/ / / Modern French Country Dining Room: ORC Week 2

Modern French Country Dining Room: ORC Week 2

The process of choosing fabrics, furniture, and paint colors for a Modern French Country dining room makeover.


What is it you ask? The One Room Challenge™, currently in its thirteenth season, is a widely anticipated biannual event every April and October. Each round, twenty featured and guest (that’s me!) design bloggers take the challenge and transform a space. Every Wednesday, the designers document their process while sharing their sources and professional advice over the six weekly posts. If you missed the design project kick-off, CLICK HERE!

Where I Start When Making Over a Room

Yes, this is really how I do things! Lay it all out: design inspiration in books or catalogs, my Valspar fan deck, paint chips from the store, and fabric samples. I walk around and look at it from every angle and pair things with each other to see what “works”. It is NOT a simple process in this blond head of mine 🙂 Literally I design in my dreams, layout furniture, and then wake up with the answers some days!

It’s so nice after my last One Room Challenge to have this great space to work in and just leave it, so I can keep “playing” with my options.

Modern French Country Makeover_Porch Daydreamer_Design Selections and furniture

So where did I begin? By looking through LOTS of Instagram and Pinterest photos to see what I like and inspires me! As I mentioned last week, priority #1 was getting a bigger table and I thought that’s ALL I was doing originally…

Then I find the feed House Full of Summer on Instagram and her dining room table was so pretty, looked like it was sized for my room, AND the look I wanted! I’ve now become virtual friends with Jessica, which is the coolest part about social media. Please check out her site, it’s beautiful House Full of Summer.

Finding the picture of the table led me a store and well the rest is now happening my fellow daydreamers!

Post contains affiliate marketing links, but all products were hand selected by me! If you buy through one of my links, I may make a small commission that helps support producing content and maintaining this website.

Fabric as the Color Foundation

Luckily, we have a Ballard Design store in Charlotte so I got in my car to look at the table in person.  As a reminder, I chose the Chianni Trestle Table from Ballard Designs and I’ve already changed the finish a bit to suit my look! Yes, I have GUTS. CLICK HERE for that story.

But it was the fabric hanging in the store that drew me in.  After graduating with a Textile, B.S. from Clemson University (go Tigers!) fabric is one of my favorite things on the planet.

Ballard Designs Fabric
Source: Charlotte Business Journal. Image: Richard Cadan

Ballard Designs has a TON of custom furniture and fabric options, which I love because I can create my own look 🙂 This Keswick Blue fabric drew me in because it had so many of my current house colors and a French Country feel as well.

Ballard Designs_Keswick Blue

When shopping for my home, one thing I always do is carry a little ziplock bag with ALL of my house samples. I pulled out the paint color in my kitchen and family room to find complementary fabrics for the dining room.

Chair+Fabrics+Paint Color+Wood Finish

Velvet is a hot home decor trend (check out my post on the velvet trend) so I was hoping to incorporate it into this makeover. I found a deep velvet called Oasis Velvet. It worked perfectly with the colors of the printed fabric plus the paint color: Winter in Paris.

Furniture Selection

After laying out the swatches at home, testing paint chips on the walls, and creating a floor plan I now felt comfortable with purchasing the furniture. The chairs are also coming from Ballard Designs (not a sponsor, but a long time love of mine)!

It was important to find furniture that is a smaller in scale because the only useable space outside of the credenza is 11 ft by 9 inches SQUARE.

To surround the table and flank the credenza, I chose an updated Chippendale chair in cream. The Dayna chair seats will be covered in the Oasis Velvet to bring depth into the room

Dayna Arm Chair

Dayna Arm ChairDayna Side Chair

Dayna Side ChairThen I found a beautiful chair that could be custom upholstered in the Keswick Blue fabric. The fabric is so gorgeous and the anchor for the space, so it needed a larger canvas.

TIP: Custom upholstered furniture can take up to 12 weeks for delivery.  This chair I ordered back in January to guarantee an April delivery.

Cortina ChairCortina Chair_Ballard Designs

Last but not least is my WANT for this space – a bar cart.  My budget was under $200 delivered, it had to be gold, with two shelves, a rectangle, and have at least one mirrored shelf.  I spent way to many hours looking for this sucker, but NAILED IT!

The bar cart will live in the corner, where a plant used to sit and die every 3 months.  I think it’s a much better use of the space don’t you?

