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Your Guide to a Budget-Friendly Dining Room Refresh!

We partnered this week with Lindsay from the blog Makely Home to see how she can creatively update her dining room with goodies from Tuesday Morning. Check out her blog below:

As I’ve gone through the process of transforming my home from my previous, more neutral style to my current bright and fun style, my dining room has always been sort of a problem. I have other rooms that need more attention, so I’ve just sort of left it alone, piecing together things here or there to give it some personality. It’s become more or less an afterthought. Since I’ve not dedicated my time to fully redoing this room, I’ve never wanted to spend much money in there. Like most people, I’m on a budget.

Since I am on a budget, one of my go-to stores for discount decor has always been Tuesday Morning. I think they have really great products for the home at lower prices than I find elsewhere. Today, I’m partnering with them to give you some strategies for refreshing your dining room decor on a budget. And guess what? There is no DIY involved.

Before we get started with the strategies, I thought I’d share before-and-after shots with you I think that will make it easier to understand my thought processes. Here is the before:

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It looks nice, but it doesn’t coordinate very well. The rug, which was previously in my living room, is too large for the space. Putting books in the china cabinet was a fun idea that I’ve grown tired of. I also think that the centerpiece on the table is overwhelming.

Now, here are the after shots with all of my budget-wise changes:

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I’m so much happier with this look! I think it coordinates better with the rest of my home.

So, how can you do an easy, budget-friendly dining room refresh like this in your own home? Follow along for some simple strategies.

Determine Your Budget

This may seem like a no-brainer to some of you, but I know that it’s always a hard place to start. Everyone has a different financial situation, so everyone has a different budget. For some of you, that budget may be $2,000. For others of you, that budget may be $0. Luckily, I can help you work with budgets, no matter the size (or lack there of).

In full disclosure, I was given a $250 gift card from Tuesday Morning, so that will be the budget I am working with for this room. If I were not given that gift card and were doing this myself, my budget would have been smaller.

Shop Your House

Before you spend a dime of your budget, shop your house to see what you can spare to bring into your dining room. This allows you to know exactly what you already have so that it’s easier to figure out how to spend your precious dollars.

I knew right away that I would be keeping my dining room table, chairs and matching china hutch. The antique grandfather clock that I moved from my parents’ house last summer would also be staying in the room.

I decided to bring in the chair I recently painted for my son, Zack’s room, since it will be a while before I get his room ready for the final touches.

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I also brought in some other little accessories, such as plants, vintage ceramics, my cuckoo clock, some candlesticks, and wooden plates and bowls. I used these mostly to accessorize the china cabinet.

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Visit a Discount Store

With a budget in mind and a better idea of what you already have in your home to use, head to a deep-discount decor store, like Tuesday Morning. Since the prices are affordable and the quality of the items is really good, I was able to bring home a good amount of new decor. I also love how the tags on their items show how Tuesday Morning’s prices compare to what a similar item would cost you elsewhere, and I’ve found that the savings is usually 50% or more!

The first thing I grabbed was this woven 5×7 rug (which was $149, compared to $300 elsewhere). It had the perfect mix of blues to tie my blue dining room into the other rooms in my home. And unlike my previous rug, it’s the perfect size for under my table. This rug cost over half of my budget, but it completely changed the look of the room. It’s wise to spend your budget where you’ll get the biggest impact.

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I was also able to bring home some smaller decor pieces. My favorites were a wire hurricane vase (I paid $19.99, compared to $40 elsewhere) and a wooden owl statuette (I paid $24.99, compared to $59.99 elsewhere).

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I didn’t have a large pillar candle to put in the hurricane, so I added a handful of taper candles that I had instead. I just adore this look!

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Since this was my dining room, I was also able to take advantage of the good prices that Tuesday Morning has on their dining pieces. I bought 4 sets of plates in green, white, turquoise and cobalt blue for just $6.88 a set (compared to $30 elsewhere). I topped each stack of plates with little bowls that I found when I was shopping my house.

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I also found a cute little red ceramic berry basket that I got for $3.99 (compared to $12.99 elsewhere).

In the china cabinet, there is also a little white ceramic serving tray with a painted bamboo border I got at Tuesday Morning. It cost me $7.99 (compared to $26 elsewhere). I think it is a fun touch and a great base for displaying some of my colorful Fiesta collection.

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For other items that I spied at Tuesday Morning, check out my pins to the Home Decor on a Budget board on Tuesday Morning’s Pinterest page.

Repurpose Familiar Items

A good budget room refresh usually has a number of items that have been repurposed from their intended uses, and my dining room is no different. This is an easy way to bring some character into your room.

One of the things I did was to leave all of the books in the room, but I haphazardly stacked them around the grandfather clock. The clock no longer looks like a lonely island on a blank wall, and I didn’t have to come up with a place to store the books after removing them from the china cabinet.

