Space of the Week: A Formerly Dark Dining Room Gets a Light and Bright Makeover

The designer moved into her childhood home and made it her own.

Dining room with white walls, wooden dining table, indoor potted tree, and white bubble chandelier
Photo: Halle Baran

Before you say anything about the fact that Halle Baran, founder and lead designer of Sil and Park Interiors, painted the dark wood trim of her dining room white, know that she has a good reason for it. "It was really beautiful wood and some people will probably hate that I covered it," she says. "But I grew up in this home—my husband and I bought it from my parents in May 2020. I really needed a change to make it feel like my own."

Space of the Week, Dining Room Before with dark wood molding and wallpaper
The dining room with dark wood molding before the paint makeover. Halle Baran

The house she shares with her husband, Corbin, and their two young children is set about a block from Lake Erie in Lakewood, Ohio. Baran has always loved being close to the water, and she felt that just seeing it made her feel calm and rejuvenated. So when her family started a new chapter under this roof, it was almost as if Baran wanted that serene feeling to underscore the shift. "We wanted to keep the bones of the room, just give it a facelift," she notes.

Besides its dark wood details, which encased the windows and striped the walls in traditional wainscoting, there was patterned wallpaper and a green ceiling to rethink. "Again, I really loved these things," Baran notes with a laugh. Nevertheless, she sanded down the wood trim to make it easier for the surface to accept paint, and then covered it all in white shades from Sherwin-Williams: the ceiling and upper third of the walls got Greek Villa, while the trim and wainscoting got Gossamer Veil. They switched out the chandelier to go from pretty traditional to ultra-modern, and from there, Baran suddenly had what felt like a completely new space to furnish.

"I like to do different scales of patterns in all of my projects, and I try to add in as much texture as I can," she says. "For this one, I played with wood, rattan, jute, and metal, just to name a few." A handwoven, black-and-beige rug anchors the room and sits beneath a mid-century table and chairs that Baran's parents left for them to enjoy. Using the wood tones in the dining set as inspiration, Baran scored an oak filing case from the Cleveland vintage shop Cosmic Girl Goes Home and placed it in one corner beneath artwork from her parents' collection. Baran positioned a buffet table on the opposing wall for even more storage, as well as additional opportunities for fun vignettes. She likes to say that she "shopped her own home" to fill in the rest and took her time finding accessories like vases, lamps, and bowls.

One more detail Baran says shouldn't be forgotten in any renovation project: "Plants!" In the dining room, she included several. "Whether they're faux or real, you need greenery to bring a space to life."

Now that the room feels like a stylish exhale, Baran looks back on the two-year transformation as a true blend of old and new. And funny enough, she thinks the passage of time played a part in this upgrade, too. "We knew we wanted to update this room on a budget, and the only way to do that was to do it intentionally," she says. "It came together slowly but surely."

Wooden dresser in dining room with vase and wooden beads on top
Halle Baran

Get the Look:

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A Soft, Textured Rug

Beige and Black Rug
Neverman Floor Artisans

A neutral beige and black color palette complements the wood tones and woven details in the room—while effectively camouflaging any spills from the table above. The striped design adds subtle pattern and texture underfoot.

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Handmade Details

Bloomist Clay Beads

Natural and handcrafted details are assembled into vignettes throughout the room, including on top of a wooden dresser. This string of clay beads, designed by stylist Hilary Robertson and handmade by potters in Tunisia, lends rustic beauty to the space.

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Storage in Style

White Buffet Cabinet with Cane Doors
Scout & Nimble

A buffet cabinet with cane doors serves as a spot to stash serving dishes, table linens, and spare silverware.

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Reclaimed Wood Bowl

Reclaimed Wood Bowl
Pottery Barn

Throughout the dining room, wooden elements contribute warmth and a sense of character. This bowl, made from reclaimed wood from India, would make a beautiful centerpiece to leave out every day.

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