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dining room ideas for entertaining

6 Ways To Prep Your Dining Room for Holiday Entertaining

With fall in full swing and holiday entertaining just around the corner, peak hosting season is nearly upon us. With all the work that goes into planning a meal for multiple people, the last thing you want is to stress over your dining room.

Skip the pre-hosting stress this year, and get your dining room ready to go before guests descend. To help, we rounded up our favorite dining room ideas to help you get fully prepped for a revolving door of dinner parties.

Read on for a few dining room ideas that will help you shine as the hostess with the mostest!

dining room ideas for holiday entertaining1. Always Have Extra (and Comfy) Seating

Comfortable chairs can make long dinners much more enjoyable. If you like a little extra cushion, consider matching sets that are fully upholstered or have nice plush seats.

If you have room to spare, extra chairs are always great to have on hand in case of unexpected, or last-minute guests.

Short on space? Dining chairs are versatile so try placing extras in your entryway or home office. They won’t use up square footage unnecessarily, and you can easily pull them into your dining space in a pinch.

Shop This Look: A comfy dining room, featuring our Rustic Warmth Collection

dining room ideas for entertaining2. Be Realistic About Headcount

Big dinners are a holiday given, so be cognizant of how many people your dining room can accommodate comfortably.

If you have the space to entertain a big crowd, make sure everyone has a spacious spot at the table. A table with extendable leaves is a great solve for hosting large groups in smaller spaces.

dining room ideas for holiday entertaining3. Take Time to Outfit Your Table

Whether you’re hosting a Thanksgiving feast for 12 or an intimate dinner for four, a thoughtfully set table is always memorable.

Channel the colors of the season (orange, green, gold and beyond) and pick a combination of your favorite three to guide the palette for your table scape.

If you’ve been thinking about new dishes, silverware or glassware, now is the time to go for it as you gear up to entertain.

dining room ideas for holiday entertaining4. Prepare a Serving Station

Half the challenge of entertaining is being present with your guests.

Setting up a sideboard or a buffet where you can create a bar and a serving station for food, appetizers and dessert means you won’t have to dash back and forth from the kitchen.

In a smaller dining room, try a simple bar cart topped with drinks and light nibbles.

Shop This Look: A Polished yet casual dining room in our Contemporary Connoisseur Collection

dining room ideas for holiday entertaining5. Add Good Mood Lighting

Beyond candlelight, make sure your dining room is well-lit all around – overhead, along the walls, or a table lamp or two placed strategically on a buffet or a small table.

The idea is to have enough lighting around your dining room so that you can easily switch off a few to create a moody ambience.

If you have a single pendant above the dining table, consider hanging a chandelier for a show-stopping light source that adds more sparkle.

dining room ideas for holiday entertaining6. Warm Up Your Floors

A captivating rug is sure to set a cozy, festive note. Choose a low-pile option (one that’s not shaggy) in a color or pattern that draws focus to your dining table.

Or opt for a natural-fiber rug with a large-scale design that’s easy on the eyes and stands up to foot traffic. (These can also handle the occasional spill, because let’s face it – it happens).

Shop This Look: A dining room in our Refined Rustic look is always set to impress

Get your dining room ready for the holidays!

catherine lowe

Redesigning Catherine Giudici Lowe’s Dining Room

catherine lowe dining roomWe’re big fans of Bachelor Nation here at Modsy HQ. In October of 2017 we helped Jade and Tanner design their daughter’s nursery and last month we transformed Catherine Giudici Lowe’s dining room from rustic to minimal and chic.

Peek inside her design transformation and see how she went from render to reality.

catherine loweFrom Rustic to Glam

When the rustic dining room no longer matched her style

In an exclusive interview with People magazine, Catherine noted that she wanted to redecorate her dining room because it no longer reflected the style she wanted for the space.  Just like people, styles evolve and Catherine was ready to “punch it up a little bit.”

“Everything was very muted in color,” Catherine said of her original rustic and cozy dining space. “I just think that someone’s design style should be representative of them. I’m a very comfortable person who enjoys being on the sofa with my family. I also have a personality where it’s a little spunky and a little bit of design-heavy. So I wanted [the dining room] to really be a representation of that part of me.”

catherine loweReimagining The Space

Finding a look that worked for the whole family

Catherine describes her style as “minimal glam” and says she often finds herself drawn to bold statements with a minimal aesthetic.

First, she swapped out the upholstered chairs for curvaceous velvet ones with gold legs. To give the room a more modern feel, she traded in the wooden table for a glass one.

catherine lowe

But style wasn’t the only factor that played a role in her redesign. Catherine and Sean are parents to two adorable kiddos, and they wanted to make sure their new dining space was functional for the whole family.

