Not keen to have a dinner party until you revamp your dining room? Then you might like to browse through our dining room decorating ideas in our Dining rooms design ideas photo gallery…
Dining rooms are trickier than they look – you need space for an appropriate-sized table (ie. appropriate to how many guests you’re having, with space for tabletop decoration, cutlery, china, and serving dishes), room to move around the space, comfortable but elegant chairs, ambient lighting, and a serving area.
Here are some dining room design ideas, with some tips below:
Dining room tables, buffets and chairs:
Personally, I prefer rectangle dining tables because I can easily add on additional folding tables to either end to extend our table from 6 to 30.
We’ve invested in basic rectangle folding tables and a multitude of different table clothes and long rolls of fabric (cheap and chic!). Plus plain black folding chairs. All very hand as we have large gatherings with family and friends quite regularly. The rolls of fabric are great because I buy up a few meters at a time when I see something beautiful reduced, and they cost next to nothing but look fantastic.
But round tables are also great because you can often fit in an extra person more comfortably than a square shape, but I feel they are best used in smaller spaces – having a massive round table should be limited to weddings and conference centres – you simply can’t have a decent conversation across a large round table.
I’m also a big fan of serving space as most of our dinner parties are buffet style – it’s so tricky these days with vegans, allergies, and gluten-free guests (I have some of these myself!), so we tend to make a variety of dishes and put them on a sideboard so people can help themselves. Although for smaller parties, eg. 4 people, we tend to do a plate-it-up sit-down meal.
If you have the space, then proper sideboards are best as they give you both tabletop space for serving, as well as drawers and cupboards for cutlery, crockery and linen. If limited space, buy a small folding table and bring it out for dinner parties only, just cover with a lovely table cloth and no-one will ever know the difference.
More ideas in these photo galleries:
Scroll through the gallery here:
Dining room decoration:
A dining room is a great place to have a fireplace as long as it isn’t too close to the table, with the potential to overheat one guest, or potentially be a safety hazard.
Rugs are also great for a dining room, but don’t choose a plain neutral colour unless you are happy to have it drycleaned after each dinner party – it’s bound to get some food-and-wine wear and tear! Multicolour patterns are best, which is why you often see Persian carpets in dining rooms.
Floorboards or tiles are practical and can be extremely stylish, but can make the room too noisy if there isn’t some form of floorcovering such as a rug or carpet to soften the sounds.
There’s a theory that you shouldn’t paint your dining room blue because it puts people off their food. But I feel that you should go with any colour you like as long as it’s done tastefully (excuse the pun).
More ideas in these photo galleries:
- Panelled walls, applied mouldings and beadboard
- Cutlery and linen
- Cocktail bars
- Screens and panels
- Hung up: A look at picture hanging
- Wicker and bamboo decor
Dining room lighting:
I like to use a mix of table candles, coffee table lights, freestanding lights, and overhead lighting.
Ensure that any lights on the table itself do not get in the way of the guests – can the guest easily communicate with the people around them without a big candlestick in their way? Perhaps reserve your grand candelabra for the buffet or console table, and stick to shorter-height candles for the main table.
See our lighting photo galleries for more ideas:
What are YOUR tips for a luscious dining room? Leave a comment below.
You might also like these stylish home photo gallery posts and photos:
Lots more on our Architecture and design: beautiful buildings, gardens and decor photo gallery listing page. And you can find more inspiring dining room design photos via our Luscious kitchens and dining rooms Pinterest board.
Want more? Then here are some books you might find helpful:
- The 100 Best Kitchens & Dining Rooms by Wim Pauwels
- Steven Gambrel: Time and Place by Steven Gambrel
- The Age of Elegance: Interiors by Alex Papachristidis by Alex Papachristidis
- Design*Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney
- Sabrina Soto Home Design: A Layer-by-Layer Approach to Turning Your Ideas into the Home of Your Dreams by Sabrina Soto
- Candice Olson Family Spaces by Candice Olson
- Mary McDonald: Interiors: The Allure of Style by Mary McDonald