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Before & After :: How A Wallpaper Makeover Completely Transformed this Designer’s Dining Room


Confession: If there is one place in my home that I’m dying to put up some wallpaper, it’s our dining room. And not just any wallpaper, but the exact wallpaper used by designer Claire Staszak of Centered by Design in her own recent dining room makeover!

I just about fell over when I saw Claire’s sneak peek of this transformation on instagram, so I’m really honored to share the reveal of her updated dining room – and her office-turned-playroom – with you all today!

Tell us a bit about your and your design approach: I own and operate Centered by Design, an interior architecture and design firm here in Chicago. We are a busy team of 4 working on high-end residential renovations and retail spaces. Our motto is, “Find Your Personal Sanctuary.” I worked in marketing and taught yoga for 10 years before transitioning to design. I try to bring CALM and beauty into homes and the building and renovation process.

What’s the history of your home, and what made you want to give these rooms some updates? We live in a 1940s Tudor Bungalow on Chicago’s northside. My husband Luke, daughter Willa (2) and I have lived here since 2016, and have renovated over time. (Here’s a first home tour!)

With Covid we have been inside a lot and I really felt inspired to refresh our own space and bring some joyful color and pattern into our lives. I really wanted to highlight our stained glass windows in the front of the house and continue that feeling in the dining room. Originally, I had a gray/blush palette in these spaces and it just did not make me HAPPY! I felt that picking up more of the green from the front windows and trees in view and bringing that into the dining room would feel more alive. The only things we changed in the dining room were: wallpaper, new chairs, and new drapes – everything else stayed the same.



I couldn’t agree more that Claire’s wallpaper choice not only brought in not only life and color, but connected the living room to the dining room in a way that really draws your eye through the space!

The wallpaper she chose is Raphael by Sandberg, available through Scalamandre. It’s one of my all time favorite patterns for its lush foliage, but also the subtle green tone. I like that there is still plenty of white space in the pattern too. When I asked Claire on what her starting point for the room update was, she said, I based the new designs solely around the wallpaper sample. Wallpaper is an excellent starting point because it has so many colors to pull from.”

It really is crazy how just the change of dining chairs, a few accessories and wallpaper completely refreshed this space.

Through the kitchen at the other end of the home, Claire’s daughter, Willa, got a little space of her own, too!

Tell us about this room update! Originally, this room was my home office and I never gave it a real identity as her playroom. It was fine and functioned okay, but with the update I think we both love it more! Her favorite color is red and we spend a lot of time there. I just wanted a happy, bright space for her to play and for me to enjoy being in.



Claire used the ‘Carly’ pattern by Schumacher to bring whimsy to this space. Don’t you love the cheerful colors!? There were also quite a few new additions here, including the yellow rug from Revival Rugs, and the chandelier from Sullivan & Phenix.

Any other design tips for us when it comes to wallpaper? Don’t be afraid of patterns! But do your research and really spend some time looking at and trying to figure out what patterns you love, respond to and want to spend a lot of time with. Wallpaper typically costs between $100 – $200/roll and you usually need 6 – 10 rolls for a full average size room. Install costs range but could be anywhere from $600 – $1200 depending on conditions of the room. I think the investment is well worth it and really will transform your home!

If you have more questions about Claire’s home, please explore her blog, as well as her super helpful PDF downloads with tons of information on common design questions, including paint colors, renovation tips, wallpaper sources, and more! And of course, you can find her on instagram too. Thank you Claire for sharing these inspiring spaces with us!!

What do you think?


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