How to Decorate a Dining Room to be Better than Comfort Food

The dining room can wear a variety of hats in a home. A place to gather and eat together, sure, but there’s more to a dining room than that. Homework, bill pay, board games, crafts, and a variety of activities may happen in your dining room. The décor of the dining room should align with whatever functions you have for your space. Here’s a look at a few different dining rooms and how they’ve been uniquely and purposefully decorated to suit the homeowners’ lives.

How to Decorate a Dining Room
Wood Edge Neutral Dining Room Table

How to Create an Au Natural Dining Room

When you love the outdoors, nature, and everything raw and sort of naturally timeless, you’ll likely want to decorate your dining room to mimic this. One way to decorate a dining room in this way without leaning too far into the rustic realm (which is a fine realm to lean toward if you love that look!) is to combine natural finishes in more modern ways. A tweedy charcoal speckled rug under a stained and slightly (naturally) curved dining table, complete with leather armchairs merges all things nature-inspired with the contemporary. The effect is stunning and welcoming at the same time.

How to Decorate an Open Concept Dining Room

How to Decorate an Open Concept Dining Room

Open concept floor plans have been trending for a while now, and they’re as popular today as ever. When the layout of the open floor plan runs in a line, of sorts, from the kitchen to the dining room to the living room, the dining room is forced to serve as a link between the two spaces. In a contemporary setting, where the style of the kitchen and living room is minimal and modern, the dining room serves its place best when it’s held to the same standard. Simple black chairs fit neatly around a medium-sized dining table with a natural marbled top. An area rug designates the space as “dining room” without requiring any other décor. This simplicity and well-edited décor (as in, nothing extraneous needed) in the dining room works well in a large multi-functional open concept space.

How to Decorate a Family Dining Room

How to Decorate a Family Dining Room

This family dining room is located just off the kitchen and next to the living room in a triangular open concept floor plan. The aesthetic is once again simple, but because the dining area is a specific room, more décor is integrated to create a warm, inviting space.

How to Decorate Dining Room - nature-inspired aqua credenza

Two of the dining room’s three walls are almost all windows, so the third wall incorporates a fresh, nature-inspired aqua credenza. The finish is weathered, which makes the entire dining room feel more “homey” from the get-go.

nature-inspired aqua credenza

This credenza also serves as a functional horizontal surface for holiday décor, which is important for many family traditions.

large mirror is framed in antique wooden

A large mirror is framed in antique wooden window panes, which creates visual depth and interest without feeling overly busy. Natural, earthy photos and accents are used throughout the dining room, which help the space to feel serene.

huge dining table in the family dining room

A huge dining table in the family dining room is a must, for obvious reasons. The homeowners here keep the centerpiece simple yet colorful, which breaks up the long mass of tabletop into something cozier-feeling.

Chunky farmhouse dining table legs

Chunky farmhouse dining table legs are balanced by slimmer wooden dining chairs. They are all in black to maintain a sense of order among many, many furniture legs that such a large table requires.

great dining table is a great lighting fixture

And above every great dining table is a great lighting fixture. A classic barn pendant in black is understated, proportionately sound, and en pointe with the down-to-earth, modern-farmhouse vibe of this dining room.

How to Decorate Dining Room - Corner Plants

And, just as is recommended in any room (not just the dining room), a large floor plant softens an otherwise stark corner. The fronds here are an excellent choice, as they provide a balance of the other more solid and visually heavy aspects of this beautiful family dining room.

Modern Dining Room Design

How to Decorate a Chic Cabin Dining Room

There’s something about plaid that is not only trending right now (and always because it’s a classic), but it’s also so cozy and cabin-y. Which is perhaps why it’s such a go-to décor pattern. A cool grey plaid area rug or carpet looks very well beneath a slim, contemporary dining table setup. The combination of wooden dining table (natural) and black dining chairs (modern) works beautifully in the cabin-inspired dining room.

How to Decorate a Multi-Purpose Dining Room

How to Decorate a Multi-Purpose Dining Room

Some house layouts don’t allow for a huge dining room, and this cottage falls into this category. But even without extra square footage, the dining room space is used perfectly for the homeowners’ needs – for visiting, for relaxing, for meditating, for expanding or contracting to allow as many people as are present feel involved.

How to Decorate Dining Room - decorating the table

A honey-toned wood dining table sets the stage for warmth and home.

How to Decorate Dining Room - Decorating

Grey spindle-style wooden dining chairs are a perfect complement to the warm wood table. They introduce a relatively cooler and more modern element to the dining room but still retain that cozy cottage feel.

beyond the actual dining area

In the few feet that extend beyond the actual dining area, a small sitting/conversation area has been set up masterfully. This is conveyed inherently by a plush area rug and some key furniture pieces.

How to Decorate Dining Room - corner bookshelf hosts

A tall, corner bookshelf hosts a variety of tastefully displayed books as well as fun décor for younger visitors. Nothing too precious that little hands can’t explore here, and yet the variety and combination of all the components is mature and aesthetic.

Dining area gathering area

The gathering area (which serves as overflow for the homeowner’s many visitors) is complete with a couple of benches and rocking chairs.

How to Decorate Dining Room - benches and armchairs

The benches double as storage units, which is key in a small space to incorporate hard-working pieces that do double (or triple) duty.

How to Decorate Dining Room - decorating the wall above the chairs

A leather rocker recliner in the corner of the dining room’s sitting area is transformed into a private reading sanctuary when desired, with a wall sconce reading lamp and easy access to reading material.

How to Decorate a Unique Dining Room

How to Decorate a Unique Dining Room

Mixed medium dining chairs, bold canary yellow metal pendant lights, and a sleek black contemporary dining table create the perfect storm for a unique dining experience. The blend of neutral with vibrancy here makes this dining room dynamic and sleek. When using pops of color in a space with so few components (such as a dining room), remember that the colorful pieces carry a lot more visual weight than the neutral bits, so ration their use accordingly.

favorite ways to decorate a dining room

What are your favorite ways to decorate a dining room? How to you integrate your style into the dining room without introducing “stuff”?