76 Stylish Dining Room Ideas
Whether your style is formal or family friendly, use these design tips and decorating ideas to update your dining room.
"To give Country French my minimalist spin, I avoid the expected ruffles and plaids and keep it about the painted antiques and white linens," says homeowner and designer Regina Lynch. She, along with designer Destiny Lynch (who also happens to be Regina's daughter) came together to create this "less-is more" style.
This space serves as a library/eating area. The room is casually arranged with a table, sofa, and bench pushed against the shelves.
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Chair fabric (back): Volpi (custom colorway) by Quadrille. Wall paint: Young Wheat; pantone.com.
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.
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 touch.
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.
Leta Foster has spent the last 35 years designing interiors so well that her three daughters followed in her footsteps, becoming the "& Associates" in her firm. When this breakfast room project in an early-1900s Richmond home came to Leta, she tapped daughter Sallie Giordano to collaborate. Together, they decorated the space to fit a young family while honoring its original architect, William Bottomley.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This table is complemented by the slipcovered chairs and French-style bistro chairs that have plastic seats and backs, keeping things stylishly practical.
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.