Bon Apetit: Dining Room Decorating Ideas
Every Home Lover Should Know

In theory, the dining room ought to be the central hub of the household. It should be the place where the entire family comes together to meet, eat, and generally have a good old fashioned catch up. It is supposed to be the beating heart of any home.

Charlotte Grainger
January 14, 2017



Sadly, though, that’s not always the case.

For many of us, aside from over the festive season or special occasions, the dining room lies dormant.

We might make the mistake of overlooking this room simply because it’s not as aesthetically pleasing or functional as it should be.

Well, it’s time to start making some real use of the area. If you’re looking for dining room decorating ideas, you’ve come to the right place. We have some ideal dining decor tips and inspiration that we’re just certain you’ll adore.

From making the most of small spaces to creating a classic look, here are a few ideas you’re sure to want to try.

Tip #1: Creativity is key

Image via Tidbits&Twine

One of the biggest trends of 2017 is certain to be contrasting various pastel colours.

Of course, when done wrong, this can end up looking like a kids’ playroom, and so you absolutely must be selective in your palette.

All too often, dining rooms tend to be ultra formal. If you’re looking for a classic, and yet creative look, this might be the one for you.

The mismatched colourful furnishings here work together to become a real focal point for the room. This unique style is one that is quite typical of modern dining room ideas.

Plus, the array of colours here are accompanied by the fresh flowers and quirky table pieces for a truly fresh look.

Tip #2: Add a touch of the kitsch

Image via Town and Country Living

Sticking with the same central theme for just a moment, if you do opt to employ a pastel colour palette in your dining room, it’s worth considering these features.

Kitsch, vintage ornaments can often look garish and out-of-place in a home. However, if you opt to use them sparingly in just one area, it can work quite well.

When choosing your individual pieces, be sure to select ones which share a coherent theme. For example, the pieces here all share the same colour tones, which means that they don’t demand too much attention from the onlooker.

If you stick closely to this rule of thumb, you should have no problems achieving the look you desire.

Tip #3: Include modern industrial lighting

Image via Pinterest

Industrial dining room decor has surged in popularity in recent years.

As designers are typically moving away from classical dining room decor ideas, they are branching out into a fusion of rustic and reworked pieces.

Take this example here; the designer has included spherical glass lampshades as something of a focus of the room. It’s a bold move, but one that is pulled off in an almost effortless manner.

When the canvas of your room is relatively plain, you can afford to feature a few choice pieces such as this. Be sure to choose each piece carefully as they have to complement one another rather than vie for attention.

Tip #4: Never shy away from the bold

Image via Over at Kates

While there’s a whole lot to be said for muted colours, sometimes it really does pay to be a little bold.

This is likely one of the most valuable dining room decorating ideas we can give you. Here the designer has bravely opted for a deep blue paint in a rather small living space.

The effect is incredibly striking. Coupled with some modern gothic features, the tone becomes less overpowering and more a central draw of the room.


Tip #5: Strip back your dining room

Image via The Blog Deco

If you’re hoping to achieve a minimal, stripped back look, exposing some natural elements of the room is an excellent way to do so.

When you’re looking for a little dining design inspiration, this might just be the ideal place to start.

Every feature in the room from the exposed brick wall to the stunning raw wood table follows a central idea – that of using the elements in home decor.

Natural elements and functional design come together in this look seamlessly. The key to ensuring that it works together is choosing design pieces that are plain and simplistic.

Tip #6: Opt for a muted colour scheme

Image via West Elm

Of course, there’s no saying that ultra modern dining room ideas will work for you. If you’ve a penchant for classic, luxury design, there’s another road you may wish to follow.

Here, the designer has chosen some classic style elements, but also included a few simple, modern touches, such as the table and chairs. Along with a soft, muted colour, these features work to bring a hint of richness to the room.

Plus, the inclusion of a little faux fur and a geometric rug actually works wonders when it comes to the overall atmosphere of the room. These soft furnishings work to give a sense of enticement and cosiness within the space.

Hint: The muted scheme here means that you have a lot of scope when it comes to your furnishings.

Choosing a plain base colour allows you the room to experiment with otherwise contradictory styles. 