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I also like to turn bowls upside down to use them as platforms. I gave the owl on my table some extra height with a small wooden bowl. You would never know that I did that unless you saw the tablescape from the back, and even then the wood bowl blends nicely with the rest of the owl.

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I did the same thing with the red berry basket that would have otherwise been swallowed by the scale of the china cabinet.

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Now that you have four strategies in place for tackling a room refresh on a budget – Determine Your Budget, Shop Your House, Visit a Discount Store, and Repurpose Familiar Items – you are ready to hit the ground running.

– Lindsay


Dining and Kitchen, Home Decor, Timeless
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Tuesday Morning

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  1. Reply shirley drew

    I shop at Tuesday Morning, & I love it! !

    • Tuesday Morning
      Reply Tuesday Morning

      Hi Shirley, we love having you! See you in store soon! 🙂

  2. Reply liz

    The books stacked haphazardly around the grandfather clock makes the room look unfinished; as if she was in a hurry and didn’t have time to finish the project. If the books were stacked with spines (book titles) showing into the room, it would give the room a more polished look.

  3. Reply sandra

    Last week I went to your store on Zaragoza Ave. in El Paso, Texas I was looking for a parking space infront of the store because it was raining, and parking space is very limited . There was none and to my surprise
    two of your employees were parked infront of the stores main entrance. I would think customers should come first.

    Thank You


    • Tuesday Morning
      Reply Tuesday Morning

      Hi Sandra, thanks for letting us know about this situation at our El Paso location. Please accept our sincerest apologies and be assured that we will notify the District Manager who will take necessary corrective action.

  4. Reply Susan

    I like the smaller rug. The books looks sloppy. The center pieces still look overwhelming for the table and the candles thrown in the hurricane is not a good look but haphazard . Some of the pieces in the cabinet were too big. (white cat with cuckoo clock underneath .

  5. Reply Nancy

    Very whimsical . The larger area rug looked much better compared to the smaller one. The books on the floor need to go, it looks messy for a dining room. Maybe move the clock and add a bookcase or a tall vase with twigs or dried flowers next to the clock. Tuesday morning is great. Have fun!

  6. Reply miss mac

    Nope. She was on the right track before. The new rug is too small for the table that rests on it. Taking the books out of the china cabinet was good, but dumping them around the clock looks trashy and unkept. It is just a place for dust to gather and will ruin the books, so why bother having them. The old rug she had coordinated very well with the paint color in the room, and successful married the yellow tan in the hall/entry adjacent, with the pendant lamp and the black furniture. Nice try, but overall, a miss.

  7. Reply linda Ruble

    I just love love love Tuesday Morning !! Great discounts!!

  8. Reply Jen

    I love every Tuesday Morning I’ve ever visited. I finally moved to a location that has two within 30 min of my house. For the past 10 years I have lived three or more hours away and would always hit one before my trip home. Now I get to go more often. Thank you for all the inspiration.

  9. Reply J.Morgan

    I like the changes except for the books around the clock. If they’re going to be there, stack some and put some upright and show the spines.

  10. Reply m.ham

    Cluttered, no thought to color, harmony of space or selection of workable pieces. Original room was easier on the eye!

  11. Reply Mary

    I am a former Tuesday morning employee from Fairfield Connecticut. I loved the store as an employee and shopper. Unfortunately store was closed I still miss it my home has so many items from Tuesday morning. Quality and prices cannot be compared. I miss not having one near by.


  12. Reply Nieta

    I agree with Liz’s comment about the books stacked haphazardly around the grandfather clock. it truly does make the room look unfinished, or may I add it looks like they were “thrown” there because there was no place to properly put them. Find a pretty basket to place them in, or a small bookcase, or something else at Tuesday Morning….the items there are endless….anything can be found to put the books in, besides placing them on the floor: looks too messy. Love Tuesday Morning!

  13. Reply Selma

    The blue rug really ties together the dining room walls with the taupe and white in the adjacent rooms. I loved the original placement of the books in the china cabinet; however, I would not only position them upright, but also stack others with dishes and collectibles on top and in front of the tomes. I agree with others that the haphazard placement of the books around the clock looks messy . . . I collect books and cringed when I saw how they were carelessly piled on the floor. The owl would look interesting on top of the grandfather clock. A living plant or a Tuesday Morning arrangement placed inside the wire hurricane vase would be a nice focal point in the center of the table, especially if it rests on the decorative mirror now positioned over the china cabinet. I am fortunate enough that I have two Tuesday Mornings nearby that I frequent often, as well as one in my hometown that I shop at while visiting family at least twice a month. My home is filled with Tuesday Morning finds, including silk drapes, thermal panels, window sheers, decorative pillows, bedspreads, a glass etagere, shower curtains, a shower rod, shower liners, wine racks . . . and numerous other upscale decorating items. In addition, I purchase clothing and food items often.