Breakfast Room Evolution & The Plans

There are only a few items left on the Living Room Makeover List, but I’ve kind of lost steam on it. I’m so easily distracted, and lately my eye has been on the Breakfast Room. I mean, it is where we have most every meal, so I’ve had many opportunities to study it. It’s the last major part of the Kitchen that remains undone, and that’s easily remedied. Let’s retrace the steps of the Breakfast Room evolution so far, and start at the beginning.

I hate to spring these images on you, but you have to see the brutally honest ‘Befores’ in order to fully appreciate the ‘Afters’! Here’s the previous owner’s room before we moved in…

move-in kitchen

Yeah, 1980s all up in here! Then we came in and painted the walls, cleaned up the cabinets and simplified the decor.

original kitchen

We lived with it like this for five loooooong years. We are a family of fruit punch lovers, so you can guess the condition of the sweet white formica! Even Mr. Clean can’t touch red rings. So we finally saved our pennies and prepped for the remodel. Here’s the dreary shot of the dark Breakfast Room, with a too-big table and chairs, and blinged out light fixture.

before 6A

After the renovation, things were definitely looking better!

after 6

We took this wasted half-wall,

before 7

and added a bar and chairs for a more useful space.


The table and chairs were updated, but had to be shifted over to accommodate the new bar. Which made the light fixture awkwardly off-center.

after 11

When the contractor came to move it over, we had him switch it out with a simplified DIY drum shade. (Do you guys want a tutorial on it?) We inherited the Windsor chairs, so we added them to the table to break up the set.


I like how the curved backs soften all the straight lines in the room. And while adding drapes to the large window was an improvement, these were much too short. The room also felt too dark with the muddy wall color.


The most recent change was painting the walls Farrow & Ball ‘Skylight’, which brightened the room and opened everything up.

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3-27-12 047

And here we are today….brighter room, centered light fixture, and partially updated chairs.

3-27-12 073

And naked window and floor.

3-27-12 062

I seem to work much better with a list, and publishing it here keeps me accountable to it. It’s a pretty short one, so I should be able to accomplish it quickly and easily, thus finally completing the full Kitchen Makeover. Then maybe I’ll finish the Living Room List.  Yeah, right.

* Add drapes, hang them high and wide to really showcase the window
* Add rug to define the space and bring more color
* Finish painting the chairs
* Do something to the Fig basket so it’s not so matchy with the bar chairs
* Consider amping up the drum shade
So there it is! Not too bad, right? Do you have rooms in your house that have taken SEVEN years to fully evolve? Do you have any big ideas for my Breakfast Room?

Leave a Comment


  1. My whole house has taken 7 years to evolve…and it's still not there yet. And I feel you on the white formice counter tops. I'm still living with mine 🙁

    I love the new paint color of your kitchen. It really brightened the space.

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  2. Wow! What a transformation!! I love how bright everything looks. Adding a bar seemed like the natural thing to do. What a waste of a wall without one.

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  3. Amanda wrote:

    What a gorgeous transformation! I love the contrast of the dark cabinets and the light walls. Beautiful!

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  4. What a big difference the paint made-WOW!

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  5. I hear ya. I bought my house in 2004 and started working on it room by room. I am just now feeling like it's starting to come together. Problem is, I'm tiring of the paint in the rooms now, so I'll probably have to go around and repaint everything.

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  6. Looks so great! What an awesome evolution. I love how real it is. What a huge difference. Great choices. The new wall color made such an impact for the least money. Love your kitchen. It all looks great.

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  7. It's looking beautiful! I admire your patience at tackling one piece at a time. It's so hard not to just want it all done – BAM – at once! It's looking great now so the next steps will be the icing on the cake!

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  8. Oh yes this room has come a long way! You've done such an amazing job with the space. The bar and the new lighter paint do wonders! It already looks wonderful, but I know your final touches will no doubt make it look even more fabulous!

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  9. This space is a complete transformation. It really has gotten a major facelift. Can't wait to see the last little touches you have to make on the space.

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  10. Gosh, crazy before and after. So pretty. I agree, I like posting the to-do list as well! And your girls' night in party was so sweet. Great set up. Happy Tuesday, friend!

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  11. Love seeing the step by step transformation of how you brought the space into this decade. The drum shade is just ASKING for a makeover!

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  12. Michaela wrote:

    Such an improvement- gets me every time!! Curtains hung high will be perfect!

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  13. I am always amazed at what paint can do! Great choices! This place is coming along!

    House on Rene giveaway!

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  14. I love the paint color you chose…so serene! The evolution of your kitchen is amazing…I can't wait to see the small changes you make in your breakfast room. We moved into our house a year ago, and I'm now getting pictures hung. I like to think I'm more of a tortoise than a hare.

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  15. This room looks great! Would love the tutorial for the drumshade. Thanks!

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  16. Tiffany wrote:

    What a transformation. I love that paint color.
    We've only had our house for a year, but I'm pretty sure we'll still be working on it in 7 (or more!) years.

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  17. Simply LKJ wrote:

    Loving your new paint color!! Are your barstools from PB? We have the seagrass wingback chairs in our library and the dining chairs in our dining room. We are thinking about the barstools for our kitchen, right now ours do not have backs, and Mark and I will be eating a lot more at the bar since it will be just the two of us next year. Just wondered how they were holding up. Our other chairs are great, but not used on a daily basis. Have they passed the kid test?

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  18. The paint colour made such a great difference Cass – love it! xx

    Anna (My Design Ethos)

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  19. I love that soft paint color on the walls in contrast to your cabs…also your granite is lovely! SO pretty, Cassie!

    Posted 5.15.12 Reply
  20. What an evolution! That paint you chose was spot on! It looks so good with the tile backsplash I'm like you, going room to room, design ADD 🙂 I can't wait to see what you decide for the rug and drapes- it will really pull it all together. Maybe you can get Amanda Eck to mock it up for you again?! 🙂

    Posted 5.16.12 Reply
  21. I can't even get one room tour done for my blog so yes I hear ya! Love, love your new color and just amazing how much it brighten up the room.
    Can't wait to see the progress even though it already looks great! You posted about a rug not to long ago and I went on and ordered me one. Keep up the inspiration 🙂

    Posted 5.16.12 Reply
  22. Every time I see your kitchen I can't believe what a huge difference changing the paint color made. It looks great and adding some drapes will make another dramatic difference. Looks great!

    Posted 5.16.12 Reply
  23. Everyone has a room like this, unless they built a custom home. You have done an amazing job! My only "big idea" was to hang new curtains high and wide but you're all over that–so just trust your instincts and you'll be so happy every day when you drink your coffee. 😉

    Posted 5.18.12 Reply
  24. Jenn wrote:

    I would love to know what method/process you used to paint your chair. I have the identical chairs (6 of them!) that I am getting ready to paint. I am dreading them after painting the table legs (that is not quite finished yet either!). Yours looks so nice. Thanks!

    Posted 6.11.12 Reply