This post may contain references and links to products from our advertisers. We may receive commissions from certain links you click on our website. As an Amazon Associate Rhythm of the Home earns revenues from qualifying purchases.
If they say the kitchen of your home is the soul, then that must make the dining room the spirit. Where family and friends join together to celebrate around the table, there is much more to a dining room than what meets the eye. Whether you use your dining room on a daily basis or keep it reserved for the annual holiday occasions the best dining room designs strike a balance between form and function to create a space for making memories, laughter, good meals and more!
From the floor, chairs, and table to the surrounding storage spaces, lighting and choice of accents and artwork, the Rhythm of The Home team is glad to present our dream dining room and how to make it. The key is to think of your dining room as a place to create from the ground up. Whether it blends into the other rooms of your home or becomes a world of its own, we hope this guide inspires you to choose each element of your dining room to create the perfect environment to enjoy every meal – not just the special occasions.
1. Focus on the Flooring
For dining rooms intended for everyday use, we recommend opting for hardwood, tile or linoleum floor. Spills are bound to happen and food doesn’t always stay on the table. For these reasons alone, solid flooring is the best option for dining room spaces. It allows for simple cleanups and shines brighter than carpeting or rugs.
If you intend to lay down a stylish carpet beneath your dining room table, be sure that the length extends beyond the table legs and under the seating arrangement. Guests prefer to be able to slide their chair inward and outward with ease to access the dining table, and carpets make this nearly impossible.
2. Design it to Create a Conversation Space
The style and placement of your dining room seating arrangements play a major role in the sociability of the space. While the goal is to create a space that influences conversation to flow freely, keep in mind the space you need to designate for silverware, glassware, and plates. A good rule of thumb is to position chairs far enough for elbow room, but close enough for normal voice conversation. Try to allow 2 feet of space for each guest along the table.
Add benches for a simple, casual and more affordable seating arrangement. Benches can be decorated with linens and colorful seat cushions to match every design scheme. Invest in highly durable and comfortable seat cushions to keep company gathered around for longer. Benches allow people to get creative with their own space and add a communal element to the dining occasion, as opposed to individual chairs.
3. Selecting the Perfect Table
The style and shape of your table comes down to preference and is the biggest decision you can make. Go for a glass surface table only if you intend to show off the glass. Covering the transparent qualities of the table defeat the purpose. Glass dining tables create a minimalistic impression and pair nicely with a variety of mid-century styles.
The tricky part is balancing the number of seats with your space limitations. How do you fit the most people, and still leave enough room for people to move freely through the space? For the best of both worlds, choose an oval shaped table to pack in as many people and encourage conversation. Pair a live edge wood table with wooden flooring or other woods tones in the space for a natural look. Opt for a round table for smaller compact areas and go with a rectangle shaped table if you have the room for large dinner parties.
4. Keep it Clutter-Free With Stylish Storage
Storage ultimately makes it easier to provide a seamless dining experience from start to finish, plus nobody want to dine in a cluttered space. Your storage should work as a display of beautiful silver and china, whilst also contain the equipment you need at a moments notice like salt and pepper shakers, extra dishes and whatever else you might need.
Shop for an antique sideboard with multiple drawers for a chic addition to smaller sized dining rooms. Floating shelves are a great addition to create storage space on your wall. Always know their function before assembling so that you can properly measure out the spacing and heights.
5. Dining Room Lighting
If the table type sets the tone for conversation, then the lighting sets the mood. Dinner parties and holiday gatherings are famous for bringing people together who are dressed to impress and have a great time, so choose lighting that prevents shadows and brings out the best looks. Spend about 30% of your time creating your dream dining room focused on the perfect lighting.
Hang a chic chandelier or stylish pendant to provide soft light to the surface of the dining table, and use supporting light elements like lamps or wall sconces to make the space even brighter. Install a dimmer switch for recessed lighting to gain more control of the mood, and opt for warm LEDs over the brighter incandescent bulbs in your lighting fixtures.
6. Comfort is King
To create your dream dining room, comfort must be a top priority. Setting the table and serving the meal is only half of the battle when it comes to delivering exceptional hospitality experiences. All of your hard work doesn’t pay off if the guests cannot find comfort in your chairs. The downside of benches is that they lack backrests, which are a key element for comfortable seating.
If you choose to go with individual seats, look for stylish models with upholstered cushions and added support in the lumbar area. Modern dining favors armless chairs over those with armrests, but chairs with armrests are available in a variety of styles. Choose armless chairs for compact spaces to make the most of the area. If it’s hard to decide, go for a Chelsea armchair that has subtle armrests and boasts a modern, yet traditional design.
7. Transform the Walls
Focus on your dining room walls after deciding on the other keys elements such as storage and flooring. The art of decorating your walls can be used to either enhance the objects within your dining room or neutralize the space. Go wild with art. Try different paintings and pictures until you find the perfect fit. Bold wallpapers or a large piece of wall art belong in the dining room. Unique accents like this add energy to the space.
Think of your dining room as the place to put the more quirky ideas you’ve had into practice. We recommend starting with a makeover on just one wall rather than diving into abstract concepts on every angle.
8. Leave Room for a Bar Cart
Bar carts are the perfect addition to every dining room. Build out your own or invest in a mid-century bar cart to work as a storage unit and a provider of good times. Having a bar cart nearby prepares the party for whatever the night will bring. After all, your dining room is cozy, comfortable and the lighting sets the mood. So why get up and meander to the bar when you can stroll around a convenient bar cart?
It is a design opportunity that fuels the fun times. Stock your bar cart with spirits, bottles, a fresh vase of flowers or a scented candle. Bar carts keep the energy dynamic and function as a great extra storage space, too!
9. Small Decorative Accents
Just when you thought you’re ready to set the table, you stroll through one last final aisle. Your dream dining room can only be brought to life with the final touches that make it complete. Set out an array of unique candlestick holders to make a bold impression or opt for a low profile bowl filled with fruits.
Get creative with random objects that resonate with your overall design. Try a small spread of botanicals on top of a hardwood table or a matching set of ornaments for a more traditional vibe. Don’t forget the napkins and placemats!
10. Serving Up Table Linens
As mentioned earlier, tablecloths have no purpose on top of glass tables, but a stylish table cloth can transform any table in a matter of seconds. Whether you need to cover up knicks and scratches or prefer a natural linen look, go for a solid color tablecloth to match your decorative accents. If you think a tablecloth is too overwhelming, go for a classic table runner to create contrast between the fabric and the table color.