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How a Designer Revived a Drab Dining Room with Pops of Color

Makeover of the Week - Dina Holland Dining Room Before and After

Design: Dina Holland, Photo: Jessica Delaney

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.

"This growing family had been looking for a larger home and came across this 90’s colonial in a wonderful family-friendly neighborhood in Massachusetts," says designer Dina Holland. “But the space was poorly thought out and the decor was staid and dated—including sponge paint in the formal rooms! We immediately got to work on making the dining room more vibrant."

Meet the Expert

Dina Holland is a Boston-based interior designer recognized for her spirited use of pattern and color, silhouettes and symmetry. 


Makeover of the Week - Dina Holland Dining Room Before

Courtesy of Dina Holland

"Everything in this room went away—all that remained were the original windows and wainscoting," says interior designer Dina Holland. "The dusty colors and dated patterns in the wallpaper, curtains, and rug aged the house and were not in keeping with the young vibe the homeowners hoped to achieve." 


Makeover of the Week - Dina Holland Dining Room Makeover After with Green and Blue Accents

Design: Dina Holland, Photo: Jessica Delaney

"At its core, I wanted to keep the same idea for the dining room—wallpaper above the wainscoting, a luxuriously dressed window, and traditional furniture," notes Holland. "So this was really about updating the look to be more cohesive with the color story we were establishing elsewhere in the house, including the nearby living room with its navy paint and bright Kelly green accents. The design for the dining room began to flow when I found a wallpaper that incorporated similar colors."

What Changed:

  • Color theme: A mix of blues, greens, and neutrals give this room a fresh energy.
  • Table: Using the two extending leaves enabled the oval-shaped table to fill the room. 
  • Chairs: Vintage cane-backed chairs were reupholstered in an eye-popping blue fabric. 
  • Host chairs: The textured blue and green side stripes on the end chairs add an unexpected punch of color and pattern. 
  • Rug: The medallion-filled blue wool rug creates the base for all the blues in the room. 
  • Chandelier: The brass-caged lantern pendant with its three candelabra lights gives off a traditional yet modern feel. 
  • Wallpaper: A super bold blue and green floral wallpaper brings a colorful energy to the space.
  • Paneling: Crisp white wainscoting provides a balance against the lively wallpaper.
  • Curtains: Blue-trimmed white linen drapes are suspended on a brass rod and frame the bay window. 
  • Plant: A hand-painted blue and white porcelain planter with overflowing ferns complements the other hues in the room. 
  • Sideboard: A light wood buffet provides the perfect spot for this trio of white obelisks. 
  • Lamps: Two cylinder-shaped bamboo-inspired blue lamps add light and symmetry to the sideboard. 
  • Mirror: An octagon-shaped gold mirror complements the brass and gold tones in the room. 
  • Accessories: White ceramic vases in various shapes and sizes are displayed across the dining table.  
  • Floor: The oak floors were stained in rich walnut for a fresh feel.

Shop the Look:

Makeover of the Week - Dina Holland Dining Room Makeover Vignette of Buffet Table

Design: Dina Holland, Photo: Jessica Delaney

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