10 Unappetizing Dining Room Decor Ideas

The pollen in this room must be off the charts!
The pollen in this room must be off the charts!
Tom Eckerle/FoodPix/Getty Images

Hey, entertaining Eloise! Yeah, you with the frilly apron and the dishpan hands. You love to cook and have people over, so why are you having such a hard time getting your friends into your house for dinner? It may be time to take a look at your dining room situation. We're all for rooms that do double duty, especially when space is cramped, but your decorating decisions may have ruined your buddies' appetites. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, it's time to revisit your dining room décor.

Scary Chandelier

OK, DIY maven. We respect and admire the fact that you're an independent woman who likes to do things around your house with your own two hands (and your own toolbelt), but your chandelier is looking a little "War of the Roses." You know at the end when Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner are swinging on it? It's closer to the table than the ceiling, and it's scaring your guests. If your light looks like it might kill your guests, then it's time to change it up. Keep it up with your projects, but maybe leave the electricity to the pros.

Lit Like a Strip Club

Everyone loves a little mood lighting for their dinner, but pitch black with spotlights isn't quite what we had in mind. You don't want your guests to worry you're going to jump up on the table and give them a lap dance, do you? Don't answer that if you're thinking that's not such a bad thing. And the strobe lights? They may look good while dancing on a pole, but they're known to cause seizures. We suspect you'd find it unfortunate to have to administer CPR to someone who's got a mouthful of beef stroganoff.

The Huntress

We know your tongue was firmly in your cheek when you picked up your first piece of taxidermy, right? But when you acquired some more and hung them up in your dining room, you may have taken it a bit too far. We can't believe you can eat with your dinner staring you in the eye. And we're pretty certain your guests don't really need a reminder that their meal once had a heartbeat.

Cat Den
Your cat can roam the dining room. His odors cannot.
Your cat can roam the dining room. His odors cannot.
Jeremy Samuelson/Workbook Stock/Getty Images

We know those furry little creatures are the apple of your eye and the subject of your sweaters, but is your dining room really the best place to store all of their kitty accoutrements? We like cats, too, but we don't really care to eat where they poop. Even though their litter box has that clever little dome top, it only took about 60 seconds for the smell to hit me once they were done scratching. And that scented litter? Doesn't really cover the smell.

Year-round holiday

We all love Christmas. But you, my dear, may have dampened our holiday spirits permanently. It's the beginning of April, and your dining room still looks like "Miracle on 34th Street," except the scents of pine and cinnamon have faded into the smells of my great-grandmother's attic. Your lovely Christmas tablescape doesn't really convey the holiday spirit when it's completely full of dust and dog hair. Cotton batting makes good snow, and eventually it makes a great rat's nest. Next time? Consider putting away the decorations when you stow your Johnny Mathis Christmas album.

Should your guests throw their food on the floor, too?
Should your guests throw their food on the floor, too?
Keiji Iwai/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Your guests are sure to love your children. Yep, all six of 'em. But is there really not another room in the house where you can store their stuff? By the crusty remnants on the high chair tray, it appears that we're eating your child's leftovers as our supper. And we know that it's a pain to have to change your kid during dinner, but perhaps the diaper changing station could be moved to the adjacent living room? If not, I probably won't be eating that chocolate pudding for dessert.

The Pelican Lounge

Who doesn't love a good dinner in Miami Beach? But it doesn't quite translate into a dining room in Houston. It was a nice effort, but unfortunately, it turned out way more Dresden Room than Cocoanut Grove. Your live palm trees are a little root bound, and the palm fronds are supposed to be green, not brown. The blue ceiling looks more like a thundercloud that's descending on dinner than the sunlit sky you intended. We think the pink, plastic pelicans would be much happier in your yard, or better yet, somewhere far, far away.

Disney All the Way
Unless these are your dinner guests, let's keep the Disney stuff at the parks, OK?
Unless these are your dinner guests, let's keep the Disney stuff at the parks, OK?
Rob Kim/FilmMagic/Getty Images

We know your love for the Magic Kingdom, but the dining room is no place for your Mickey Mouse ears. Keep your Disney-influenced wardrobe if you must, but leave the Cinderella figurine collection for the privacy of your bedroom. Of course, if your guests are all under the age of 10, then the Little Mermaid is definitely the way to go. But if you're guests are full-grown, they'll probably expect more for dinner than a plate of cut up hot dog pieces and a half a grilled cheese with the crusts cut off.

Elvira's Place
The lipstick and eyeliner are up to you, but keep the room light and bright.
The lipstick and eyeliner are up to you, but keep the room light and bright.
Emma Innocente/Riser/Getty Images

Yes, we know you Goth girls are moody and interesting and that you don't really support anything that mimics popular culture or style. And we totally get the black wardrobe. Black always goes with black, so really, it just makes good sense. But the black on black theme in your dining room? Makes me feel like I'm eating in a closet, and some really scary things will start flying at my head any minute. Lighten up (literally) just a little. You can still set the mood with a brighter shade. I mean, even the Addams Family had color on their walls.

Bordering on Hoarding

If you're standing behind a stack of newspapers taller than you are when you open the door, then I may have to make a polite excuse and turn tail for a hasty retreat. Your dining room table seems to be located under that twin mattress covered in junk mail, magazines and about a hundred bolts of fabric, but I can't be sure. I would just suggest TV trays on the couch, but the television seems to be doubling as a laundry drying rack. I suggest that we skip dinner, clear off the television and tune into an episode of "Hoarding: Buried Alive."


Using Paint to Update a Room

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  • "A Note About Taxidermy." Sportsmanschoice.com, 2010. http://www.sportsmanschoice.com/A%20Note%20Worth%20Reading/taxidermy.htm
  • "The Wars of the Roses." wars-of-the-roses.com, 2010. http://www.wars-of-the-roses.com/