When you’re faced with redecorating a dining room, it can become quite overwhelming when you see endless photos of a dining space that is very different in shape and size from your own.
At the same time, you don’t need to hire an interior designer to come up with the right solutions for your home.
The way you need to approach this is by taking a step back and looking at dining room ideas in a more general sense and in a way that allows you to adapt them to your dining area.
Whether you have a large open-plan dining space or a small and cozy room for a more formal get-together, these 26 ideas will give you plenty to start your own plans.
The very first of my dining room ideas is to recommend not being too conservative when it comes to picking your color choices.
For most people, a dining room should be about fun and entertainment, and that generally means not toning things down into gray, cream, and beige colors.
Now, you don’t have to go to the extreme of bright yellow walls with red upholstered chairs. You can use accent pieces like cushions or wall art to introduce such bright colors without making them completely overwhelming.
Contrast is your friend, and it will make the dining space a pleasure to be in.
If you don’t want to take advantage of creating a colorful dining room decor like the above, then you could always tone things down with geometric shapes and patterns.
One option is to introduce geometric shapes through wall paneling, which has the advantage of being subtle and introducing different shapes and shadows depending on the time of day.
But you can also choose to add geometric patterns in your chair upholstery or in the design of a wooden dining table. You’ll be surprised how effective such patterns are in a dining room.
This is particularly important in a small space or any dining room that has relatively small windows. And while you might be entertaining dinner guests in the evening when it’s dark, it’s very important to let as much natural light in as possible during the day.
Ideally, that means using roller blinds instead of shutters or curtains, as those could easily block out some of the light.
And by freeing up the windows, you’ll also ensure that your guests can enjoy any views that you have. It really is a win-win situation when it comes to your windows.
I would generally suggest that you make your dining room table the focal point and avoid choosing other furniture or art pieces.
In living rooms, it’s perfectly fine to have something other than your sofa take center stage as a wow factor. But your dining space should be all about the place where you get together with your family and friends.
You can still incorporate wall art and storage furniture, but try to pick a dining table that will demand that instant attention and draw everyone in to take a seat.
Round tables are still somewhat underrated, but they can provide so much more enjoyment for everyone in your dining space.
See, most people tend to try and get the largest possible dining table to be able to cater to as many people as possible. And unless you have a very large open plan dining and sitting area, a large enough round table probably won’t fit.
It’s one of those dining room ideas where you might need to compromise a bit. But you won’t believe how much more sociable it is when everyone can practically face everyone else for a conversation.
I don’t think there’s anything worse than having to spend more time than you have on uncomfortable dining chairs. This can often happen with very stylish and visually amazing chairs, but the moment you sit on them, you know that something just isn’t right.
What you need are dining chairs that have a soft and supportive foam cushion and a comfortable backrest.
You don’t need a foam backrest, but with the right angle, you can get your body into a position where you’re happy to spend hours with friends and family.
Don’t be afraid of positioning your dining table in a way that allows you to easily look out through a window. This is especially important if you have an amazing view of a landscape or even a city skyline.
Your dining area should always be about entertaining your guests. And that entertainment has to include the visual impact you provide.
You might want to make this a priority with small spaces where it can be difficult to create enough visual interest inside the dining room without making it too cluttered.
When you brighten up any kind of living space, especially dining rooms, it can have an immediate impact on the feeling you get when you enter the room.
A great room will instantly make you feel welcome with a sense of joy. Whether you’re mainly going to use it for family mealtimes or you want to set the right tone for a dinner party, those bright colors will have an immediate impact.
They also help to make a dining room feel more spacious, which can be important in a small or narrow room.
This is one of those dining room ideas where you can go for a subtle monochrome effect or be extremely bold.
What you should consider is picking a large enough area, like your floors or walls, and then introducing just two colors like black and white.
You could do this with a chessboard-style floor tile pattern or use exposed brick for a more natural monochrome effect. The idea is to tone down how many different colors you have and then add a visual wow factor through the patterns of the monochrome colors.
An open plan living space can be the most difficult to decorate as you might have completely different interior design ideas for a kitchen, sitting, and dining area.
And when you have these rooms separated by walls and doors, then you can choose a different design scheme for each one. But that doesn’t tend to work that well in an open area.
You’ll need to first look at the dining room walls and create a natural flow from one area to the next. And then you have to make sure that you choose the same general style of furniture to avoid clashing classic and rustic areas with modern ones.
If your dining room is going to become center stage for family life, then make sure you consider how to make it a joyful space for your kids as well. You should even consider including them by coming up with dining room ideas of their own.
This could involve fun and modern pieces of art or introducing educational tools that can spark conversations. One example would be a large world map on the wall or as a table map and then choosing one place for your kids to find at each mealtime.
Depending on your chosen interior design style, your main dining room lighting could be a crystal chandelier and a simple and elegant pendant light.
Either way, the idea is to draw more attention to the visual center of your dining room, which should be the table and chairs. This is also where you can experiment with different color light bulbs to match your general color scheme and set the right mood for the time of day and type of dinner event that you’re hosting.
Creating a rustic country style for your dining room is a great way to give your decor an amazingly warm and welcoming feeling. Classic interior design is all about lots of intricate details and natural materials like wood, stone, and leather.
