloe sofa ($1000 delivered/with tax), and we had to buy some expensive tools ($250 compound miter saw) to get the job done, so if you take those out of the equation, it’s more like a $1300 makeover.

We did all the work ourselves, except that my BFF’s hubby helped with installing the 2nd chandelier since we didn’t have a light source there previously and he helped a ton with the crown moulding. The chandeliers have blue bulbs in them, and I know it seems odd, but they are actually Reveal bulbs which give off bright white light rather than the harsh yellow light that some chandelier bulbs give.

This is a room I am always proud to show off when folks come over, and I love lounging around watching episodes of Big Love on my tufted couch. And I get to write on these pages to all of you in style.

It is so me.

In. Love.

Other things I am planning on doing include adding more photos/art to the bare walls in the dining area, applying a stencil pattern to my gray accent wall, and adding those moulding rectangles below the chair rail. Oh and adding that TV, for sure.

Source List: Paint color (main walls): Sahara Desert Sand by Glidden at Walmart

Paint color (accent wall): Morning Fog by Sherwin Williams

Cabinet color: Bright white in SPRED paint by Glidden, primed using Kilz oil based primer

Trim Color: High gloss bright white paint by Glidden at Walmart

Flooring: Krono-Swiss handscraped laminate flooring in dark cherry.

Sofa, Chloe sofa from Macy’s; floor lamp, Marshall’s; Rug, Overstock; Bench, Marshall’s; Ghost Chair, Overstock; Chandelier Art Print above desk, Ross; Curtains, World Market; Plates, JCPenney; Chargers, Walmart, Table linens, Target; Mirrors, Kirkland’s; Sconces, Ross; Blue Pillows, West Elm; Gold Pillow, Cushion Source; Beige Pillow, Target; Peacock Pillow, Marshall’s; Hardware, eBay; Picture Frames, Dollar Tree; Wedding Photo Frame, Target; Mercury Glass Vase, Marshall’s; Quatrefoil tray, Target; Squirrel, Walgreens; Chandeliers, Home Depot; Countertops, McCoy’s, but they also carry them at Lowe’s; Under cabinet lighting, Lowe’s.

Feel free to leave me any questions, etc. in the comments section!



  1. Amy
    June 19, 2012 / 2:22 pm

    WOW! That room turned out AMAZING…what a transformation!

  2. Kristen Jancuk
    June 19, 2012 / 2:34 pm

    i looks AMAZING! very inspiring–we move into our new home Thursday, and i love seeing makeovers like this, i hope we can do as well!

  3. Bella Mia Bows & Things
    June 19, 2012 / 2:35 pm

    i love it monica! looks so awesome! candice olson would be very proud =) -Ro xoxoxo

  4. Our Pinteresting Family
    June 19, 2012 / 3:01 pm

    What a beautiful space you have created! Those cabinets are beautiful!!!! Enjoy! Megan

  5. Melisa - Mommy This & That
    June 19, 2012 / 4:03 pm

    What, that is such a wonderful transformation!! Love it! I wish I had an eye for things like this but I really don't…want to come to my home next?? =)

  6. Andrea
    June 19, 2012 / 5:23 pm

    Wow! It looks so great! I think you accomplished your goal, it's beautiful. Your sofa is gorgeous!

  7. Naomi
    June 19, 2012 / 6:33 pm

    Love it! You did an awesome job!

  8. Anonymous
    June 19, 2012 / 6:41 pm

    "Sort of like if ZGallerie and Pottery Barn were to have a one night stand and have a baby" <—- LOVE.Doll, this room is soooo you! Love, love, love! Felicidades!

  9. Brittany
    June 19, 2012 / 7:10 pm

    STUNNING!! You have created such an gorgeous and functional space. I love the bench seating at the table. Looooooooooove

  10. steve2da_izzO
    June 19, 2012 / 7:47 pm

    Awesome Monica, looks great. Brilliant creativity.

  11. Kassi @ Truly Lovely
    June 19, 2012 / 11:22 pm

    It IS YOU! It screams Monica! 🙂 Just beautiful girl! So very chic and just a little bit Candace Olson I might add…. 😉

  12. Morena Hockley
    June 20, 2012 / 1:22 am

    I love it, too! Wow, great job!Morena.

