Join our newsletter Name: Your Email Address Contact me with news and offers from other Future brands Thank you for signing up to Realhomes. Whether you're getting out the special crockery to entertain friends or prefer informal but cozy family meals, a well-decorated dining room design is a great upgrade to your home.
Tom St. Quintin, dining buyer, Furniture Village (opens in new tab), says: 'Whether you have just enough room for a breakfast bar table or space for an elegant, statement piece, the dining table is the room's focal point and will help determine the overall scheme.'
We've rounded up all of our favorite dining room ideas to get you inspired to choose a style so that you can make the most of your space.
Andrew Gaugler, founder and interior designer, Best of Machinery (opens in new tab), says: ‘An extended rectangular dining table for six to eight persons is ideal for your dining room to host those lavish dinners or day-to-day family dinners.' Gone are the days of frightfully formal dining with ‘sit-up-straight,’ hard and unwelcoming furniture (well perhaps with the exception of the occasional Pretty Woman business dinner scenario!)
Instead relax the situation, revamp rustic dining room ideas, and serve-up culinary sensations with a side of luxe comfort courtesy of lounge-and-laugh-in style seating. While this may take up a bit more space than your standard chair, it makes each and every guest feel extra comfortable and showcases your table in a more occasional light.' ‘Then, for the tablescape and room itself, decorating with glitz and glam is my go-to – mixing different elements of gold and silver like candlesticks, vases, and wall art makes for a stunning, beautiful, and formal set!’
Get the table talk in a whirlwind and the atmosphere buzzing with an attention-seeking neon sign feature, that gives your modern dining space a fashionable bistro-style twist!
You could even save big bucks by making your own DIY neon LED rope sign. Jess Munday, co-founder, Custom Neon (opens in new tab), says: ‘Your dining room is where memories can be made.
Just think of all the birthdays and holidays spent eating around the family dining table, with lots of conversation and laughter.' And If you're feeling like a spot of weekend DIY, learn how to build a banquette or bench for your space with this simple step-by-step tutorial by blogger and DIYer Brooke Waite.
Bring in large mirrors to bounce the light and open up a small space with scheme-enhancing effects.
We love the reflective shimmer and shine elements that mirror ideas lend for a simple but glam dining room update.
Here are pretty navy dining room chairs and you can add pops of color; you can see candlelight sparkling and large-scale florals through the mirrors.’ 'It brings character, charm, and personality to a home, something that is so important and really allows you to make any living space your own.
It’s even more important in the case of new builds and modern homes, as it transforms them from feeling cold and clinical to warm, lived-in, and truly inspiring spaces. It also offers a wonderful way to preserve memories, be them of a favorite holiday, place, or time and spark conversations with family, friends, and anyone visiting your home.’
Introduce brightness, pattern, and texture underfoot, and under the table with a hero rug to divide your dining area, and add visual interest.
Gladys Connelly, housekeeping technical writer and home improvement blogger, The HouseWire (opens in new tab), says: ‘In a dining area, a rug under a chair can serve as a visual anchor. A rug helps to identify the eating space & separate this from the entire room, especially in an open concept.’ Paneling is a simple and effective traditional dining room idea to add a layer to your space.
Often used to create the illusion of a bigger space, placing paneling against a feature wall elongates and accentuates the room. Learn how to choose shutters, and set the right ambiance depending on the dining occasion with a light-filtering design. Go bright and breezy and max out natural daylight for relaxed weekend brunches, or get moody and intimate, and let the candlelight do the wafting for soirées.
For the formal dining room in this mega-unit condo renovation in downtown Austin, Texas, PROjECT. (opens in new tab) anchored the space with a dining table from Provence in France (part of the client’s existing collection). So, for example, we took a set of antique French Louis XIII-style chairs and chopped them down, and then reupholstered them in cream linen.
'The serene art series was chosen to infuse color into the neutral space but in a more muted way. Introduce rich color contrasts in a neutral or gray dining room for a striking aesthetic full of depth and interest. Adri and Dahlman say: 'This eating area was designed for a family who wanted to introduce color but in a sophisticated fashion.
Even with all of the blue introduced, the space still feels neutral and open due to the white built-ins and trim and the natural stained wood floors.'
The contemporary, organic light fixture was chosen to juxtapose the more transitional shapes of the furniture and millwork.' If you want to create a dining room fit for a movie star, it's more lights, candles, action.
The Chinoiserie-style gray wallpaper idea beautifully clashes with floral curtains to create a busy eating area bursting with interest. To stop the room from looking too OTT, a simple four-seater round dining table is styled with Art-Deco-inspired chairs for comfort and opulence.
Here, a V&A Crane wall print (opens in new tab) is the perfect conversation starter at the dinner table, while you're warming the plates and serving drinks. Layer candy floss pinks and pistachio greens for a sweet take on pastel decorating ideas.
Think creamy pastel cushion covers, colored ceramic vases, and iridescent glassware. By matching your crockery with your walls, it makes the pastel pink in this scheme less sickly-sweet and chicer.
Notice how vases in sunshine yellow, sage, and lavender also break up the rosewater-colored scheme. If you can't afford a subscription to one of their members' houses across the globe, why not create a luxurious dining room that pays homage to their style? Start off by sourcing an oak and polished marble dining table to create an exquisite scheme that is as appetizing as the chef's menu.
