Dining Room Wall Decor Ideas

When it comes to hanging art, the dining room is probably not the first place that comes to mind.

Most people prioritize their living rooms and bedrooms—after all, you probably spend the bulk of your time in these spaces. But we’re here to make a case for decorating your dining room walls—which can make all the difference to the space!

Without a doubt, picking out dining room wall decor and art can feel like a challenge at first. What subject matter should you choose? Where should you hang art in your dining space? Should you go with one large piece or many smaller pieces?

While there are definitely practical details to consider, like the size of your space and the amount of empty wall space you have to work with, how you approach your dining room wall decor is ultimately up to you. For some guidance, we’ve rounded up 15 stylish ideas for decorating your dining room walls—from how to arrange your pieces to where best to hang art. Keep reading to find out more.

Just starting to furnish your dining space? Check out our essential guide to dining room furniture along with our top picks for dining room rugs. Or if you’re not sure you need an actual dining room, try these alternative uses for an empty dining room design.

Leaning art on a dining room buffet

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1. Layer Art Along A Buffet

If you have a buffet or sideboard cabinet in your dining space, transform the surface into a showcase for art and objects.

Arrange artworks in varying sizes: Try leaning a few pieces and hanging some up on the wall behind the cabinet to add depth and dimension. This is a great option for those who have a lot of art but not the wall space for all of them, or for apartment renters who want a more casual look that doesn’t require too many holes for hanging.

Large statment art in balck dining room

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2. Add A Single Oversized Piece

For spacious dining rooms or ones with high ceilings and long walls, hanging one large-scale artwork is the best way to create an instant focal point.

Consider an oversize painting with lots of color for a more classic dining room space, or opt for a graphic high-contrast piece that makes for a modern statement in a minimalist setting. The one rule of thumb here? The larger your dining room, the bigger the piece of art.

Need help finding the perfect work for your space? Check out our tips on how to choose art.

Diptych art in blue dining room

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3. Double The Impact With Diptych Art

For a streamlined dining room display, hang a diptych—which is one artwork that spans across two canvases. It’s a stylish option for large dining room walls, which are often easier to fill with fewer, bigger art pieces rather than lots of small artworks.

Additionally, a diptych can be pretty versatile when it comes to how you hang them. You can pair them side by side for a cohesive look or hang them separately on opposite walls to create a more dynamic yet still balanced look that visually ties your dining room together.

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4. Style Up A Gallery Wall

You can’t beat a classic gallery wall arranged around a subject or theme, or just curated from an eclectic selection of captivating artworks. If you can’t decide on a specific style or piece of dining room wall art, this is the best tried-and-true approach.

For those who already have a collection of prints or works, put them in different frames in varying sizes, which will provide more texture and depth when they’re hung together in a gallery wall arrangement. If you’re pulling together a lot of different pieces, lay them out on your floor and find a configuration that works for you first, and check out our tips on how to hang art.

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5. Floating Shelves With Art

Install floating shelves to display art while also adding open storage. In a dining space, floating shelves can be a great way to both store and display dining essentials.

Opt for two long rows of shelving, which allows you to lean art and decorative pieces on the top shelf, while filling the bottom shelf ones that offer space for dinnerware, glasses, and other tableware. If you’re working with a small dining room and need storage that doesn’t take up any floor space, this is the perfect solution.

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6. Open Up With Mirrors

An elegant alternative to art is to bring in an oversize statement mirror to function as dining room wall decor.

With a floor-to-ceiling mirror, choose one that suits your style and don’t be afraid to go tall and wide as long as it fits into your space. In a small dining room, a large mirror can help open up the room immensely by giving the illusion of more space while reflecting more light. However, this is not the most family-friendly option, so it’s not the best idea for dining rooms that are busy with young kids or pets every day.


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textured stament wall in modern dining room

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7. Show Off Unique Textured Walls

In a home where your dining room is surrounded with walls that have textured appeal, such as shiplap, brick, wood paneling, or even plaster, consider skipping art and wall decor altogether.

This is a great way to celebrate the interior architecture of your home by drawing focus to the unique textural details of your dining room walls. If you’re a minimalist, this is the perfect way to highlight your pared-down dining room furnishings through a contemporary clean-lined look.

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8. Make It Pop With Wallpaper

A spectacular wallpaper not only adds color, pattern, texture, and bold impact to your dining room, but it will also serve as a stylish backdrop for your furniture.

Depending on the style of wallpaper you choose, you can easily tailor the look and feel of your overall space to a unique style—be it a stripe, ikat, colorful block print, or even something fanciful like chinoiserie. Just remember that wallpaper is definitely more of a commitment than art, so just be sure you’re ready to take the leap!

Landscape art in green dining room

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9. Display A Scenic Photograph

You can instantly change the mood and tone in your dining space with a large evocative photograph.

Whether black-and-white or sepia-toned, a large-scale landscape photograph or one depicting a panoramic exterior view functions as a window into another place. It can transport you from your dining space while adding a modern and personal touch. If you love taking your own photos, consider enlarging your favorite print, from your travels or everyday sightings, and turning it into a framed photo for your space.

Wall sconces on wainscoting in transitional dining room

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10. Brighten Up With Sconces

A pair of wall sconces is both practical and aesthetically elegant in any dining room. They’ll provide a balanced, symmetrical look to your space while also adding a bit of mood lighting.

With sconces, the design and style you choose doesn’t necessarily have to go with your furniture or lighting. In fact, a pair of sconces that are slightly different from the rest of your decor can make for bold, sculptural focal points on your walls that truly stand out. Consider ones with shades for darker, moodier lighting, or go with styles with exposed bulbs for a brighter light.

An assortment on plants in pink eclectic dining room

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11. Play Up Tall Plants

So plants aren’t necessarily wall decor, but a grouping of tall plants and greenery can make for a lush and lively backdrop in your dining space.

Lined up along a wall, tall plants and trees offer a vibrant dose of color, texture, and organic element unlike any art or wall decor. Not only do they bring a bit of brightness and life to your space, they also serve as sculptural accents which make for intriguing focal points that are spread out across your space. If you’re a plant lover, this is the perfect reason to bring in more!

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12. A Sculptural Chandelier

Another way to work in style and intrigue without decorating your dining room walls is to hang a bold sculptural chandelier.

Like a piece of eye-catching artwork itself, a uniquely designed chandelier will center the focus in your dining space. It’s a great way to add instant, sophisticated impact by drawing the eye upwards, and it also makes for functional lighting for your entire space. It’s perfect if you prefer a minimalist look in your dining space but still want an captivating, artful focal point that doesn’t crowd up your walls.

eclectic style dining room with macramé wall art

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13. Tapestry

An eclectic alternative to dining room wall art, an elegant woven hanging tapestry can lend a touch of softness as well as textural contrast.

Tapestries beautifully detailed works of art on their own. They come in a range of sizes, styles, colors, and shapes, so choose one that’s in keeping with your dining room furnishings. If your style leans boho or a tad rustic, a tapestry can be a great accent to pair with other patterns, colors, and textures.

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14. Gather Some Wall Baskets

Think of wall baskets as the perfect a sculptural take on the gallery wall. Instead of captivating artworks, a grouping of wall baskets provides the same color and textural appeal but with added depth.

Wall baskets bring a natural decor element to your dining space. In a small dining room, you can hang one behind your dining table for a singular statement piece; or gather a few into a curated arrangement on a small strip of wall. You can even work in a hanging wall basket into your gallery wall of framed art to give it an eclectic look. They’re wonderfully versatile accents in that way.

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15. Create A Mixed-Use Display

On the topic of eclectic gallery walls, consider combining different art and decor elements to create one that truly sets your dining room apart. Think a mix of large and small art pieces, wall sculptures and a floating shelf arrayed with accents and objects, and even a stunning chandelier to top it all off.

This is a great way to play up a look that’s a little more personal and reflects your varied tastes. Play up different art forms, like a mix of paintings and photos, and add favorite objects, like ceramics or mementos, to your console or shelf. The key is to get creative with a fun mix.

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How to Pair Dining Tables and Chairs + 5 Foolproof Combos

When it comes to dining room furniture, the most important pieces are chairs and tables. But how do you choose the right table and chairs for your style? And beyond the overall style, how do you begin to figure out how to pair dining tables and chairs that coordinate without buying a complete dining set?

It’s a common conundrum without a simple and straightforward answer. After all, style and design are full of nuance! But it can be done. To help, we’re breaking down key rules for making your choice and picking a dining table and chairs that perfectly match. (And keep reading until the end, where we’ll offer 5 foolproof table and chair combinations!)

7 Tips for Pairing Dining Tables and Chairs

To start things off, we’re sharing 7 tips to help you find the right table and chair combination and bring your dining room design ideas to life!

1. Begin with Your Dining Table

Your dining room table should be the foundation of your dining room, around which everything else is decorated (figuratively and literally). So, pick chairs to match your table, not the other way around. Since this is a larger piece of furniture, it’s more important to get this right based on your functional needs

Decide what size and shape of table you need first. If you have a smaller dining room, a round or oval table might be just the thing. Need to fit six or more around the table? Opt for rectangular. And if you love to host large gatherings, perhaps an extendable table is right for you!

