From sophisticated dinner parties to casual suppers with your nearest and dearest - a lot happens around the table which makes the dining room a very important place indeed. From the perfect designer dining table to stylish yet comfortable dining chairs, there is a lot to consider when creating this space and to help, our team of Houseologists have pulled together the top 37 dining room design ideas to make the whole process a breeze!
Dining Room Furniture Ideas
From the essential dining tables and chairs to stylish sideboards and shelving, these dining room furniture ideas will ensure your space is both practical and stylish.
1. For a dining room that really invites guests to relax and unwind, look to the most luxurious and comfortable dining room chairs that your budget will allow. Rich upholstery, padded seats and gorgeous button-back detailing will ensure your dinner party guests will be all too happy to linger over dinner.
2. How chairs look and fit around the table is important from a design point of view, but don’t forget their essential purpose – to provide a comfortable seat. The distance between the seat height and table surface should be one of your key considerations. Too small a gap and you won’t be able to push your chair in comfortably, too large a gap and your guests will sit uncomfortably low.
3. For a bold statement dining room idea, consider mismatching a variety of different dining chairs around your table. To keep a feeling of stylish cohesion, choose chairs that have something in common such as the shape of the back or legs. Also remember to ensure the seats are all at around the same height.
4. "Open shelves are often the best storage option in a tight space, but you have to fill them wisely," says House Beautiful. Beautiful books, coordinating crockery, plates or artefacts from travels are all perfect for enlivening your dining space in style.
DINING ROOM COLOUR IDEAS
Whether you prefer sophisticated neutrals or like to add pops of playful colour through furnishings and accessories, these top dining room colour ideas are sure to inspire your space.
5. Simple black and white dining rooms are timelessly stylish in both contemporary and traditional homes and it's easy to add a burst of accent colour through vibrant upholstery on dining chairs.
6. For a stylish retro dining room colour idea, look to shades that evoke a fun Mid Century feel. Rich marigold orange, cool olive green or turquoise are all perfect for enlivening your space.
7. Look to cool chalky pastel shades to create a dining room colour scheme that is both modern and playful. Our team of Houseologists love to combine sophisticated pastel tones with pale wood finishes for a contemporary Scandinavian look - try matching table top accents with your dining chairs for cool cohesion.
DINING ROOM LAYOUT IDEAS
The right furnishings don't mean a thing if they don't work together. Be inspired by these top dining room layout ideas to ensure your space flows...
8. "Make sure you have a flexible seating arrangement to squeeze in more guests when hosting diner parties," says Maxine of We Love Home Blog. "Start with a dining table which extends to fit friends and family. A bench is ideal as you can fit more bottoms around the table. Keep a couple of folding dining chairs to hand to host most friends or look for stacking dining chairs that you can neatly store out the way to make an impromptu dance floor for after-dinner partying!"
9. "For me, with having two young children, the dining room has to function as a place to eat, place to play, place to do homework and a place to sit and chat," says Rachel of The Ordinary Lovely "Therefore, the right table and chairs are so important. They need to look great but also be incredibly comfortable. Wood materials and white finishes are still my ultimate combination and are a twosome which seem to stand the test of time."
small dining room ideas
Although we can't all fit 10-seater dining tables into our homes, small dining rooms can be perfectly formed too! Discover how to make the most of your compact space with these expert ideas...
10. "If your home is too compact for a separate dining room, then consider incorporating a dining area in an open-plan living room," says House to Home. Create an area within the living room that can be used for dining. Hanging a pendant light over the table and adding upholstered dining chairs that complement the sofa and soft furnishings will ensure the room feels cohesive while separating the two areas.
11. "Small spaces can benefit from clean, unfussy decorating schemes. Go for pale, unpatterend ceilings, walls, woodwork and floors and then look for furniture that will add the interest," House to Home.
12. "Bring life to your dining area with houseplants. Succulents are easy to care for and make the perfect centerpiece year-round," says HGTV. Lush greenery is a wonderful small dining room idea as it breaks up the decor without taking up valuable space.
