Dining Room Decorating Ideas

©Gail Green for Green & Co., Inc. Almost any space can be transformed into a spectacular dining room.

There are those who would trade anything to have a separate dining room, others pooh-pooh the one they have as a wasted bit of space and shut the door.

The first group has nothing to envy since there are myriad ways to forge comfortable, part-time dining areas in other rooms. The naysayers can take heart, too. With some adjustments, their forlorn rooms can be made as satisfying as mom's home cooking.


This article provides decorating ideas to suit your taste as well as the size and style of your dining room:

Glamorous Dining Spaces

Add a dash of glam to your dining area by employing some easy tricks of the trade.

Creating a Modern Dining Room

Ultra-modern decor in a dining area can create a feeling of drama and luxury. Explore modern dining room decorating ideas that fit your lifestyle.

Traditional and Formal

Those who enjoy throwing formal dinner parties and hosting holiday banquets at home often long for a traditional dining room that can handle all the accessories needed for large-scale entertaining. Find out how to create a traditional, formal dining area.

Romance and Color

Create an atmosphere perfect for intimate dinners for two, or host creative and inspired wine dinners with friends in a colorful, romantic room. Find out how by reading this article.

Any room with a few square feet to spare such as family rooms and dens -- particularly those lined with books or French doors -- make spectacular mealtime settings. Position a table to one side of the room, figuring about 8 square feet for a table for 4, plus around 36 inches for the chair pull-out. Or hire a carpenter to build a stationary bench flush against the wall. Place a skinny pine table in front and ladder-back chairs opposite.

Tuck a drop-leaf table that's ready to do double duty in a spacious entry hall. One moment it's a hall table, the next it seats special guests. The round table beside the family room sofa? A romantic oasis. Cover the table with a colored cloth, pull up some seats, and light the fire.

Diverse chair styles add drama: wing chairs, love seats, and even ottomans (as long as they roll). Flexible dining should be as easy as pie. Collect benches that slide or feather-light wicker chairs to nestle up to a salvaged garden table.

©Gail Green for Green & Co., Inc. Add drama to a dining room with diverse chair styles, paint, and fabric.

Storage? In addition to cabinetry, consider plate racks, wall shelves, and corner china cupboards. All these use little space while providing handy inches.

Reinvent forlorn dining rooms with suitable furnishings, paint, and fabric. The right table -- set on a bright area rug or centered on a window -- can be your anchor. A round table, the favorite for conversation, softens a boxy room; a small square table does well in tight quarters; long farmhouse-type tables work best in rectangular rooms. And for ambience find a stunning electric or candle-holding chandelier.

Warm colors stimulate conversation. Paint walls a soft red, or cover them with a richly textured or patterned wallcovering. Soft contemporary hues like hydrangea-purple and pistachio-green teamed with crisp white moldings will imbue the room with a Monet-garden air. Slipcover dining chairs, or add simple seat cushions in a contrasting color or a pleasing floral pattern.

Whether you dream of a glamorous, modern, traditional, or romantic look for your dining room, this article has the decorating tips to help you achieve your goal. On the next page, learn how to make your dining room gleam with glamor.

To get more decorating ideas as well as tips and information on decorating your home, visit:


Glamorous Dining Spaces

©William Lesch Photographer, Lori Carroll, ASID The round table and elegant chairs help create a glamorous look.

Why is it when we think of dining rooms we imagine the same old table with the perfunctory chairs? Take notice of this very stylish arrangement for cues on how to fashion your own captivating dining area.

Standing just far enough apart from the living room to have adequate square feet of its own for comfort, the round table and elegant chairs achieve dining-room status.


What gives the setting its magic? The dazzling elongated chandelier, the painted furniture embellished with gold, and the mirror and glass that twinkle in the background. If you were to light candles on this table, all around you would see the glow reflected.

