From Dungeon To Dining

When we purchased this 1920’s home in Central Phoenix, we realized that it would need a lot of reconfiguration. However, the home offered charm that is almost impossible to recreate with original hardwood floors, domed ceilings, and massive archways… All, which we had to work to maintain, while making it more functional and inviting. The dining room was a perfect place to start because it was extremely closed off, dark, and felt disconnected from the rest of the home despite being so centrally located.


Therefore, I decided to embrace it’s location and make it my favorite part of the home. Since the dining room almost acted as a “hallway” between the kitchen, formal living room, and family room, the key thing was to make the space feel larger and more accessible. We opened the kitchen by doing a large archway with counter seating below it. There was an existing large archway from the living room that we maintained, but on the opposite two walls… We had a lot of work to do. Upon removing the built-in wall cabinet, we realized that there were several feet of hidden square footage that had been “lost” in the walls. We open up the wall and reclaimed that square footage by doing a full wet bar with marble counters, a bar sink with faucet, and a 24″ wine fridge. This is now the first thing that you see as you enter the dining room from the living room and creates a great focal point.  We arched the opening to match the other two in the room, but our biggest challenge was trying to match the original wood flooring. We couldn’t match it exactly, therefore our solution was to run the planks in the opposite direction between the arch to create the affect of a wood inlay… And it worked! Finally, we needed a solution for the entry into the family room. Preivously it had a terribly crafted arch that stepped down into a small landing to access a powder room/laundry combo and then the family room. We edited the family room to create a separate powder room and separate laundry, but this meant changing the entry into the family room altogether. Our solution was to move it further down the wall and add french doors instead of an arch. These french doors were a fantastic solution for style, but also privacy… If someone wants to be blasting the TV in the family room, the doors can be closed so that it doesn’t bother everyone else in the house!

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These modifications created a 1920’s version of an “open concept” and made a much brighter and enjoyable dining room. We did new gray paint to highlight the shadows of the domed ceiling, added fresh white baseboards to contrast with the dark wood floors, and installed an awesome chandelier to help finish the space. I staged it with a dining set from Living Spaces, artwork from IKEA, and a mirror from HomeGoods to give buyers a sense of home and how they could enjoy the space. (A special thank you also goes out to my grandmother for donating her fruit bowl with faux fruit to me – It looks good, doesn’t it?)

To see all the AFTER photos and more product sources, please check out the Granada page!


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