Before and after: this funky modern dining area is proof of the power of paint

Emma Peleshok dramatically transformed the style and feel of her dining area with one simple (but magical) ingredient

dining area with black feature wall and a shaker style kitchen
(Image credit: Katie Lee © Future)

Choosing a decorating scheme is difficult at the best of times. But when you're faced with a room that's already adopted such a specific style, the decision to go against the existing grain can be even harder. But when Emma Peleshok, a programme manager, bought this Victorian mid terraced house in York by herself, she was excited to have free rein with the decorating choices, and so she didn't hold back. 

We've chatted with her to find out how she transformed a country style dining area into a sleek and modern space for her family.

For more inspiration, check out our our favourite living room ideas.

The before 

before shot of a floral dining room

(Image credit: Emma Peleshok)

The original dining area had ditsy floral wall paper, duck egg blue walls, shaker style cabinetry and country inspired furniture. 'I just wanted to make it a bit more modern and funky,' says Emma. 

The after 

dining room with a black feature wall and a shaker style kitchen

(Image credit: Katie Lee © Future)

...And that's exactly what she did. Painting on a black feature wall has created a stark contrast from the other crisp white walls. Monochrome is a fail-safe, always-on-trend colour duo. While black absorbs light, light reflects it, making for a space that's easy on the eye and just the right amount of punchy. 

'The kitchen-diner is open plan and it was a challenge to get a consistent feel and achieve something that flows,’ Emma says. The wooden flooring and white walls unite the two spaces perfectly, while the curved shaker style kitchen works to soften the overall contemporary look. 

The artwork 

dining room with a black feature wall and a gallery wall wiith a wooden table and wooden flooring

(Image credit: Katie Lee © Future)

The gallery wall is a mixture of old and new prints, a poster from when Emma was in a band called Hooky, and some of her own drawings. The black frames really draw the whole scheme together, and the exposed brick alcove adds texture for a more cosy feel. 

And yes, that is a mini grand piano behind the table! Emma never thought she’d find a house within her budget that would fit her baby grand piano. ‘It was a gift from my mum and her husband,’ she says. ‘I used to play as a child and I’m trying to re-learn.’

Amelia Smith
Content Editor

After joining Real Homes as content producer in 2016, Amelia has taken on several different roles and is now content editor. She specializes in style and decorating features and loves nothing more than finding the most beautiful new furniture, fabrics and accessories and sharing them with our readers. As a newbie London renter, Amelia’s loving exploring the big city and mooching around vintage markets to kit out her new home.