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How One Design Firm Took a Dining Room From Dated to Timeless

Makeover of the Week - K + K Interiors Updated Traditional Dining Room

Design: K + K Interior Design, Photo: Raquel Langworthy

If there’s something we never get tired of seeing, it’s a great makeover. Whether it’s transforming a retro bathroom into a modern oasis or giving a lackluster bedroom a fresh look, pros perform these design miracles all the time.

To give designers a chance to showcase their favorite makeovers—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the best before and afters we’ve seen in our series, Makeover of the Week. Take notes for your next renovation.

"Our clients were a young family who had just moved to the suburbs from New York City," says designer Kristina Phillips of K + K Interior Design. "The previous owners used the formal dining room as a family room and a more casual eating space, as the home did not have an eat-in kitchen. The new homeowners wanted to create a formal dining room to host their large extended families, but one that would also serve as an everyday eating space for their immediate family. Their style leaned more traditional, but they wanted the room to have an up-to-date fresh feel.”

Meet the Expert

Kristina Phillips and Kerri Pilchik are the owners of K+K Interior Design, a Ridgewood, New Jersey, design firm known for their skillful and balanced use of color and pattern, bespoke details, and mix of modern and classic elements.


Makeover of the Week - K + K Interiors Before Photo
Courtesy of K + K Interior Design

"This room had to marry the formal and casual, as it’s located off a somewhat grand foyer and the kitchen," designer Kerri Pilchik notes. "A past owner had removed the wall between the kitchen and dining room, leaving our clients with a disproportionately smaller kitchen and a large dining space. The overall look of the room prior to renovation was dated and tired—beyond the décor updates, the floors needed staining and the walls and millwork cried for a fresh coat of paint.”


Makeover of the Week - K + K Interiors Traditional Dining Room
Design: K + K Interior Design, Photo: Raquel Langworthy

"The finished room is elegant, but not too fussy," Phillips says. "We sourced a dining table that was as large as the space could handle while creating design interest by applying a linen Frette pattern to the backs of the dining chairs. The wide stripes and bolster pillows on the settees create the feel of salon sofas, while floor length drapery is matched with hardware that had no need for fancy finials. The lantern light fixture and jute carpet add casual elements to the space.”

What Changed: 

  • Color theme: Light blues and dark navy, ivory and gray, along with the natural textures of sisal and wood, create a warm and inviting space.
  • Curtains: A blue and white floral pattern contains tiny hints of citrine yellow and gray, while brass finished French rods are the solution to an unusually shaped window. 
  • Dining table: A reclaimed wood farm table seats eight and is the perfect mix of traditional and casual.  
  • Dining chairs: The seats of the oval-shaped chairs were upholstered in a rugged navy faux leather.
  • Floors: The wood floors were stained in a Jacobean and walnut hue to better highlight the beautiful inlaid woodwork.
  • Rug: The durable natural jute and white wool rug has playful stripes and cleans up easily.
  • Light fixture: The burnished silver lantern adds a touch of glamour, while emitting a warm glow.
  • Corner chairs: The custom corner settees are upholstered in a performance velvet for easy cleaning and provide a comfy spot for relaxing. 
  • Wall art: The splatter art is a playful nod to a food fight, a modern touch in a traditional space.
  • Wall paint: The walls were coated in a subtle gray shade to play on the other gray accents throughout the room.
  • Trim: The baseboard molding, wainscoting, fluted trim, radiator covers, and window trim were all painted a crisp, bright white. 
  • Table accessories: The table was set with straw placemats, glazed dinner plates, chinoiserie salad plates, vintage bamboo flatware, fresh flowers and candles.
Makeover of the Week - K + K Interiors Traditional Dining Room After
Design: K + K Interior Design, Photo: Raquel Langworthy