“The dining room is where you eat meals with your family,” Catherine stated. She knew she wanted to create a space that they all could enjoy and that would be the perfect setting for family dinners and conversation.

To help make the space more kid-friendly, we suggested she mount a wooden cabinet on the wall with a gold tray on top to store their spirits. This is a great way to keep the room’s function but in a way that is safe for the little ones. “You know, I don’t want my two-year-old to get in the bar area.”

catherine loweEnjoying the After

What’s next on the home design horizon

What’s next on the list for Catherine? She and Sean have plans to redo their master bedroom, but not until Isaiah moves into the nursery.

“[Our dining room] is kind of the trailblazer of the house right now,” she says. And while the new look is quite a contrast from the rest of her space, Catherine notes “that’s where I want my home to go—in the direction of an artful space that works and is functional for my family, but makes a statement.”

Need help designing a room in your home?

family dining room

5 Tips For a Dining Room That Encourages Family Meals

family dining room

You know those especially long days where, by the time you’re finally home the last thing you want to do is cook a meal? You know there are groceries in the fridge but ordering takeout is so much easier. Us too. Making dinner at home is one of those things that we say we’ll do but we always seem to find an excuse to get out of it.

It’s not surprising then that sit-down family dinners are becoming a rarity in American homes.

On the flip side, many studies have shown that eating together is a great way for parents and children to deepen their bonds in today’s fast-paced world. But what gives when it comes to making more time to eat together at home?

A well-designed family dining room might just be your answer to making it all happen. Make your dining room a place that is comfortable and inviting so that it encourages family dinners. A dining room that’s dedicated to meals and family time can also reset old routines and inspire a new way of eating together.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry. We’ve rounded up five tips to help you create a dining room that’s sure to get everyone around the table at dinner time.

Read on for 5 tips to create your perfect family dining room.

family dining room1. Invest In A Dining Table (That Works For You)

First things first: If you want a dining room that encourages more family meals, a nice table can make all the difference.

Think of your table as the centerpiece that everything else will be built on.

Choose one that fits your space and suits your family’s dining style. A long communal table is great for dinner parties if you like to have friends and family over.

A shorter table or a round one is ideal for casual everyday meals and if you have a small family dining room.

A wood table can be especially kid-friendly and easy to clean. And, finally, a glass top option is great for small spaces.

family dining room2. Find Comfy Chairs

The key to any great family dining room is comfortable seating. If you want a space that’s all about getting people to gather and dine together, it’s got to be comfortable.

Find chairs that not only speak to your style, but are comfortable enough that people won’t think twice about lingering for another course or bottle of wine.

Don’t worry if all your chairs don’t match—embrace a more eclectic look as you add chairs to your space over time.

For kid-friendly seating, opt for chairs in leather (it’s easy to clean) or wood (upholstered ones are prone to stains!). Or add a bench on one side for a seat that’s spacious with lots of room to move around.

family dining room

3. Incorporate Everyday Storage

Want your dining room to feel less utilitarian and more like a true family gathering spot?

Take full advantage of the space by rounding it out with a credenza or buffet that can be used daily.

This is a great place to stash everyday dinnerware that you can pull out at meal time as well as for excess kitchen equipment (or any clutter you just don’t have room for).

And you can dress it up as a self-service bar, food station, or just a simple decorative focal point during dinner parties.

family dining room4. Make A Statement

Warm up your dining decor so that it feels inviting. And don’t hesitate to take some interior design risks.

You likely won’t want to change up your dining room decor frequently. This makes it the perfect place to try a statement wallpaper or bold chandelier that makes it feel extra welcoming.

This will also give it that one-of-a kind WOW factor that guests won’t be able to stop ogling over.

family dining room5. Set The Mood

What’s the one thing trendy restaurants have in common? Ambience! And that’s just as important in your dining room.

An experience involving all your senses, striking the right mood with your lighting is key to a great dining space.

Opt for a dimmable pendant or add an extra table lamp to your credenza. And don’t forget to light a candle or two (or a dozen) to add that final touch.

It all adds up to setting a cozy and inviting mood that gets everyone excited for time spent together around the table.

 

Need help upgrading your family dining room?

thanksgiving prep

Thanksgiving Prep: Easy, Last-Minute Tips to Get Your Dining Room Ready

Hosting a Thanksgiving gathering and feeling frenzied? You’re not alone. Between cooking and coordinating, there never seems to be enough time for Thanksgiving prep. But setting up your dining room with the right flow and flexibility can help you easily host a comfortable holiday meal.

If you’re pressed for time, we’ve got some tips that are easy to implement, even at the last minute!

Here are our favorite quick tips to help get your dining room ready.

thanksgiving prep

1. