This classic black farmhouse dining table, with its mismatched set of dining chairs, truly embodies the essence of French country style. Although I had a full set of identical chairs, two of them were non-functional and unrepairable.  I did happen to have two excellent classic oak farmhouse style chairs that worked well for creating the collected over time look I wanted to achieve. One of the aspects that I adore about French country is that it’s style is not matchy-matchy. It’s a blend of country rustic with formal elegance. It’s so down to earth and comfortable, yet remains elegant. I’m going to interject right now and let you know this is a picture heavy post. Just be patient if it seems like the page isn’t loading quickly.  I just had so many favorite images that I had a difficult time deciding which ones to share.  You’re getting the whole kit and kaboodle with this one.

All photos are Pinnable.

professional painted black French Country Farmhouse style dining table

In earlier posts, My Gustavian Style part 1 & part 2, I have mentioned that my personal style is a blend of French country, cottage, and Swedish Gustavian. Gustavian style finishes inspired the finish on the shutters you see here. They have been a work in progress, something that I began creating a few years ago. I do plan to continue adding to the finish, but for now the simplicity and soft pale shade of blue works perfectly in contrast against the black French country farmhouse dining table.

Styling this table was a reasonably easy job but I did have to do a few retakes because once I loaded some of the photos they weren’t up to par. The photos weren’t clearly in focus on the first go around. That is the reason you see the table styled in two different, yet similar fashions.

I used one of these shutters as a backdrop in this blog post about a sweet romantic bookshelf. If you would like to take a look at that, you can do so here.

Reinvented Collection refinished black dining table


Reinvented Collection ladder back dining chairs

Let me tell you a little about the origin of this dining set. When I carried this set home with me, it wore a horrible shade of dingy yellow paint with a light oak stain on top. As far as the upholstery fabric goes…. nothing much is to be said.  A picture is worth a thousand words. I also recovered the seat cushions too.

I  have a few images before I began working on a new finish.  And for the love of all that is kind and sweet, please pin the prettier photos. I wish I knew how to disable pinning ugly pictures. I have a love, hate issue with before and afters.  The before will be at the bottom of this post.

Reinvented Collection french country style centerpiece


Reinvented Collection easy napkin ring

From the get-go, I knew what I wanted to do as far as a paint finish. I wanted to create a timeless classic black finish with an imperfect, dark walnut stain. I also needed to add some basic finishes to my furniture portfolio.  Not everyone appreciates textured and layered paint and faux finishes.

What? No. Say it isn’t true.

It’s true.

There are still a lot of people that like a sleek, clean design.  This table with the black paint finish will work well for those who lean more heavily towards modern French country or modern farmhouse style.

Reinvented Collection french country cottage style dining table


Here are a few close-ups.


Reinvented Collection ladder back dining chair

Reinvented Collection wood grain french country dining table

I do love black. In fact, I wear quite a bit of dark clothing. But the reason I adore black in home decor is because the smallest touch of it instantly grounds any interior space, and adds a modern touch to most every type of design style.

Technically speaking, depending on who you might consult for the answers, black, even white is not considered a color. It’s the absence of color. Okay. Whatever. That would be debating semantics. While those types of discussions can be fun, they are akin to arguing whether the sky is blue. You feel me? LOL. Let us just suffice it to say ….Black is always au courant, and one can never go wrong with using that color.

I couldn’t decide which photo looked best or which composition was best…. what do you think?

Which of the following three images do you like best?

Reinvented Collection french farmhouse dining table

Reinvented Collection french country cottage farmhouse table


Reinvented Collection modern country cottage

In Alaska, during certain times of the year, we need to use colors that reflect light rather than absorb light. White does that job. The color of the shutters, not a stark white, but more of a the palest shade of blue worked perfectly for reflecting light back at the table. When I pulled the shutters into the room, I didn’t think about all the technical aspects of how it would reflect light back towards my subject; the black dining table with its walnut color stained top. It just worked out that way.

Is this information to technical and boring? I fear that it is.

I’m sharing all of this because what I learned about light and shadows in my sketching class at Academy of Art, made sense in the most hands-on of ways. But you don’t need to understand the science behind color to make it work beautifully for your home. What we can be sure of is black, color or not, absorbs light.

Reinvented Collection french country cottage centerpiece

Here is my tip for you: If you want to brighten up a space use touches of white in your home decor.

When everything feels overly bright, add a touch of black to give the eyes a place to rest. Does that make sense?

Reinvented Collection french country style dining

Keep in mind, you don’t have to stick to black and white to apply this little trick. Dark colors and light colors of any shade will almost always create the same effect. So if you want to use navy blue, dark gray, or any richly saturated color and contrast it with pale shades of any color, go for it. It’s dark vs light. This little trick will work to ground your space no matter the color that you choose.

Reinvented Collection silver mason jars ironstone

Reinvented Collection refinished country dining chairs


Reinvented Collection french country cottage hutch

Yesterday when I sat down to write a post about this table I got to telling a story about how this area evolved and the disaster that led to me doing a wall treatment and painting the floor. I realized that all I had written and edited wasn’t sufficient for such a beautifully designed table. Instead of scrapping what I wrote, I saved it for another post that will include a quick DIY on the wall treatment that I used. I very much like my DIY wallpaper. 

