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Inside Nabela's Formal Dining Makeover

April 2023

The walls of this space have seen so many different things over the 5 years of living in this home. From decor pieces to furniture, flooring, and so much more, this room has shifted and evolved in countless ways. As time has passed, I’ve been able to see how this room can best be utilized and what that looks like is one big makeover. From a sitting room, to a formal dining room, here’s how I transformed this space to give it more functionality.

The History of This Room 

Since the day we toured our home and entered the front door, the empty space or “formal room” perplexed and overwhelmed me. The possibilities were endless, but the square footage and orientation of the room never felt like it quite made sense. The room wasn’t large enough to house two sofas or any seating with much depth, which ruled out the functionality of a formal living room. A formal dining room felt like it could be an option, but I never explored it, in fear that it just wouldn’t look like it naturally flowed from the entrance of the home. 


Over the years, I’ve explored a variety of layouts for this space all providing the look and feel of a formal living room. When we recently moved the couch out from the space to use in our newly reimagined basement (more to come soon!), the opportunity to explore a new function for the room presented itself. Finally, it was my time to explore the possibility of a new dining space! I am so excited to share a glimpse into my new favorite corner of our home. 


Introducing the Noor Martin formal dining room… 


The Pieces

One constant that has remained in most variations of this room is the Anthropologie Gleaming Primrose mirror. As I planned the new design, I knew I wanted to say goodbye to the iconic piece to welcome something that felt fresh. I sourced a mirror from a local home decor shop that was even wider and taller than the Primrose, which is quite a feat if you ask me. 

Next up was finding the perfect, timeless dining table. I’ve always wanted a round dining table so I immediately began the hunt for a dreamy round wooden dining table and landed on the perfect piece on A breathtaking antique French round table from the early 1900s in a gorgeous stripped oak wood finish. I knew this was a one-of-a-kind, rare find and leapt at the chance to add this beauty into our home. When it arrived, I knew it was the right call. It adds the perfect vintage touch to the space while complimenting the elegance of our existing light fixture. 

To update the traditional take of the table, I paired it with four slipcovered chairs from Jenni Kayne. There’s something about slipcovered furniture that just feels like it can withstand the test of every design trend. 

My goal was optimal storage, visual symmetry and a space that could house things I wouldn’t necessarily want on display in the kitchen. I am happy to share that I think we accomplished exactly that.

For a decorative statement, I repurposed a DIY vessel that I painted white from a Crate & Barrel outlet and filled it with freshly clipped branches from our property. I rested the vessel on a pedestal that I stole from my office (already missing it in the office but the move was well worth it.) It adds the perfect finishing touch to the room. 

Cutlery Set

Light Fixture

Weck Jar



The Finished Product

I still can’t get over the finished result of our new formal dining area! It feels peaceful, airy and so welcoming - the exact feeling I would want guests to experience as they enter our home. 

Mission accomplished. Onto the next project! Happy designing! 


Images by: Kinna Shaffer

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