Then, consider dining table materials. Wood dining tables are the most common, but you can also go for something more decorative, like marble or glass, or a material that’s easy to clean, like a composite wood.

Finally, you’ll want to choose a dining table style that matches your personal interior design style.

Need a little extra guidance? Learn all about how to choose a dining table in our dining table buying guide.

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2. Avoid Matching Sets

A room looks best when the furniture is coordinated but not overly matchy-matchy. That goes for dining rooms as well as living rooms and bedrooms! Sure, if you buy a complete, matching dining room set, you don’t have to worry about what chairs to pair with your table. But this look will also appear a bit one-note and can make your dining room design fall flat and feel dated. On the other hand, finding chairs that coordinate with your table without perfectly matching them will allow you to create a unique look that highlights your personality and style.

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3. Choose Chairs That are a Different Color from Your Table

When picking out chairs to go with your dining table, an easy rule of thumb is to invite contrast. Since dining tables and chairs take up a lot of visual space in a room, you don’t want them to be one solid block of the same color. This will make your dining room feel visually heavy and make the room feel unbalanced. (One more reason to avoid the matching set!)

Instead, break up all the sameness with different colors. This is an easy way to ensure your room feels curated but still layered and interesting. Just look at the dining nook above: the dining table is a light pine, and the black frame of the chairs adds contrast to the arrangement. And, while the chair’s seats are a similar tone as the wood of the table, they’re a different material, which helps add texture and depth. (More on that, below!)

One other curveball: if you go for wood tables and chairs, make sure that neither one is the same color or tone as your flooring! If you’re running into this problem, consider layering in a dining room rug.

Designer Tip: Chairs and tables in the same color aren’t always bad! It just depends on the design style of your dining room. A tone-on-tone look works well in Scandinavian or Mid-Century Modern styles, where pieces are made of stunning natural wood. If you go this route, just be sure the wood tones match exactly, as close-but-not-exact tones will clash.

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4. Pick Different Materials for Your Tables and Chairs

Mixing colors is great—but you can take it a step further and add additional contrast through different dining chair materials! How different you go simply depends on how much of a statement you want to make. Generally, the less similar your materials feel, the bolder or more eclectic your space will look.

For example, a wood table with cane chairs will feel cohesive and add a pop of visual contrast, because both materials are natural and have a similar vibe. Meanwhile, a marble table with velvet chairs (as in the dining room above) will bring a lot more contrast and create a super bold statement in your space.

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5. Balance the “Visual Weight” Between Your Table and Chairs

Did you know objects, like furniture and decor, have visual weight? This is an interior design principle that basically says larger, darker, and more solid objects will feel “heavy” in a room, while slim, open, and clear objects feel “light.”

What does this have to do with your dining room? Well, if you have a visually heavy table, you’re going to want to balance it out with “lighter” chairs—and vice-versa! For example, if your table has skinny metal legs and a glass top, you’ll want to avoid chairs that are also clear or have tall slender legs because the overall arrangement will feel unbalanced and too light. Instead, balance it out with a lighter table with more solid-looking, visually heavier chairs. Or consider the dining room pictured above. When you have a substantial pedestal dining table like this one, it has a lot of visual weight. To balance this, pair it with chairs that feel airy and light, like these white chairs with slender legs and cane backs.

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6. Think Outside the Box

Of course, like tables, you need to consider types of dining chairs so you can choose dining chairs that match your style. But there’s no need to limit yourself to a set of fully matching chairs when figuring out how to pair dining tables and chairs in your own home!

When it comes to dining room seating, you can think outside the box. You can go for mismatched dining chairs—either swapping out the two chairs at the head and foot of the table, or going full-speed ahead with all mismatched chairs for a more eclectic look. You can even nix chairs all together on one or both long slides of a rectangular table and use a dining bench instead! This is a great option for homes with kids or if you just need to add extra seating in a pinch!

7. Measure Everything

A surefire way for a dining room design to go sideways? Not taking measurements before purchasing furniture. Not only do you want to make sure that the size and scale of your tables and chairs will suit your dining room, but you also want to make sure the actual tables and chairs will work together.

So, make note of the table height, then make sure the seat height of your chairs will allow you to sit comfortably at the table. And, of course, make sure the backs of the chairs are high enough that they won’t slide under the dining table when pushed in. (Unless you have a bench!)

You’ll also want to measure the width of the chairs in comparison with the size of your table. It’s most comfortable to have about six inches in between each chair, in addition to allowing about 24 inches of eating space for each person at the table. So, do the math on how many chairs can comfortably fit around your table given the width of your chairs!

5 Foolproof Dining Table and Chair Combinations

Want a few more examples? Keep reading to discover our designers’ five foolproof combos for pairing dining tables and chairs.

dining chairs with slip covers and a wood dining table ad lots of texture and interest to this space

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Combo #1: Slipcover Dining Chairs with a Wood Dining Table

Linen chairs with a warm wood dining table is a foolproof look because you have built-in contrast in the material, color, and textures! The wood dining table is solid and has rustic vibes, while the chairs are soft and plush. The perfect level of contrast!

This combo works well with… 

Rustic, traditional, and classic styles. It’s also a great combination if you’re mixing styles (like modern and traditional) or want to create a timeless look. Avoid this combination if you like a modern or industrial look.

leather chairs and a wood dining table make for an sleek but cozy vibe

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Combo #2: Leather Chairs with a Light Wood Dining Table

Want to create a hip and modern look? Pair a sleek, light wood dining table with modern, leather chairs. Opt for leather chairs that have a bit of patina, which will increase the contrast between the modern light wood and the chairs. Choosing leather chairs with dark metal legs will add additional contrast to your dining room arrangement.

This combo works well with… 

More modern styles, like Scandinavian or Mid-Century. It’s also a great look for someone who loves industrial style but wants something a bit more warm and inviting.

Marble and velvet are a glamorus dining chair and dining table combo

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Combo #3: Velvet Chairs with a Marble Dining Table

Marble and velvet are both glamorous materials on their own. But when paired together, they are dynamite for creating an elevated look. The highly textured look of velvet contrasts beautifully with sleek marble. Up the ante even more by opting for velvet in a saturated jewel tone.

This combo works well with… 

Glam, modern, and mid-century styles and in spaces where you want to add a bit of drama.

Canning is a wonderful to give your dining room a classic feel

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Combo #4: Cane Chairs with a Black Wood Dining Table

Caning is classic material. And wood is the most common and timeless material for dining tables. So, pairing these two classic materials together creates a timeless and casual rustic look. This pairing also has an organic vibe since these are both natural materials. And, by opting for a black finish or paint on your table, you can add extra visual contrast.

This combo works well with… 

Rustic, modern rustic, and even coastal styles.

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Combo #5: Upholstered Chairs with a Glass-Top Dining Table

Glass is undeniably sleek and modern—but it can also feel somewhat cold. Meanwhile, upholstered chairs offer comfort and warmth. So, together, they make a great pairing for a dining room. The glass top offers a touch of elegance and luxury, and pairing it with a simple and sleek upholstered chair offers a more approachable look.

This combo works well with… 

Contemporary, glam, and modern styles where you want to bring in both a sense of luxury and comfort.

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13 Small Dining Room Decor Tips Designers Want You to Know

With WFH and homeschooling still going strong for many families, our dining rooms continue to be do-it-all spaces—aka, the at-home restaurant, office, classroom, and family HQ. But for many of us with small dining rooms, packing in all that function is extra challenging.

So, we’re turning our focus to small dining rooms and how to make the most of them—which is the perfect follow-up to our small living room design tips.

Want more inspo and guidance? Check out our gallery for more dining room design ideas, then get started with the right pieces for your space with our dining room checklist!

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How to Maximize a Small Space

When you have a small space, you want to do everything you can to maximize the square footage you have. That’s why we’re big believers in small space hacks that make any room feel instantly larger. Before we get into specific small dining room design tips, here are some high-level principles that will max out the functionality of even the smallest of rooms.

In a small space, you have to think vertically, maximizing wall space since you don’t have as much floor space to work with. Whether that’s wall-mounted furniture for storage or hanging a sconce rather than having a side table and table lamp, in a small space it’s all about making your walls do some heavy lifting. (This also happens to help the flow of traffic in a small space!)

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You also want to find ways to incorporate hidden storage, so you can max out your space without everything being in plain sight.

And don’t forget about utilizing visual trickery to make your space look larger. Clear and leggy furniture both give the appearance of a more open, airy room. And visual tricks like hanging your curtains higher to draw the eye up or hanging a mirror to help bounce the light and visually open up the space are two of our favorite ways to maximize a small space.

coastal kitchen with a small eat-in breakfast nook

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Small Dining Room Decor Ideas

Want to know how to decorate a small dining room? We’ve rounded up our top 13 small dining room decorating ideas with easy ways to make it work for your home. Read on to make the most of your small space!

small dining room design

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1. Create Better Flow with a Round Table

A good rule of thumb when it comes to small dining rooms? Pick a round or oval table over a square or rectangular one. They create more walk-around space and better flow in a small room. They can also comfortably accommodate more people in a small or narrow room.

Small dining room ideas to try: Try a round bistro table that fits two or four to start. If space is an issue, you can keep it tucked in a corner or against the wall day-to-day, then pull it to the center of the room when entertaining. Pair your round table with armless chairs to further maximize space. Don’t rule out oval tables with leaves that you can add on to extend it to entertain upwards of 10 or more guests!

