Call it a midlife crisis, call it caving into Pinterest, but my dining room is in desperate need of redecorating. I want something beautiful, modern and simple. I've been looking for weeks and have rounded up my personal favorites. These DIY dining sets are more modern in style, but could work with other decor, too. One of the factors I am using to pick out a set is my entertaining style. We have small parties, so I need to fit at least 6-8 people comfortably, we can always squeeze in a few more and set up a kid's table if needed. I want something clean and modern so that they will not compete with the party styling, but bold enough to look great with just a simple bunch of flowers.

It is important when picking a dining set, or any piece of furniture for that matter, to think of longevity - can you use the piece in another home and will it match if you change your decor a bit, and reality - will this look good in my DIYs and can it handle glitter glue and watercolors? OK, that might be my realilty, but you see my point. I don't have a huge budget, but I can get some pretty stylish options in it.

SOURCES: (from top to bottom) ARIA TABLE (Room and Board) // PARKER EXPANDABLE TABLE (West Elm) // EAMES WIRE BASE CHAIR (Room and Board) // JENSEN TABLE (Crate and Barrel) // CALISTA TABLE (Crate and Barrel) // VIENNA SIDE CHAIR (Crate and Barrel) // ACARA DINING TABLE (Crate and Barrel) // JUNO TABLE (JCPenney) // H BASE CHAIRS (Modernica) // ARC BASE PEDESTAL TABLE (West Elm)

Keeping the dining room in budget is hard and I have a few things around the house that I want to replace, but I can't replace everything at once. I am starting (finally) to have a plan. I usually only shop for furniture every five years or so, not including my constant thrifting habits, and last time we ended up just buying something so we didn't have to eat in the kitchen. Please tell me I am not the only one who has done this!

That's the thing about furniture, if you get something just for the moment, you will be stuck with it FOREVER, especially if it is less than awesome. So this time, I figure it is time to do it right. I will keep using my old set until I pick out my favorites. There isn't anything on here that isn't affordable, but I will admit a few of these are pushing it a smidge, depending on what combinations you make. I have been price shopping and these are remarkably low priced compared to what is out there. There are even a few that are made in America, which is worth the little bit of extra cost.

I am still scouring craigslist too, trying to find that perfect table and chair with buffet set from the 60s, but something tells me half of Seattle is looking for that kind of thing, too. Ah, the perils of living in a hip city. If I can score a great deal on a buffet, I can use the extra money to get some crazy awesome chairs...wish me luck!