Here is the dinning room before:
The display cabinet was taken out of the dining room and lower half was painted black and used as a buffet in the living room. The "gorgeous" area rug left by the previous tenant also had to go.
The dining table had been pushed to one side of the room to make an easy pathway to the kitchen, but this made the room feel more like a hallway and less a formal dining area. You can also see that the large windows have a up close and personal view of the house right next door. You can open the window and touch the neighbors siding.
While there were some major defects with this room, it did have a few things going for it. It had an amazing coffered ceiling, a beautiful grapevine chandelier, and hardwood floors. Unfortunately none of these things seemed to stand out, because there was so much furniture in the room.
Here is the dining room after:
I wish that I had more after pictures, but this pretty much sums it up. The walls were left the original neutral and the ceiling stayed grey-green which highlighted the trim work and related nicely to the green sofas in the living room. The table was centered in the room and the chandelier lowered to help make the dining room feel more formal. I also painted the chandelier white and added black shades to tie it into the chandelier I hung in the living room. I kept the original table, but removed the lace table cloth and shined it up with some furniture polish. The bamboo chairs were a cheap purchase from craigslist. They were already painted white (which was perfect) but had a terrible plam leaf motif fabric on the seats that was straight from the "golden girls" lanai. I recovered them in solid black. The windows already had some sheer panels hung over them, but I swapped the single curtain rod for a double rod and added a second layer of white drapes from ikea in a thicker material. This way the sheers could stay closed to hide the neighbors siding while still letting light in, while the thicker panels add more weight making the window treatments feel more expensive. I would have loved to use a bamboo shade in place of the sheers, but was afraid it would block out what little sunlight this room gets. Not to mention it would cost more money and its hard to compete with something that is free. I also flanked the door to the kitchen with framed convex mirrors from Aaron Brothers. They are so classic, I could use them in every room I design.