Reinvented Collection six person country farmhouse dining table


Reinvented Collection before french country dining table1


Thank you for sticking this heavily pictured post out to the bottom.  I hope you will subscribe to follow me through email, FacebookInstagram, Google+ and through subscribing by email.  You can find that area on the right side of my main page. It’s easy to find.

Whew… I am wiped out now.  It’s time for a cup of hot tea.

One more thing- This table is available in Anchorage, Alaska.  If you swing by Family Flea Market on Old Seward, ask for Kate. She is one of the sweetest women I’ve ever known and talking with her is so fun.


This week I’m linking up with these fabulous ladies. If you are looking to get lost in tons of inspiration, DIY ideas, recipes, home decor, styling tips, please click any one of these links.  These links are the yellow brick road to pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

French Country Cottage- Feathered Nest Friday

Cedar Hill Farmhouse- Anita- The Scoop

The Charm of Home- Sherry- Home Sweet Home

From My Front Porch To Yours- Pamela-Treasure Hunt Thursdays

Shabbilicious Friday Link Party- Kerryanne- Shabby Art Boutique

Katherines Corner- Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop

Savvy Southern Style- Kim- Wow Us Wednesdays

The Happie Housie- Krista + 4 other fabulous hosts- Work It Wednesdays

Patina Paradise- Lucy +5 additional hosts- Fridays Furniture Fix

The Shabby Nest- Wendy- Frugal Friday Favorites

The Craftberry Bush-Lucy- The Inspiration Gallery

The Painted Drawer- Suzanne- The Painted Drawer Link Party

Elizabeth & Co – Sharon – Be Inspired

Posed Perfection Nici- Creative Ways Link Party

Anderson and Grant– Jamie- Your Turn to Shine

Rooted In Thyme Stan and Jody- Simple Sweet Favorites






Join the Conversation


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    1. Thank you, Beverly. There is a story behind that room. It’s actually my office/studio. Last year my downstairs flooded, I had to get creative when I needed to set up a space to photograph the dining table before I could sell it. I talked a little about that in my blog post Best of 2015 Blog Post.

  1. Absolutely gorgeous! We have a similar table, and the chair set that came with it was not well made and they are breaking down one by one. I am looking forward to finding mismatched chairs and painting them all to match. This was just the inspiration I need to get started, thanks!

    1. You are welcome, Kelsey. I’m thrilled that you are inspired by my table. Good thing garage sale season is almost upon us. You will find some fabulous chairs. I’m rather fond of mix-matching dining chairs and then unifying the look by using the same paint finish on each chair. I hope you will share your project with us at Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop. Be sure to let me know when you do. 🙂

  2. What a gorgeous dining room. Such amazing beauty and details. You have incredible style.


  3. Your blog is filled with eye candy! You have beautiful style and taste! You do beautiful work! Please come and share! I would love it if you would join in on my Making Broken Beautiful party! It starts 6:00pm (MST) this Thursday September 10 and I would love to have you join up each week! Now following!
    Smiles for a great week!

    1. Thank you for the invitation and the comment, Terry. I love linking up with blog parties. I definitely will come by The Curators Collection. I love that name too. Very clever. 🙂

  4. What a gorgeous post full of beautiful pictures. Love it. Sharing tonight on The Painted Drawer Link Party and thank you SO much for linking up!

    1. Thank you so much, Suzanne. I will be by later on to visit the other links too. I am incredibly thankful that you enjoyed my post to share it on your wonderful blog. Thank you for hosting a fantastic link party. I am so grateful. 🙂

  5. I loved this picture heavy post- your home is beautiful! The black furniture caught my eye! Really quite pretty! Coming from creative ways!

    1. Hi Angelina,
      I’m so happy you enjoyed all the photos. I was a little apprehensive of cramming so many into one post. Thank you for taking the time to comment too. 🙂 I do appreciate it so much.

  6. Truly beautiful transformation and exquisite photos Olivia. I love your DIY wallpaper in the background too! I look forward to featuring your dining suite at tomorrow’s Shabbilicious Friday link party.
    Hugs ~ Kerryanne

  7. Stunning job, Olivia. I don’t paint a lot of things black or charcoal colored, but there are some pieces that just scream to be painted those colors. This is one of them. The black paired with the color of the wood is really lovely. Love your styling, too! Thanks so much for sharing this at my party this week!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment Jamie, and thank you for hosting a wonderful party. I just discovered your blog. You will definitely be seeing more of me in the future.

      1. You’re so sweet! I’m happy to have you join us. I was just stopping by tonight to let you know I’m including you in my features tomorrow at the party. I’m in love with what you do!

  8. Beautiful and classic! I love the look of black chairs with some natural wood. Featured you at Be Inspired this morning. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much, Sharon. I feel so grateful and blessed to have been chosen when you have so many amazing, talented women sharing each week. My heart is full this morning.

    1. Thank you, Mary. I was on your blog earlier. You have some beautiful posts as well. Unfortunately, I had to leave before I could leave comments. I will be back to visit you very soon. Thank you also for leaving a comment. I do appreciate it very much.