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Top Tips For Your Dining Room Decor - Make It Work For Everyday Use!

Updated: May 29

Who said dining rooms are just for certain meals or only to be used on holidays? Things have changed! It used to be that the dining room was a formal room used only for certain occasions and family gatherings a couple times a year. Not to say that was negative or bad, but the dining room was a space where people felt they needed to be on their best, most proper behavior.

While I think there's something romantic about the formality of old dining spaces, today's homes need a room where the kids, adults, and every member of the family can come together and be themselves.

Modern dining rooms are homework rooms, craft rooms, coloring rooms. They're the space where you go to enjoy a fun family dinner. Family game night? It happens in the dining room. Crossword puzzle? Do it at the dining room table. Work from home Zoom meeting? You guessed it: the dining room table doubles as your work desk.

Dining rooms aren't just for eating anymore, they're for general living. They're just as important as the living room, family room or rec room. This is especially true if your dining room is a part of a large, open layout. Open layouts encourage family members to spend time in informal spaces. They tend to create loud, exuberant spaces where people spend time together, enjoying each other's company.

Whether your home has an open layout or not, it's important to decorate your dining room to be an attractive space where your kids and other members of your family can feel comfortable spending time. I'm going to share my favorite dining room ideas and tell you how this can be done.

You can get creative when you're designing the perfect dining room. I encourage clients to incorporate attractive colors, varied types of seating and maybe unusual wallpapers or millwork.

Designing the Perfect Dining Room Decor

Let's talk about the perfect dining room decor. When looking for dining room ideas, it’s best to find ones that will make your dining room inviting and casual. Comfortable. Flexible. They're the kind of place where you and other family members are drawn. Here are some of my best ideas for the dining room!

Dining Room Design Render

Draw the Eyes Upward

Dining rooms can be small spaces, especially if your home has a more traditional layout. Drawing the eyes upward can make your dining room feel more spacious. Add trim work on the walls or ceiling to give the eye something to focus on. Crown molding is one possibility here, but if you're trying to create a more casual space, a less formal trim work is also an option.

One thing I really recommend is accenting the ceiling with an attractive and unexpected color. Who said the ceiling has to be white? Have you ever heard the saying that the ceiling is the 5th wall? It's true!

Whether you're painting your ceiling a light shade of blue, a dark shade of green, or using a more adventurous and patterned wallpaper, I recommend choosing a shade for your ceiling that will create a sense of intrigue and surprise.

Light the Space Beautifully

Lighting is so important in every room, but especially in the dining room. Add accent lighting, including sconces and pendants, that help illuminate the space and add a decorative touch at the same time.

A chandelier can add an artistic flair to the dining room. I think that when a lot of people think of chandeliers, they think of formal crystal chandeliers - the kind of light fixture you might find in a palace or a mansion.

When I talk about a chandelier, I mean something that adds mood and visual interest without making the room formal. Many modern chandeliers are asymmetrical, artistic and unexpected. They're rarely made from the traditional dangling crystals. From Edison bulbs to feathers, chandeliers can be made from a variety of unexpected materials, so I recommend shopping around, or working with a pro to find the right light fixture for your dining room.

Dining Room Design Render

Consider Storage Options

The dining room is the perfect place to store your good china, good silverware and wine glasses, but only if you have appropriate storage space. Dining rooms of old would include one large china hutch, but there are a lot of other ways that you can store items.

Consider some quirky bookshelves, open shelving, or if your room is large enough, built-ins with closed storage. I love hand-crafted millwork, if you can find a contractor to build and install a cabinet that meets your specifications. You might even consider installing a full wet bar, set off to the side, where you can serve guests during parties!

Install Comfortable Seating

I can't stress this enough: invest in comfortable dining room seating. No one wants to (or can) sit for long in stiff, hard seats. I like upholstered dining room seating because it's luxurious and easy on the body, but it's also important to remember that dining room chairs can get dirty. When selecting upholstered seating, keep your mind on what's practical.

Darker upholstery hides stains, which is important if you have kids. Some materials are much easier to clean than others. Performance fabrics like crypton and sunbrella are best for heavy use (or something like that, haha).

I highly recommend mixing and matching seat styles for an eclectic vibe. Add some larger accent chairs near the window to lounge in while having coffee, tea, or wine.

And Now... Use It!

Once you've decorated your dining room, then comes the second fun part - enjoying it! Use it to create memories in the space. If you have young kids that will be coloring at the table, I suggest getting a dining table that's already distressed, so any added marks can remind you of a happy memory…instead of stressing you out. You can get your table sealed so you don’t have to worry about spills seeping into the wood or covering it when you use it.

Ultimately, I recommend creating an “un”-dining room - a room that is multifunctional, casual and attractive.

Gone are the days when dining room chairs were covered in plastic and only used at special occasions. What a waste of space that was!

I Love Dining Room Decor!

I love what the dining room symbolizes: family togetherness. I love that modern families use their dining rooms in creative ways, and that the dining room is a place where the kids can do their homework and spend time with the adults. If your dining room is out of date, this multi-purpose space deserves a good makeover, and I’m happy to help you with it. I've got lots of dining room ideas and am always inspired by the house and my clients. If you're struggling to decorate your dining room in a way that you find satisfying, I'm your girl. Click here to contact me!

Until next time friends,

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