The Dining Room – Part 1 Before

If you were hosting a dinner party and could invite any three people dead or alive who would you invite?

People always say the Kitchen is the heart of the home. At High Hopes the heart of the home is the Dining Room. Located in the center of the house, it’s the largest and first room you enter from the Foyer. Here’s a photograph we took on Moving Day. I’m standing in the Dining Room looking through the French Doors into the Living Room. The single doorway leads to the Foyer and out the front door.

Our home had been two rental units since the 1960’s. This room was used as a Living Room. What we now use as the Living Room was a Bedroom. That single doorway leading to the Foyer? It was a locked door that separated the Upper and Lower Units.

Is this confusing? I really am not trying to make it confusing. Let me make it up to you. Click HERE! Or just come over so I can explain it in person – wouldn’t that be so fun!?!?

In the photo below – I’m standing in the Living Room looking through the French Doors into the Dining Room. Can you see the hint of the Den’s doorway on the left? At the very back you get a glimpse into the Kitchen.

A Relator (not ours) suggested we use the Bedroom as a Dining Room. Nah. We did the old flip flop! We ditched the downstairs Bedroom and flipped the Living Room and the Dining Room!

It didn’t make sense for us – walking from the Kitchen, through a Living Room and into the Dining Room carrying plates of spaghetti with extra sauce and big glasses of (oh, come on – do I have to spell it out for you?).

The room had a lot going for it…it’s like the Ryan Gosling of Rooms. Lots of potential – not an Oscar Winner…yet!


  • Large Gathering Space
  • High Ceilings (9′ 6″)
  • Tall, Double Windows with Original, Gorgeous Trim
  • Original Hardwood Flooring

One benefit of buying a rental property and transforming it into your forever home is the fact that many rental properties do not update character details such as Hardwood Flooring or Trim – so you inherit history.

What would a Before and After be without some…

Design Challenges:

  • Room Includes 5 Door Ways (Doors to Living Room, Foyer, Powder Room, Den and Kitchen!)
  • Room is the Major Thoroughfare To All Other Rooms in the House
  • Awkward to Walk Straight into a Dining Room When You First Enter a Home (This challenge we created all on our own!)
  • Popcorn Ceiling

Lastly, let’s not forget our uncomfortable proximity to the Powder Room…

Based on a few quirky things in our home, we sometimes wonder if the Dining Room – back in 1890 – when the house was built, was a different configuration with the Den and Powder Room. Maybe something like Little House on the Prairie!

Moments before the big demolition…high style. Or as our friend would say High Society.

Honestly, we were just packing up and clearing out all of our worldly belongings – getting ready for Dust Day(s). You can see the drywall patches from when we insulated our house. More on that in a later post!

God Bless that paint colour. And I don’t even go to church.

Let’s take a closer look at what we were working with. (Quick! Someone get me a puppy to hold!)

Unlike the rest of the house, this ceiling was not in good condition. A water leak, discoloration and random pieces were beginning to fall down!

At 125 years old – the flooring almost looked newer, though it had seen better days and the character was missing.

The space is a blank canvas – lucky us!

Btw. If I were hosting a dinner party and could invite any three people dead or alive I would invite…

And Beyoncé.


Yours in Décor,







  • Yvonne

    Thanks for the flowers and chocolate! Holy – you definitely had some challenges to work through on this project. You had Vision!!
    By the way, my three dinner party invitations would go to: you, Oprah (no Gail or Steadman) and Tom, of course!

    • OurHighHopes


      You have to have vision. If you don’t – hire an Interior Decorator.
      So happy to hear that Steadman and Gail won’t be crashing our dinner party.

      Yours in Décor,


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