13. "Large dining rooms are such a pleasure to design as are smaller spaces too. If you have limited space for your dining table choosing the shape of your table is key including the style of your chairs," says Nadya of nadya sawney interiors. "I am all about expanding space in my interiors and if you cannot do that physically because of area limitation you can certainly achieve the feel of expansion through your furniture choices. Being playful with table decoration also adds to a visual feast preparing you nicely for the food to come."
contemporary dining room ideas
We've pulled together some of our favourite contemporary dining room ideas from top interior bloggers to help you infuse your home with stylish modernity...
14. For a really fresh exciting dining scheme, combine contemporary materials such as polypropylene and glass with traditional materials such as timber flooring and elegant paper lampshades. Keep the rest of the decor simple and monochrome to let the material really take centre stage.
15. “Formal dining rooms are kind of redundant now, your eating space should feel relaxed, homely and be a room you want to stay in once the meal has finished - lighting is key! Throw in a couple of vintage armchairs and a drinks cabinet for afters and you’ve got a cosy spot for the rest of the evening. Oh and don’t forget some kind of music source, dining in silence is my worst nightmare,” Karen Knox of Making Spaces.
16. "Create a dining room that people want to spend time in," says Natasha of Candy Pop. "Consider comfortable seating, cosy lighting and a calming environment free of clutter - a homely and welcoming space will encourage happy gatherings and memory making."
17. "A neutral monochromatic scheme of whites and woods is often a safe way to create a modern sophisticated environment," says Eleni of My Paradissi. "The simpler the palette, however, the more one has to pay attention to the details of the furniture and accessories. Sleek pieces with unexpected design, plush textures and fresh green plants are some of the tricks one can use to pull off this design."
RUSTIC DINING ROOM IDEAS
For a dining room that is chic yet stylish and encourages your guests to sit back and relax, introduce a laid-back elegance with our top rustic dining room ideas.
18. "I think one of the most important things not to scrimp on is dining chairs," says Katy of Apartment Apothecary. "If you, your family and your guests are as comfortable as possible, lingering around the dining table is a pleasure and meals will be longer and more enjoyable. It's also a good idea to hang glass or ceramic pendant lights over your dining table as this creates enough light to see your food but also the right sort of soft light to create a good atmosphere."
19. "Often a home life hub, whether it's in the kitchen or open-plan living space, a dining table is such a key piece," says Julia of Stylonylon. "It's colour and texture can really define the space, so consider whether you want the comforting aesthetic of wood, something bright and light in white or a real statement piece in slate grey or zinc. You can then build the rest of the room, with carpet and chairs, around this!"
20. "Nothing is more inviting than a long farmhouse-style table for the setting of a large family dinner. Keep the space from getting weighed down by choosing slender, not-too-clunky chairs and linen table settings," Real Simple.
MINIMALIST DINING ROOM IDEAS
Sleek yet simple style will never date in any room of the house and these minimalist ideas will ensure your dining room is bang on trend season after season!
21. Pared back minimalist dining rooms will never go out of style and work particularly well in dining spaces that are flooded with lots of natural light. Look to engineered finishes and contemporary clean lines for a modern minimalism with a chic silhouette.
22. "Too much wood across the dining table, chairs, flooring and cabinetry can be a bit overwhelming. Think creatively about the pieces you bring into the room," says Real Simple. These beautiful chairs create an elegance through their fine lines and negative space that really enhances this minimalist dining room.
23. Introduce a little playfulness and style to your minimalist dining room by pairing fun accessories such as elegant ceramics in pretty pastel pink with a sleek engineered dining table. Introduce additional texture through a simple rug or, for a serious style statement, incorporate an urban statement pendant light over the table.
24. Create a cool graphic feel in your dining room with layered shades of grey and sculptural crockery and glassware. For a minimalist dining room idea that is utterly on-trend, introduce a marble accent piece that brings a solidity to the more delicate shapes of the scheme.
