May 18, 2023

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30 Stylish Dining Room Ideas to Guide & Inspire

The dining room is all about entertaining. It’s a room where we can be expressive with the décor. So, dining room ideas can be more whimsical and daring than in other parts of the home.


Contemporary trends in dining room ideas combine the best of past and present. Even though the tendency in décor is towards informality, dining room décor ideas still respect established conventions. While the open-plan kitchen eliminates the division between cooking and entertaining, the dining area is normally separate.

This article explores dining room decorating ideas to add character and individuality to your home. We look at small and larger spaces, provide advice on furniture and lighting, and give tips on colour schemes. Having a dining room is one of life’s great indulgences, so be ready to get inspired.

Dining room with wooden floor and limestone wall

Genova 1L Light 218×14.5 (Available in-store)

Parma Limestone 8×30 (Available in-store)

Functional and Stylish Dining Space Tips

Your dining room is a place where family and friends gather to share meals and stories, as well as create memories. As such, it’s important to make this space both functional and visually appealing.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to transform your dining room into a space that is not only practical but also visually attractive. From selecting the right furniture to choosing the perfect lighting, every aspect of dining room design can be personalized to fit your unique style and taste. With a little creativity, you can create a dining space that reflects your personality and adds a touch of elegance to your home.

Explore the following dining room decorating ideas that will inspire you to create a unique space for your family and guests.


# Dining Room Lighting

There are two lighting challenges in the dining room, capturing natural light and sculpting artificial lighting. Consider the catastrophic impact of bad lighting in a restaurant. It can have a negative effect on the ambience, make the food appear unappetizing, and ultimately ruin the mood. To prevent this, eating area lighting ideas should be included from the start, not an afterthought.

Dining space lights are, generally, direct and indirect. Sources include ceilings, walls, sideboards and other indirect hidden sources (like concealed cornices). But there is always a hierarchy of dining room lights. These dining room ideas provide a range of versatile options including dining area ceiling lights:

  • To maximise natural light, make sure window treatments are unobstructed. Include mirrors on opposite walls to maximise the natural light.
  • Provide the ceiling light directly over the centre of the dining table. The lighting should be dimmable. A feature light is preferable that becomes an element of the room decoration, even a talking point.
  • Table lamps and wall sconce lights should provide background illumination. These secondary sources set the scene.
  • Add a feature candelabra, or a very soft light source, as a table centrepiece for a more intimate ambience.


Kitchen with island dining table

E3.70 kitchen series (Available in-store)

# Dining Room Furniture

Everything begins with dining room furniture and, specifically, the table and chairs. In the past, formal dining room furniture was designed to direct the conversation towards the centre of the table. Today, is no different, dining tables are about looking inwards and sharing.

While it doesn’t really matter what shape table you choose, the selection of chair is critical to achieving the best result. Architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Mackintosh would use high-back chairs to force attention inwards. Nowadays, we are less dictatorial with dining room tables and chairs.

Choose from one of the following standard dining room ideas:

  • The traditional rectangular table with extension leaves is the most popular and versatile standard dining room table.
  • The square dining table that extends to a rectangular table is a popular variation.
  • Circular, oval and elliptical dining tables are great options for accommodating extra diners comfortably. Mid-20th Century, vintage modern, period or contemporary designs can all add a chic central element.
  • The farmhouse-style table is normally found in the kitchen and combines prep, informal and more formal dining. The work surface is usually made of wood and acquires a patina with age.
  • The island dining table is a contemporary variation, an extension of the kitchen worktop. Elegant, but nonetheless less formal than the traditional table.


Open plan kitchen with integrated dining table

E7.30 kitchen series (Available in-store)

# Small Dining Room Ideas

Nowadays, it’s more common to have a small eating area in UK homes. But small dining room ideas can pack a powerful punch.

Dining rooms can be either part of an open-plan kitchen area or work as separate, independent rooms. Regardless of its location, the dining room décor entertains guests and family in the same way as the food served there.

