Room Tour: My Gray Dining Room

gray dining room by kelly porter

I’ve finally completed the re-design of my dining room, and here’s the big reveal!

dining room_kporter

before photo

Years ago, I designed my dining room in the Spanish Mediterranean style…complete with Venetian plaster faux finished walls and tapestry-inspired fabrics.  I love the warmth of this look, but it was time for a modern makeover:

gray dining room by kporter

The glass dining table and sideboard {shown below} remain in the room, along with a couple of clay pots.  These pieces give the space that Spanish warmth that I wanted to keep.  I purchased some new items for the room, like the white leather dining chairs…but it’s the older pieces, passed down from family members, that add real character.

side view

My husband’s aunt gave us the sideboard when we first moved into our home.  It’s from Century, made in the 1970’s so it’s solid wood!  It originally had brass handles but I switched them out for new chrome pulls.  The mirror above the sideboard belonged to my grandmother-in-law.  It had a dark wood frame that I spray-painted silver.

dining room sideboard

Another special and unique addition to my dining room are the acrylic bubble panels:

dining room bubble panels

These panels are my prized possessions.  My favorite aunt gave them to me after many years of displaying them in her home.  I remember looking at them as a young girl and thinking how cool they were, so I was thrilled when she “handed them down” to me!  I love that they are so 1970’s retro.  My aunt passed away a few years ago, so I’m glad to have such a special reminder of her in my home.

gray dining room panels

To the right of the bubble panels, you may have noticed my ‘plant stand.’  This is yet another family piece that has a fun story behind it…literally!  It’s a city-issued metal box that my grandmother-in-law kept on the front porch of her Washington, DC row house.  Back in the day {before I was born, I might add}, a real-live milkman delivered jars of milk and left them in the box.

gray dining room_milk box

Years later, after the milkman became a thing of the past, Grandma kept the box on her porch and it was used as an extra seat for family and friends.  That’s why I say it has a story behind it!  The box has a dent in the lid because so many behinds have sat on it over the years!  It’s a fun accessory, and the red stamp helps it fit in the room perfectly.

chandelier red crystal

Wondering why I chose red as an accent color?  A couple of reasons.  First, the adjoining room is red and my husband’s favorite color is red.  I also wanted a color that would pop and stand out from all of the gray and white.  When incorporating an accent color, here is an idea that you may want to try yourself:  The chandelier in my dining room came with all clear crystals, but I replaced all but one of those crystals with red ones.  This is very easy to do.  You can find a great selection of crystals at

dining room table

{My thrift store finds:  a ceramic lamp, amber pedestal glasses and red water goblets}

gray dining room view by kelly porter

I used gray paint colors that have warm/taupe undertones:  Dovetail and Gauntlet Gray, both by  Because of the different undertones, selecting a gray can by tricky.  I originally started out with a lighter shade, but ended up going with the darker tones which look more rich and inviting.

If you have any questions about this re-design, or if I can help you select the perfect shade of gray or any other color {through my Online Design Service}, contact me at

11 thoughts on “Room Tour: My Gray Dining Room

  1. Kelly,

    I love the way you have tied the whole look together with such special momentos.It really adds to the whole flair of the finished product.It looks really lovely…..


  2. I love all the family pieces,and the stories behind them! Nice sideboard indeed, and so useful. And…I love the wood floors! We have, as you know, parquet and I am NOT happy with it. Someday I hope to redo it: it’s never been a favorite look of mine! And those bay windows are really lovely. Nice renovation!

  3. Wow, you have such a flare! I am most impresssed by the “opposite-ness”(?) of the two before and after looks! I love them both, actually. I guess a person is allowed to love totally different and opposite looks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>