What Will Happen to the Red Dining Room?

Since we’ve had a red dining room for probably 14 or so years, I’m ready for a change!

Don’t get me wrong, I do love the way the red looks with various table settings…

Black and White Table Setting in Red Dining Room

Jacqueline Kennedy Inspired Table

I mean, how can you go wrong with red at Christmas?…

Christmas Table - Red Dining Room

Christmas Table

The wall shelves look so festive with a red background during the holidays…

Red Walls with Ledge Shelves

Christmas Shelves

And even though the red is dark, the white below the chair rail helps to lighten up the room a little.

Red Dining Room with White Wainscotting

But in a north-west facing room, it will never be bright and sunny in here…

Red Dining Room and Holiday Table

Red Dining Room Revisited

Something to consider is that the adjoining rooms are light colors…

white kitchen with stained wood island

White Kitchen

My kitchen cabinets are White Dove and the walls are Manchester Tan (both Benjamin Moore).

The foyer is painted White Sand…

Neutral Foyer next to Red Dining Room

Foyer with White Sand Paint

With all that considered, I have managed to narrow the new dining room color down to two choices – navy or a tan/griege color.  Yes, I am aware that those are extremely different looks but I can’t decide if I want the room to stay dark and cozy or switch to light and airy.

I have had a difficult time finding inspiration photos of navy dining rooms.  If you were to take a look at my Dining Room Pinterest Board, you will see that most my inspiration rooms have lighter walls.  I really do love this navy dining room, though and could really see myself coming up with a version of that look…or this gorgeous one!…I just don’t know!  I think it’s really challenging to pull off a navy room.

There is no way my husband will ever agree to replacing the furniture so the color I choose will have to go with the dark cherry.  I think I could probably convince him to change the chairs though…

Red Dining Room Walls with White Wainscotting

The rug is still in excellent condition (except the messy fringe) so I am not sure if this will stay or go.  The curtain panels will probably be replaced.

Red Dining Room

I would love to know what you think…

Which paint color do you vote for?

Navy or Tan/Greige?

(Or possibly something else?…)

*Update – See color we painted the dining room!

Thanks for your input!

I would love for you follow along so you don’t miss a post!

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  1. Have you looked at photos on Houzz? I found quite a few there of traditional styled dining rooms. Very pretty I might add.

  2. Shelley, I am pondering changing colors in my dining room, mine is also red. I love color and can't commit to white walls…had those when we first built our house years and years ago. I will be looking out for what you decide on…good luck!

  3. Either navy or tan/grey would look great. With your darker, traditional furniture, I would probably choose the lighter color. We have a dark tan throughout the house (previous owners choice) and I can't wait to lighten it up eventually. When we removed wallpaper in the kitchen and master bath, we put in a color called Sherwin williams Water Chestnut. I had originally wanted a "greige" color, but the SW guy talked me into the the Water Chestnut color since the grey tone would clash with the yellow tones in the tan walls throughout the house. (We have a very open concept house.) I'm really happy with the color and will probably use it throughout when we repaint.

  4. I would go with the lighter tan color, which would look lovely with your furniture. Personally, I think lighter colors can be just as cozy as dark ones.Warm hugs,Carol

  5. I love the thought of the lighter tan color and then using some fabulous navy accents. I think that could be the best of both worlds.

  6. I understand your dilemma. Try a very soft green, mine is Ralph Lauren Kahki. It is beautiful with all seasons, blue/white deco, and the dark cherry. Can even go modern!

  7. I love the idea of navy or the soft green that Judy mentioned. It's funny because you've pinned so many of the same pictures that I have. I'm drawn to all the very neutral pictures too but at the same time there's nothing prettier than a dining room with a little pizzazz to it. Can't wait to see what you decide because you always make the right choices.We have a beautiful red rug that we've had for years and I'm trying to decide whether or not to keep it in our new house. Decisions….

  8. Shelley, your dining room is gorgeous now, but I understand wanting a new look. I think both of your choices sound great. I can't wait to see what you decide! I hope that you have a wonderful week!!!

  9. I would go with a deep gold, would set off your furniture, be warm and inviting, yet lighter and sunnier, gorgeous with seasonal tablescapes, and a nice contrast from your foyer against the tan there. Second choice, deep water green. The tan is too close to your stair color, and the contrast between the rooms would be lost. I love the deep red, my guest room is done like that, with a lighter tan below the chair rail.

  10. Years ago we had our dining room dark, with cherry furniture. Once a dark not quite red (more raspberry) and once hunter green. We eventually went lighter, a tan/khaki color-current color). It was amazing how much better the cherry furniture looked! And, it allowed for changing out accessories without color limitations. We eventually sold our cherry furniture, but the new is still dark (more mahogony/expresso). I'll see if I can scrounge up some old pics so you can see the before/after. Have to warn you though…that was back in the 1990s :-0

  11. I've had 2 red dining room and loved them both. My vote is: NAVY! With that gorgeous white molding I think it would be stunning. Have a wonderful week, dear Shelley and I'm looking forward to see which one you choose.

  12. I had navy blue with white wainscot in the Georgian we moved from and I loved it. Just loved it. If you decide to go with the light paint you could add the red or navy in as accent colors. But I love strong colors…so I understand you struggle. 🙂 sheila

  13. I love RED so I think its beautiful as is, but change is always fun. Can't wait to see what you choose!!!Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!Blessings,Cindy

  14. Red is my colour of choice for a rich, warm and cozy atmosphere. It is very versatile and as you have said works extremely well at Christmas. BUT, since you are desiring a change, I would go with a lighter tone this time, as navy, for me, has the same characteristics as red. Good luck!Visiting from Make it Pretty Monday,Poppy

  15. I see you've used blue as an accent in other rooms in your home, so it might be really fun to do the navy walls in the dining room. If you don't think you're ready for that much navy, go with the greige and bring in the navy on your chairs and window treatments. Maybe do one in a print and one in a stripe.

  16. It's a hard choice because both are so different. The tan is classic and never goes out of style, but I must tell you; I just returned home from attending some home shows and Navy is really hot right now. I don't let that influence me too much, but it is lovely against the white. Thanks for sharing with SYC.hugs,Jann

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