For help finding the right table for your dining space, consider our guide to dining table sizes and shapes along with our tips for how to choose a dining table.

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2. Opt for a Neutral Palette

Make it a point to streamline your materials and palette. Too many patterns or loud colors can make a small space seem even smaller, so in a small dining room it helps to lean minimal with colors and patterns. Stick to a color scheme that’s simple and cohesive, such as neutrals and natural tones, which will create better visual flow in your small dining space. Woven textures, such as caning and natural fibers, are great for adding an open feel. If you like a little color, bring in pops through art rather than upholstery—a few pieces can go a long way!

Pick up more ideas for opening up a small space with the right small apartment furniture.

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3. Maximize Natural Lighting

In small spaces, good lighting is essential because it helps open up the room. If you have windows, arrange your small dining area near them to maximize natural light for daytime dining. Hang sheers instead of heavy curtains for your dining area windows to allow for the most natural light streaming in.

Small dining room ideas to try: Hang sheers instead of heavy curtains for your dining area windows to allow for the most natural light streaming in. Add a substantial overhead light, like a chandelier or a multi-globe pendant for ample lighting. Shiny, light-reflecting surfaces will help bounce light in a small, low-light space as well.

small dining table with cocktail table and rustic traditional decor

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4. Stick With a Small-Scale Pendant

Speaking of lighting—good overhead lighting is a must in any dining room. After all, you want to make sure your space is well-lit for evening meals. But in a small space, you don’t want the light fixture to overwhelm the room. So, use a small-scale light fixture so that the overhead light is the right scale for your small dining room table.

Designer Tip: A simple conical or globe pendant light or very airy chandelier will help keep the dining room open while still having a visual impact.

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5. Work Up Your Walls

With any small dining room, vertical space is prime real estate for storage and display, so make the most of them! From showing off decor, like art and mirrors, to adding floating shelves and cabinets that hold your barware and dinnerware, pack your walls with function and style. We love the idea of installing a floating cabinet to hold dinner essentials while keeping storage off the floor to allow for walking space.

Designer Tip: Hang art and wall decor high up to give the illusion of taller ceilings and more space.

Get more storage tricks and ideas with our small space hacks and guide to dining room storage.

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6. Utilize Corners

Every square-foot matters when you’re working with a small dining room. Maximize corners by adding a round table with bench or banquette seating that’s flush against the walls. This works especially great for eat-in kitchen spaces and dining alcoves, where you want a dedicated dining and breakfast nook. After the benches are in place, simply add one or two dining chairs to round out the seating.

See more ways to transform corner areas into compact dining spaces with our tips for how to style a breakfast nook.

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7. Push Your Table Against the Wall

In many dining rooms, the dining table is floating in the middle of the room. But in a small or narrow dining space, you often have to push the table up against the wall. This might feel odd at first, but it will free up walking space. And, if you’re hosting some friends, you can always pull the table off the wall for an evening to fit more people around the table!

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8. Go Minimal and Small-Scale

Bulky furniture often feels visually heavy in small dining rooms. Try bringing in slender furnishings with lightweight and minimal silhouettes, which will provide an open look and feel to a tiny space. Smaller-scale pieces will also help make a small dining area feel larger and more spacious.

Small dining room ideas to try: Stick to furniture with open bases to emphasize an airy look and feel. Opt for seating with slender legs that have a visually minimalist look. Choose a smaller-scale dining table that’s slim and moveable to bring in a lighter, airy vibe.

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9. Add Storage with Open Shelves

Floor space is precious in small dining rooms, but you might still need storage. However, credenzas, which are the typical choice for dining room storage furniture, take up a lot of space. Wall shelves, on the other hand, leave the floor open while still providing some dining room storage. Plus, they’re more flexible and customizable than bulky pieces of furniture.

Small dining room ideas to try: Install floating shelves on the largest wall of your dining room. (It can just be a few or an entire wall of shelves, depending on how much space you have and your storage and display needs.) Fill the shelves with a mix of serving dishes, vases, and perhaps some plants or art. Since it’s open storage, you’ll want to make sure you add pieces that are nice to look at so it’s a styled display.

small dining room in a kitchen with a bar table and bar stools

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10. Save Space with a Bar-Height Table

Bar-height tables can save space in a small dining room, since you can fully (or nearly fully) tuck your bar-height seating underneath your table. This saves on floor space when not eating. But there’s also an optical illusion at play with a bar-height table. Furniture that’s higher off the ground visually looks lighter because there’s less bulk at eye level. So, even if your bar-height table is the same dimensions as a regular dining table, it will create the illusion of more space in your small dining room! Bonus: You can also use this table as a standing desk when working from home!

Need help finding the right stools to go with your bar-height table? Check out our complete guide to counter and bar stools!

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11. Hang (or Lean!) a Mirror

Hanging a wall mirror or incorporating a floor mirror is a classic hack for small spaces to help visually open them up. Mirrors reflect light, which helps open up a room and make the space look larger. Light-reflecting, metallic finishes have a similar effect!

Small dining room ideas to try: Since many small dining rooms don’t have a ton of extra space for decor, a mirror is like a 2-in-1 piece. You get the function of helping visually open up your space, but you can also choose a mirror with a frame or style that complements the rest of your space and adds an intentional decorative touch to your walls.

small dining room table with a trestle table and benches

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12. Use a Bench

Since benches can sit closer to the walls and be pushed fully under tables, they create better flow in a small dining room. When not in use, they save floor space by being tucked under the table. But they’re also great for squeezing more people around a table and are great seating options for kids!!

Designer Tip: Don’t have a dining bench but love the idea of maximizing seating when entertaining? Pull a bench from elsewhere in the house and use it as a temporary dining bench so you can fit more people around the table in your small dining room!

small dining room with gray walls and a glass dining table

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13. Consider a Glass-Top Table

Clear furniture is a great choice for small spaces, helping create more openness within the room. This makes a glass-top dining table a perfect choice for a small dining room. The transparency allows light to shine through the tabletop—and you can even get away with a slightly larger table if it has a glass top since it feels more open than a solid table.

Designer Tip: If a glass-top table isn’t your style, you could opt for clear, acrylic dining chairs instead, which have a similar effect.

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The Ultimate Guide to Finding The Right Dining Room Storage for You

More than ever, our dining rooms have become spaces that demand hyper versatility and functionality. From serving as makeshift home offices to entertaining close family and friends, keeping the dining room neat and organized is key. The best way to create an organized space, is by making sure you have the right dining room storage.

Not sure what kind of storage is right for your needs? Our guide to the best storage furniture has you covered.

There are many types of dining room storage furniture, and what you choose needs to work for your lifestyle and needs. If you have kids, a buffet or chest with drawers and cupboards can be great for storing dinnerware along with any extra art and school supplies if your office is also your dining room; if you entertain a lot, a bar cart or cabinet might be the drinks station you need; or if you live alone in a small space, maybe it’s simply having a stylish tray to corral things on your dining table. All to say, there are many ways for how to add storage to a dining room, but it really comes down to what makes sense for you and your space.

Not sure what you need in your dining room? Check out our ultimate dining room checklist!

For guidance, we’ve rounded up stylish and functional pieces to consider for your dining room, what they’re each great for, and tips for styling them for your space. Find out more below!

Happy with your dining room storage situation but need help redesigning your space? Check out our gallery for stylish and functional dining room design ideas, then bring the looks you love to your home.

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Bar Cart

Typically on casters or wheels, a bar cart is meant to be moved around for entertaining purposes. It’s your on-the-go drinks station for serving cocktails, wine, and even tea and coffee. For that reason, it’s a great dining room storage piece if you’re big on hosting family and friends. Whether you leave it in a corner or bring it to wherever the party is, make the most of your bar cart storage. In addition to liquor and glasses, use it for cookbooks, coasters, and small plates.

Style Tip: A bar cart has an instant grown-up look, and it can easily be styled up or down. Decorate it with plants, art, and sculptures to add a touch of your personal style.

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modern wood bar cabinet with a green wool rug

Bar Cabinet

For a stationary drinks station with enclosed storage, the bar cabinet is a compact, stylish, and functional option. It typically has a built-in open shelf for mixing cocktails and serving drinks. It also usually comes with doors that latch close, so it’s a smart dining room storage piece if you have young kids in the house.

Style Tip: A bar cabinet is a sophisticated and classy storage piece. What makes it great is that it hides bottles and clutter. Stock it with wine glasses, tumblers, barware, and cocktail shakers to make it feel like a real bar.

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dining room storage

Credenza or Buffet

For those with a dining room they use regularly, a buffet or credenza is the way to go. A credenza is a sideboard with closed cabinets that have either hidden or glass doors. It’s the ideal dining room storage piece for everything from everyday tableware to formal serving pieces. Credenzas and buffets tend to be large and pricey but they’re functional investment pieces that will last you for years.

Style Tip: Because credenzas and buffets offer so much storage space, use them for dining pieces you want to keep within easy reach. Think dinner plates, silverware, glasses, napkins, tablecloths, you name it.

