Before and After: A Major Dining Room Makeover by Nate Berkus

Julia Millay Walsh

After sharing a peek of their Kansas City kitchen that needed major design help, Tim and Lauren Oliphant, the lucky winners of an LG Studio contest, were hand-selected by celeb interior designer Nate Berkus to receive a designer kitchen makeover. But after taking a look around, Berkus decided he couldn't stop at the kitchen; he wanted to create an adjacent dining room, too. "The minute I saw this space, which was just off the kitchen and being used as the children’s playroom, I knew immediately that the wall had to come down," he says. While the primary goal for the makeover was a complete floor-to-ceiling overhaul of the kitchen, including new features and top-of-the-line stainless steel LG Studio appliances, "it just made sense for us to then create a dining room where they could serve those great meals that Lauren and Tim love to prepare," Berkus says.

The challenge was to create an aesthetic that suited both Tim and Lauren's styles—and the needs of their family. "Lauren wanted a beachy Hamptons feel, while Tim wanted a sleeker look, so we brought in black chairs as a nod to that," Berkus says. Contributing to the traditional look was an architectural grate from the 19th century that Berkus found in a local Kansas City store. "We placed it over the mirror, and it instantly transformed the room," he says.

When it comes to decorating any dining room, Berkus shares some sage advice: "A dining room should always feel inviting," he says. "It's where you come together as a family, where you celebrate holidays and milestones. You want it to feel important, but also casual and functional." To that end, he recommends black-and-white photography, vintage pieces with patina, and a mirror for a touch of glamour. Whatever you choose, "never decorate with anything you don't absolutely love."

Watch the video above to see the total transformation!

Does your dining room need a makeover? What style are you wishing for?

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