See how a savvy homeowner turned an underused pass-through space into an inviting and functional dining area.


In Jade Fox’s small home, the front door opens into one large room with another doorway to the bedrooms on the opposite wall, essentially dividing the space into two distinct areas: a living room and dining area.


Color comes to the rescue, tying together a group of mismatched hand-me-down dining and bedroom furnishings. The palette also unifies the dining table and the adjacent nook put to use as the serving and storage area.

A tiny window alcove between the front door and the kitchen offered good natural light and a spot for a modest table.


Warm gray walls create a cozy envelope for the intimate dining area and provide a deep backdrop for the bright and feminine color scheme of pinks and greens.


A coat of warm white paint refreshes the second-hand table and chairs and unifies all as an attractive set. Handmade seat cushions inject color, pattern, and most of all, comfort—ideal for lingering over a dinner party.


An affordable IKEA pendant light becomes a dramatic fixture over the table. Though inexpensive, it’s large and dynamic enough to make an eye-catching design statement without a big cost.


A simple centerpiece, filled with low-cost decorative elements like bottles, woven balls, and gerbera daisies, brings texture to the tabletop. That it’s easy to whisk away when setting the table is an added advantage. The owl-print tablecloth provides a touch of whimsy and softens the lines of the wood furniture.


Light cotton curtain panels allow the natural light to brighten the room while adding a cheery paisley pattern to the wall.

Dining room hutch

An old bedroom dresser gets a new look and purpose as a dining room cabinet and hutch. A coat of creamy white paint brightens the formerly natural wood piece and marries it to the dining furniture across the doorway. New iron-finish hardware gives it a style boost.


The step-back surface of the hutch is the ideal spot for a bar. A woven tray organizes service items (and a vase of flowers for a pop of pretty color) while a small wine rack keeps bottles ready on the shelf above.


Stock the drawers with bar tools, napkins, placemats, and tablecloths as well as serving bowls, dessert plates, and silverware.

Get the look:

Curtain fabric—Pattern #42143-682 in Kiwi/Pink
Tablecloth fabric—Pattern #42128-139 in Summer
Seat cushion fabric—Pattern #42132-138 in Rose/Green
All from the Westbury Collection by Duralee
Wall color Behr Premium Plus paint in 380F-7 Crocodile available at Home Depot

Photos by Chris Hennessey

© Caruth Studio

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