Whether your style is formal or family friendly, use these design tips and decorating ideas to update your dining room.
Play with furniture styles to achieve a personalized look. Just unify with color. These red lacquer bamboo-style side chairs
add a bold punch of color that coordinates with the cabinet interiors of this space.
Nothing gives tired pieces an instant lift like glossy black paint. Black spray paint reinvented this 1980s brass light fixture.
Inexpensive shades wrapped in apple green ribbon complete the lighting makeover.
Simple details like the finish of your linens help set the tone of your dining space. This round table and antique chairs
are covered in simple linen and checked fabrics. A dainty scalloped edge on the chairs and table topper adds a decorative
Add storage to a small dining area with a built-in china cabinet. You’ll not only save floorspace, but you’ll also have the
opportunity to integrate architectural details like decorative trimwork.
Forgo the traditional dining room chandelier, and try a more modern approach. The undulating form of this pendant breaks up
the otherwise straight lines in this space.
Get the free traffic flow of an open plan and the intimacy of a closed dining room by using sliding pocket doors. On the left
side of this room, reclaimed heart-pine pocket doors can be closed to hide the kitchen.
Make your artwork a focal point by downplaying the other colors in the space. Clean lines and neutral colors give this space
a gallery-like feel, allowing a distinctive, brightly colored painting to take center stage.
Natural lighting makes a dining room magnetic. A clutch of chairs normally found in a living room, including two English wing
chairs, amps up this room’s style. Canvas upholstery unites the mismatched vintage chairs.
Add textural depth by mixing upholstery fabrics. These dining chairs sport patterned upholstery cushions, and the backs are
covered in a coordinating solid.
Reflecting its forested location, this house is decked out in a variety of natural materials—from rough-hewn beams to rustic
furniture made from branches.
Dining rooms can easily be made into multiuse spaces. A large dining table work surface makes this room a perfect place to
double as the homeowner’s design office. Books and samples can quickly be stowed in cabinets when guests come over.
Visually expand a small dining room by keeping the palette monochromatic and furnishing it with a round table and armless
dining chairs. This crisp green dining room feels airy and open even though the space is small.
Emphasize the height of your dining room with vertical stripes. Floor-to-ceiling windows also help this space feel lofty and light.
Add shelves for greater flexibility. A wall of library shelves in this dining room enhances the cozy cabin feel and offers homeowners the option of converting the space into an office.
Built-in banquette seating is a great option if you’re short on space. It not only adds seating, but the space beneath the seat can also be used for storage. Using the same upholstery fabric helps tie together the mixed seating in this space.
Make sure all of your dining room materials and surfaces are spill-proof. These host chairs, designed in a modified Parsons
style, are upholstered in durable outdoor fabric to withstand upset cups and plates.
Try a nontraditional color scheme. This formal dining room jazzes up a traditional foundation with unexpected color combinations.
The graphic green upholstered chairs play off of the distinctive orange-and-gold wallpaper. Gilded accents pick up the metallics
in the pattern of the paper.
Set the mood with lush window treatments. Luxurious curtains hung near the ceiling give grand scale to this dining room.
Even if you’re not a fan of bright colors, you can still create a striking dining room. This mostly neutral dining room is
anything but boring. A variety of linens and rich browns punctuated by small colorful accents gives a warm and inviting look
to the room. Lots of natural light keeps the dark brown walls from visually closing in the space.
Prioritize your spending. Instead of a more expensive chandelier, a paper lantern glows over the table in this dining room. It adds big style for a low price.
Use mixed finishes for a casual look. These painted chairs are paired with a round mahogany dining table. The mix of finishes
on the room’s various furnishings provides a collected, casual appeal.
Use a formally balanced layout for a traditional dining room. This room highlights the homeowner’s preference for symmetry
and clean lines. A new built-in china cabinet looks original to the circa-1920s house.
