Breakfast Room Mini-Redo

Everyone has that one space in their home that is always dark. Either there is no window in the room, or the sun never shines directly into it. I have never liked rooms that are notoriously dark. Whether they are purposefully dark or it's unintentional - I just don't find myself gravitating to those spaces. I'm not sure if it's the karma or vibes it gives out - but whatever it is - it just doesn't gel with my inner happy place.

So, having prefaced my article with that, I now introduce you to my breakfast room.

Negative #1: There are no windows in this room, therefore no direct light. There are only two very tiny windows in the adjacent kitchen that feel more like ship portholes than actual functioning light transmitting devices.

Negative #2: There is only one hanging fixture overhead - as there is still old wiring in the ceiling - and so no recessed lights have been added (because the voltage would be seriously compromised).

Negative #3: This room is literally the epicenter of the house, as it is in between the dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, den and back hallway to the upstairs. Because of this location fact, I am walking through the darkest (and gloomiest) room in the house at least 95% of my day. 

We have plans for a massive kitchen renovation - but that may be five years down the road. (Ten if you ask my husband:)) Because of this, I didn't want to rip out the ceiling to put in new wiring in the breakfast room, until we redid the kitchen (since it's all part of one big space). SO I needed to get creative in making this space brighter, lighter and overall happier for my inner sanity.

Here is a before shot of how the previous homeowner had it looking. Very nice - but dark and small feeling. The red paint in the back rooms didn't help make the space feel any bigger either.

When we moved in to this house two years ago, I had the movers just throw some furniture in the breakfast room. I only had time to repaint those red walls. I had 24 hours to make my house a home for my family -- I'd deal with the rest of the details later. I should have, however, thought more about this space. With my dark furniture, the dark room became even darker. 


Finally, this past fall, I couldn't take it any longer. I knew I couldn't do a major redo - but I needed to do a mini-one. I couldn't be happier with the results.

Here's what I did:

Overhead Lighting - The old wrought iron chandelier was pretty - but too dark and heavy for the small space. I swapped it out for a Visual Comfort lantern with a lighter finish. The lantern also gave out as much light as possible, while also giving off an open-esque vibe rather than a bulky, closed in or shaded feeling.

Additional Lighting - I also added two more lamps to a new white sideboard for added illumination to the room. This was also helpful to set a more soothing mood to the room, when I didn't want to turn on a bright overhead light in the morning or late at night.

Chairs - I moved the dark ladder back chairs to another table in another room and replaced them with these Ballard Designs dining chairs. The lighter color had an instant effect that I couldn't have predicted!

Mirror - The large mirror was added to the wall to reflect the ample light coming from the adjacent den. In addition, the lighter frame tied into the lantern finish for a more balanced look. Instant improvement!

Color - I knew I couldn't have everything white and brown, so I played off the collected blue china in my secretary (turned makeshift hutch) and added pillows to my chairs made from my Interior Canvas Home Fireworks fabric! 

Now the once dark and depressing room has become one of my favorites in the house. With just a few simple adjustments, this closed-in space feels brighter and bigger, while also lifting my mood tremendously. Because we all know - when mama's happy, everyone's happy! 


Like that Interior Canvas Home Fireworks pattern? Find it here! 









(All images courtesy of Interior Canvas, except for #1 taken from