Paprika Paint, Applied – Dining Room Re-Do Revealed

See photos from around our “new” colorful dining room:

I’ve been warning for awhile that I’ll be inflicting “after” shots of our new dining room walls upon you. Watch out, the time is now! First are “before” shots. You’ll see obvious signs that someone neglected to vacuum when shooting photos right after some aggressive cat play. Hey, real life happens here, where table and chair legs make perfect stalking grounds:

The “dark blob” to the right is a wall-mounted wine bottle opener. Love it! Our kitchen is behind me, so the wine opener is in a great spot for corks to fly, from either dining room or kitchen.

The chandelier was installed by the house’s previous owners. It’s not offensive, so I left it. I guess that’s not a glowing compliment, huh? I’ve always wanted to change the shades, and paint the “candlesticks” so they’re not white. Now is a good time.

The three orange things in the frames are leaves sewn into dining plates, from India. We thought they’d be cool “art” for a dining room. We got them framed while the leaves were fresh and pliable. Even then, the framers were really nervous about working with them. Now they’re brittle and would likely fall apart if we opened the frames, but they’re fine as long as they stay tightly sandwiched behind glass.

That cheap little cabinet you see beyond there will undergo a very exciting makeover! It’s partly disassembled and supplies are sitting on it in anticipation. For years we’ve sought just the right antique or repro Chinese cabinet to put there and we’ve never sprung for one yet. So I’m gonna make one, you’ll see. And I think taper candle sconces are needed on that wall.

Sorry the photos are soft. The iPhone was not at its best. Think of these like  cosmetic company before/after photos — bad focus, tufts of cat hair and toys lying around are just like under-eye circles, pimples and unflattering hair styles!

The final color choice for this paint job was uncharacteristically fast. I was planning to use Farrow & Ball’s Terre D’Egypte. But I’d have to go to extra steps to get it. I got the itch one weekend to do the job now (I am an impulsive Aries), drove to Home Depot, spotted Martha Stewart’s October Leaf within seconds, and rolled with it. The paint guy was taken aback at this brazenness but I assured him, this idea has been in the works for awhile. Usually I go to Benjamin Moore, but the fan deck has a bewildering number of choices and I didn’t feel like facing it.

There was a major “oh sh*t” moment when I thought this speedy decision was a big mistake. When first applying the color, it’s a brighter pumpkin orange. I thought “oh great, welcome to our house where it’s Halloween … every day.”

The paint does darken to a more mature color as it dries. Thank goodness. Here it is:

Here’s some detail shots from around the room. Here are chopsticks we found in Bangkok, displayed on a celadon banana leaf platter which I believe we found at Baan Celadon in Chiang Mai:

Pretty bowl from Anthropologie, celadon plates from Baan Celadon in Thailand, woven placemat from a store I forget now in Bangkok, saffron color silk placemat from Jim Thompson in Bangkok, candlestick from Target, pineapple candlestick from India. Flower centerpiece from Hobby Lobby and Michael’s:

Sitting on the plain cabinet that will soon be miraculously transformed into an “antique” Chinese cabinet … a gong found in Siem Reip, Cambodia; Indian Diwali diyas that are sitting in silver napkin rings from World Market; a long baguette tray from Lunares (product left over from a business we had in the ’90s); and celadon and metal candlestick from Target with soy candle. Above these things, you can see a sliver of a mirror made from a frame that was from the super-marked-down “returns” section at JoAnn or Michael’s, and we had a mirror set into it:

Little celadon orchid plates from Anthropologie:

Here’s a close-up where you can see the stitching on the plates made of leaves from India. Originally both matts in the frames were beige, but I later added scrapbook paper for some contrast:

Previously the table was bare and needed a centerpiece. I found this planter in Hobby Lobby with *the* colors of the room and knew it would be perfect. And with paisleys too! It’s filled with botanicals from Michaels: magnolia, dogwood, purple olives and dark dyed eucalyptus. The “buon appetito” trivet was a gift from friends:

We’re enjoying the bold colors. I waited seven years to paint this room! If there’s a room you want to take a risk with a go bold, don’t wait so long!

Some considerations that led to choosing a paprika/terra cotta color for these walls:

  • The dining room is visible from the living room, as you can see above, and the living room has colors that would go with paprika.
  • Our dinnerware is green celadon from Baan Celadon in Thailand. It looks great with terra cotta colors.
  • The rug is staying, so the walls should not clash. I must make a plug for this rug — it’s from Home Decorators Collection and it’s absolutely indestructible against a cat that has insisted for four years on scratching his claws many times daily on the rug. And he loves to play like a maniac attacking toys on this rug. There’s not a shred of evidence — pun intended! (We have beautiful silk rugs that are now in storage lest this cat decides he likes those rugs!)
  • I love paprika, as shown here and here.

Here’s a bench from Garnet Hill with a cushion I sewed from vintage Japanese kimono fabric purchased off eBay, and plain upholstery fabric from Hancock’s (and my boy who likes to hang around all photo shoots):

Above the bench hangs a framed print of the piazza of Greve-in-Chianti in Tuscany in the 14th century. We bought it from a little shop on the piazza during a vacation there:

We are thrilled with how this room makes you feel now! I hate to admit but our lives are so busy that many nights we eat dinner standing at the kitchen island after it’s cooked. And then we run on to the next thing to do. But lately, we’ve been sitting down at the dining room table and enjoying our meal. Just like these people on this celadon vase from Baan Celadon:

This is a key we found in a Tuscan town, featured previously on this blog in a DIY post about framing it. In front of it is a little tray with four ceramic containers for spices and nuts, commonly used in restaurants we visited in Thailand:

So that’s it, a tour of our “new” dining room. I know very well how much paint can transform, but it still surprises me every time!




8 Responses to Paprika Paint, Applied – Dining Room Re-Do Revealed

  1. Lillian Henning

    GOOD JOB-JUST THE RIGHT COLOR!

  2. C’est magnifique…Bravo !!

  3. Thank you both! That means a lot! :)

  4. Love love love this color. I especially like the warmth in a dining room. I used to live in an apartment in Berkeley that was a terra cotta shade, a bit lighter than this, and I loved the emotional impact it made. I’m sure guests feel really welcome in this room!

    • The room feels like a warm hug! It does make the room feel smaller, and I know a lot of people like big rooms, but I veer toward smaller rooms that are sized for humans. Although I must admit, there is ambivalence about the color now. The room is so dark at any time of day. I don’t know if we’ll live with this color for many years.

  5. I love this room. So peaceful and snug…..with pretty objects to look at.

    My favorite room of all time was a bedroom painted the color of the autumn leaves on the dogwood tree that was visible from a window. Somewhat redder than your walls, but similarly peaceful and comforting. Thanks for the advice not to wait too long. My dining room is now shivering at the thought of a coat of new paint in the November weather. LOL. Next trip to the paint store will be the one…….. a color to go with the red and blue rug. Quick, get the dropcloths………!

  6. Pingback: Imagining Magenta | India pied-à-terre

So what do you think?