  13. Misha
    June 20, 2012 / 1:33 pm

    Holy cow I LOVE it! I've been wondering about the Cabinet Transformations- it works well?

  14. Susan
    June 20, 2012 / 11:25 pm

    Wow, it turned out great!! Love it all!! If you don't mind me asking, why was the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kit not good? We're about to remodel our kitchen and I was thinking of using it for our cabinets. Thanks!

  15. Susan
    June 20, 2012 / 11:33 pm

    I just read on the link why you didn't like the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kit…. maybe I need to reconsider. Thanks!!

  16. Cathy Tucker
    June 27, 2012 / 3:18 am

    "I want that" amazing! Love love love

  17. MiRM
    June 27, 2012 / 7:26 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous! What a beautiful room. How do you ever leave?

  18. Brie Holtrop
    June 29, 2012 / 2:00 pm

    WOW! This is beautiful. I really enjoyed looking through all your pictures. Love how much it has changed!! I like the white kitchen cabinets…hmmm, maybe I'll try that 🙂 Brie @ Breezy Pink Daisies

  19. Sarah
    July 1, 2012 / 10:54 pm

    Oh my gosh… O.O You are literally living in my dream house. This looks like a room someone put together for a magazine ad! I can't believe you live there! 😀

  20. kristin
    July 2, 2012 / 7:02 pm

    I found you on pinterest! Absolutely gorgeous!! Love the transformation!

  21. e.louise {Liz}
    July 2, 2012 / 7:07 pm

    I love that you have three separate areas with different functionality, but still work great together! I'm so glad you love your space 🙂

  22. Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
    July 10, 2012 / 1:47 pm

    First time here!Your hard work was worth it, the space looks phenomenal! I'm so jealous of how tidy your office is and how chic and inviting it is. Looks great!

  23. marty (A Stroll Thru Life)
    July 10, 2012 / 2:30 pm

    Unreal transformation. I love it. Hugs, Marty

  24. Carolyn
    July 11, 2012 / 9:01 pm

    Absolutely lovely.

  25. USMC Farm Girl
    July 16, 2012 / 11:53 pm

    GORGEOUS!! I always have such lovely plans in my head for our rooms, but they never turn out like I envision. Yours truly did and you should be so proud. Congrats on a job well done!

  26. Topshelf
    July 24, 2012 / 2:53 am

    Great job!! How do you find the time?? I love this space!

  27. Amy Head
    August 9, 2012 / 10:43 pm

    Hi monica! I love your blog & this room is amazing looking! I used one of your other tutorials for refinishing my two bathroom cabinets – it looks awesome! Can you tell me how you ended up re-doing the white cabinets? I see you used bright white in SPRED paint by Glidden and the Kilz oil based primer. What did you use to strip the cabinets? Did you strip, sand, prime, paint (how many coats?) and then put on a top coat? What kind of top coat? Thanks!

  28. Amy Head
    August 9, 2012 / 10:54 pm

    By the way, I am asking about the stripping because someone painted ours white, but did a terrible job of it, so I will have to take it off first. You can email me at [email protected]. Thanks!

  29. Stephanie
    August 15, 2012 / 2:47 pm

    that is an amazing room transformation – you totally need to submit this to Better After blog! Great style! LOVE IT! you really had a vision for this space and it's awesome!

  30. Stacy Bragaw
    August 16, 2012 / 3:50 pm

    Beautiful room! You did a great job!

  31. Marsha Benoit Connell
    September 2, 2012 / 1:24 pm


  32. Shelly
    September 5, 2012 / 4:01 am

    LOVE the Blue bench, Blue accents, the mirrors, the floors! Come do my house please!!

  33. catt
    September 28, 2012 / 6:14 pm

    absolutely beautiful! You're such an inspiration. every time I get ready to start a new room project, I check out your blog. awesome!

  34. catt
    September 28, 2012 / 6:15 pm

    absolutely beautiful! You're such an inspiration. every time I get ready to start a new room project, I check out your blog. awesome!

  35. MoneySavingMamma
    October 1, 2012 / 12:21 am

    This room is stunning! I love how you made it neutral enough where you can change your accent colors out on a whim. I am totally inspired by your creation; it's just what I was looking for to kind of nudge me in the direction of how I wanted to do our living room…eventually =) Great job!

