ORC Spring 2024 Week 1 | Diningscape Refresh

Welcome, honored guests to my Earthen Chic blog! You are in for a real treat as you follow along on an amazing journey thru this spring of 2024 One Room Challenge event!! If you are not familiar with this event, it began over a decade ago, you will quickly become addicted with all the wonderous space transformations that can be viewed. It's founder, Linda Weinstein, created this platform for Interior Designers, Enthusiasts and DO IT yourselfers to hone their craft and let their creative juices soar! And on a more practical note...motivate them to complete a design project in their own homes so they can reach a level of satisfaction in its completion in just 8 weeks! View them all here!


Of all the rooms in the home, once set up, the dining room, (or area) if it suits your space, gets the least rearranged. At least where the furnishings are concerned. Sure, we like to dress the table up for the different seasons or occasions, or even clear the space of our day-to-day drop-offs :0 yesss...I'm guilty of this too! But the table seating is usually static, there's only one wall for grandma's hutch, maybe a server in the corner and heaven forbid a spot for that once loved piano!!

Today, the "Art of Dining" is not only reserved for the formal square set-up of a separate oasis in a room dedicated only for this task, only to be traversed by the wait staff. But now, we've learned to adapt to a more flexible space that can feed our hunger to entertain while taking care of our most basic of daily tasks for survival--EATING!!

So, as you've guessed by now, my beloved Dining Room is getting revamped or refreshed as you will! It has been the one room in my home that has brought the most happiness along with its upsets, to the many of friends and family that have had the pleasure of being entertained along with the daily pleasure of a meal or two.

Here's a quick video tour--

Originally, when I built our 1 1/2 story ranch style home, I modified our plans and extended the kitchen area to utilize the bar-top seating and use the kitchen eating space as more of a lounging space! The "formal' dining space was a walk-thru to the kitchen so I thought it more apropos to utilize the space for day-to-day eating and not leave the Dining room all to its lonely. The plan worked, but now that my husband and I are empty-nesters, I find the Dining room and its 72" table with two head seats separating the two remaining dine-in residents a bit awkward...lol!

The dilemma for me turned out to be the turmoil of what to do with all the past treasures. Sure, my daughter would love to inherit the antique China Cabinet someday, but my soon would be yesterday and her living situation would not accommodate that soon enough! It houses many collectables behind its vintage glass and a set of China stored neatly below behind the doors. And that's All!!

In fact, most of the furnishings in the space are antique or vintage! Since I always advocate recycling and up-cycling as an earth-friendly designer, I have been really grappling with how to arrange a new set-up in the current space while utilizing some of the classic pieces passed down thru the ages. I have really enjoyed furnishing my home with beloved antiques, acquired from generations past. Especially those pieces passed down from my own mother with whom I helped move, refurbish, and decorate with throughout the many homes in our lifetime. It was a shared passion and journey I have always cherished, for our main home  growing up in a turn of the century home in Brooklyn taught me to appreciate heritage furniture and its preservation. My mother 'Melrose' led an interesting life, along with many material acquisitions from a life well lived! In her memory, I have become the family caretaker of many mementos, collectables, and vintage furniture. But the time has come to move on!!

Here is a great photo memory of her, sitting on our reupholstered leopard patterned chair, some time ago, when she helped me in my Decor Shop in California-


For now, I would like to keep my contemporary surfboard glass tabletop and update it with a new base. My most recent addition to the dining room are my two beautiful button tufted dining chairs that just might keep their seat at the table, but I haven't yet decided their fate! They provided an air of formality for the dining room blending in with all the classic pieces, but I would really like something more casual now. Also, I would like to blend in a vintage piece or two, but we will have to see how it all evolves.

This One Room Challenge is an 8-week live process, and while I have a concept or two in mind of how I would like to design the new space and outfit it with more comfortable furnishings, my design process includes a lot of room for it to organically evolve.

And that is the element of interior design I relish the most!

The Plan

  • I would like to relinquish some of the antique pieces to another location.
  • Sort thru and pack up for a sale the trove of collectables. 
  • Acquire another base for the glass tabletop and change out the chairs (at least 2)
  • Replace the window coverings with anew.
  • Shop for a more practical server and or display unit for an updated look.
  • Replace the indoor/outdoor rug currently there.
  • Shop and install a new light fixture over the table.
  • Paint or add wallpaper along the perimeter of the walls.

Even though this list does not seem to be too terribly long, i am just getting started on this project this week and as my....7th go around entering the One Room Challenge event, I can speak from experience that 8 weeks' time moves very quickly! It's what I love most about this supportive event where we craft our lives one room at a time.


I have scoured Pinterest Boards and online catalogues, but where I received the most inspiration for my Diningscape project was from the Dall-e AI images generated! What do you think? I am sure that when I sit down to render the actual space I can draw inspiration from these visuals. (they are not perfect!) What do you think about them?

There is not any construction planned for this open-concept space, but for sure I will be busy curating, shopping, and designing a beautiful space that will bring lots of new joy to our home! I cannot hardly wait, so gather round!!

...from the light of my home to yours,

* Deb *


Janet said…
What a fun project! I look forward to following!
Linda Merrill said…
Hi Deb- looking forward to following along!
Robin Burrill said…
Love your commentary on how the dining room has changed...just look at how kitchens are now!! It's the new status quo to have them open to the rest of the home, because we know entertaining in the home is different...yet we still hadn't evaluated the layout of the dining room!! Great points.
Deborah Newell said…
Thank you All for your comments and following along on this journey with me. A This Dining room Refresh will be no small feat as I blend this semi-open space with its neighboring spaces as well! Wish me Luck!!