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traditional style dining room with black console table

Console Shelf

Different from a credenza or buffet, a console shelf is perfect for less formal dining spaces. It’s typically more narrow in size and doesn’t have deep storage space. But because it is wider, it takes up less footprint and can easily be used along any wall. You also want to consider a console shelf if you’re looking for a dining room storage piece that can double as a decorative display. A console shelf with tiers will let you store smaller items on the open shelves, and one with drawers can be great for anything from silverware to takeout menus.

Style Tip: It’s great for storing and displaying decorative items, like cookbooks, picture frames, and plants. It always looks stylish when it’s topped with lamps, art, and a mirror hung above it.

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industrial dining room with large dresser buffet in white


Most people think of the dresser as a bedroom staple, but it can actually be the perfect dining room storage piece! The dresser is like a credenza but with lots of drawers instead of cabinets. And dressers typically have deep drawers, which makes them great for storing bigger items, like plates and platters, glassware and silverware, and stacks of bowls and table linens. It’s an unexpected and beautiful storage option for a large dining space.

Style Tip: Beyond storage, the top of a dresser can also easily be used as a bar, serving station, or a display surface. Or make it multipurpose and style the top for all of those uses!

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dining room storage

Portable Tray

Simple and small but versatile, trays are especially useful in compact dining spaces. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles, so you’re bound to find one (or several) that suits your needs and space. What also makes trays amazing dining room storage pieces is you can organize anything in them, be it candles and centerpieces or cocktail beverages and barware. Not to mention you can easily move them around for entertaining as needed.

Style Tip: You can mix random items in a tray and it’ll all look stylishly organized. But having a focus is always a good idea. Try using a tray for drinking glasses or coffee and tea sets or plates and napkins. It’s all about curating your trays and having fun doing it!

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dining room storage


For a serious dining room storage piece, a hutch has both open shelving and closed cabinets and drawers. You’ve probably seen hutches in traditional and rustic dining rooms and kitchens. Hutches are large in scale and the shelves and cabinets usually come as one piece, but sometimes they can be detached. The combination of shelving and drawers gives hutches tons of storage and display possibilities.

Style Tip: You can store and display plates, bowls, and dinnerware on the shelves, then use the cubbies for linens and serving pieces; or you can line the shelves with decorative accents and stow kitchen items below and behind closed doors.

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dining room storage

Dining Cabinet

For an elevate approach to dining room storage, a tall dining cabinet is a chic addition to any space. In many cases, a dining cabinet can look like a display case or armoire. It’s large in size and typically has shelving and two front doors—some might have drawers also. If you like to keep all your special serving pieces and dinnerware that you save for formal occasions in one place (and visible), consider investing in a glass-fronted dining cabinet.

Style Tip: Try using a dining cabinet for larger items, such as platters, porcelain serving bowls, and small appliances you don’t need much. Or you can also fill a glass cabinet with your finest china collection to create a beautifully curated display.

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transitional style dining room with sleek light-wood dining table

Storage Bench

Even if you keep all your dinnerware and tableware stored outside of your dining room, there’s still room to add in some sneaky storage solutions. A storage bench that opens up with a deep compartment can be a stylish option for those who don’t want bulky dining room storage furniture in the dining space. The bench can either be pulled up as a seat at your dining table or it can be placed along a wall for an elegant side seat that also holds extra pillows, throws, or other small accents.

Style Tip: To make the most of a storage bench for in the dining room, use its hidden compartment for entertaining essentials, like candles, small vases, matches, runners, and extra napkins, etc. Treat it as your party chest!

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Buying Guide: How to Choose a Dining Table for Your Needs

When shopping for a dining room table, there are many things to consider—from dining table styles to dining table shapes and sizes. But sometimes, before you can consider those things, you first need to assess how you use your dining room to begin with.

how to choose a dining table

Before You Shop for a Dining Table

When thinking about dining room design ideas, a couple different factors can help you make design, style, and layout decisions based on your own personal use cases. First, consider how much space you have to work with and how your dining room flows and connects with the rest of your home. The size of your dining room will have a lot of bearing on what goes inside of it—so this is a good place to start when choosing the right dining table for your home.

You also want to think about how you use the space and even who in your home uses it the most. Does your dining room double as a home office or homeschooling zone? Do you entertain a lot or have pets? Who uses the dining room table, how it’s used, and even how often you host dinner guests are all big factors that will influence what you need in a dining table.

Wondering how to choose a dining table for your needs? Keep reading for our complete buying guide on choosing the right dining table for the size and layout of your space, as well as your lifestyle needs. This guide will help you find the perfect dining table for your home!

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how to choose a dining table

If You Have a Small Dining Room

Look for a smaller or expandable table: In a small dining room, you want to choose a table that is proportional to the size of your space. As a result, you’ll obviously want to go for a smaller-sized table in a small dining room. If you like entertaining, consider an expandable table that can be at its smallest size day-to-day but expand when needed to accommodate extra seats.

Get creative in extra-small spaces: For an extra small dining room—or if you only have a breakfast nook, or no dining space at all—you can still create a dining area. You could put a small cafe table and two chairs in the corner of your living room, or even use a console table with stools against a longer wall. We also love the idea of having a desk that can double as a dining table.

Eliminate sharp corners: Oval or round tablesare best in small dining rooms. They don’t have sharp corners you could bump into when navigating between chairs and the wall, which makes them easier to move around in a small space. They’re also better for squeezing more people around in a pinch, since there are no corners that limit the number of people you can fit.

Reduce tripping hazards: In a small dining room, you’ll also want to make sure your chairs can comfortably slide under your table. If they don’t, they’ll stick out into the room and create less walking space and can easily become a tripping hazard. So, choose a table style that allows you to push your chairs in.

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how to choose a dining table

If You Want to Fill Out a Large Space

Choose a table table that commands the space: In a large dining room, you can go for a standard-size dining table, or even a large, oversized table. Like in a small dining room, you still want your table to be in proportion to the space. So, if you have a particularly large space, opt for a table that has some heft and visually commands the space, like a farmhouse-style table. You could also opt for an extra-long table for a communal eating feel. Regardless, with a large dining room, you have the space to have a large dining table set up year-round rather than needing to expand a table or set up extra eating spaces when hosting guests.

Try a rectangular table: Rectangular tables are the most common dining table shape, and they work well in large dining rooms. They’re best for formal dining, where you want someone to sit at the head of the table, and they’re also great for filling out a dining room. However, there are some larger oval-shaped tables that can give your dining room a softer, more organic look.

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how to choose a dining table

If You Have an Open Living Room/Dining Room

When your dining room is open or connected to your living room, you not only want to consider the size, but also how the elements within each room interact with each other. So, consider proportion to properly fill out (but not overfill) the space, and choose furniture that mixes well with the style and proportion of your living room furniture. Rectangular tables are best for open living room/dining rooms, as you can use the table to help partition the two rooms and create a sense of organization within the open space.

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how to choose a dining table

If You Have Young Kids

Pick the right material: When you have young children, a big thing to consider is the material of your dining table. Glass tables are hard to keep clean and are easier to break—so avoid that if you have kids. Instead, choose something more durable, like a solid or composite wood. Veneer can also be good, but it chips and scratches more easily. Another super durable option? Sealed stone, like ceramic or concrete. However, avoid marble in lighter shades, as it can easily stain. Rustic surfaces like weathered wood or metal are best for rambunctious kids. They develop a natural patina, so nicks and scuffs easily blend in. Darker finishes help hide accidents, like spills and stains, but they can sometimes show more scratches.

Avoid sharp edges: We also recommend avoiding sharp edges. While some rectangular tables have more rounded corners, certain styles and materials have very sharp corners, so we’d veer away from those. Sometimes tables with metal legs have decorative elements that could also pose a risk to small children.

Consider the base of the table: You’ll also want to think about the leg style of a dining room table—specifically, if you want a table with four legs or more of a pedestal style. Both can work with kids, but it’s good to consider if you can fit a high-chair and dining chair side-by-side between the legs of a table, or even how the base of the table will affect clipping a child’s seat to the table.

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how to choose a dining table

If You Live Alone

If you live alone or just don’t eat much at your table, go for a smaller table and fill out the rest of your dining space for accent furniture. It’s nice to have the option to use a dining table if you have people over, but you can get something smaller so you don’t have a large table going unused when it’s just you. This also allows you to choose a table that can work for the size of your space if you’re in a smaller apartment.

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how to choose a dining table

If You Need to Seat a Lot of People

Large dining tables can seat 6-8 people, so they’re great for larger families, allowing your whole family to sit around it at once. Sometimes you can seat even more with large tables that are extendable. This is not only great for large families but also for those who entertain a lot.

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how to choose a dining table

If You Have Pets

If you have pets who like to chew on your furniture legs, consider a table with a pedestal base or with metal legs. This way they won’t be able to get their mouths around the base to gnaw on it. If you like the look of a table with slender legs, simply consider metal legs rather than wooden ones, which your pet won’t want to chew on.

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how to choose a dining table

If You Love to Host

If you host often, you’ll want to consider that when choosing a dining room table. Like we mentioned earlier, if you have a large dining room, you can have a large dining table set up year-round.

Try an extendable table for extra seating options: But in a more average-sized dining room, extendable tables are great for hosting. For everyday use, you can keep the table smaller and fit just your family around the table. But when you have guests over, you can add a leaf or two to increase the number of people you can fit around the table.

