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20 Dining Room Ideas to Elevate Your Space

How To

Often the social center for the home , the dining room is a great space to express your style, skillfully reflecting the many ways in which you can use it. Whether the room is set for upscale dinner parties or the functionality for everyday use, we’ve put together our picks for creating the modern dining room of your dreams (dinner not included).

Dining Room Pendants

Lighting within your dining room should act as both a functional aspect of your home as well as a beautiful decor piece to accentuate your space. While chandeliers tend to be the luminary of choice, pendants are an excellent solution for any dining room and they are offered in a variety of finishes, sizes, and styles to choose from. When choosing your lighting fixture you want to imagine the feeling you are looking to evoke in your space. For more expansive tables, a singular, rectangular pendant fills the space well, while clustering several smaller pendants together can create a layered look that is brimming with chic inspiration.


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Dining Room Chandeliers

Let’s make a statement! Choosing a large, singular pendant or chandelier can amplify the impact it has within a space and act as an elegant conversation starter for dinners with friends or guests from out of town. At the opposite end of the size spectrum, smaller pendants and chandeliers can be clustered together or lined up, to form a custom lighting design that is all your own. Choose from light and airy fixtures accented with wood or shell details to create a coastal-inspired look, or go full modern contemporary with a mesh design ready to bring art-deco vibes to your well-appointed home.


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Dining Room Tables

The single most defining aspect of your dining room, the dining table is the ultimate statement-making, awe-inducing, function-yet-fashion aspect of your space. In order to ensure your dining room looks full and happy, not overcrowded or empty, ensure you are choosing a table that is big enough to host you and your family, with a few added guests. Short on space? A round table is perfect for offering a place to dine without taking over and feeling overwhelming. Dark apartment got you down? A glass-topped dining table brings a light and airy feel while giving you the opportunity to accessorize with a bold chair or centerpiece.


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Dining Room Chairs

Whether you are looking for a dining room refresh or looking to match a whole new dining table, choosing the right size dining chair is important. The two measurements you should be concerned about when choosing a new seating solution are height and width. You want to ensure your seat height (as in the measurement from the floor to the top of the chair’s seat) is ideal to comfortably glide in and out from underneath your dining table. Accounting for elbow space and guest’s/family comfort, 24” to 26” per guest at the table should be sufficient for a comfortable dinner at home. Chairs also don’t necessarily need to match your dining table, but be sure to select an option that blends well with the finish, period, or level of formality your table represents and you’ll be well on your way to a stylish dining setting.


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Dining Room Benches

Offering a unique seating option for your dining space, benches bring both functionality and versatility to your home. Offering both comfort and minimalist elegance, benches can enhance the look of your dining room while providing a comforting touch of a classic design. Pairing benches with dining chairs as well brings a unique look to your dining area, while saving space to seat more guests. While it is entirely up to your design aesthetic if you would like a bench that has a backrest or padded upholstery for additional comfort, these features can add depth and style to your room. If you’re looking to get exceptionally crafty with a smaller dining space, choose a storage bench and use the hidden compartment to keep dishes, napkins, and silverware out of sight and out of mind.


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Dining Room Rugs

While a dining room without a dining table is, well, just a room, you still need a grounding anchor to pull the whole space together. Large area rugs offer protection to hardwood floors, a soft touch underfoot, and an opportunity to bring color and shape to your space. Abstract rugs offer geometric appeal with the option to go neutral or color-filled to best fit your space. Want to take a walk on the wild side? Add a hint of character to your dining space with a funky animal print rug, to bring a fun, yet elevated look to your dining space. As most dining rooms are not high-traffic areas, when it comes to construction, opt for hand-tufted or hand-loomed rugs as they are a high-quality, high-style option, producing a greater pile height, resulting in a luxurious feel down below.


