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Expert Editing Tips for a Picture Perfect Room

By 05/16/20246 Comments

This couple recently combined their belongings and decor, and asked for my help with a decorating plan. Instead of painting, I used some expert editing techniques (along with a few new pieces) to create a stunning makeover for their dining room. 

And I’m also sharing one of my favourite ways to change up your dining set for a more luxe look.

Barbara is a friend and client. I had decorated her home 8 years ago, after her husband passed away. Since then, she’s moved a few times. 

Here’s what her living room looked like back then:

Gold and blue living room

See the rest of the space here

How to edit your decorating

She recently met a new man and they moved in together! So she asked me to come over and help edit their space so it would feel  more like an assemblage of both their items, but in a way that felt fresh and up to date.

When I arrived in the living room, it was clear that the first thing that needed to happen was paint before I could do any decorating.

I also mentioned that any editing we did now would feel entirely unsatisfying unless we brought in some new accessories and artwork to fit the walls.

This is typically how my colour rescue makeovers work. I help you shop for a few new accessories and decor that pull together your entire room… in ONE DAY.

So I was just about to leave when I spied one of her art pieces and noticed that it matched perfectly with two random green upholstered dining chairs that were floating in the living room.

Here’s the dining room before:

dining room before

We had already discussed the fact that the current dining room furniture felt more casual, like it belonged in a breakfast room than a dining room. . . until I came up with an idea inspired by the room below:

Traci Zeller

Traci Zeller

That’s right, five chairs that are a mix. This room (above) was decorated by a very talented interior designer and True Colour Expert Traci Zeller.

Just by switching out a few chairs, it creates a much more interesting and collected look. It’s a simple change with a big impact – that makes your dining room look like a designer was there.

Creating a picture perfect dining room

Barb and I made a quick trip out to get some accessories and coordinate a few additional art pieces to the one she loved to create a gallery wall. And you know what, after the makeover was finished, we even liked the chandelier again. 😉

This refresh cost just a little over $600. Watch this week’s episode for expert tips on editing your decorating to create a picture perfect room.


Want some custom decorating help?

If you live in the Fraser Valley or Lower Mainland and have a room that needs rescuing, you can apply here.

Related posts:

Need an Extra Window Somewhere? (Do this Instead)

5 Common Decorating Mistakes in the Dining Room

Refresh Your Dining Room with Upholstered Chairs: Before & After



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  • Laura says:

    Hi Maria, Your rescue created such a sophisticated and elegant dining room, while respecting each of the couple’s treasures. Thanks for the tip on the triangle in creating a gallery wall!

  • Bette says:

    I will never love a gallery wall, but I appreciate this one and the tips you provided. IMO, gallery walls look cluttered, and there is always one piece that is slightly askew or not perfectly placed. I know the term gallery wall has come into vogue, but again IMO, museums do not display their best pieces on gallery walls, as we’ve come to use the phrase. Instead, these pieces are displayed as stand-alone items where a visitor can admire ONE piece — painting, sculpture, fiber art — at a time. I guess smaller galleries, like you find in cities, display multiple pieces at a time.

    • Christina says:

      Salon-style hangs go back to the 17th century, and many large, traditional museums have lovely galleries hung this way.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Bette, thanks for your comment. I appreciate what you’re saying but to clarify for anyone else reading this comment, you can have one piece of art when it properly fills up a wall. As I illustrated in the video with the photo I took of Barbara’s dining room with just the piece of art hung in there that she loved, it looked very lonely indeed.

      Think about castles and how they are decorated, for example like in Downton Abbey. Large oil paintings fill up their walls because it would look very empty to just have one little piece on those walls.


  • Ellen says:

    Love this video and your tips! Thank you for helping those of us on a tight budget know how to make our homes look beautiful!

  • Fabulous Maria. Love how they honor their past while moving forward. A lovely room I’d want to be int for dinner.

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