The Top 76 Dining Room Ideas
Today’s dining room doesn’t always get the respect it once earned as a central living space. But you don’t need to treat your dining area as a formal space to justify giving it some well-deserved updates.
Dining room design can range from ultra-casual to proper and elegant. While these styles can seem extremely different on the surface, no dining room deviates far from the standard layout of table, chairs, and auxiliary decor.
The dining room ideas below will give you everything you need to reimagine your dining space for the upcoming era of homeownership.
Bohemian decor offers a warm, lived-in atmosphere that can’t be beaten for a space like the dining room. This design style perfectly bridges the gap between casual family meals and intimate formal dining.
The typical Bohemian space is filled with soft neutrals and organic textures. Reach for materials like wicker, macrame, straw, and weathered wood. Potted plants can be used as centerpieces or to fill in the floor space around your dining table.
While Boho decor can seem very basic on the surface, the trend is largely inspired by Southwestern art and design. Don’t be afraid to take a maximalist approach with eccentric patterns and textiles alongside more neutral elements.
2. Ceiling Ideas
It’s possible you’ve never paid much mind to your dining room ceiling (or any ceiling in your home, for that matter). But taking advantage of the vertical space above your dining table can help balance out the room as a whole.
The most obvious options are to paint your ceiling or add a hanging light fixture. These are both great ways to draw the eye up. Be sure to select a light fixture that is proportional to the furniture below.
You can adorn your dining room ceiling with updated architecture like wood beams or beadboard. Such elements can even be added to an existing ceiling — no one will ever know the rest of the house predates them.
Coastal and Bohemian decor have a lot in common — just swap out the American Southwest for the beach. This trend includes many elements inspired by locales like The Hamptons and the Mediterranean.
A coastal dining room will be extremely light and airy. You’ll rarely see colors aside from white, cream, tan, and blue. This casual color palette leaves plenty of room for more dramatic items like chandeliers and centerpieces.
Look for furniture and decor made of rustic materials like reclaimed wood, rope, and wicker. Stick to crisp upholstery featuring linen, canvas, or even burlap. You can also include ocean-specific items in your design like coral, seashells, and driftwood.
The typical contemporary dining room features pieces like upholstered chairs and glass-topped tables. We’re also seeing a lot of monochromatic color schemes and statement light fixtures being used.
Contemporary design is extremely trend-driven. This can be a problem for homeowners looking to invest in long-term decor.
To keep your dining room looking fresh, opt for furniture that is neutral and timeless. You can turn to more flexible elements like light fixtures, centerpieces, and artwork to give the space a contemporary edge.
So when the popular trends and your own tastes change, you can more easily update your home to match the newest version of “contemporary.”
Too many homeowners are afraid of including dark colors in their interior design. If you’re intrigued by this trend, there’s no better place to metaphorically test the waters than the dining room.
Unlike many other living spaces, the dining room benefits greatly from a little bit of drama. Painting the walls a dark shade of charcoal, green, or navy can be an excellent way to create a moody atmosphere in your dining area.
While you shouldn’t fear dark colors, don’t forget to incorporate contrast in your design. Include a diverse range of light- and mid-tone decor to soften the space. Wood furniture contrasts beautifully against darker walls.
6. Decor Ideas
Dining room furniture is a necessity. Dining room decor is what elevates a purely functional space into one that is also stylish and inviting.
A simple centerpiece can transform an otherwise boring dining table. The same can be said for an elegant chandelier or hanging pendant lamp. The more ornate your dining room’s ceiling light, the more basic the centerpiece should be (and vice-versa).
You don’t want to clutter up your table’s surface with too much decor. Placing a buffet or hutch along the wall can be a great way to include more decorative items in your dining room design. Of course, hanging artwork is another option that doesn’t take up much room at all!
The farmhouse style is far from revolutionary in the world of dining room ideas. If you want this decor trend to continue looking fresh for many years to come, though, it’s important to incorporate contemporary elements as well.
Avoid sleek finishes in your dining room furniture and decor. Shiplap is perfect for covering an accent wall, even if you need to “fake it” with a wood panel overlay. Soften the space with textiles like burlap, linen, or vintage lace.
Meanwhile, keep clutter away from your dining room table and the surrounding walls. Stick with minimal, high-impact wall decor or a modernized gallery wall for a personal touch.
Industrial decor is extremely popular. Yet we don’t tend to see this trend used often in residential dining rooms.