Of course, the champagne-colored wood floor also does its part. A rug -- even the best sort -- would lessen the formality. And those large windows may be across the room, but the romance of city lights beyond the glass works a charm here, too.

If your tastes are more contemporary, continue to the next section to learn decorating tips for a modern dining room.

To get more decorating ideas as well as tips and information on decorating your home, visit:


Creating a Modern Dining Room

©William Lesch Photographer, Lori Carroll, ASID The rich hue of the chairs is coordinated with the color of the handy buffet.

This room has been transformed into a modern dining area. Looking almost like a waterfall, a glass screen has been installed above a wood buffet to shield the dining table from the kitchen.

With glass doors offering spectacular desert vistas right at their elbows and a ceiling that's fantastically raised above their heads, diners won't be distracted by what's happening at the stove.


Tantamount to the architecture and the views, though, are the materials: a stone floor, steel-banded chairs, a modern metal light fixture, a glass-topped table, and granite layering the curved buffet. It's a full serving of interesting textures that makes the room memorable.

The palette for finishes and fabrics is kept to colors that are reminiscent of the surroundings, and this helps to produce a serene atmosphere.

And, for more serenity, note the curves: the buffet, the dining chairs, the upholstered seats in the living area, the round tables, and the ceiling dome. Not many sharp edges are here to jar a mood.

For a different mood, consider creating a serious, luxurious space set aside specifically for great meals and conversation. In the next section, get ideas for creating a traditional dining room.

©William Lesch Photograph, Lori Carroll, ASID Metallic lamps and a copper screen in the corner, and chair accents are all contemporary touches.

To get more decorating ideas as well as tips and information on decorating your home, visit:


Traditional and Formal Dining Rooms

©Joseph H. Horan, FASID In keeping with a French mood, drapes are simple but sophisticated.

The creamy colored walls and wood floor in this French-country-influenced formal dining room readily adapt to the major furniture pieces: a glass-topped dining table with a hefty travertine base and twin arched-top china cabinets.

Flanking the window, the cabinets play up the space's lofty ceiling; while the dishware on display inside the cabinets interjects subtle color. Around the table, a half dozen upholstered chairs contribute comfort.


Add an elaborate triple-tier chandelier, a needlepoint rug in muted shades, and some handsome art, and all your guests will want to dress up for dinner.

©Joseph Horan, FASID A travertine wall shelf is balanced on the other side of the dining room with a lean console.

Although at its best when the table is set as it is here with a collection of antique china and clear and cobalt stemware, the room maintains its character even when not called into service. Spied from the living room through a gracious arch, it's the kind of dining room that enhances an entire house with its regal presence.

If you like to mix and match styles, check out the dining room decorating tips -- and photos -- in the next section.

To get more decorating ideas as well as tips and information on decorating your home, visit:


Romance and Color in Dining Room Decor

©Kari Whitman Beautiful but simple vases stand guard on the narrow console.

Totally original, this captivating dining room brings together traditional and ethnic pieces. The comfortable upholstered chairs, for instance, would look just as at home in a classic setting. The elaborate chandeliers, however, make us think of an Indian bazaar.

To keep the elements in balance, rose-colored walls are met with pale trim and woodwork. The walls' rich color adds depth to the space, making it appear more opulent and cozy even on the chilliest of evenings.


On one side of the gleaming table, a baronial hearth is the dining room's focal point. On the other, an ornate mirror catches the eye by enhancing the light during the day and also when the candles are aglow.

©Kari Whitman Painting the ceiling the same hue as the walls imbues the room with a more intimate ambience.

The most memorable rooms usually feature a surprise component, and there's one here. Should the guests raise their eyes to the ceiling, they'll discover, much to their delight, a decorative pattern rather than a mundane white canopy.

Whether you use the decorating ideas in this article to create a glamorous, modern, traditional, or romantic dining space -- or combine the styles to suit your own tastes -- you'll be able to create the dining room of your dreams.

To get more decorating ideas as well as tips and information on decorating your home, visit: