Gathering around the Table

Tips For Finding Country Chic Dining Room Decor On A Budget

While beautiful country dining rooms seem effortless on home improvement shows, executing your own design plan can seem more challenging, especially if you have a limited budget for decor. Here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Rework what you have.

The great thing about country chic design is that eclectic decor can be made to look more cohesive. Before you go out shopping for new furniture, lighting, and centerpieces, take stock of what you already have. Some older, dated decor pieces can be transformed with a little TLC. You can try:

  • spray painting old, brass light fixtures black or white to make them blend better with a modern, country look. Replace standard light bulbs with Edison lights, and use items like wooden beads as embellishments instead of crystals. You can even enclose an existing chandelier in barrel hoops to replicate more expensive pieces that are trending right now. 
  • hanging plates or frames on the walls. If you have a limited supply of art to create a focal wall, gather picture frames and paint them white, light blue, or black. You can hang them empty on the wall or fill them with fabric from an old quilt or dress. If you have old glass plates, try painting them a color that matches your chosen scheme and hanging them with wire plate frames. 
  • sanding and painting your chairs. Modern design brings in chairs that are both stylish and comfortable. Country dining sets have chairs that make a statement with fabric or barn wood framing. To mimic this look, reupholster your chairs or paint them in a distressed style to bring a more farmhouse look for a much cheaper price. Click here to learn more about dining room furniture.

2. Know how to work your resources. 

Your next option is to shop in your area for dining furniture and pieces that will bring together the country look. Unfortunately, with the growing popularity of shows like Fixer Upper and Flea Market Flip, people are starting to see the hidden potential in items and will charge more for them, so you've got to be more creative. Consider:

  • gathering materials from different sources. When someone is taking down a barn or selling pallets, ask them for the pieces that nobody else wants-- uneven boards, broken pallets, rusty hardware etc. When people find barn wood, ship lap, or other farmhouse finds, they still want things that are in ready-to-use condition. When you take the "broken cookies," you can get better bargain, as long as you're willing to do more work to get it display-worthy. 
  • volunteering for tear-down projects. If a house or an old school in your community is going to be torn down, volunteer to help in some way. This gets you a leg in the door to save some valuables that would otherwise be taken to the dump.
  • gathering items that you would normally pass over when you go to the thrift store. Old books, records, vintage toys, glass jars, and even old curtains find their place on the forgotten shelves of thrift and antique stores. Ignore the flashy, more prominent items that seem perfect and search the shelves for those things that have been sitting a while. You can get discounts on items that don't move as quickly.