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how to choose a dining table

Go for a drop-leaf table in small spaces: If you love to host but only have a small dining room, you could consider a drop-leaf table. This allows the table to get pretty compact, and you can push it up against the wall when not in use. But, when having friends over for dinner, you can pull it out from the wall, put up the leaves, and fit a few extra people around the table.

Squeeze in more people with a round or oval pedestal table: When hosting, do you tend to try to squeeze a lot of people around your table? You may want to opt for a pedestal table rather than one with four legs so extra chairs can squeeze in without interference. You could also go for a round or oval table rather than a rectangular one, as a rectangular table will limit the number of people you’re able to seat around it due to the corners.

how to choose a dining table

If Your Dining Room Doubles As Your Home Office

If your dining room doubles as your home office, and you use your dining table as a desk, make sure your table is large enough for your work supplies and at a comfortable height for you to work at. If you’re going to sit somewhere for eight hours, you want to make sure it’s ergonomic! In a small space, consider a bar-height table, which can double as a standing desk and gives you room to sneak in some storage underneath.

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Small, Medium, or Large? Our Best Tips for Designing a Dining Space of Any Size

Looking for some dining room design ideas? Whether you’ve recently moved and are designing a dining room from scratch in a new space or you’re simply assessing dining room essentials, size is a big factor in considering furniture and layout for your space. What you can fit in a large dining room will be vastly different from what you can fit in a small dining space.

Different sized dining rooms have different layout and furniture needs. So, the size of your dining area really dictates what will go inside. It will help you choose a dining room table that’s the right size and shape (see our guide to choosing a dining table if you need extra help in that department) and how many dining room chairs to include.

It can be overwhelming to assess what all can fit in your space. So, we’ve created a layout guide for small, medium, and large dining rooms, complete with images and tips to help you know what to include in your space. Keep reading for our ultimate dining room layout guide!

small dining room layout

For a Small Dining Room

The Challenge: Getting all the functionality you need out of a small space.

When planning a small dining room layout, it’s important to keep everything in proportion. A small space means opting for a smaller table and fewer chairs. If you’re including an area rug in your layout, you’ll want to keep that on the smaller size, too (the rug pictured here is 5×8, for reference) to keep it proportionate with the smaller table.

small dining room layout

The Key Furniture

A Round Dining Table: We love using round dining tables in small dining areas, as they offer a lot of surface space for eating, but their shape creates a better flow for movement throughout the space. Here, we went for a tulip-style pedestal table, which also allows more foot room in a small space. In a particularly small dining room or a breakfast nook, you could even go for a cafe or bistro table and only two chairs to really minimize the footprint.

Leggy Dining Chairs: Opting for chairs that are leggy and open helps keep the small space visually open and light. And if you want to have extra dining room chairs on-hand for entertaining but don’t want them to clutter your small dining area, consider other places you can put spare dining room chairs throughout your home.

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small dining room layout

Lighting and Decor

A Petite Pendant: When you have a small dining table, keep your light fixture on the smaller side. This pendant is about one-third the size of this round table’s surface size, which is a good proportion to keep in mind. Keep the tabletop decor on the smaller side as well. A simple duo of a small plant and a candle feels considered and also proportionate to table size.

Decorative Mirrors: To help open up the space a bit, hang a mirror on the largest wall rather than artwork. Mirrors are great to use in a small dining room on the wall opposite a window or natural light source. This opens up the space and helps light bounce around, one of our favorite small space hacks. A piece of artwork on the opposite wall, next to the window, balances out the look.

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small dining room layout

The Supporting Furniture

Bar Carts and Benches: While a small dining room doesn’t offer much space for supporting furniture, you can likely squeeze in a few small additional pieces to help with versatility in the space. A small bench adds an extra seating option for when you need to entertain extra people—but it can easily be tucked into a corner or against a wall so it’s out of the way for daily use. A small bar cart offers a surface for mixing drinks, or simply adds storage for cookbooks, glassware, or as a serving tray. Plus, it can be wheeled around for extra room when needed.

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The Key Elements of a Small Dining Room

  • A small, round dining room table
  • A small light fixture and simple decor
  • A petite bench for additional seating
  • A bar cart for storage and serving versatility

small dining room layout

For a Medium Dining Room

The Challenge: Designing a functional and stylish dining space.

A medium-sized dining room is the most typical sized dining room. It’s where you’ll be able to fit a standard sized table and seating for 4-6 people. To keep everything in proportion, go for a medium sized table, which typically runs around 60” and seats six people, along with a standard rug size, like an 8×10, beneath.

small dining room layout

The Key Furniture

A Rectangular or Oval Dining Table: Either a rectangular or oval dining table is suitable for a medium dining room—though an oval table gives you a bit more versatility to seat more people, since there are no corners to contend with. The standard size of the table and the room itself means you can take more liberties with your combination of chairs and seating options.

Versatile Seating Options: Four chairs suits the size of a medium dining area, but you could keep more on-hand for entertaining. You could go for mismatched dining room chairs, or combine a few chairs with a bench. Either way, you have the flexibility to create a more interesting look with versatile seating.

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small dining room layout

Lighting and Decor

A Proportionate Chandelier: Keep your chandelier in proportion to the table and your art in proportion to the room size. The light fixture pictured here is medium sized, still about one-third the size of the table’s surface.

High-Impact Wall Art: To keep the art in proportion to the space, consider your ceiling height. Here, the ceilings are high, so we took advantage of them with a vertical gallery wall. However, keeping it simple with three pieces keeps the room open and maximizes the visual size of the space. With a more standard ceiling height, you might want to do a horizontal trio of coordinating art pieces.

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small dining room layout

The Supporting Furniture

A Credenza For Storage & Display: Instead of a bar cart like in the small dining room, a medium dining room allows you to upgrade to a credenza. Not only can you display either your bar accessories or even a record player on top for playing background music during dinner, but credenza offer tons of hidden storage as well. You can store table linens, fine china, and glassware or seasonal decor inside. And, while adding plenty of function, credenzas also add a sophisticated and polished touch to a dining room.

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The Key Elements of a Medium Dining Room

  • A standard-sized dining room table
  • Four chairs or a mix of chairs and a bench for more versatility
  • A credenza for added storage and to help proportionally fill out the space.

small dining room layout

For a Large Dining Room

The Challenge: Making use of all the space and filling it out in an intentional way.

For a large dining room layout, you want to make sure you proportionally fill out the space. This means scaling up the size of your furniture and the rug (going for a 9×12), but also adding in additional furniture pieces that you wouldn’t have space for in a small or medium dining room. However, the layout is still spaced out enough for visual breathing room and makes it easy to move throughout the space.

small dining room layout

The Key Furniture

A Standard-Sized or Large Dining Table: While the table size in this large dining room is similar in size to the one in the medium dining room, it has a different look and feel due to the tables around it. However, you could also go for a larger table—perhaps in a farmhouse or rustic style, that has more visual weight to it.

Six Substantial Chairs: We included six chairs around the table to help proportionally fill out the space and make entertaining a breeze. Opting for armchair-style chairs not only further fills out the space but also creates a more formal feel to the table setting. But you can also explore other more substantial types of dining chairs.

Lighting and Decor

A Larger Light Fixture: Since the chairs give the dining table area a larger footprint, we opted for a larger chandelier to be more proportionate to the table and chairs and to make more of a visual statement in the space. We also placed a large lamp on the buffet to give the option for layered lighting in the space.

Surfaces for Styling: With more accent furniture, there are more surfaces to show off art and decor. Make use of the long buffet by styling it with plants, books, and small decorative items. You can also use some shelves in the glass-door bar cabinet for additional display. All of this lets you add extra bits of personality to your dining room.

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small dining room layout

The Supporting Furniture

A Long Buffet: A long buffet offers a lot of concealed storage for dining room essentials. The long surface area not only offers a place for a lamp and styled decor, but it can also be a serving station when you’re hosting guests. If you’re using your dining room as a home office, you can also use your buffet or credenza as a place to stash your work things at the end of the workday to keep your dining area functional for meals.

Accent Chairs: Adding in two flanking chairs adds extra seating options as well as being decorative space fillers to visually fill out the room.

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small dining room layout

A Bar Cabinet: In a large dining room, you have enough space for both a buffet and a separate bar area. But, instead of a bar cart, include a bar cabinet if you have the space. This offers a designated place for bottles, glassware, and bar tools—while also being a beautiful statement piece in the space.

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The Key Elements of a Large Dining Room

  • Furniture that helps fill out the space, including a large table, buffet, and bar cabinet
  • Six dining room chairs, perhaps in an armchair-style for a more substantial look
  • A bar cabinet rather than a bar cart for more storage and to create more of a visual statement

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These 7 Traditional Dining Rooms are Making Us Re-Think Our Mid-Century Obsession

Mid-century modern and eclectic styles have been trending for a while—but they’re not for everyone. If you don’t love the look of modern designs, you’re in luck. Because lately we’ve been seeing traditional and classic designs come back into the spotlight!

