Before and After: Rustic Modern Scandinavian Dining Room

Update: 9/21/16 If you are visiting from Apartment Therapy, welcome to my blog!  I’m so honored that our dining room was featured. Be sure to sign up for updates and like us on Facebook as I will be posting many more Before & Afters of the Farmhaus in the weeks to come.  You can also check out past renos here.

If you follow me on instagram you know that my family and I have been on vacation for the last few weeks. But we’re back now and ready to get into the swing of things. To get things up and running again, I thought I’d start with a Before and After of the dining room at the Farmhaus. Remember what it looked like before?  Just in case, here’s a reminder:

FARMHAUS BEFORE - Dining Room copy

Technically this was the simplest room. We changed the floors, expanded the opening to the deck to bring in more natural light, added dimension to the walls with a shiplap look, upgraded the lighting and painted everything white. Aside for the upgraded electrical, we handled all the other work ourselves, so we are extra proud that it now looks like this:

Rustic Modern Scandinavian Dining Room 01

When I envisioned it, I was going for a rustic modern scandinavian look.  For me that means a light, neutral color palette, clean lines and natural wood tones.  From the progress posts, you know that we chose a white oak look laminate floor.  While we would have loved to put in real wood floors, we couldn’t justify the cost within the limited budget.

Selecting the furnishings for the space actually all started with the huge abstract painting you see on the wall.  One of my very best Vintage Finds.

Rustic Modern Scandinavian Dining Room 11

I found the painting at a local thrift store for a mere $59. It’s gorgeous, huge and signed by the artist.  It has presence, and yet is very soothing.  For months I’ve been moving it around the Farmhaus waiting for it to assume its rightful position on the wall.  Hopefully its presence is sufficient to draw attention away from the in-wall heater.  Again, we would have loved to install central heating, but couldn’t justify spending the money, especially as this in-wall unit a) works, and b)kicks off a very decent amount of heat. I spray painted the heater white and called it a day.

This is what that same wall looked like before:


Months later, at the same thrift store I scored the dining table for $60.  I was immediately drawn to it because of it simple lines and chunky legs. It had a small ding, but as I looked under the table I discovered it’s actually from West Elm.  What?  The brand new version costs $900. So, I knew I had to snap it up even ifI knew it was a little on the small side for the scale of the room. Here you can see it in the room during construction.


Hubby and I discussed various ideas for extending the table, but none of them were quite right.  Until one day, I suggested we simply nail on some left over wood planks we had salvaged from the closets we had demoed. Such a simple elegant solution.  Plus the wood was free.  Can’t beat that!

Rustic Modern Scandinavian Dining Room 12

He carefully selected the planks and ran them through a planer to even them out. And pouf, within an hour we had a beautiful, bigger table and it had an even more rustic vibe.  So perfect!

Rustic Modern Scandinavian Dining Room 09

Rustic Modern Scandinavian Dining Room 04

I had always intended to use a modern windsor style chairs. I have a tendency to accumulate random vintage chairs, but this time I felt that that these grey chairs from Target would be perfect. They are comfortable, provide good support and a very well priced.

Rustic Modern Scandinavian Dining Room 07

The real pièce de résistance in the room is the gorgeous brass chandelier from West Elm. Nope, didn’t score this one second hand. I coveted it for a while on my pinterest board and decided it would bring the room together.

Here’s another view.  So, happy with the way it turned out.

Rustic Modern Scandinavian Dining Room 13

And just for fun, here’s a little before and after video:

The bonus?  The plums that are on the table are from our own plum tree!

Rustic Modern Scandinavian Dining Room 03b

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Kathie - Love what you did with this room…it is beautiful. I can’t wait to see other rooms!

Maddie - Hello! Stumbled here from apartment therapy. II love your transformation – this is exactly the look we are going for with the condo we just bought. Do you have a source for the laminate flooring? I’m also curious if you have any thoughts on it so far, as it looks very similar to ones we’ve considered. Thank you!! Hope you are loving your new space.

isadorag - Thanks. Lots more to come, I promise. 🙂

kim domingue - Wow! Popped over from Apartment Therapy…….love this room! The hubs and I are DIYers and doing it all yourselves is way more work than most folks realize! Y’all did a lovely job!

isadorag - Hi Maddie,
The flooring is Armstrong Premier Classics Lakeside Oak. If you search online you can find vendors. However, shipping does add up. I got an online quote, then got a local company to price match the sq ft price, plus no shipping. So far, so good. A lot of people who’ve come through are surprised to find out it’s laminate. Ask me again in a few years to see how it wears. 😉 Good luck with your reno.

isadorag - Thanks for leaving a comment Kim. Always good to hear 🙂 Since you do DIY, you should check out the construction posts I did. You can read all the nitty gritty of the not so pretty stuff and appreciate the effort that was put in. Be sure to stay in touch. I’ll be posting more reveals soon.

Jo - I LOVE this room! We are moving into a house with a very similar room that we want to brighten up. Please let me know where you got the plank wall siding! Thank you!

isadorag - Hi Jo, glad you like it. We went to our local Lowe’s and bought sheets of paint grade 1/4″ plywood and had them cut it down into 8″ strips. Then we secured it to the wall with a finish nailer. Then we primed and painted. You can see us putting it up in the living room in this post: Good luck with your project.

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