Traditional Aqua Dining Room Reveal: Before & After

See how I’ve transformed my dated cream and burgundy dining room into a traditional aqua dining room with grandmillennial flair!

With a splash of aqua paint, much sweat equity and carpentry skills, and many an hour spent bargain hunting, I am finally ready to reveal our dining room transformation!

Original dining room in our house painted in cream with burgandy wallpaper border and heavy curtains

From boring 80’s cream and burgundy to aqua whimsy…

Blue dining room after DIY crown molding installation

From old school traditional to grandmillennial…

Aqua dining room reveal in new traditional style with wainscoting and crown molding, art, antiques, and whimsy

From drab to bright and chic!

Oh how marvelous it feels to have a dining space decorated and just twitching to host gracious gatherings!

This was the first room we started the remodeling process in when we moved to this house almost 5 years ago now. I knew almost immediately how I wanted this space to look and feel: traditional with a twist!

I stripped the wallpaper border down and trashed the heavy, suffocating curtains. Then splashed Sherwin Williams Interesting Aqua on the walls for a bright look that felt modern but classic.

Here is my original mood board for the space:

Decorating a gracious traditional dining room with aqua blue walls, wainscoting, french provincial details, and luxury fabrics

traditional aqua dining room reveal

I think I nailed it! The room feels formal with the silk taffeta curtains (thrift find for $6 a panel), crystal chandelier (original to the house), mahogany dining table (auction buy), and high backed chairs (thrift store find). Just like I planned in the mood board, which is really more of a guiding inspiration for me than set-in-stone map.

To amp up that level of formality, S. and I put up wainscoting and crown molding. Read the tutorial for wainscoting here and crown molding here.

aqua dining room wall with mirror, bronze sconces, wainscoting and crown molding

But there is a strong sense of whimsy and playfulness to the space as well:

navy rattan bar cart with plate wall above in this traditional aqua dining room

From the DIY navy rattan bar cart to the…

silk taffeta aqua plaid curtains with chinoiserie still life print

Chinoiserie fruit still life prints by Marty Whaley Adams and the…

playful prints in sitting nook of dining room

Playful prints in this little sitting nook where I love to drink my morning coffee to the…

antique plates arranged on plate wall above bar cart

Colorful antique plates on my plate wall, which add the perfect pop of pink!

Sitting nook in traditional dining room with aqua walls, plaid curtains, and grandmillennial style

My traditional aqua dining room is very grandmillennial with the nods to classic design, Chinoiserie, and touches of granny chic. You might call it new traditional, but it is definitely southern all the way!

The details really elevate the space, making it personal to us and help create that charming atmosphere for dining and hosting that will in turn lead to sweet memories. Those special details include:

The crystal chandelier and Chinoiserie embroidered pillow!

And of course these neoclassical brass sconces and this oil painting of a marsh, which reminds S. of his time living on St. Simons Island.

Our traditional aqua dining room isn’t totally finished just yet. I am still hunting for a painted sideboard, and we plan on pulling up all this old carpet to replace with dark hardwood floors eventually when budget allows. At that point, I’ll need to source a pretty rug for under the table.

In the meantime though, I’m just tickled aqua ? to have this space fresh and cheery with so many lovely details. I’m sharing tips to achieve a grandmillennial look in your dining room here.

Get My Traditional Aqua Dining Room Look:

These are products I would consider if I was purchasing new…

If you love the table runner, it is from La Cigale.


  1. […] a few weeks ago I shared my dining room reveal with you lovelies peonies. It is a formal space with oodles of traditional elements, but it’s […]

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