But if you can't find something as exotic, a light made from the string will look just as good to create a boho design idea.
Add a large mirror and overarching houseplants to create a grand dining setting. Whether it's grandma's peach cobbler or mom's fried chicken, we all have memories of sitting around the table with good home-cooked meals.
So when looking to create a dining room scheme, you may want to turn to a familiar interior style that takes you back to the good old times. This dining room design uses a farmhouse kitchen idea as its foundation with rattan chairs and wooden wall paneling. Note the armchair and leather footstool which is perfect for someone who has finished eating and wants to step away from the table. Mood-boosting and anxiety-reducing, incorporating indoor plants into your dining room can do wonders for your family at dinner time. Coupled with a roman blind window treatment, you can create a calm atmosphere blocking out sunlight or street lights so there are no distractions or excuses for tantrums at the table. When switched on, the bright light from the chandelier will help create pretty ivy-shaped silhouettes too, so your little tikes can pretend they're Tarzan and Jane when tucking into their food.
Teamed with rattan chairs and faux fur cushions, this look is the ultimate in tactile heaven, add in a hint of decoration with patterned bowls and glasses, oh and the stunning lampshade, then sit and enjoy your new boho design idea. What's more, it's the perfect shape for creating a sociable space, and you can squeeze more people around a round table than one with corners.
The ceiling is low compared to most rooms so painting it white will really help to give the illusion of space.
The windows and double doors allow oodles of light to stream in, keeping them blind/curtain free also creates an airy feel. A super pretty color scheme that also cleverly zones an open plan space into a dining area that defines the room. The warm tones of the mid-century furniture look fab against this shade – pick crockery to match the lighter pink to bring the look together.
Ikea (opens in new tab) is great at being one step ahead and we love the clean lines of this dining room. Open plan kitchen diners lend themselves to a more relaxed feel and this is why this double bench option works well. They take up less space visually than chairs – and if you can tie them in with the kitchen's decor, like in this room you can create a cohesive look that feels really put together. Color can be such a useful tool when you’re revamping a plain space because it can add instant personality and character. Another key element here is that many of the pieces are curvy too – the chairs, table, and those fabulous lampshades; all help to create a successful and uber-stylish look. We’re not all fans of light and airy, in fact, deep shades are visually stunning more often than not and this dining room is spot on.
This dining room idea is about light and dark – the inky blue walls are perfectly balanced out by the white tableware, the pale blue of the curtains adds a color layer, as well as pattern, and the mahogany table and chairs, give a rustic element as well as adding in texture. Ikea is the master at dealing with space issues and we love how they’ve zoned the dining area with the rug and their compact NORRÅKER and RÖNNINGE (opens in new tab) birch table and chairs. Having a little shift around of furniture can work wonders to improve a space – and using a sofa for one side of a table is a genius dining room idea that we’ll be considering in our own homes!
It is minimal in terms of ‘things’, the table is contemporary yet softened by the linen tablecloth, and the chrome pendant and galvanized chairs give a modern feel. Jessica’s beautiful country cottage in the heart of the Peak District was quite dark inside when they moved in. There are only windows on one side of the cottage and Jessica’s aim was to harness what little light they gave to be reflected back into the room.
You can use an item to be your starting point - the rug for example, and base your shades around that - we love the pop of pale pink that can be used as an accent. This fabulous dining space ticks all of the super cool boxes – the wood paneling, the bench seating, the white formica table, and swivel chairs. The pastel crockery adds extra color and looks out for a seventies-style sugar pot and milk jug.
Finish off the room with these fabulous clear glass globe lights that can illuminate your dining experience through to the evening and extend the scheme to your cooking area with a retro kitchen idea. With more of us working from home we need small dining room ideas that provide more than just a place to eat. Investing in a good-sized dining table will ease the pressure as it can work hard for you and cover all the bases – from breakfast place to workspace, homework at one end, to a Zoom call at the other.
To add a decorative aspect to an otherwise plain scheme, consider an all-over pattern on your floor, we love how subtle this looks and it works well with the white walls and prevents the space from looking too sparse. Once you’ve chosen a design, pull out a color or two from the pattern to inspire your accessory choices – we love the yellow pendant above the table and note how the mid-century modern sideboard and wooden chairs add warmth to the scheme and tie in with the wallpaper shades.
Cohesiveness is key to making a room work so keep it simple and let the wallpaper be the focal point. This adds variety and interest to your table and allows you to showcase a breadth of different ceramic styles', says Lucy Ward, creative brand director at Trouva (opens in new tab).
'I do not believe that the dining room is a redundant space, but the kitchen is becoming a dual-functional space for cooking as well as eating meaning open plan living has to be second nature,' says Tom Howley, owner of Tom Howley Kitchens (opens in new tab). 'There is a time and a place for formal dining, but the modern kitchen has to be able to accommodate an impromptu pasta with friends or an unforeseen stir fry with the family.
', says Emma Deterding, founder and creative director, Kelling Designs (opens in new tab). 'For homes that don't have an open-plan design, keeping that definition for the dining space is essential, with a more casual setup being the go-to choice. 'If the room is large enough, and you tend to have big family get-togethers then will a larger dining table in a statement material such as wood with enough chairs to seat everyone? If space is at a premium, however, then it may be better to go for an extending design with a bench seat and additional folding chairs that can be stored away when not needed.'