Renovating the Farmhouse Dining Room – Before

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Welcome back to another farmhouse renovation post! We took a large break in our renovations after we brought Little Brother home and now are finally getting the chance to put on the finishing touches with the rest of the rooms. This week I’ll be showing you the dining room!

When we first looked at the house I was so excited to see that it had a formal dining room. That was something missing in all of the apartments, campers, and houses we lived in previous and since we have family dinners together every day this was a big selling point. Keep in mind…it was the idea of the dining room that was the selling point….not this….


This dining room was a dungeon. It was dark. Had one window (which the previous owners had a window air in so it let in even less light). And it contained a non-vented wall furnace. You might know that as a typical garage heater, it’s not meant to be in a house! There was a pellet stove in the house as well but it wasn’t in great shape and the previous owners were not using it, they were only using this garage heater to heat the house. Without it being vented to the outside there was a high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It was not something I planned to keep in here after the renovation.


If you remember from the kitchen renovation pictures, the door to the pantry originally opened into the dining room as you can see here. To the left you can see the kitchen and to the right is the bathroom. You can really tell how dark it is in here. The floor has a really dirty carpet that really needed to go.


This was the staircase when we bought the house near the north wall in the dining room. It was narrow, dingy, and very old farmhouse vintage. Someone tried to make it better by adding carpet which really just made it worse. It needed some serious love.


Two of the walls in the dining room actually had been sheet rocked so that saved us a bit of work! Again, if you remember from the kitchen renovation post, we tore out the entire pantry to make it walk in instead of shelves so in this picture you can see the dining room as a whole without the pantry. The ceiling tiles in this room has been water damaged at some point and were sagging. We tore them out to find plaster.


This is the dining room with the west wall torn down to the studs. The west wall is where we found the old fireplace chimney and we found evidence of a fire or at least some kind of severe smoke in the past on the ceiling. After we tore the plaster out of the ceiling we realized that was as far as the damage went thankfully.


One more before picture in this room…this was another view of the stair case and the dining room/living room walls before their transformation.


Goodbye wall!


Starting to look better! Opening this up not only brought so much light into the dining room/living room but also made the house much more efficient to heat as the heat can now rise much better into the bedroom upstairs. We were also able to widen the stairs at this point.


And in this pic you can see a few things. First of course is the column going up! My hubby created beautiful columns to reframe the opening from the living room to the dining room. You can also see the floor minus the dirty carpet! The original wood floors underneath were in great shape.

Make sure you check out all the after pictures here!

Farmhouse Renovation Part 1: Moving On
Farmhouse Renovation Part 2: Getting Started
Renovating the Farmhouse Bathroom: Before Pictures
Renovating the Farmhouse Landing
Renovating the Farmhouse Kitchen

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  1. Marissa – I love following your blog and I especially enjoy reading about all your renovations! I too live in quite an old house and we still have the 50-year-old carpet and flooring. Some day, my dream is to replace all the flooring and get back to the hardwoods.

  2. I’m so happy to see the renovations again!! It looks great so far!! I grew up in an old farmhouse, the kitchen when we moved in had 7 doors I think! My parents totally revamped much of the house to make a large kitchen, redid the back stairway, in which you could look from the cellar steps up to the attic, so much wasted space! My dad was able to add a room upstairs with the open space!

  3. I love your blog, and these are some of my favorite posts! LOVE what you’ve been able to do the farm house.

  4. I am always amazed at people who can see and create beauty in dingy, old houses. I wish I had that gift! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  5. Wow! You manage to renovate, live in the space, care for a new baby and toddler, garden, preserve, cook everything from scratch, and maintain a website! You are my role model! Now, if only I had half the energy as you, I have so many dreams I’d like to accomplish. At least I can big dream dreams again, even if most of them can’t come to fruition, due to my health and other complications. But your example keeps me focused on trying to do everything that I still can. Thank you!

  6. I love reading your blog! We live in an old farmhouse too and have renovated it. So much fun to see the transformation. Thank you for all the good frugal ideas and recipes 🙂 I also follow a blog called keeping it cozy. They renovated their farmhouse too. Thought maybe you’d enjoy taking a peek at Andreas blog.

  7. I love watching your home take shape little-by-little. It is looking fantastic! I wish I had DIY talent, but I’m learning and can do more now than I ever could!

  8. Like so many others that have been fortunate enough to find you, I get so much satisfaction in you sharing your progress in your renovations, (dinning room and stairs the most), and the adventure your family is having on your farm. The memories you are making keep me smiling. Your posts I look forward to and always enjoy. May you be as blessed as you are blessing others. Ahh, now I have my warm fuzzies for the day I will go and start on some of my projects. ;- )