Follow these tips and small dining room ideas to maximise the impact:

  • Choose the right size dining set. Remember to measure the fully opened adjustable dining table. Match the chair’s height and width to the dining table.
  • Wall treatments, like reflective finishes, metallic accents and mirrors, can be used to create an illusion of greater space.
  • Add a few features to the décor, but don’t overdo it. Spaces look larger when there are fewer objects. So, choose furniture elements carefully.
  • The ceiling light and table should be the most impacting decorative elements.
  • A sideboard is a great addition to the dining space. Even a small one is worth its weight in gold for practical storage and counter space.
  • Keep all the furniture and decorative choices within the same style. Mix and match a few elements, but make sure to keep an overarching theme.


# Dining Room Wall Décor

Because we only use the dining room occasionally, we can afford to be a little more daring with its décor. More decorative wall treatments, like dining room wallpaper with mural art, are trending right now. Dining room wall art, like 3D porcelain tiles or timber panelling, can also add a modern feel. The following dining room ideas will help you customise your space:

  • Dining room wall décor should be special and can be different to other rooms in the home.
  • Integrate the lighting with the wall treatment. Wall sconces are great for indirect lighting that picks up on decorative details.
  • Timber panelling, either half-height or full-height, always looks chic and elegant.
  • Hand-painted, geometric patterns or scenic mural wallpaper provides immediate character. Wallpaper can be easily changed and is relatively inexpensive.
  • Artwork should be personal and tell a story, your story. So, add photos, decorative objects and paintings that say something about you and your family.


Dining room with marble effect tiles

# Modern Dining Room

We have so many décor choices at our disposal today, more than ever before. You don’t need a huge budget to create a beautiful and modern dining room. You can mix and match, for example, vintage and contemporary, dramatic and subtle. Experiment with lighting (but always respect certain rules).

The modern dining space should reflect your love of food and entertainment. There has never been so much interest in good and authentic food as today. So, dining room ideas should be no different:

  • Treat the table decoration as an extension of the room décor. Dressing at a table is more popular than ever, and not just for special occasions like Christmas.
  • Integrate colour, pattern and texture on your dining room walls.
  • Choose a decorating style, but don’t be slavish. Add other random elements that work with the décor.
  • Make a point of having fresh flowers as a centrepiece on the dining room table. This not only adds a decorative touch, but the flowers’ aroma stimulates our taste buds.
  • Make a statement with light. Find a ceiling light that works with your table and the dining room decoration.


# Best Colours to Match Dining Room Ideas

The challenge with dining room colours is they must work during the daytime and the night-time. The choice of colour and intensity will be also influenced by orientation. It determines the amount of natural sunlight that the dining space receives. As a rule, keep colours for a dining room bright for north-facing orientation and vice versa.

  • Bring the outdoors inside. Colours that reference nature tend to work well when food is involved.
  • If your preference is for daring, strong colours, go for it and experiment. However, compensate with the lighting to add to or soften the drama.
  • Texture and colour are natural bedfellows for the lighter ends of the spectrum. For instance, grey dining room ideas work best with textures like wood, rattan and heavy fabrics. Combine different shades of grey for the most dramatic results.
  • For a statement colour in the dining room, paint the ceiling to match the walls.
  • Confused about colour? Then, neutrals are a reliable option. Colours like beige, magnolia, creamy oatmeal, light greys, etc. always look appetising.


Brown tones dining room with wooden floor and rustic table

Heritage Valencia 20×20 (Available in-store)

Treville 1L Leather 13×109.2 (Available in-store)

Spirit Silver 8×30 (Available in-store)

Create a Unique Dining Room Design that Stands Out

The secret behind all dining room ideas is to be adventurous. Treat the dining room as a special case in home décor. Be experimental.

We have provided advice on how to select furniture, add lighting, wall finishes and colour schemes. With so many options, it’s normal that you might be confused. So, our last tip is to visit your nearest showroom. There, you can see all the possibilities in real life.


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