    • Monica @
      October 17, 2012 / 1:26 am

      Thank you! 🙂

  36. DD
    October 15, 2012 / 3:57 pm

    What are you planning to do with your kitchen cabinets? Are you going to paint them or stain them espresso like you did with your bathroom cabinets? I've been doing tons of research for the last few weeks, debating on whether to paint them the old fashion way, use the Rustoleum kit, or stain them. I know you've had experience with all three methods..which one would you choose for your kitchen cabinets? I've NEVER painted or stained anything in my life so super new to this…I need a super easy system that's hard to mess up. :)Thank you, Monica!

    • Monica @
      October 17, 2012 / 1:26 am

      Hi DD! I'm totally on board for staining them espresso like my bathroom vanity. While I adore my office cabinets, I'd never paint cabinets in that fashion ever again. For someone who is new to DIY, go with the stain method. It is absolutely fool proof. 🙂 Hope that helps!

  37. Steph M
    November 8, 2012 / 12:06 pm

    This transformation is so amazing! I am truly impressed and inspired 🙂

  38. Tricia
    November 12, 2012 / 6:22 am

    I'm so impressed with the professional looking results you get on your projects. Your attention to detail is great. Thanks, too, for showing some of the "wrong turns" in your process…faint-hearted DIY folk like me need to see that to have courage. Great blog!

  39. Mom in training
    December 1, 2012 / 10:26 pm

    This looks exactly like our 1970s house front room. Thanks for the inspiration I might have to copy some of your ideas! Love the colors

  40. Tiffaney
    December 29, 2012 / 10:28 pm

    Wow. This room is beautiful! My husband are debating buying a brand new home or purchasing an older home. This makeover definitely makes me want to do it ourself.

  41. mow180
    January 13, 2013 / 9:19 pm

    I love your colour choices. Thanks for sharing the actual brands.

  42. Rhonda D. Designs
    January 13, 2013 / 11:32 pm

    I am amazed!! It is absolutely gorgeous! You have a great eye for colors and use of space. Great job!

  43. Sam
    January 26, 2013 / 5:52 pm

    You did a wonderful job! I'm currenty transforming our dining room into a dining room-slash-office, so this was a great post for me to read! I'm your newest follower 🙂 Great blog & tutorials.

  44. Mama Fish
    March 16, 2013 / 2:44 am

    Oh my word! Ah-mazing!! Seriously great job!

  45. Katy
    July 7, 2013 / 5:09 am

    Hi there,Your room transformation looks amazing! I do have a question about your crown molding. I noticed you put them up on popcorn ceilings, did you have any trouble doing that because the ceiling was not smooth or not? We have popcorn ceilings and I want to put up crown molding but I am not sure if it would look okay or if I should get the ceilings scraped.

  46. Creative Designs by Della
    July 7, 2013 / 7:01 pm

    This is an awesome transformation. Your blog is so well written with clear information and is so entertaining to read.

  47. Meghan Marks
    July 17, 2013 / 6:09 pm

    I love your home transformation, if I did anything more to that room it would be: cream seat covers, paint the wooden door in the hallway white, add a green plant to the left corner of the desk, use small silver buckets for office supplies, and use white bird instead of the squirrel or spray paint the squirrel white. You put together an amazing room =)

  48. Cyndy Toupin
    October 12, 2013 / 6:11 pm

    I am curious about the process on getting the cabinets from the oak to the white. Did you have to do similar steps as you did going from oak to espresso (sanding, cleaning, multiple coats) and did you finish with a poly? Thanks!!

  49. Samion Eric
    October 19, 2013 / 7:20 am


  50. Alina John
    October 21, 2013 / 11:36 am

    This is truly awesome and inspiring your lounge and dining is very attractive. Keep continuing good work!!sterling painters

  51. Andrea @ Decorating Cents
    October 23, 2013 / 1:47 pm

    Doesn't even look like the same space! I can tell lots of hard work went into the transformation. Love that sofa too.

    • Monica @
      October 23, 2013 / 6:54 pm

      Thanks Andrea! 🙂