Our Fixer Upper

Our Mid Century Dining Room Reveal

Mid Century Dining Room After Photo

When Jeff and I started the renovation on our Mid Century home we told ourselves we would be patient, not rush, and enjoy the process. I am so happy to report that although it took over a year, and we did our best to enjoy the process we are so happy to be moved into our new home. I am really excited to share the finished product with you.  As anyone who has gone through a remodel can appreciate, it is a journey. So here is our Dining Room Before and After. I hope the journey inspires you! 

It’s sometimes a process of trial and error when you are updating a room. Our trial for this space turned out to be with the built-ins. We loved the original authentic feel of our built-ins, but we wanted to freshen them up so they fit the new design of our home.  Since we could not change the details without entirely rebuilding the cabinets, we decided that removing the doors and darkening the paint would give the space a fresh modern look. Modernizing them started with removing the divided cabinet doors. These glass doors did not fit with the open look of our kitchen and frankly, it was the easiest and least expensive way to update their look. 

Mid Century Dining Room Before
Before photo of our dining room.

I had a choice of three colors of gray and at first I chose what I felt was the safest, the lightest gray color.  It looked good but I realized that a darker color would help the color palette flow from our kitchen into the living room. The first light gray did not provide enough contrast. Laura Werner and I knew right after the first coat, that the darker color was the look we wanted.

As retro has become a new trend, I have dreamed of redoing a Mid-Century home and this home built in 1950 was my opportunity. I could see its possibilities. It was my chance to learn about something new as well as purchase some of the mid century furniture I had been admiring for years. To start, I went to Instagram and Facebook in search of mid century furniture re-sellers.  Whenever possible, we like to support a small business like ourselves and luckily we found a great warehouse shop in Indianapolis’s Fountain Square area, Flux Indy. They do it right! They are open only on Saturdays and post each week’s fresh items for sale on Instagram and Facebook on Friday, the day before, which I think is genius. So we took off on a Saturday morning and headed to Indy. Flux had so many choices and we had a house to fill. It was a bit overwhelming. Everything was catching my eye, but I needed to narrow down what would work for our space. Laura had made me a list of measurements and this allowed me to visualize what would work in our home.  I saw this dining room table and chairs I felt drawn to the beauty of the wood, the comfort,  and the design of the chairs. Jeff and I were so pleased to find this set was made in the 1960s and it had a style similar to pieces we looked at that were from Denmark. The table is not marked but matches the chairs beautifully and could possibly be from the same maker.  It’s always wonderful to find the original markings on a piece and these chairs still had their original tags. I confirmed that they were made in Denmark in the 1960s by Kai Kristiansen for Schou Anderson Mobelfabrik. With a fair price and the vintage feel of the table, I knew we would be loading these up in our van.  As with many things in the 1960’s this table has a neat feature, the leaves are under the table top and can easily be extended by lifting the top and pulling out each leaf until they are fully extended. No need for storing the extra table leaves. This is perfect for our home since typically it’s just us two, but we also frequently host family gatherings.  All we had to do was recover the seats, and my friend Emily, master of many trades, said she would do it for us. I did help but she really did most of the work while I learned. Thanks Emily! I learned how to recover dining room chair bottoms and that is valuable knowledge for this antique dealer.

Not long after our built-ins were painted I went to an estate sale and bought 3 totes full of McCoy and Mid Century pottery planters and flower frogs. I knew our freshly painted built-ins would be perfect for displaying them. I kept a few of my favorite pieces that you see here in our photos and the rest of my amazing finds I will continue to list for sale in our Etsy Shop. Make sure you mark Firehouse Antiques as a favorite so you will receive a notification as I list more. I also used vintage McCoy Planters for my succulents in our kitchen on my grow light shelves. For more details on how we installed grow lights from Amazon into our floating shelves check out my Kitchen Reveal listed under my previous blog post.  The color palette and clean lines of vintage McCoy fit perfectly in our new home and I made sure to buy extras so I could share them with you.  Please let me know if you have any questions or if you want any details on the specifics of what we used in this space by commenting below. Each day in our new home is an adventure. We are excited to finally be moved in and share each room with you as we finalize more details. We have more to come, so until next Sunday.

McCoy Planters for sale by firehouse antiques on Etsy
Vintage McCoy Planters for sale on Etsy.

Hey everyone! My name in Cindy Smotherman. I’m a beginner blogger. My husband Jeff and I live in small town America, the Town of New Harmony, Indiana. We have over 27 years of antique experience and we own and operate Firehouse Antiques. Check out our page and feel free to contact us!


  • linda oliver

    Love your new home. The porch is wonderful. I could just really enjoy it. We had a beautiful screen in porch at our home in Newburgh.
    Dan and I discussed the painting of the porch. I have never been a lover of pine paneling. I love it on your sun porch. We love wood.So we would not paint it white. Looking forward to getting back to New Harmony

    • Firehouse Antiques

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. Now that we are all moved in, I’m so happy we didn’t paint it. Can’t wait to see you guys & laugh a lot!

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