The Best Dining Room Decorating Ideas, According to Interior Designers
Whether you're looking to breathe new life into your dining area or completely overhaul your space, these ideas should help you get closer to an elegant, functional room for family meals and entertaining.
Your dining room has so much design potential—you just need a spark of inspiration to set your plan for this space into motion. "A dining room is a really great place to play with design and test out more adventurous ideas," interior designer Michelle Zacks says. "The goal is to create visual interest so it feels like it is its own separate space within a home."
And when it comes to decorating a dining room, look for items that set the tone for the space and help spark dinner conversation. "Wall décor is a great way to infuse the space with color or help reinforce an existing color palette," adds Tiffany Leigh of Tiffany Leigh Design. "We love to use a single large piece of art over a buffet or side board in a dining room to anchor that zone and infuse an interesting scene or vista into the space."
Dining rooms are also a great place to show off treasured décor items, such as family heirlooms, that might be too precious to display in more highly-trafficked areas of your home. "If you have a fabulous armoire or buffet table, use it as a statement piece and build the room around it," interior designer Gabrielle Santiago notes. "You can mix heirloom items in with a gallery wall, too. I love creating unpredictable dimensions with a collection of items and art." Curious what other dining room decorating ideas interior designers have up their sleeves? From statement light fixtures to bright, beautiful paint colors and more, read ahead for more dining room design ideas that make a major impact.
Add Natural Elements for Warmth
To create an ambient atmosphere that's both warm and welcoming, outfit your dining room with a statement fireplace surround—and plenty of organic elements. In this dining room by Seattle-based design firm Ore Studios, a long table composed of a single slab of Oregon white oak draws from the hues of the fireplace wood and the jute rug; a basket filled with dried florals is the finishing touch.
Use Bookshelves for Visual Interest
Turn a Porch Into a Dining Space
Dreaming of an outdoor dining area that's every bit as chic as it is budget-friendly? A small salvaged dining table paired with a handful of flea market chairs turns an enclosed deck or patio into a bonafide al fresco dining room in no time, as evidenced by Alex Bates and Andrew Hoffman's rustic Fire Island porch.
Choose Black Décor Items to Define Your Space
Maximize a Breakfast Nook
If you don't have a formal dining room in your home, consider creating a large eating nook in your kitchen. When combined with a built-in banquette or a long bench, a clean-lined dining table and chairs can offer plenty of space for eating and socializing in any size of home. Interior designer Elizabeth Lawson curated this space.
Go for a Gallery Wall
Paint Your Doors and Windowframes
For a simple, but impactful way to elevate your dining area, try painting the millwork the same color as the dining chairs. Using Benjamin Moore's Black, Lauren Liess painted the window and door frames in this contemporary spot to match the black dining chairs, creating bold cohesion within the space.
Consider Colorful Dining Chairs
To bring a burst of color and texture into a white-walled dining room, consider employing some brightly upholstered chairs. With the help of a handful of green velvet-clad seats, Kristina Braun of Braun + Adams brought a dash of drama to a neutral dining room while drawing from the hues of the artwork on the walls.
Design Your Space Around a Focal Window
Create Cohesiveness with Artwork
Nothing brightens up this area of your home faster than colorful art, but it's important to pick a piece that doesn't overwhelm the rest of the space. In this eclectic dining room in Austin, Texas, interior designer Amity Worrel went with a painting that draws from colors of the living room, bathroom, and kitchen to balance out its visual weight.
Don't Be Afraid of Texture
Create an Open Dining Area
When paired with the right sized dining table, a banquette can turn a breakfast nook into a proper dining space. Instead of creating a formal dining room for a client's beach house, interior designer Cortney Bishop placed a custom L-shaped banquette behind the kitchen island and added a long wooden dining table that stretches into the living room to combine the two spaces.
Choose an Unexpected Paint Color
To energize a small space without taking up any floor space, consider painting the walls in a bright, but soothing shade of blue. Interior designer Pamela Harvey opted for a rich shade of lavender-cerulean in this traditional dining room to help spark dinner conversation while enhancing the colors of the natural greenery, drapery, and statement art.