One area, specifically, where traditional and classic interior design elements are being embraced are in dining rooms. While many open-concept homes have done away with formal dining rooms in favor of open living rooms/dining rooms, they’re far from out of style. In fact, here at Modsy we’ve recently seen a rise in formal dining room designs! While super formal dining rooms were definitely out of vogue for a while, people are returning to them, with the desire to have a nice, dedicated space to gather around the table for meals.

What is traditional interior design style?

So, let’s dig a little deeper. What is traditional style? Well, it actually encompasses several different sub-categories of interior design—including rustic, classic formal, and American traditional.

Rustic design celebrates the vintage charm of pre-industrial design styles. Some of the traditional features you’ll notice in rustic styles are natural, weathered wood combined with simple accessories, architectural fragments, or one-of-a-kind pieces. Overall, this style is comfortable, warm, and inviting.

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Classic formal relies more on antique and heirloom pieces of furniture to create an elegant, formal feel to the space. Classic formal interiors have traditional elements and expected furniture arrangements and layouts. The patterns you’ll find in these spaces are classical, like damask, floral, chinoiserie, and toile, and you’ll find them layered in furniture upholstery, drapery, and bedding.

Explore classic design ideas

On the other end of the spectrum, American traditional design is a bit understated and a less formal style than other traditional options. It’s based on an older American style that pulls inspiration from colonial and craftsman interiors. In these spaces, you’ll find dark leather and upholstery or muted, woven patterns, along with dark wood furnishing with minimal ornamental details.

Explore traditional design ideas

We love that there are so many different approaches to traditional, so you can find the design sub-set that best suits your style! Want to get the look of a traditional dining room in your own home? Keep reading for seven ways to bring a traditional dining room to life!

The Style: Rustic Warmth

Rustic Warmth gives you rustic-traditional vibes with some contemporary design elements. It’s a cozy but clean look that’s an approachable, practical take on rustic-traditional style.

The Key Elements

This style is full of traditional dining room elements—like the slipcovered and spindle chairs and the trestle table. But the contemporary nod comes in with the streamlined forms of the furniture. However, the rustic materials and natural textures keep this look decidedly grounded in the traditional sphere, featuring textures from rugged wood and chunky jute to linen and antiqued metals. As for the color palette, you’ll see a lot of high-contrast neturals—which keeps this space cozy but enlivened.

It’s perfect for…

Families, since the dining table and chairs are all solid and approachable. It’s also great if you like a hint of those rustic-traditional vibes but want a more contemporary approach.

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The Style: Farmhouse Chic

Rustic and glam elements combine to create this farmhouse chic look. It’s an interior design style that’s fresh and feminine but has plenty of cozy vibes, with some definite hints of luxury throughout.

The Key Elements

Farmhouse chic relies on traditional shapes in the furniture—like wingback dining chairs and this ornate pedestal dining table. But the mix of materials is both chic and rustic, from the weathered and distressed woods to velvet, brass, and decorative nailheads. There’s also a variety of natural materials in this space, with pops of jute, seagrass, and linen. The color palette is neutral and muted, but features pops of pastel pinks, blues, and yellows to warm it up—as does the natural light flooding into this room. And with those colors comes an eclectic mix of patterns, which gives this dining area a playful edge.

It’s perfect for…

Those who love both cozy and glam styles. They may be seemingly opposite design tastes, but this room is proof that they can co-exist. In a similar vein, it’s also perfect for those who like a little luxury but also want some countryside charm.

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The Style: Timeless Traditional

This look is where traditional design and classic formal elegance meet, for a look that’s timeless and traditional. This style has a stately, formal air, giving a sense of history to the spaces it’s in. We love that it creates a livable yet polished space.

The Key Elements

Key to the timeless traditional style is choosing foundational furniture for your dining area that are in traditional or classic formal styles. You can include a lot of antiques in this style—now is the time to choose pieces with great history or interesting stories of origin. Furniture in timeless, traditional dining rooms should be in dark wood tones or even black, and will feature ornate carved details—like spindles and fluted bases (peek this petite dining table). In this type of formal space, you’ll want to go with expected, traditional layouts. A statement chandelier helps create a focal point in the space. And, for any pops of colors and patterns, keep it traditional with damask, toile, chinoiserie, and oriental rugs.

It’s perfect for…

Anyone who loves a space with timeless appeal and antique elements. This one goes out to everyone who isn’t a fan of sleek, modern spaces.

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The Style: Refined Rustic

Classic and rustic styles combine to create refined rustic. Formal styling and elegant design elements keep this look in the traditional camp, with a timeless air. But this style also carries a sense of history with its smattering of vintage touches—while still being livable and warm.

The Key Elements

This style relies on rustic materials and shapes. For a dining area, think a distressed farmhouse dining table, slipcovered chairs, an antiqued oriental rug, and spindle dining chairs. As for the layout, you’ll notice that this style tends toward the formal, traditional dining room layout that’s symmetrical and expected—giving a sense of order and curation to the space (peek this guide to learn all about dining room layouts). You can finish off this look with vintage touches, like an antique-style mirror or a vintage-inspired chandelier. An added element that helps this style shine? Tons of natural light.

It’s perfect for…

Lovers of vintage spaces who gravitate toward classic, formal polish that’s warmed up with rustic elements.

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The Style: Contemporary Connoisseur

Classic formal design is softened with transitional and contemporary design elements. While, overall, this style has classic undertones, you’ll notice a more contemporary approach to finishing touches.

The Key Elements

The contemporary connoisseur look relies on classic foundations—like formal chairs, elegant accessories (like the chandelier, mirror, and sconces), traditional patterns, and a symmetrical layout. However, none of these pieces are full-on classic; rather, they all have slightly toned-down aesthetics. In this traditional dining room, you see this in the muted color palette and the streamlined captain chairs at either end of the table, both of which make this space more approachable. However, the soft, neutral color palette also features some pops of blues to add a cheery vibe to the space and is punctuated by pops of dark metal, which add a slightly contemporary air.

It’s perfect for…

Someone who wants a classic look but wants it to still feel approachable.

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The Style: Vintage Farmhouse

Vintage Farmhouse design is a mix of American traditional and rustic design elements. The traditional side is based on the older American style we mentioned earlier, which pulls inspiration from colonial and craftsman interiors. While American traditional is a very—you guessed it—traditional style that’s not necessarily “on-trend,” it’s still one of our favorites. It has stood the test of time for good reason. This is one of the more “masculine” approaches to traditional style and effortlessly pairs rustic touches with formal shapes and stately antiques.

The Key Elements

With vintage farmhouse design, you’ll often see dark upholstery, leather, and dark wood furnishings that have minimal ornamental details. In this traditional dining area, we opted for a small, round dining table to give it a more intimate vibe. Meanwhile, the blue wingback chairs are polished, stately, and have a formal air. Subtle pops of patterns found in the art, the ginger jar in the corner, and the texture on the rug drive home that vintage feeling—as does the dreamy color combo of blues and neutrals found in those patterns and throughout the dining room. Rustic materials come through in the distressed wood dining table and the antique metal chandelier.

It’s perfect for…

Those who want to fill their home with a sense of history with antique and vintage elements but still want to keep ornamentation to a minimum.

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The Style: Comfortably Classic

Classic formal is mixed with a bit of charm in this comfortably classic design. This style features a rustic sense of warmth and coziness, with a contemporary ease and approach to styling.

The Key Elements

Rustic materials are foundational to comfortably classic design. In this space, that means a distressed rug, an antique table, and distressed wood window frames-turned-mirror. However, the linen dining chairs add a crisp, clean vibe and their shapes add a contemporary flair. The relaxed arrangement feels more welcoming and family-friendly than other traditional dining room designs—and the swap of chairs on one side for a bench only adds to this feeling. (A bench is also great if you don’t want little ones near white upholstered chairs!) Finally, plants bring this space to life and add a welcome pop of green and texture!

It’s perfect for…

Those who want a classic space that’s still family-friendly, livable, and welcoming.

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13 Contemporary Dining Room Designs That are Anything but Boring

If you’ve ever wondered what goes into contemporary design, you’re not alone! People often confuse contemporary and modern design, but there is actually a world of difference. Fundamentally, contemporary design is simple and deliberate. The focus is on the basics: color, texture, and shape. Contemporary spaces are “clean” and fresh in appearance—this style is much more approachable than minimal or modern dining room design.

Contemporary design typically focuses on a palette of neutral colors paired with metal accents and wood tones. Good lighting is a central element and you’ll usually see a lot of accent lighting in a contemporary style. Overall, it’s a look that keeps things simple and sleek.

Why is contemporary design great for a dining room?

Contemporary style is a popular choice for dining room designs. The ambient lighting creates a warm and welcoming place to gather, entertain, host dinner parties, etc. It’s a super comfortable and versatile look that can be dressed up or dressed down as needed.

These 13 contemporary dining rooms show off a range of how contemporary design can come to life and blend with other styles. Take a look and get inspired!

contemporary dining room designHigh-Contrast Dining Room Style

This dining room is all about crisp and clean elements that speak to contemporary dining room design. The round table with geometric elements and the patterned rug add interest and texture to the dining room while the white/wood dining chairs add sophistication. The natural wood sideboard is attractive and practical—it anchors the bold black and white art. Maintaining a grey color palette keeps the dining room calm and easy on the eyes, along with the simple and practical decor stylings. To keep the modern dining area from being too monotone, add a plant for a pop of greenery/texture and a few hanging pendant lights (like this sputnik design) never hurt either.