Tip #7: Include contemporary design pieces

Image via The Blog Deco

This designer room is the epitome of rustic style meets new age design.

Each piece really has its inspiration rooted in Scandi, and yet adds a new twist to this classic style.

The worn wooden table serves as the canvas for the creative room, but that’s where the traditional dining design inspiration ends. Every element you can see here has been selected as much for its originality as for its purpose.

Both the corner angled lamp and the stripped-back lampshade work as features of the room. The moment you glance at this scene, these two pieces jump out at you full-throttle.

What’s more, the minimal art and flora used in the room is enough to lift the style to the very next level.

Tip #8: Adapt your small living space

Image via Sheer Luxe

It’s all very well looking at some of the key dining room decorating ideas, but what if you only have a small space with which to work?

The truth of the matter is that not all of us have spacious rooms to decorate just as we wish.

If you have either a small dining room or even just part of a room dedicated to this function, you will need to explore some creative narrow dining room ideas.

Adapting a small living space to suit your personal needs is the best way forward. Remember, you can always experiment with different arrangements before you find the one that happens to work for you.

Rather than opting to keep the four freestanding chairs for this table, the designer has used a simple bench along the back wall. This seemingly minuscule change makes all the difference, allowing a lot of functionality to fit snuggly into a small area.


Tip #9: Make use of functional Scandi design

Image via The Blog Deco

Effortlessly combining sophistication and function, Scandinavian style is something that will likely never go out of fashion.

This is one of the most popular dining room decor ideas of our time and for good reason. The simplistic nature of each piece here is used to its full benefit in the room.

When you’re working with this style, you really can afford to include as many pieces as you see fit.

As far as decorations go, the gallery wall is actually quite an outlandish statement when compared to traditional design techniques. This could so-very-easily go wrong.

However, the generous amount of white space the designer has left here allows for the chaos of the pictures. The result is a perfectly balanced look that does not appear too busy at all.

Tip #10: Try out some alternative wall displays

Image via Instagram

Most people simply choose to adorn their walls with artwork or photography, but why not opt for something entirely different?

One of the most inventive dining room decor ideas in recent years has been these alternative and functional pieces. For example, these mounted cages serve a storage purpose within the home, while also giving the dining room a unique look.

It’s not just mere cages that you can explore when it comes to your wall decor; there are loads of different pieces out there that may catch your eye. From mounted jars to cubes, there are many different pieces that you could use as dining design inspiration.

Hint: If you’re handy when it comes to DIY, why not create your own mounted piece like this one? It will be truly original and unique to your abode. 

Tip #11: Create an original decorative fireplace

Image via Blogspot

Many classic townhouses feature fireplaces within the dining room, and yet few of us use them on a day-to-day basis.

If your fireplace has become something of an eyesore, it’s time to do something about it. While old-fashioned dining decor tips insist that you must feature the fireplace in its traditional form, that’s not always the case.

You may want to take this opportunity to repaint the fireplace itself and create a feature piece within it.

As you can see here, for example, the designer has opted to use lanterns and candles to highlight the fireplace in a completely new way.

You may also want to consider a cluster of string light bulbs or perhaps even some rustic ornaments. The point is that you ought to make use of the space inside the fireplace rather than leaving it bare.

Doing so will bring a newfound lease of life to the area.

Tip #12: Include a few exotic features

Image via My Domaine

If you’ve a case of wanderlust, why not bring your exotic side into your home? People who love to travel often have a wealth of trinkets and mementoes from around the globe.

If that’s the case, the dining room is the ideal place to display these things. Providing that you choose a plain decor style as a base, you have the ideal place where you can showcase some of this unique and interesting pieces.

Bonus: The fact that each of these items has a story means that you will never be at a loss for words at dinner parties. Each ornament or feature piece will serve as a wonderfully intriguing conversation piece.

This is one of the best modern dining room ideas since it allows you to create a space that really does tell a story about the people who live there.


Tip #13: Opt for a monotone room

Image via Home Bunch

Traditionally, designers would opt for rich colour themes and decadent features within the dining room setting. After all, this is the main room of the house in which you’re likely to entertain, and so it’s the ideal place to include a little luxe.