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Dining Room Table Decor

Table runners, vases, and napkin rings, oh my! An empty table is a sad table, and we aren’t here for that! Top your dining table with carefully chosen accents to truly bring the space to life and set the scene for an enjoyable evening with friends and family. Lay a base with textured textiles, both table runners and placemats bring a traditional feel to your space. Top with vases filled with fragrant blooms for an elegant centerpiece, and bring the look together while adding a classic touch with a modern napkin ring, to offer cohesiveness and make each place at the table a special one. Finally, add a special touch from the glow of a candle with structured candle holders to anchor each end of the table, making sure each inch of your dining room is touched by its flickering light.


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Dining Room Bar Carts & Cabinets

Whether you are short on space or looking to have the seat closest to the bar, utilizing a bar cart or bar cabinet can save on space and make for a truly unique home set-up that is all your own. For smaller spaces, mobile bar carts are an excellent choice as their casters allow for you to move from room to room with ease, meaning your favorite libation can always be within arm’s reach. A sturdy, static bar cabinet brings additional storage space for your dining room and ensures complete organization of bottles, glasses, and the necessary accoutrements. No matter what material or size bar cart or cabinet you choose, you’ll be adding a chic piece of functional decor that is sure to add a sophisticated touch to any place you call home.


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Dining Room Sideboards & Buffets

Offering elongated storage spaces, sideboards and buffets are quintessential pieces for a dining room and can bring tons of storage options that often are the best utilization of your space. With so many different storage options and features available, take note of how you wish to utilize your buffet or sideboard to find the best option that is suited for your space. Store fine china, glassware, napkins and more with ease, while drawers are perfect for silverware and bar tools. The top of the buffet is ideal for a makeshift bar area, display space for your favorite vases and serving dishes, or simply top with elegant candle holders for a timeless display for all to enjoy.


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Dining Room Wall Decor

An easy way to turn up the volume in your home and bring an elevated look to your dining room, wall decor offers versatile possibilities for endless combinations of style. For an unexpected look, choose a bold, lively pattern for an accent wall, using temporary wallpaper for a quick pick-me-up, or go all out and choose a permanent wallpaper in a pastel or neutral hue to bring just a hint of color to your space. For textural appeal, a structural piece of wall art can both fill an empty wall and anchor a space, offering a focal point for the eye and a clever conversation piece to tie the whole space together.


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Dining Room Mirrors

Mirrors often find their way into a dining room as a functional decor piece that lends a lot more to a space than just reflecting beauty and charm. Mirrors are an effortless way to open up a smaller dining room and bring brightness to a space as they reflect natural light from windows and doorways and artificial light from chandeliers and pendants. Placed above a fireplace mantle, a framed mirror brings a touch of visual interest and centers your dining room, subtly crafting an openness to your home. Flanking a doorway and reflecting the outdoors in, large, gilded mirrors can bring an elevated touch and textural accent to your dining room, all easily installed with a simple nail and bracket. Interested in going a bit bolder? A starburst mirror can offer a treat for the senses, filling an expanse of empty wall as well as providing a more artistic addition to your home.


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Dining Room Art

Never underestimate the impact a piece of art can have on a room. Often the largest and most empty real estate in a home, the walls are just begging to be filled up with beautiful art and decor reflecting your individual style. Choose pieces that speak to you and create a feeling of joy or pleasure. Does it remind you of a fabulous trip you went on with your family? Perhaps a memory from your childhood? Or maybe its just the perfect color to tie the entire space together. Take into consideration the color of your room and the materials used to frame it and use that as a jumping off point to find the best pieces of art sure to suit your lifestyle and bring character and style to your home.


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Dining Room Credenzas

What's the difference between a credenza and a buffet? When it comes to function and design, they are practically one in the same. Though sometimes used interchangeably, there are some distinctions that set them apart. Sometimes smaller and often more formal than a buffet or sideboard, credenzas will have a combination of shelving and cabinets to hold all of your fine crockery. A solid wood credenza can bring a traditional and more organic touch to a dining room while a textured metal credenza brings an industrial vibe ready to accent a space with wrought iron and raw wood. No matter your design aesthetic, choose an option that comfortably fits in your space, has enough storage for your dining needs, and offers a pleasing design to bring an accented touch to your family gathering space.