25. "Before you dive into furnishing your perfect dining space you first need to plan your space according to size. You want to create a cosy space to entertain and enjoy with friends but being squashed or banging elbows isn't going to create the right vibe," says Lori of Wild & Grizzly. "Ensure you leave around 25 inches placement per person to dine at your table and 30 inches from your table to wall for comfort. Measuring your space will allow you to choose the right table size and make your dining experience extra special."
SCANDINAVIAN DINING ROOM IDEAS
It's hard not to be inspired by the effortless elegance of Scandic and Nordic style and these Scandinavian dining room ideas have seriously got our creative juices flowing!
26. Fill your dining room with some seriously Scandinavian vibes with the &Tradition In Between Chair. Creating a super stylish balance between positive and negative space, this design by Sami Kallio is a masterclass in Scandic design processes and cool modernity.
27. Scandinavian design is known for striking a balance between style and practicality and this is particularly important in dining spaces. Elegant narrow table legs are perfect for smaller spaces and look to seating that slots into the table to keep the space looking sleek and tidy.
28. Keep your dining room colour palette in the Scandinavian tradition with a monochrome scheme infused with raw wooden accents and colours drawn from nature such as chic forest green and rich earthy browns.
29. For a moody dining room that exudes traditional Scandinavian style look to furniture that has a strong architectural silhouette. The NORR11 NY11 Dining Chair, with its Mid Century school room inspired style is perfect for adding instant Nordic chic - particularly when paired with cool contemporary industrial lighting and a clean, engineered dining table.
LUXURY DINING ROOM IDEAS
From glamorous details to opulent fabrics, eat in style all year round with these show-stopping luxury dining room ideas.
30. "In terms of furniture, go for larger armchairs at the ends of the table in contrast fabrics to create a classic ‘head of table’ feel with a contemporary edge," says designer Emma Hooton. "Walls look great clad in antique mirror glass panels which reflect soft candle lighting and create an intimate atmosphere. When dressing the table use brass or copper cutlery for impact in the detail when guests sit down, always a great talking point."
31. For a true luxury dining room idea, use tableware to elevate the overall look of the space. Gold detailing across crockery, cutlery and glassware combined with luxurious table linens and glamorous candle holders in materials such as marble, smoked glass and brass will instantly upgrade the whole room.
32. Up the feeling of opulence in your dining room by creating a glittering tabletop through beautiful crystal glassware. Add a boutique restaurant edge to your scheme by setting each place with all the glassware and crockery your guests will need in advance.
33. "Create a cosy corner for dining with family and friends by pairing a bench and chairs with a table, it's nothing new but it works a treat. Lay a rug underneath that stretches out past the legs of the chairs and drape sheepskins over seat backs to create a warm, relaxing atmosphere. Light a few candles, pop open a bottle and gather round," Cate St Hill.
DINING ROOM LIGHTING IDEAS
Lighting is crucial in every room of the house but it has particular significance in the dining room in which it has to strike the balance between task and ambient lighting. Find out how to get it right with these top dining room lighting ideas.
34. "‘Good lighting and acoustics are key to a great dining room. Keep the design simple and consider soft furnishings if your room sounds like an aircraft hangar. The dining table should be the star of the show. Light it up with a statement pendant making sure your bulbs are warm white for a cosy glow," says Hannah Burke of Open House London.
35. "If your lighting is directly over your table, think about where you and your family and friends will be sitting - you might love your choice of light but it may be best not to obscure the head of a loved one," Red Online.
36. "Modernise your dining room with industrial style lighting. Balance their streamlined look by combining the lighting with natural furnishings, like wood tables and wicker chairs," HGTV.
37. "Your dining room should reflect your style but be functional and uncluttered," says Lori of Wild & Grizzly. "Add a touch of your personality with a rug to frame your dining table on hard surface floors or a low pendant light centred over the table to add drama, create a focal point and add atmosphere to your room."