For a dining area that is still cozy and inviting, mix industrial design elements with other trends like rustic or mid-century modern. Turn to warm materials like brick and exposed wood. Relying too heavily on metal in your dining room decor could make the space feel cold and sterile.
Remember that you can take either a minimalist or a maximalist approach to industrial decor. Don’t be afraid to load up the space with eccentric wall decor if that’s what suits your taste!
9. Layout Ideas
Ask the average restaurant owner which seating guests prefer — chairs or booths — and they’ll almost always answer the latter. So why do we utilize bench seating so infrequently in our own dining room ideas?
Banquette seats are often the first choice for a breakfast nook. But with the right upholstery finish, you could even fit a bench into your formal dining room design.
Banquette seating isn’t just comfortable. It can also save floor space and add a sleek edge to your dining room layout as a whole. This dining chair alternative is the perfect addition to any retro-inspired home.
Do you want guests’ jaws to drop when they step foot inside your home? Then putting together an elegant dining room should be your top priority.
Yes, hanging a crystal chandelier will give your dining area a touch of luxury. If you really want your home to feel like a million bucks, though, it’s the details that matter most.
Pay close attention to the finishes of your dining furniture and decor — nothing should look out of place. Ensure the room has plenty of natural light and use statement mirrors to give the illusion of more space.
If you want to go all out, invest in subtle architectural details like a coffered ceiling or chair railing.
You can think of the rustic home trend as the more masculine version of farmhouse decor. This distinction can be seen in the use of darker colors, bulkier furniture, and less ornamentation.
Select a heavy dining table made of dark wood. For a wild-grown look straight from the wilderness, invest in a live-edge table with plenty of character.
Rustic decor is often — but not always — inspired by Americana. However, you can pull just as much information from country-living throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Borrow elements from French Country or Mediterranean design for a more unique take on this trend.
Scandinavian decor is ideal for any homeowner dreaming of a crisp, modern dining room. This interior design style takes a minimalist approach to decor without sacrificing the cozy atmosphere that’s so important to a dining space.
Select a color palette made up of white, black, and warm-toned neutrals. While white walls are extremely common in Scandinavian design, you can also opt for dark gray walls for a more dramatic look.
The use of organic materials is what sets Scandinavian decor apart from other modern design trends. Invest in a sleek, light-colored wooden dining table and minimalist (but comfortable) seating. Hang a unique lighting fixture over your table as a conversation starter.
Rest assured, your home is not the exception for having a small dining room! Whether you live in an apartment or a single-family house, the dining room is often at the bottom of the list in terms of square footage.
Balance and proportion are the factors that will make your dining room feel comfortable and spacious. Don’t let denial convince you to place an oversized table or chandelier in your dining area. Disproportional items will have the opposite of your desired effect.
A round dining table can make a huge difference in a cramped room. Fill the space with light colors and plenty of natural lighting. Use hanging mirrors or a painted accent wall for visual dimension.
Transitional home design is one of the biggest trends of the moment. Yet it can be hard to nail down exactly what “transitional” decor entails.
At its core, transitional design is about blending classical styles with contemporary ones. These combinations can be very dramatic or remarkably subtle.
The easiest way to utilize transitional design in your own home is by mixing classic dining room furniture with newer decor trends. But even your chosen color scheme could introduce a transitional element to your space.
Vintage design can be based on any era — not all vintage decor will go together. So while you can include a beaded chandelier in your Art Deco-inspired dining room, don’t expect it to fit into a space reminiscent of the 1970s.
There are a couple of ways to bring vintage decor into your own home. You can collect authentic antiques and incorporate them into your living spaces. Or you can replicate the vintage look with modern-day imitations.
Most dining rooms are best suited by a combination of the two. While new furniture is sturdy and built for everyday use, antique artwork and decor can add much-needed charm to your dining room walls and surfaces.
Dining Room FAQs
If the rooms are separated by a doorway or other divider, then matching decor isn’t necessary. In the case of an open floor plan, it’s best to include similar design elements throughout your kitchen and dining space.
Keep in mind that many things you use in your kitchen — serving trays, dishes, etc. — will also be used in your dining room. So it makes sense for the two spaces to at least share a common color scheme.
Placing an area rug underneath your dining room table is a great way to protect the original flooring. It can also give your dining room decor a more finished appearance.
Select a rug large enough for your entire dining table and accompanying chairs — don’t forget to account for extra table leaves when measuring your furniture. The rug should extend far enough out that your dining room chair legs stay on it even when pulled away from the table.