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Scandinavian Dining Room

Characterized by simplicity, minimalism, and functionality, Scandinavian-inspired spaces focus on utility and the beauty of natural materials. Centered around clean lines, masterful craftsmanship, and understated elegance, you can effortlessly imbue your dining space with pure, pared back style. Think solid wood tables and dining chairs in materials like ash and beech, complemented by wool, linen, and leather textiles. Top your table with simple, stunning glassware and stoneware serving dishes and you'll be enjoying functional sophistication in no time.


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Farmhouse Dining Room

Rustic and refined, casual and cool, farmhouse themed dining rooms offer a blend of different styles to create a country-chic destination that is sure to have you dreaming of slow days in the fresh, open air. To create this look at home, natural and vintage-finished wood is key and it doesn’t all have to match! Lay a foundation with a lovely cowhide area rug or neutral woven piece to anchor your space. A rustic dining table and credenza for storage, plenty of seating and wall lighting boosts your dining room appeal and accents the farmhouse style. Balance that out with an iron chandelier with wood accents to tie the room together and bring a touch of light to the space. Using vintage silverware and dinnerware to bring an eclectic, yet chic touch will finish off the space, and you’ll almost be able to hear the cowbell calling the kids in for supper.


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Mid-Century Dining Room

Mid-Century Modern design is characterized by iconic shapes, fine-craftsmanship, and sleek lines. The look is always understated with a focus put on functionality and form. Geometric and organic shapes often mix to create pieces that are unique in design and steeped in authenticity. A mix of materials is to be expected oftentimes blending traditional and non-traditional to create a balance of contrast and minimalism. Pick a staple or anchor piece and build your space around that, balancing with new and vintage pieces to construct a space that is all your own.


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Casual Dining Room

Relaxed and refined with clean lines and quality materials, a casual dining room is beyond possible to create, serving as the perfect gathering spot that is used time and time again rather than simply once a year during the holidays. A classic wood dining table with a smattering of seating (a blend of chairs, benches, stools) creates a landing place for dinners, meetings, or an impromptu office space. A neutral rug underfoot pleases the eye and provides a comfortable landing place for feet underneath. Accent with simple glassware and classic lighting pieces to brighten up the space, and set the mood for many family moments to come.


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Formal Dining Room

There is nothing wrong with sticking to tradition! Dining rooms have often been the most formal room in the house and for good reason. They are the epicenter of family gatherings and used as a place to host lavish meals for more formal occasions. For a look that matches the formality of these traditions and brings an upscale touch to your home, choose bronze accents, glamorous gold chandeliers, oriental rugs, and crystal stemware to bring new life to your dining room and offer an elevated destination for holidays and formal entertaining all year round.


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Luxury Dining Room

When the finer things in life just don’t cut it, its time to take things up a notch. Creating a luxurious dining room fit for a queen requires texture, fine craftsmanship, and plenty of glitz and glamor. Heighten the space and heighten the mood with high-quality pieces that bring shape, depth, and definition to your dining room. High-backed chairs covered in velvet, marble-topped tables topped with crystal accents, and metallic finishes work together to create a space that is truly divine and one of a kind.


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Small Dining Room

To effectively build the dining room of your dreams when space is limited, you want to think of form, function, and color. Lighter and brighter colors open up a space and make it feel larger, while choosing smaller lighting fixtures take up less space and offers the direct light you need without sacrificing beauty. Round rugs and dining room tables take up less square footage and make it easy for guests to move about the space. Dining chairs with minimal to no arms saves on elbow room and makes it easier to tuck under the table. Accent with a sideboard that doubles as a storage solution and serving station and your dining room will start to take shape right before your eyes.


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