How to Style Your Dining Room for an Elegant, Everyday Look

Dining rooms have (unjustly) become a room of the past. With open concept floor plans rising in popularity, we understand that some dining rooms were left to be touched only a few times a year or were cut out of the budget entirely. With bar dining or casual living room meals, it may seem like a separate room or area just for dining is obsolete. However, there is nothing cozier and more intimate than taking the time to sit down with a loved one to celebrate eating together on a regular Tuesday night. Instead of dining occasionally, we know that your everyday meals deserve the elegance and care of a special occasion. 

Your dining room doesn’t need to have four walls, or even walls at all. In this blog, we’ll go over how to style your dining area to fit into a modern floor plan, or to upgrade your style to make your dining room an area you always want to spend drinking your morning coffee in. Plus,  your dining space can also serve as the best place to chat or play games when guests come over. Every day is an opportunity to break out the fancy candles, placemats, serving bowls, and cook up something new!

Dining table with 6 dining chairs

Choosing the Right Furniture

Dining Table:

A dining table is essential and creates a natural focal point in the dining room. It’s important to first analyze the size and shape of your space before buying a table. Is it rectangular? Curved? Do I want the table in the middle of the room or against the wall? Is there a wall in my dining space? Should I buy a round, square, or rectangular table? How many people am I going to want to entertain? A lot of questions come up before even searching online for options. It may be beneficial to research and save a few designs as inspiration to get started. 

If you have a smaller space to work with, getting a circular table allows more people to have a seat despite lack of space. A square table is great for making sure everyone at the table is involved in conversation with everyone else. A classic rectangular table makes entertaining lots of people easy, but can take up a lot of space. There are plenty of options to get tables that have extended leaves for adding more people if needed. Your space can be curated exactly how you’d like. 

Next, tackling the textures or colors of your table can be tricky. Your dining room can match your home’s aesthetic, or it can be an opportunity to add some new textures or designs. Consider marble, wooden, or faux tabletops to create an easy, designed element in your space that is functional. Make sure to add a table runner and a centerpiece for a finishing touch. 

dining table with matching bench and dining chairs

Dining Chairs:

Of course, bringing an element of design, your dining chairs should be considered for all folks who may sit there for extended periods of time. Your grandparents may need a back rest, and the young kiddos in your life may want the freedom to easily get in and out to grab more food. Considering dining chairs can also set the tone for your space. If you have a small space to work with, getting chairs with more open designs can keep the space feeling light and not too cluttered. 

For added texture and style, consider matching wooden elements in the room. You can mix and match wooden textures for an interesting yet cohesive look. Further, upholstered dining chairs are usually more comfortable for longer meals with loved ones. Another option to add style can be to mix up the type of chairs you place around the table. Adding in matching benches on one side makes sliding in and out easier or mixing and matching styles of chairs can add something fun and sophisticated to your space. 

opening sideboard

Hutch:

The rest of the furniture elements in your dining room are very contingent upon the space you have to work with. A good rule of thumb is to leave 2 feet of space for each of your guests on the table for dining, and 2 feet of space between the walls of your dining room and your dining chairs when pushed out. 

Other furniture pieces that can elevate your dining room, and take out some storage needs from the kitchen, is a dining room hutch. Typically tall and featuring clear doors to see inside, these pieces are perfect for displaying fine china, keeping placemats, napkins, and silverware in the drawers, or for displaying a collection of mugs, cups, and other everyday kitchenware. A hutch doesn’t need to take up a lot of space, and can add style to the room itself. 

Buffet/Sideboard:

Buffet tables and sideboards are generally the same piece, but buffets are usually a bit larger. These items are low to the floor furniture pieces that offer closed storage options. Easily store anything needed in these sideboards to get rid of clutter items and to keep your area tidy. Purchasing a hutch or a buffet table depends on your space, as well. When purchasing a hutch, a large chunk of the wall will be filled with built-in displays of your dining or special occasion materials. A sideboard, however, will give you storage but leave the wall open for other decor items like picture frames, artwork, and other miscellaneous items on the sideboard tabletop. 

Area rug in a living room

Choosing the Right Area Rug

A heated debate in the interior design world, area rugs can both complete a styled area with coziness and charm, but can be more work than needed when cleaning up food and drink spills. However, with outdoor rug designs and considering various materials that are easy to clean, there’s no reason to not lay out a stylish and comfy rug. Plus, your rug offers a cozy accent while breaking up matching textures like a wooden table on a hardwood floor. With endless pattern and color options, area rugs will add a unique and colorful element to your space. 

When choosing your perfect area rug, consider matching the shape of your dining room rug to your dining room table. That way, a cohesive and simple look is easily achieved. It’s important to purchase a rug that is big enough to encompass your entire dining table and all of the chairs as well. You want your room to feel inviting and open, not too cramped. Getting an indoor/outdoor area rug as well makes it easy to clean when spills happen due to the material. 

Curtains indoor/outdoor design

Choosing the Right Decor Pieces

There are a multitude of finishing touches to add to your dining room to make it the most essential and personal room in the home. Add lamps and intimate lighting on the tabletop of your sideboard or buffet table. Lay out table runners over your dining table and sideboard for a cohesive decor style. Adding wine racks to your storage features also make it easy to grab another bottle when entertaining with friends. Adding storage features to your home like hutches and sideboards also make room for more sentimental and fun decor items like picture frames, seasonal decor, and more. 

Essential decor pieces include curtains, artwork, and light fixtures. When choosing your curtains, it’s easy to find patterns, colors, and textures that uplift your space. You can also get room darkening or blackout curtains to create an intimate feel. Make sure you hang your curtains so that they rest outside your windows, taking up more wall space but making sure your window looks open and large. Further, consider adding to your space by creating a gallery wall and hanging many different pieces in your space. Choosing artwork to hang can be difficult, but if you match colors of your space to the artwork, creating a cohesive look is easy. When arranging different sizes and colors, a wonderful display can be featured in your home. Lastly, an easy way to upgrade any dining room is by changing up your lighting fixtures to something new and modern.  

Dining table with 4 matching chairs

Creating the perfect design for your dining room takes lots of research, inspiration, and willingness to try something new. But, the effort to create an area you love that you can spend with friends and family enjoying meals, games, and conversations, is worth it all! Following these tips and tricks will make sure your everyday moments are special. 

About the Author

Kelly Carlson
Kelly Carlson is a product amateur who loves to read in bed and write all sorts of little things. Catch her walking around town, daydreaming, frantically researching, doing yoga, or listening to "running up that hill" on repeat for weeks. Kelly loves cute things, the great outdoors, and her friends most of all.

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