Belham Living Braxton Bar Cart

Braxton Bar Cart_Hayneedle2

Unconventional Furniture Layout

The size and shape plus the way the chandelier is centered in between the windows creates some furniture layout challenges. Ballard Designs has a FREE and simple to use planner that one of the designers showed me in the store (thanks Ruth!). ROOM PLANNER

After playing around with a couple of options, I decided to do something a little unconventional. The usable space for the table and chairs is a square, so I am putting the large upholstered chairs NOT at the end but in the middle.  This squares off the furniture and allows me to center everything horizontally and vertically in the space.

You gotta do, what ya gotta do sometimes…that’s why space planning is critical before you put down that credit card!

Modern French Country Dining Room Layout

The Color and Fabric Plan

The fabrics and paint colors are blending to create a very serene look! The inspiration rooms are coming to life in a new unique design that fits my home and color palette.

Final Selections_Modern French Country_Porch Daydreamer

The books I’m referring to are from my favorite designer Suzanne Kasler.  If you’d like one of these books I’ll link them here. Yes, she’s a woman who loves a gallery wall!


Next Week

What’s left? Finish painting, finalizing drapes, choosing accessories, making a floral arrangement, covering chairs, and more! Oh and replace the artwork that arrived this week but looks purple and the mirror I ordered came shattered. I need to go back to the drawing board on all of it 🙁

Have fun following along and please visit the 20 Featured Designers and the Guest Participants. Thanks to Calling it Home and Linda Weinstein for creating this fun event that motivates us to makeover our spaces in 6 short WEEKS!

So you don’t miss a post, please consider signing up for my weekly email newsletter in the pop-up window!

Once a week, I’ll send you an email with all the details and posts from the previous week.  To follow along daily, I’ll be posting on Instagram and Facebook, so choose the social media platform that works for you. Easy peasy! Every little “like” makes me smile 🙂

I think I need a nap…

Porch Daydreamer


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  1. Hi Tracey! I am also doing the ORC this time (for the first time!) and I saw your pic and clicked over so just wanted to say hello AND tell you that I love, love, love your color palette! That first inspiration pic (with the plates on the wall) is so gorgeous and I love it as the model for the room.

    I can’t wait to see this when you are done!


    1. Hi, Sheila! First, I am completely flattered that you stopped by to check out my progress. Your website and IG is amazing, so thank you for liking what I’m up to.

      You office plan looks beautiful and it’s nice you are taking your husband into consideration 🙂 Love the inspo rooms. It’s going to be gorgeous! I’ll be cheering you on first timer!

  2. I thought your dining room was looking good last week, but I feel like it is going to be amazing afterwards. Love the fabric choices. And the bar cart is such a great idea!

    1. Oh, thank you! It’s been a pretty room that’s been well loved. Time for a change after looking at the same thing for 8 years 🙂 I can’t wait to style the bar cart! Loving YOUR color palette!

  3. Serene is the perfect word for your dining room plan. I always love going to Ballard for inspiration – I’m using one of their over-sized mirrors in my space and can’t wait to hang it. Looking fwd to seeing things come together!

    1. Lindsey, looks like you have a great plan and I am loving that mirror! It’s so fun to tackle these rooms with the timeline because I don’t think I’d get it done otherwise 🙂 I’ll enjoy following along…

  4. Tracey, looking so good girl. Love the fabrics you chose. I wish we had a Ballard in Dallas. I’ve been to the outlet in Atlanta and it was such a great place. YOu picked put some great chairs. Our design process is very helpful and thanks for the intro to House of summer.

    1. Carol, thanks! I think we are living the same life since we are making over our dining rooms. Same furniture challenges! The commode looks gorgeous in it’s new location. Loved all the paint tips you shared and a good reminder that preparation is so important.

  5. Man, you are on FIRE with your posting speed! 😉 What a lovely palette, and yes, I think it’s the minority of homes that have the space for an *ideal* layout! Very jealous you live so close to a Ballard! They have a COM program, too, that’s great if you find a fabric you love elsewhere.

    1. Hey Amy, I have a need for speed and to get back to sleep 🙂 Honestly, I was shocked to see I got the 1st spot but feel so lucky! Ballard is a long time love. I have a piece of art from when my son little that came from Ballard Designs and he’s now 18! Good luck and hang it there – the 3rd week seems to be the hardest. Eeeek.

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