Dining Room Decor Ideas
The basic components that go into a dining room are familiar enough: a table, chairs, dishes and silverware. But how do you take those elemental items and create a cohesive, well-designed space? We'll guide you through some dining room decor ideas that will help you design a dining room that hits the spot.
Mirror and Repeat
Layering your dining room with similar tones and shapes is a great way to bring the room design together. If you have geometric dining chairs, for example, you can play off those notes by adding geometric wall art and linear pendant lighting. It subtly reinforces the style without making it feel like a theme.
Choose a Modern Classic
The playful, streamlined shapes of Eero Saarinen's designs add immediate and clear mid-century modern style to your dining room. The smooth forms of his iconic table and Tulip chairs provide comfortable seating and function with form.
Pull from Existing Elements
When coming up with dining room design ideas, keep in mind the features that are already in your room when choosing a color palette. An accent wall can be emphasized by a uniform color scheme surrounding it. You can also play off of the finishes, like coordinating a gray metal lamp or woven rectangular rug with concrete floors and walls.
Let Linens Lead
Playful placemats are a simple way to add a lot of personality to your dining room table. They can quickly and easily take a table scape from boring to fabulous, and are easily changed up depending on the season or meal.
Pick Up a Portable
Sometimes you need a little extra light at the table, whether for a romantic meal or just some additional illumination. Rather than a wired light, consider adding portable table lamp. Both beautiful and versatile, they allow you to brighten the table when necessary without wires crossing the table.
Be Open to Shelving
As a modern alternative to a buffet or china cabinet, consider using a large wall shelf instead. You can display your glassware and attractive dishes, along with other dining room decor items, and keep them organized without taking up real estate on the floor.
Using repeated forms and contours in a room is a great way to bring cohesion to your dining room design. For example, you can mirror a circular table with a rounded pendant light, curved chairs and curved table decor items. The close repetition of the shapes makes the room design feel crafted and intentional.
The Same, But Different
If you have a favorite dining chair, consider multiples of that design in varying colors. Mixing and matching them adds a playful element while keeping the design style consistent. Paired with a neutral, streamlined table, they can give the room a little spark without being over the top.
Shelve Your Art
When considering different dining room wall decor ideas, floating shelves can be a great option. Particularly when staggered at different levels and size increments, they're an easy way to display artwork or decor without nailing into walls. Plus, they're easy to change out temporarily to accommodate seasonal decorations.
Light the Way
Don't forget about dining room lighting when thinking about dining room decor. Overhead ambient lighting can often be too diffuse to properly light the table. For a moodier lighting design, consider setting table lamps to illuminate the table scape. Coordinating those table lamps with other fixtures in the room, like sconces or pendant lamps, adds a synchronization to the overall design.
Accentuate What Coordinates
Matching metal tones in your various furniture pieces can give the room cohesion even when the design elements are from differing style families. For instance, metal dining tables and chair legs accentuate the black sill of a window or door frame. You can amplify this effect by coordinating the same color in other elements, like pendant lamp cords or dishware.
Modern Materials, Organic Style
Even modern dining room design can have a more natural feeling. Look for furniture pieces in simple styles that are crafted to look like natural woven textures. Continue that same design sensibility through to other decor, like a pendant table lamp or figural sculptures, to enhance the effect.
Feature the Floor
For a dining room design with instant visual impact, choose a colorful feature rug in a bright, bold pattern. Balance it with a neutral-toned, coordinated dinner table and chairs set that will let the carpet grab the all the attention.
Defining Outdoor Dining
If you're lucky enough to have a great al-fresco dining space, a large, rustic, farmhouse-style dining table can be the perfect option. The wood tones give the feeling it's part of the great outdoors, and stools provide flexibility for seating various numbers of guests. Consider adding outdoor rugs as well; the carpeting helps define the space as an outdoor room.
Class with Glass
Glassware is an often overlooked item in dining room table decor. Coordinated glasses of varying sizes, especially when paired with matching carafes or other serving items, can really make a table scape pop. Carafes are also a great way to provide different beverages to guests without cluttering up the tabletop with a bunch of bottles or pitchers.
Plan Your Party
A few accessories can make for the perfect wine and cheese night. A wine stopper/pourer lets you keep the wine flowing without corking and recorking. Select stemmed or stemless wine glasses that are appropriate for the type of wine being tasted, or go with a universal design. Trays make the party portable from the dining room to the patio.
Imagine a Non-Traditional Tablescape
Be creative with your table settings. You don't have to always set the traditional way with knives on the right, forks on the left. Coordinating your table linens with your seating upholstery also can tie the room together. Using only the minimum amount of coverings allows the natural wood of the table to show through.
A fun way to play up the curves of a round table is to experiment with other areas to use rounded shapes in unusual ways. Oval placemats set with dishes in a contrasting color adds layers of rounded silhouettes. Curved, modern cutlery continues to emphasize the circular theme.
Contrast Textures and Colors
In a dining room made up of mostly neutral colors and smooth finishes, brightly colored, textured placemats are a great way to add pop and interest. Along with defining each guest's dining space, they provide a great canvas for showcasing interesting dishes, glassware and cutlery.
Mix and Match in Monochrome
Rustic wooden shelves are a great way to showcase your various collections. Create an eye-catching focal point by selecting color-coordinated decorative elements and repeating them throughout the shelves in groups.
Growing and Green
Don't forget the flowers and plants when working through your dining room decor ideas. The natural elements can soften the edges of an industrial-modern room. Just make sure the vessel for the plants meets your style, and look for planters and vases that continue your design scheme.
In a minimalist modern design where you want to keep everything as simple as possible, a deconstructed wall clock adds an interesting and functional focal point. They're easy to install, yet big on visual impact.
Pull Onto the Wall)
Extend some design elements from your furniture into your wall art. If you have chairs or other furniture with wire frames or bars, for example, adding art or other wall-hanging elements that mimic those components creates continuity.
Be Buffet Friendly
A low-slung modern sideboard is a great way to store your tableware. Open shelves let you showcase the beautiful pieces, while drawers organize linens and cupboards hide any overflow or clutter. Displaying wine carafes or other barware also make for quick access for a pre-meal cocktail.
Break Up Repeated Components
While matching the wood in your dining room furniture to the floor is a great way to give the room visual cohesion, it can look overwhelming. To break up the abundance of wood, use a bright rug or large art pieces. Bonus points if the art or rug bring some of the wood's color tones into them.
Selecting dining room furniture and decor can seem like a huge challenge when having to think both on the grand scale with furniture and lighting, and also on the small scale with place settings and other tableware. Start by defining your design style to put your dream into action, and the rest falls into place.