Small Formal Spaces Swapped!

Dear Style Studio,

My husband and I were recently married and since we already owned our house we dove right into making it a home! Our number one priority was reconfiguring our formal living and dining rooms.

These rooms sit at the front of our remodeled 1970 ranch style house and aren’t decorated horribly but they are horribly inefficient. We never use these rooms and the dining room has no storage or space.

We are quickly outgrowing the rest of our house and want to create two spaces that we feel comfortable entertaining in.

Our idea was to switch the rooms to give the dining room more space but we are unsure what to do with the other room because it attaches to the kitchen.

Please help! I am fine reusing everything but the couch … it must go!


Kristin D 4

Kristin D 2

Kristin D 3

Kristin D 1













Using your space to its greatest potential is always a good thing. We think switching the functions of the two rooms is a clever idea.

Since your existing dining room is smaller in size, consider painting the room all one color … both above and below the chair molding. This is a great way to make a room appear larger.

Now to the furniture … Start by centering a smaller sofa or love seat on the far wall in the existing dining room. We suggest our Nottinghill Loveseat in Khaki Twill. You now have a focal point in this room so group together some of your existing artwork to create a collection above the loveseat.

Next move your rattan wing chairs to flank the window near the sofa. Replace the existing pillows with fresh new “faces”. How about a pillow in Zara Turquoise for an eye catcher. So that your loveseat won’t feel neglected, add pillows in Velvet Teal and Marrakech Ikat.

Kristin D Collage

The transfer of your cocktail table and side table will be simple in your new space, just use them for the same purpose. An addition that we suggest is a table in the left corner between the chairs and loveseat. If space allows, choose a round table that can also be used for an additional dining table.

The dining room filled with the table and chairs will feel open and free but you still need additional storage. We recommend adding a large storage piece, centered on the long wall. This wall needs to carry the visual weight of the room especially since it is competing with the opposing window wall.

Center your table and chairs in the room and tuck an appropriate sized rug under it. We think the Charlotte Braided Rug would be a great selection. It has a relaxed look about it and nicely marries your brown walls and blue highlights.

Additional seating can be provided by the Montauk Settee and it is easily pulled up to the dining table for entertaining. As a permanent home, place it in front of the bay window along with side tables … try the Lotus Garden Seat.

Create a plan before you start moving your space. There will be tweaks along the way but a good plan is a fabulous start to any room.

Happy Decorating!

The Style Studio Team

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.