However, contemporary dining design inspiration does not always adhere to this cardinal rule. In fact, if you’re looking for a progressive dining room style, you may want to try a monotone look.

Muting the colours down completely makes for a stylish look, as you can see here. Of course, the colour palette is textured, moving from one tone to the next, but it never strays too far from the central theme.

Maintaining a look like this one can be a little laborious, but we’re sure you’ll agree the overall effect is worth it.

Hint: The brief flashes of silver here stand out against the otherwise plain background to add a little brilliance to the room. 

Tip #14: Be brave and add a little eccentricity

Image via Lucy Loves Ya

On occasion, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a little experimental in your look. So long as you select just one room on which to focus, you can create a truly innovative design in your home.

This particular dining design inspiration is at once eccentric and tasteful. The floral wallpaper is a collaboration between artist Kim Parker and Clarke & Clarke, but you can get similar pieces elsewhere.

Choosing printed bench cushions to complement the design works to complete the look.

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with being bold and brave in your design style so long as the theme you choose is thought-out and makes sense within your home.

Tip #15: Indulge in heavyset furnishings

Image via Pinterest

Much of modern design solely incorporates petite furnishings and the like. If you’re hoping to create a more grounded look, it’s well worth checking out some bulky furnishings for your home.

These heavyset wooden pieces give the room a sense of rustic charm while not being too over-the-top when it comes to their style.

The very fact that they are not polished and complete means that they blend perfectly into the room without taking the attention away from the other pieces there.

The height of this room is used to its full advantage too, with the designer choosing lampshades that attract a wealth of attention. These are the real features of the space since they are so utterly bizarre and compelling at the same time.

Tip #16: Invest in a coffee sidebar

Image via Decoholic

Caffeine lovers will adore this next one on our list of dining decor tips. Why not include a space for your passion in the room?

If you have the luxury of a spacious room, you may wish to opt for a quirky piece just like this one. The coffee sidebar is the central feature of this dining space.

At first glance, it looks like nothing more than a plain surface, but the blackboard wall and raw wooden shelves serve to elevate it.

If you do choose to add something like this to the room, remember that it’s all about the finer details. To aptly pull this look off, you must focus on everything from the coffee machine to the hanging mugs.

Here, you can create an area that pertains only to your love of coffee. What could be better than that?


Tip #17: Unleash your inner bohemian

Image via Heart Home Mag

The bohemian look has been around since the dawn of interior design and it’s honestly not going anywhere anytime soon.

One of the easiest dining room decorating ideas you can use in your own home is this: include some indoor plants in the space. The more different plants you use, the more boho the place will look. It really is that easy.

From crawling plants to hanging baskets, the key here is not to worry too much about the theme of the room – the flora is the theme.

Of course, this amount of greenery might look a little brash in any other room. You see, the reason that this works is because the rest of the room has a basic style to it.

In short, the core decor of the room does not seek to rival the various plants here.

Tip #18: Create a communal dining room

Image via Pinterest


Finally, here’s just one more idea that will help with your dining design inspiration. If your dining space is smaller than most, then this is one of the many narrow dining room ideas that just might work in your abode.

Creating a communal eating area is a genius way to make the most of your space and use it to its full potential.

In choosing a low-set dining table and bench pairing, the designer has rejuvenated the area. It’s well worth considering an option like this if you’re struggling for space in your dining room.

This look is really reminiscent of cafeterias and communal spaces; the likes of which you may find in a coffee shop, for example.

By bringing this unique look into the home, though, you can create a look like no other.

It’s worth choosing a plain colour and tone when picking our your furnishings for this room. Since space is quite clearly an issue, the very last thing you want is for the room to appeared cluttered.

So, what do you think? Are there any tips that you’d like to share with us? Don’t forget to leave a comment and let us know! 

Charlotte Grainger

Charlotte Grainger

Charlotte is a freelance writer living in Sheffield, UK. Her interests include gender issues, kittens and the Gilmore Girls. In her spare time, she also writes poetry and drinks copious amounts of red wine and coffee.