High-Contrast Dining Room

We love this contemporary dining room because it’s tasteful and streamlined, yet still so full of energy. Notice how sleek all of the forms are—the chairs, table, and sideboard have sharp edges and absolutely no ornament. A rich, high-contrast color palette featuring bold blues and crisp whites creates just the right amount of drama and visual intrigue.

Industrial touches like the metal chairs and dark wood floors look elegant with the large windows and view outside. It seamlessly blends contemporary forms with a minimalist edge that gives off an air of sophistication and refined taste. The stark white table on the vibrant white and blue rug helps ground the room and the long blue curtains balance the look. A key element of this look is the small details, as well. We love the geometric forms used in the table setting and the striking white giraffe lamp placed next to the simple mirror and decorative vases. It’s a super bold dining room that makes a statement but is still totally approachable.

contemporary dining room designNavy Blue Contemporary Dining Room

This blend of contemporary and Industrial dining room styles is moody and masculine to the max! The modern dining room features a blue and grey color palette with pops of white and wood for contrast. The brass/bronze light fixture adds geometry and interest and the classic X-Base dining table makes a substantial statement as the dining area’s focal point.

It’s a contemporary dining room design with simple, sleek chairs in a dark fabric so you don’t have to worry about spills. The woven jute rug adds durability and the curtains help to visually frame the setting. The simple but bold styling on the sideboard and the plants add pops of texture and life to the modern dining room.

contemporary dining room designCozy Contemporary Dining Room

This lovely dining room oozes with mod contemporary style and shows off the beautiful, light-filled space and high ceilings. It’s mid-century modern to the max with a transitional edge that makes it more approachable. The mid-century modern undertones in the furniture are unmistakable but also rendered in a more pared-down way so they are less stark.

The dining table is beautiful and substantial and looks great with this minimalist table setting. The key to this look is a mix of materials and shapes, like the forms of table and chairs, the stunning mid-century modern sideboard and the rounded mirror leaned up against the wall with the dramatic vase. We love how the patterned rug underfoot adds lightness and balances the design. And the stylish globe pendant lights are a sure-fire way to start a conversation and add a playful pop that’s cool and casual all at once!

contemporary dining room designEarthy Neutral Dining Room

This dining room has a super sophisticated and curated look that is all out contemporary. It focuses on minimal styling so that what you see has a bigger impact all around. Notice the frill-free chairs and furniture, including the bar cart for entertaining, and the simple pieces of wall art for impact.

The neutral colors of the furniture set against the green wall with blush accents create a sumptuous, luxurious feel while the rug brings in some grounding energy. The sculptural waterfall light fixture adds the perfect amount of mood lighting for this contemporary dining room.

contemporary dining room designContemporary + Industrial Dining Room

If you want to go for a totally unique dining room, try something like this blend of contemporary and industrial styles. The minimalist chairs feel iconic and avant-garde and the tulip-style table doesn’t overwhelm the dining room. The round, striped jute rug echoes the circular shape of the dining table and touches of black and white add a high-contrast, modern flair.

Elements like the hanging pendant lights and the single, bold piece of art bring all the earth tones together with added greenery for an organic touch. It’s an ideal dining room for those who love a little something unexpected and conversational.

contemporary dining room designMonochrome Contemporary Dining Room

If you want a uniquely curated dining room that makes an immediate impression, you might love this monochrome contemporary look! It’s a cheery, inviting space with tons of style and originality. The sleek, transitional forms give it a slightly posh edge and the green monochrome scale adds tons of personality and warmth, bringing it back down to earth. It’s a great option to consider now, just in time for spring!

We love these leather chairs because they are simple, easy to clean and make a statement while not being over-the-top. The gorgeous stone and wood dining table grounds the room in earthy tones and looks sharp and savvy. The colors look fabulous against the cool mint walls and the striking graphic art adds a pop of contrast, pulling the whole room together.

contemporary dining room designContemporary + Modern Dining Room

This dining room seamlessly blends contemporary and modern styles to create a colorful and playful dining room. Jewel tones and elaborate dining chairs give it a luxe feel and the vibrant rug adds color to the modern dining room. The bold, white cement table is ultra-contemporary—talk about a statement piece!

The design pairs well with the tapered legs of the mid-century-style dining room chairs and the striking oversized chandelier. We kept the decor simple with just a large plant next to the sideboard so as not to distract from the beauty of the dining room chairs and table.

contemporary dining room designContemporary Minimalist Dining Room

This minimal dining room pares down to the bare essentials for a gathering atmosphere ready for hosting. Comfort meets design with the upholstered dining chairs. And the honeycomb rug pattern is a smart choice for dining rooms because the busy pattern can help hide any accidental spills!

The blue color palette with greyscale is perfect for lovers of crisp, sleek, and modern dining room design. And when it comes to keeping your dining room clutter-free, there’s nothing better than a practical sideboard with storage.

contemporary dining room designContemporary Chic Dining Room

We love the mix of contemporary and glam touches in this stunning dining area. The regal blue color palette is offset with warm wood and brass tones that give it a luxe feel. Velvet dining chairs against the light, woven rug create a formal modern dining area and the chic sideboard styling helps accentuate the sophisticated vibes.

The unique sculptural pendant light fixture is the perfect ambient lighting situation for a contemporary dining room style. Complete the dining room look with a symmetrical and bold gallery wall to create a striking contrast and a trio of plants to add a modern, earthy feel.

contemporary dining room designContemporary + Rustic Dining Room

This dining room has a distinctly Tuscan feel with dark woods and iron elements that create an immediately inviting vibe. Barrel back upholstered dining chairs add a sophisticated touch and the sculptural sideboard offers storage as well as extra aesthetic appeal. The geometric dining room rug and black and white bold art bring the classic, formal styling down to earth. And a simple color scheme, one of the hallmarks of contemporary design, allows the bold furniture pieces to be the star of the show.

contemporary dining room designCool Contemporary Dining Room

For an urban, contemporary/modern dining room, you can’t go wrong with a look based on a greyscale color scheme. This dining space has just the right amount of mood and edginess and the sleek modern dining chairs are so cool they could be functioning art pieces. This is definitely an entertainer’s dining room—the sideboard can be used for bar/party storage so you can be ready to entertain at a moment’s notice!

The handsome stone dining table with a wood base grounds the room and balances out the black chairs. Then, we added a light neutral rug to bring a little extra relief to the dark colors. And the oversized wall art and tall tree plant in the corner add impactful pops of color alongside the grey chairs. This is the kind of look that’s serious yet swanky, with sass and sophistication galore.

contemporary dining room designUltra-Minimal Dining Room

This contemporary dining room takes a cue from the understated and simple stylings of minimalism. Wire dining room chairs and a glass tabletop give it a clean, crisp lightness that doesn’t impede the beautiful view. The white captain’s chairs at the ends punctuate the table for impact and make the modern dining room feel more formal while the unexpected organic metal chandelier brings nature inside.

For a little mid-century flair, we added the tweed patterned area rug and a single plant for a pop of greenery. Overall, it’s a welcoming, yet cosmopolitan dining room with enough chairs for a small dinner party.

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Get Inspired For Your Dining Room Design With These 10 Ideas

Dining rooms might not seem like the most exciting space to design. They’re pretty basic, right? Just a table and some chairs. Or are they?

Since 2018, dining rooms have more than doubled in popularity among Modsy customers. That’s because you can actually insert a lot of personality and style into a dining room design. It’s a space where you have a basic blueprint to work with—but with that, you can really create a space that reflects your design style and coordinates with the rest of your home.

Ready to tackle your dining room? Get inspired for the possibilities with these 10 dining room designs!

The Look: Boho Eclectic

Inspired by a Southwestern desert color palette, boho eclectic style results in a bold and colorful space that still maintains a touch of modern minimalism. With mid-century lines and a minimal aesthetic, it’s a look that’s relaxed while still looking pulled together.

The Key Elements

Boho Eclectic comes to life with the use of organic shapes, natural materials, geometric patterns, and clean lines. Colors show up in earthy neutrals—from browns and nudes to terracotta, mustard yellow, and dusty pink. In this space, we love the contrast of the smooth, stone table with the warmth and texture of woven leather chairs. Each piece in this room is a bit unexpected but shows off a lot of personality—like the large-scale wall art and the pink rug.

This is the perfect style for you if…

You love minimalism, but with pops of color and texture. This look is restrained but full of personality.

The Look: California Casual

You may not live in California, but that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the relaxed but refined look that is California casual. This style comes to life through the artful combination of rustic, traditional, and industrial styles. It’s a look that’s rooted in comfort and is great for big families or if you like entertaining.

The Key Elements

California casual requires comfortable furnishings, a smattering of natural textures, and a palette of neutral hues. So, when designing this space we used a lot of natural textures—like the farmhouse table, cane chairs, and trio of baskets in the corner. These more rustic elements are contrasted by the sculptural light fixture—a modern take on a more traditional style that balances out some of the coastal elements. In fact, contrast is a big part of this look, most notably in the high-contrast but neutral color palette. We love the mix of lighter natural tones with black accents.

