My Old Kentucky Home Renovations: Dining Room

Room Overview Our dining room is probably my favorite room in our house. We typically host a few parties as well as several family holiday meals each year, so its larger size is great for our needs. It required relatively little work to update it since it had great bones to start with. I love the white fireplace flanked by two extra-long windows. You may remember this picture from the ultimate before post last week, and while Jay changed some of the aesthetic details, I didn’t really care for his changes. Luckily, we didn’t have to do much more than paint the walls and change out the furniture and accessories.

Because the room is so large and bright, I went with a darker greige wall color. I think it makes the room feel more intimate, and since it is in the middle of the house, the color serves as a neutral base for the surrounding rooms.


We changed out the dining room table and chairs for a larger option. The scale of the table and chairs fits the space better, and it can be expanded to comfortably seat 8-10 guests, which is perfect for family meals or Jay’s poker games.

Jay has an extensive bourbon and Kentucky Derby glass collection, so they are displayed on an antique washstand that was obtained from an estate sale in Lexington. I collected his rogue bottles of bourbon that were scattered around the house and put them in a side cupboard with his extra derby glasses because we couldn’t come close to fitting everything on top of our makeshift bar. As a quirky twist, we added the Kentucky for Kentucky “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved” print modeled after Hunter S. Thompson’s iconic short story, which was a gift from Jay’s brother.


Additionally, we recently inherited a couple of pieces of furniture that we’ve added to the space. One is an antique sideboard that matches the dining room table surprisingly well and provides much needed storage for some of our serving dishes. We also inherited Jay’s grandmother’s recipe box, which is a special touch. Whenever Jay says, “That tastes just like my grandmother’s (insert food here),” I know I’ve done something right.

Our second inherited item is a beaten biscuit brake. Beaten biscuits are little hard biscuits usually enjoyed with country ham that used to be popular in Kentucky and across the South. As in, your grandma’s grandma probably ate them. I’ve never made them, but I hear you have to crank that sucker for AT LEAST AN HOUR to get the biscuits just right. However, Jay is insistent that we make them for Christmas, so you may get to read a post on that later this season. Anyways, I’m not really sure how to style the table because the cranking mechanism gets in the way. I tried a vase, but it didn’t seem quite right. Currently, it serves as real estate for an iHome.

Beaten biscuit

I consider this room “in progress.” It really just needs some more accessories to complete it, but I’m waiting to find the perfect ones. The dining room opens into our living room, which has shades of olive, teal, and coral red, so I carried the red and teal into the dining room with the fabric on the chairs and the area rug. I’m currently on the hunt for some larger scale artwork with those colors as well as window treatments and a few accessories to polish off the room.