Dining room: design ideas, inspiration & pictures

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Ideas and inspirations for dining rooms

A delectable dining room decor is essential for a satisfying dining experience. Even deliciously cooked meals may turn out to be unpalatable in shabbily decorated and unhygienic dining spaces. It is important for the health and well being of the family as well as for the guests who frequent this space.

In her essay A Room of One’s Own published in 1929, Virginia Woolf commented, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Without taking adequate care of your dining room design you cannot expect to dine well either.

Dining room inspiration

For dining room inspiration suitable for your home, you may look back upon the past and design your dining parlour according to the classical styles. Famous dining room images of Giambattista Tiepolo, Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Victors among others show the elegant dining spaces of a bygone era. You may visit classical houses and decorative arts museums for a dining room inspiration as well.

If you live in a modern home, you will certainly like to model your dining area according to the present time. Contemporary interiors tend to shun all kinds of ostentation and furniture with florid styles. Minimalist design is in vogue and dining rooms are not immune to the latest trends. Decorating a space this way may help to create a more expansive looking dining parlour in a relatively smaller home.

You may opt for an industrial dining room as well, which is an offshoot of modern design principles. Rustic dining rooms tend to have a genial ambience much suited for a hearty meal in a comfy setting. After certain modifications, even urban dwellings can opt for country styles or rustic designs. This gives a kind of exclusivity to any home.

You will find homify full of dining room ideas suitable for all kinds of interiors. Take time out to read our regular suggestions about designing better dining areas as well. This will help you to plan a stylish space without undergoing too much of a hassle.

How to choose the perfect dining room furniture?

The focal point of any dining area is occupied by the dining set. More often than not, a dining table and accompanying chairs are the only furniture to decorate the space. Choosing them carefully ensures the beauty of the space and increases its efficiency as well.

Choose a dining table that befits the dining room in shape and overall appearance. Though rectangular dining tables are the commonest type, you may consider buying a square table if you have a reasonably sized squarish dining space. As opposed to rectangular tables they would help an easier flow of dialogue between people sitting around the table. The same benefit can be obtained by having a round or oval table.

Slightly unusual and irregular shapes may give the interiors a different kind of appearance. You can convert irregular stone slabs or wooden planks into a table top as well. It can be used for the dining rooms on the terrace, outdoor entertainment zone or swimming pool complexes. Geometric shapes with clean lines look better for contemporary dwellings, whereas conventional shapes are more suitable for formal dining spaces.

Wooden furniture is still considered the most treasured option for any home. A variety of wood species from white oak to dark walnut, pale ash to dramatic tigerwood are used to craft dining furniture. You may choose the one that feels most suitable for the space you are decorating. For formal rooms, invest in matching chairs. You may buy beautifully upholstered dining chairs to increase the charm of the interiors.

Wooden furniture is not the only option for you though. You can consider decorating your dining parlour with cast metal, wrought iron or moulded plastic furniture as well. The last one is available in a variety of vivid colours which may add a little pizzazz to this space of yours. For a funkier feel, mismatching chairs can be placed around a table.

Furniture beyond the dining set

If you take a closer look at a charming dining room picture, you will spot some other pieces of furniture adorning the space besides an essential dining set. Unless you are decorating an extremely tight corner of your home, consider bringing in one or two other items. One of the primary ones among these would be a slim console table that takes up only a minimum amount of space but beautifies the room by its mere presence.

Another very useful item for this space would be a dining room dresser or sideboards. Either of these will help you to maximise the storage space and keep your crockery and cutlery neatly arranged. Instead of dressers you can purchase a side table with shelves underneath. Decorate the top with potted plants, fresh flowers, aromatic candles and a handful of small decorative pieces to increase the magnetism of the space.

Dining room colours

Being a space for social gathering, dining areas look best under the influences of more upbeat tones. That said, you have ample liberty to play with the colour scheme for this room. If it shares the space with the living room and kitchen, you will have to follow a central theme that helps each of these zones to seamlessly merge with the other.

You can opt for a primarily warm colour scheme such as a light champagne as a base tone and fiery tangerine as an accent. Alternatively, you may select a cool base colour like periwinkle blue and spice it up with persimmon. When used tactfully, even a dark blue tone can make your room look spectacular.

Lighting fixtures for dining rooms

Dining room decor will look best under the influence of warm sunlight and, as the evening sets in, under sufficient artificial lighting. If possible, try to open up the windows and declutter the area in front to allow easy flow of light. Use two layers of curtains – mesh curtains to allow better flow of light and heavier ones for greater privacy.

Find out exactly how much illumination your dining space needs. Larger rooms will naturally need more illumination than cosier spaces. You will have to get the illumination right to maintain the cheery feel if you have opted for a dark colour palette. Decide on the budget and the style you intend to go for. Introduce a combination of fixtures to brighten up the entire space.

Use ceiling spotlights to illuminate the creepy corners. Choose luxurious pendants or linear suspensions for the area above the dining table. You may even colour coordinate the lighting fixtures with the rest of the room. LED lighting fixtures will help you to save on your utility bills. Valance lighting can be introduced for a more dramatic feel.

If you are decorating an outdoor dining area, be careful to choose lighting rated UL (Underwriters Laboratory) Damp or UL Wet. Damp will work when there is no scope of direct contact with water. Homes in high moisture zones, lakesides and coastal areas would benefit from opting for these. But if there is a chance of direct water contact you will have to go for the UL Wet fixtures. Remember lighting fixtures can glam up any space by their sheer presence. So choose fixtures that look stunning and are durable as well.

Affordable design tips for dining rooms

Once you have got the essentials in place, decide on the embellishments. Choose curtains or blinds that thoroughly complement the overall decor and colour scheme. Pooling curtains give out a romantic vibe, especially if you have invested in luxe fabric, but could be difficult to manage. Floating length looks elegant and is easier to maintain.

Decorate the walls with beautifully framed mirrors, artworks or photographs. Mirrors would make your room feel more expansive. Place them in a prominent position, but do not clutter the walls with too many of these objects. Handcrafted wooden relief sculptures or embroidered fabric would also look great on the wall. Eclectic and country homes can be decorated with ceramic plates with pastoral scenes.

Do not leave the corners bare and unattended. Decorate them with flower vases or sculptures. You may place potted herbs like lavender, thyme, mint and basil in this space. They will keep the interior environment refreshed with their perfumed existence. You may create a small vertical garden for this space as well. This will certainly give a very unique and appetising feel to your dining area.

Stylise the top of the dining table with great care. Spread a nice table cloth and runner on top of it. If you want to keep the top of your beautiful table exposed, spread only the runner. Opt for a seasonal theme for the table decor. Make sure the decor accessories, including the placeholder mats, corroborate to that.

Place a couple of small but impressive sculptures only if you have a big enough table. Otherwise, they may create too much of a clutter. Fresh seasonal flowers and candles would be enough to decorate the tabletop. You can even create a sort of floral arrangement by collecting fresh foliage and twigs from your backyard. Serve the food with a smile and enjoy dining together in a stylish setting.