Back last year, I pulled together two different room schemes – a living room and a bedroom – but shared how you can get a similar look on three very different budgets. Each room was presented three different ways whether you were working to a smaller budget, a mid-range budget or investing in a high-end look. I got so much positive feedback on those posts that I thought I’d return with another room this time – the dining room.
Now, considering I’m pulling together my own dining room design here behind the scenes, I realise that this room, while it doesn’t necessarily have quite as much furniture as say a living room, can end up being pretty costly. Dining room chairs must be purchased in multiples, dining room tables and storage pieces (like a sideboard or cabinet) tend to be investment pieces too. So I’ve been trying to find good value items that don’t break the bank and considering what I feel is worth splurging a bit of my budget on.
The biggest reason I love these posts is not so much the designs themselves. It’s more to demonstrate how you can actually work to your own budget when designing a room – mixing and matching high and low pieces to create a look that’s your own. There’s absolutely no reason not to splurge on your fantasy dining table but save a few pennies on some great-value chairs. Or choose some inexpensive wall art but invest in a high-quality wool rug that will last you years. Figure out what’s the most important piece of the puzzle to you and then design the rest of your room around that.
I’m going to talk through each of the rooms in turn but let me say this: these posts take me a really long time to pull together (it’s cool, I enjoy it!) and while I might have a rough idea of the general look I’m going for, it’s only once I start digging around and searching for products that I realise how many great value items there are out there. You might fall in love with a specific piece but it’s so worth doing your research to see if there’s anything else out there that might give you the same look for a lot less. I was pretty shocked (and delighted) at some of my finds!
That’s just a taster!! So before we start, here’s what each of my rooms needed to contain:
- 4 pink velvet dining chairs with gold legs (yes that detail was important to me)
- 1 dining room table with some gold detail (actually more difficult to find than you might think)
- 1 white sideboard with an embossed/raised design
- 1 long light fixture with glass balls for over the table
- 1 large rug around 2 metres x 3 metres (finding inexpensive ones in that size is HARD)
- 2 pieces of framed art with an abstract/contemporary design
- A set of pink champagne glasses
- A 12-piece pink dinner set
- A 16-piece set of gold cutlery
- 1 gold palm style candle holder
- 1 large 3-wick candle
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The Budget Glam Dining Room – Total Cost £1235
So in my never-ending search for velvet dining chairs, I happened to come upon the ones you see above and yes, those have velvet seats, not plastic. For £59 per chair from Cult Furniture, I knew I was on to a winner! I loved how they tied into the gold detail on the table – just that little hint really elevates this piece and while, yes, you can get a plain wood table for less than this, I think that added detail really does make a huge difference between a piece that’s a bit of a yawn and something that will add a bit of shine and sparkle to your space.
I also wanted to talk about that plate set. Can you believe that a set of 12 ceramic plates is only £25 from Wilko?! They are fabulous and look so much more high-end than that. I’m actually considering buying these to use as our ‘every day’ plate set.
I’m also rather smitten by the artwork which is also from Cult Furniture – it’s fast becoming one of my go-to’s to look out for stylish furniture at good prices (nope, not an ad!) but when I came across the framed art pieces, I was pretty blown away by the prices. Just £30 for a framed print – it’d be hard to find a bargain like that anywhere else.
The light fixture is another piece that looks so similar in style to the one on the Premium board. This one is from MADE and I’ve seen it in their showroom and let me tell you, she’s a beauty! It’s a big piece too – perfect for really creating that wow-factor and I think it’s a fantastic price for such a beautiful good sized piece.
The sideboard might not be quite as fancy as some of the others shown but I think it’s an amazing price for a good size piece and the cross detail in the legs would tie in so nicely with the table. All in, I think this would be a stunning room and you’d only be out just over £1200.
The Premium Glam Dining Room – Total Cost £3051
So now we move on to the premium board where pieces are a bit better quality and therefore that bit more expensive. These are the kinds of pieces you might want to start considering investing in when it’s finally time to replace those budget buys most of us rely on when we are first starting out.
Once again, I’m starting with the chairs on this board. Guys, seriously – these are SO similar to the Anthropologie Elowen chairs seen below, it’s crazy. I have been searching and searching for chairs like those in Anthropologie but nothing was quite measuring up and then I found these and it was like the clouds parted and the angels sang. Sadly, I’m not sure Wayne will let me go for pink chairs in the dining room (sob) but my goodness, they are pretty.
That dining table is another beauty – check out those legs! I die! And the top of the table is just so beautiful in that gorgeous diamond pattern walnut. The rug, from LaRedoute (always a good place to look for rugs), is huge and is on sale (50% off!) right now so I’d snap up that bargain while you can. It’s so difficult to find really big rugs (the ones I’ve shared are ALL around 2 metres x 3 metres so perfect for under a dining table) that don’t cost a gazillion pounds so I was pretty happy to find two that I felt were really well priced.
If there’s one place I would definitely considering splurging just a little, it’d be on that cutlery set. The problem with really inexpensive gold cutlery is that the plating will be a lot thinner. I’ve had gold cutlery sets that I’ve hand-washed and still, the plating started wearing off after just a few uses. With the higher priced sets, you will get a better plating on them so while you still have to take care not to put them in the dishwasher, at least you’ll get much longer use out of them.
The Luxury Glam Dining Room – Total Cost £8456
And so finally, we get to the luxury room which, to be honest, I felt the final price was still pretty good considering some of the really stunning pieces in this space. The rug is my favourite of all the three – I’m not sure why that is, I just adore that boho texture with the pink accents – it just exudes quality. The table is another gorgeous find – yes, it’s Anthropologie, yes, it’s expensive – but I remember when I was looking for a marble and gold dining room table and they were so far and few between that I ended up having one made bespoke. This is an absolute stunner and I adore the oval shape.
Now you might see the price on that artwork and think I’m insane but let me just say – these pieces are HUGE. At 93cm x 93cm each, that’s a lot of art and would make a huge statement in your space. And of course, they would come all professionally framed and look the absolute bizz. They are an investment and while it’s not original art, I do think they are pretty gorgeous.
Of course, I’m also smitten with this dinner set – that little gold detail on the edges, the beautiful natural colouring of the ceramic – be still my boho-glam-loving heart, Anthro does it again! And the sideboard has been a favourite of mine from West Elm for quite some time. Am I brave enough to pull the plug for my own dining room? Well, you’ll have to wait and see.
The Budget 1-Bed Flat for under £5k
So finally, I just thought for fun, I’d combine all the 3 budget rooms into one so you can have a look – it’s essentially kitting out an apartment for under £5k. I did create these with the same sort of look on purpose – perhaps in the dining room, I should have added a dash of burgundy or a darker rose pink but I do think it’d make for a lovely place, don’t you?
Any other rooms you’d like to see me break down like this? Or perhaps I should do more splurge vs steal posts? Which room is your favourite or how would you combine the pieces yourself? Let me know in the comments!