This is the perfect style for you if…

You like a laid back and cool look, rooted in traditions. We love that this style effortlessly mixes styles, creating a space that feels timeless but fresh.

The Look: Organic Modern

This no-frills style is an updated take on mid-century modern. More pared-down than traditional MCM, organic modernism relies on clean mid-century lines while introducing organic and earthy materials, shapes, and textures, along with a more neutral color palette.

The Key Elements

Soft, curved forms are key to this style. In this space, you’ll find it in the curved chairs and pendant light—which soften the harder lines of the table and cabinet. Organic modernism is also rooted in a more neutral color palette. White is the anchor of this space; the dining room table and the pendant light create a centerpiece around which everything else is designed.

But the organic element is brought in through the woven cabinet, with its texture and natural warmth. Overall, ornamentation is found in sculptural furniture and materials that play with geometry. The mix of materials brings dimension, and the neutral color palette keeps the look modern and minimal.

This is the perfect style for you if…

You want to embrace a sleek, sophisticated style that feels modern, warm, and inviting.

The Look: Modern Rustic

Inspired by laid back west coast style, modern rustic style is rooted in the comfort of rustic design but relies on design elements of mid-century modern with a boho twist.

The Key Elements

This style is nothing if not warm and inviting. We love the warm palette of reds and pinks—most notably found in the rug, which gives this space a vintage flair. Proof that a dining room can be colorful! This color is contrasted with natural materials and neutral textures which further warm up the space.

We love that this style mixes so many different styles with such a sense of ease. The foundational furniture, like the table and the buffet, have a more rustic element. The iconic wishbone chairs bring in a dose of mid-century modern appeal. Meanwhile, the sculptural light fixture adds modern polish while the gold accents add warmth.

This is the perfect style for you if…

You love modern, trendy styles with lots of personality—but in a format that feels warm and approachable.

The Look: Modern Minimalist

This dining room is proof that a space with minimal ornamentation can look warm and inviting. Modern minimalism features the clean lines of modernism and the subtle ornamentation of minimalism—but it also incorporates natural materials to warm up the style.

The Key Elements

For a modern minimalist space, keep to a neutral color palette. But don’t stop there. Add warmth through gorgeous natural wood pieces—but make sure the pieces feature clean, modern lines. With no added frills, wood grain becomes the ornament in the space.

In this space, a gray accent wall pops against the wood tones and adds dimension. To keep the look from being too straightforward, we added a bit of flair with an industrial-inspired light fixture and through our choice of dining room chairs. By mixing up the chairs at the end of the table, you get a slightly eclectic look, without losing any formality.

This is the perfect style for you if…

You enjoy a modern, no-frills look but lean toward warmer tones.

The Look: Playful Eclectic

Playful eclectic style is just that: a cheerful mix of colors, shapes, and patterns that result in a look that’s both unique and playful.

The Key Elements

Soft lines and shapes are a hallmark of this style. You’ll notice that there are very few sharp edges or hard lines in this space! The shapes found in the furniture, as well as the geometric prints, give this space a modern edge, but with more whimsy than your typical modern space. And don’t forget the playful mix of colors! The pastel palette feels fresh and youthful, and the bucket-style chairs are perfect for both kids and adults. The warm wood table helps ground the space and keep it from looking too childish or eclectic.

This is the perfect style for you if…

You like a cheerful, whimsical style that still feels sleek and modern.

The Look: Rustic Minimal

Embrace cozy, cool vibes with rustic minimal style. With Scandinavian-inspired elements, organic shapes, and plenty of texture, you have a look that embodies cozy simplicity!

The Key Elements

This style is filled with natural textures, which add visual warmth—like the cane chairs, jute rug, and shiplap walls. While there’s not a lot of color in this space, there’s a lot of contrast with the use of various wood tones. Layered textiles also help keep this space cozy and give it some depth. To add a bit of modern sophistication, we opted for iconic Jeanneret chairs, while the spherical, woven light fixture adds visual interest.

This is the perfect style for you if…

You want a space that feels cozy but also easy breezy.

The Look: Minimalist Maximalist

We love the boldness of this minimalist-maximalist dining room. This style filters a minimalist’s “less is more” aesthetic through a maximalist’s love of color, contrast, and luxe materials.

The Key Elements

A key element of minimalist maximalist style? Bold statements. While there aren’t many design elements in this space, what is present makes a statement. The bold wall color. The pedestal dining table. The velvet chairs. The light fixture. Outside these statement pieces, this space doesn’t feature much ornamentation—rather, sculptural forms do the talking, without much added frill.

This is the perfect style for you if…

You love a bold look, filled with personality, that doesn’t feel cluttered.

The Look: Classic Rustic

Love that classic rustic style? Then this is the dining room for you. Rustic style is all about warmth and livability—but it also has a formal edge which roots it in a more traditional style.

The Key Elements

This style features a neutral color palette with pops of warm fall hues that can be used year-round—like orange rust, reds, gold, and warm brown. A mix of materials makes the look feel dynamic; in this space, we love the play between hard and soft in the wood table and upholstered chairs. While there are more vintage and traditional elements here—like those upholstered chairs and the vintage bar cart—the space is updated with slightly modern finishes, like the blown glass pendant and minimal ceramics.

This is the perfect style for you if…

You appreciate a more formal vibe but want a space that’s still approachable. This look is polished, yet 100% livable.

The Look: Inviting Industrial

Industrial spaces can feel a little harsh and cold. So we love this more inviting take on industrial style. This style feels like it’s livable and rooted in comfort, while still featuring those industrial shapes and materials we love.

The Key Elements

Key to inviting industrial style is a high-contrast neutral palette—something this dining room has in spades. But it’s also important to have blatantly industrial elements to keep the look grounded in industrial style, in this case in the light fixtures. This whole room has a minimal approach to styling, but patterns help cozy up the space. The chairs have a mid-century silhouette that’s minimal and comfortable, and plants add a pop of color and life to warm up the space.

This is the perfect style for you if…

You love industrial design elements but want a space that feels a little more warm and inviting.


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6 Fall Tablescape Ideas That are Sure to Impress Your Guests

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about hosting! While the holidays are about being together with the people you love—not impressing them with a Pinterest-worthy home—it is fun to gussy up your house and make it extra inviting for guests. One simple way to get your dining room holiday-ready is by designing a beautiful tablescape!

A tablescape is an artistic arrangement of objects on your table. Obviously this involves your dinnerware — but to create a truly stunning tablescape, you can also work in additional objects like greenery, candles, and linens. Depending on the objects you choose, you can embody different design styles that will compliment the overall style of your home while playing up those fall vibes. Keep scrolling for fall tablescape ideas for 6 different styles!

modern tablescape ideas

modern dining room

1. Modern and Minimal

For a look that’s more modern or transitional, keep your tablescape free of frills and too many decorative objects. Take a minimal approach to styling, with only a few simple and thoughtfully curated accents. We love white pumpkins for a modern touch of fall style. Complete the look by opting for for contemporary and simple serveware.

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modern rustic dining room

eclectic tablescape ideas

2. Mid-Century and Rustic

This dining room features a more eclectic take on a fall tablescape. For both mid-century and rustic looks (or the perfect combination of the two: modern rustic), gravitate toward a warm color palette and play with interesting or unexpected forms. Here, we love the organic shape of the wheat stalks, a handleless carafe, and even the surrounding artwork.

Next, play up the texture. We incorporated texture with woven placemats, featuring tassels that tie into the color scheme. What results is a look that is cohesive, visually nuanced, and interesting enough to get your guests talking about something other than politics.

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glam dining room design

chic tablescape ideas

3. Elegant and Glam

If you like tablescape ideas that are chic and a little over the top, this one’s for you. When styling your tablescape, layer on gold, crystals, and statement pieces — like gold chargers, a stunning chandelier, and these crystal geode candlesticks.

And speaking of those candlesticks, they contrast perfectly with the delicate glassware. It’s the perfect pairing of glamorous and luxe materials with sleek forms to keep the look balanced.

But despite all the glitz and glam, this fall tablescape idea still takes a traditional approach to styling for a look that’s both sleek and feminine.

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rustic dining room design

rustic tablescape ideas

4. Rustic and Traditional

This look embodies the classic sense of “fall” in all its glory. With rugged woods, a farmhouse dining table, Windsor-style chairs, and plaid accents, you have a tablescape that’s truly rustic and cozy. Family-friendly to its core, the table decor is pared back yet creates a cozy sense of place.

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coastal dining room design

elegant tablescape idea

5. Classic and Contemporary

Elegant and sophisticated, this fall tablescape idea relies on simple styling for a fresh and clean feeling. It’s the perfect look if you like more classic or coastal styles, as it has a more formal air to it. While it features a fall color palette, it’s in a more subtle and contemporary style topped with simple, fall-inspired decor.

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boho dining room design

boho tablescape ideas

6. Rustic and Eclectic

This dining room mixes a few different styles in one space—a little bit bohemian, a little rustic, and a lot of eclectic. With that, you’ll notice unexpected pieces and styling moments, like wishbone chairs and basket wall art.

This look is grounded by saturated earth tones and a solid wood table with a live-edge look. And the tablescape idea is finished by layering on a lot of textures and natural materials — including plenty of plants and greenery.

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