When selecting your finishes, think about the wear and tear that your dining room may experience beyond spills. The white
oak plank flooring with a limed finish in this coastal cottage dining room is perfect for disguising sand tracked in from
the beach. A clear wax on top keeps it sealed and hardy.
Tell a cohesive color story in connected spaces. The wall color in this dining room was custom mixed to match the blue undertones
of curtains in the adjoining living room.
Add an unexpected touch to an elegant space by including playful patterns. The jazzy zebra upholstery on these dining chairs
keeps the otherwise subdued room from feeling stuffy.
Instead of refinishing antique pieces, let the natural character shine. Antique iron chairs surround a rustic table in this
dining room. These vintage items lend stylish history to the newly constructed space.
Formal dining rooms are the perfect place to display family heirlooms. They make fantastic conversation pieces when you entertain.
A portrait of the homeowner’s late mother, who taught her how to entertain, properly presides over this elegant dining room.
Encourage conversation with a round table. To keep things intimate, your table shouldn’t exceed 40-inches in diameter. This round table is surrounded by an eclectic collection of hole-caned chairs.
If you don’t have the space for a formal dining room, look for opportunities to leverage another space to do double duty.
This center entry hall also functions as the dining room. Built-in seating adds storage, and a narrow table ensures free traffic
flow behind dining chairs.
A window-filled alcove in this beach house functions like a dining room with a casual table, two slipcovered end chairs, and
a pillow-topped banquette. The built-in bench and wall of windows make this small space seem much larger. Two vintage light
fixtures hung with nautical rope instead of standard chains illuminate the space.
Highlight architectural features with a contrasting paint color. The stark white of this mantel pops against the gray-brown
of the walls and allows each feature to maintain its importance.
The repetitive shape of books on a shelf can act as a pattern in your dining room. Rows of books in built-in shelves make a beautiful patterned backdrop for the dining table in this space. These shelves were crafted from gypsum drywall, instead of wood, for a more modern profile.
If you want to highlight the view outside of your dining space, keep your furnishings and accessories simple. This dining
table is centered in front of a large back wall of windows, and the space is softened with simple curtains.
Supplement your family pieces with furniture found at antique and secondhand stores. This homeowner wanted a modern contrast,
so he had the flea market find barrel chairs commercially sprayed in a light driftwood color. The color contrasts against
the dark oak of his great-grandfather’s dining table and sideboard.
Sloshing and splashing are inevitable in a family dining room. A leopard print rug is very forgiving in this family space.
Spills are camouflaged in the spotted pattern.
Establish a historic style. These homeowners took inspiration from British colonial style, and they limited their color palette
to crisp white and ebony. The furnishings in this dining space are classic American or English shapes.
Just because the dining room is traditionally a formal space doesn’t mean you can’t try a more casual feel. Mixing high-back
upholstered seating with low, slipcovered chairs avoids the predictable formula of a table with matching chairs in this room.
Salvaged wood offers a distinctive warmth and texture that can’t be replicated with new wood. The wood floors in this dining
room were salvaged from a local factory.
Neutral dining spaces are perfect for highlighting seasonal decor. This dining room picks up the personality of seasonal florals and accents.
Create some rhythm in your space by repeating the shape of your table in the rug. This rectangular rug is large enough that all four legs of pulled-back chairs remain on the rug.
Separate spaces by using a portier. This dining and living room are adjoined by a large cased opening. Curtain panels make the space more versatile, add softness to the dining room, and provide privacy when necessary.
Highlight a grand focal piece by pairing it with neutral accents. A shell-encrusted china cabinet is the star of this dining space, and other neutral furnishings don’t compete for attention.
Use draperies to bring texture to your dining room. Curtain panels transverse an entire wall in this dining room. The sheer fabric still allows natural light to filter into the space.
Don’t feel tied to one style. Modern black dining chairs sit alongside traditional armchairs in this eclectic yet elegant dining space.
Choose a lantern fixture for a more casual look. A standard chandelier would overwhelm this laid-back space, but a wrought-iron lantern fixture is just right.