To get this effect right, make sure you find a table and chairs that give you an intricate design and plenty of leather upholstery. And for your dining room walls, consider exposing brickwork or installing some wood paneling.
The more natural you can keep it, the more likely you are to achieve that truly rustic dining room experience.
This is one of those dining room ideas that often becomes an afterthought when all the other furniture is already in place.
Having enough storage in your dining room is as much about practicality as it is about making a stylish statement by showing off accent pieces and even your favorite pieces from your dining set.
You can keep this simple and less imposing by choosing an elegant sideboard or a storage cabinet with glass doors. It’s probably even a good idea not to go for large floor-to-ceiling cabinets unless you have a large enough dining space or large white walls to cover.
Open plan dining rooms or those with large windows or sliding doors to an outside area automatically provide a sense of space and openness. But you can also achieve a similar effect by planning your room layout.
Rather than have narrow doors from an eating area into your living room or kitchen, try to incorporate large double doors or sliding doors. When these are fully open, they create a much more natural flow from one room to the next, giving you an airy feeling.
While your table should always be the main focal point of your dining room, you should still consider adding enough interest to the remaining space you have available.
One option is to create a gallery wall, ideally with some subtle but interesting pieces of art, prints, or photographs. You want to avoid making these too large and bold, but if you have an otherwise white dining room wall, then it’s one of the best ways to add more balance.
Another option is to create an accent wall with shelving and carefully chosen accent pieces. Just make sure it doesn’t end up cluttered.
In most family homes, people don’t tend to choose formal dining room ideas, but these can work extremely well if you like to entertain and impress guests.
One underlying concept of formal dining space is to create symmetry and achieve a sense of perfect balance and calmness. With your table placed in the center of the room and all other pieces of furniture perfectly symmetrical, you will also achieve a sense of neatness.
But you also need to look at that symmetry for all the smaller accent pieces that you plan for your dining room so that they don’t end up looking random or scattered.
This can be particularly important for an urban home where you might not have views of nature to help balance that city living effect. Try to keep living and even fake plants in your dining room, and also consider bold wallpaper that has a nature or plant theme going.
You’ll also need to balance this concept with the style and color theme, as it can be difficult to achieve the right combination of nature with modern and bright furniture.
Most people tend not to have formal dinner parties, and unless this is something you’re going to regularly host, you’re better off going for the comfort factor.
Creating a cozy environment in your dining room will help to make everyone immediately relaxed in the environment. Starting with the chairs, these have to be comfortable enough to want to spend a few hours sitting down.
But you can also introduce a standing area with some comfortable bar stools to give your guests the opportunity to move around before and after your dinner.
Sometimes, it’s not possible to add a huge dining room table to accommodate a large family or party. This is where you need to become a bit more creative and willing for people to get closer together.
You have two great options here.
One is to make use of a bay window area and convert it into a window seat that you stand your table up against. This means you take up less dining room space for chairs.
Another option is to place a kitchen bench along each long side of a table. You can fit more people on benches than you would line up chairs, and it can be a fun and informal dining room.
Many people shy away from modern dining room ideas after seeing some extreme examples of very bright colors and patterns. But you can still take a more minimalist approach without having to resort to such an extreme effect.
Choosing a simple table and some modern chairs and then keeping your walls decluttered and simple will get you most of the way to a modern dining room.
And with a modern pendant light above the table, you’ll perfectly frame a centerpiece without making it stand out on its own.
This is something that eventually happens in almost every dining room. You start with just the right amount of art on the wall and accent pieces on shelves and cabinets.
Then, over time you add a few more things, and without noticing it, your room suddenly becomes cluttered.
This is especially something to be aware of in a small dining room, where you simply can’t afford the clutter.
So, what you need to do from day one is have a plan in place to only add so many accent and decorative pieces and then only add something new if you take away something old.
It’s a simple rule that can save you a lot of work in the long run.
Not everyone can set up a dining room to accommodate large parties at any given time. What happens for most people is that they either have to split groups out into different rooms or they pull in a smaller table from another room.
The result is never great, and it certainly doesn’t look like an inviting place to enjoy a dinner party.
Instead, consider looking at extendable tables. These either allow you to pull the ends apart and insert an extra section, or you can slot in an extra section at each end.
It can often allow you to add an extra four people comfortably, and you just need to make sure you have enough spare chairs.
This is a great dining room concept if you have a large enough space for entertaining guests or family time with kids. What you can do is separate your eating space from an informal and comfortable relaxation area.
It can allow you to serve pre-dinner drinks and cocktails in a much more relaxed way. And once everyone is full after dinner, it can be a place to retreat back to for some more comfortable conversations.
The more comfort you can provide, the more your living room will become a favorite place in your home.
A bay window is something that too many people don’t take advantage of. In most cases, this just ends up being unused space, and that’s something very limiting in a small dining room.
Instead, think about having a window seat made to take advantage of that space. These can be extremely comfortable with backrests for a very informal dining space. They work extremely well if you have a beautiful view first thing in the morning and a place like such a dining nook to enjoy breakfast.
Picking just a handful of the above dining room ideas will give you enough scope to plan out your new room layout and decorations.
And because the furniture is the most important part of any great room, I suggest that you browse through the dining room collections that we have available.
These are all made in America by highly skilled craftspeople using the best possible materials. And we have a wide range of sizes and styles to make it easier for you to create an amazing dining space for your family and friends.