A brick floor is a great choice when you want a rustic, farm-style look. The various colors of the brick flooring inspired the color scheme in this dining space.
Sure, you’ve seen plates hung on a wall before, but these rectangular beauties take the concept to the next level. The collection of 10 colorful plates acts as artwork in this dining room.
Turn an infrequently used space into a dining room. This conservatory is part dining room part greenhouse. The open and airy space boasts spectacular views and plenty of natural light.
This dining room fireplace is raised to table height so it can be enjoyed by everyone in the room.
Have at least one unique conversation piece in your dining room. A whimsical light fixture becomes a focal point over this dining table and speaks to the design sense of the home owner.
Don’t be afraid to use large swaths of shine. A metallic wallpaper acts as a neutral while still giving a glow to this space.
Mix your window coverings for flexibility. Matchstick blinds and curtain panels control the level of light and privacy in this dining room.
A built-in shelf breaks up this very vertical space and offers a place to display plates and other accents.
Gray doesn’t have to be sterile. A collection of blue and green dishware pops against the cool grays and whites of this space.
Warm wood tones, brick, and even books give this dining room a cozy appeal.
Select a light fixture that fits the scale of your space. A large rustic chandelier fits both the personality and size of this lofty dining space.
Punch up the energy in your dining room with colored furniture. These red chairs are finished with a semi-opaque stain that still allows the character of the wood to show through.
Not only do slipcovers lend a casual cottage look to a space, but they also make a dining room more user-friendly. These monogrammed covers can easily be tossed in the wash in case of spills.
The flamboyant botanical wallpaper in this room is mirrored in the organic shapes of the chandelier, and the subtle zig-zag of the chair upholstery is repeated in the rug.
Small spaces are often the perfect place to install built-in storage. An awkward corner becomes a built-in buffet or bar in this dining room.
Think beyond drywall for your walls and ceiling. This dining room is completely finished with wood. A warm wood ceiling and
floor treatment paired with painted wood walls adds vintage character to the space.
Tour this Modern Dogtrot Home
Give an everyday dining space a casual vibe with a combination of seating arrangements, like the wing chairs, curvy settee,
and burlap-topped benches that circle this dining table.
Just as gold accessories add an on-trend vibe to an outﬁt, the warm tones of brushed gold ﬂatware and embellished glasses
add ﬁnesse and sparkle to a casual table.
The concrete counters and custom steel cabinets echo this home's industrial chic vibe.
This updated dining room offers a clean, modern look that is both private and quiet.
Let your china provide a dining room's color and pattern. It's the secret to classic style that's not overdone.
Pairing antiques with natural curiosities, like the modern gold-lined black shades on the chandelier, gives this room a more
Create a laid-back layered look by mixing and matching patterns - from the linens to the stemware.
You don't need peppermints or candy canes to make a bold statement with this red-and-white color scheme.
This table is complemented by the slipcovered chairs and French-style bistro chairs that have plastic seats and backs, keeping things stylishly practical.
A large round table in a square dining room makes conversations easier and most have leaves for extra seating.
Anchored by a clean-lined Parsons table (left unpolished to stand up to fingerprints), the dining room is both sophisticated
and family friendly. Galvanized-metal French Tolix chairs designed in the 1930s and a long bench (which has been known to
hold as many as six kids) provide some much needed flexibility and style.
Conical baskets, believed to have once been used by Asian fishermen, are now airy pendant shades over the South Carolina pine
The homeowners wanted to have a fresh, bright dining room, so designer Ashley Whittaker helped them pick a showstopping lettuce
green shade for the shiny lacquered walls and then kicked it up a notch with bright coral upholstered dining chairs. Painted
lantern sconces and a sleek, four-arm, unlacquered brass chandelier play off the casual mood established by the sweet/tart
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Chair fabric (back): Volpi (custom colorway) by Quadrille. Wall paint: Young Wheat; pantone.com.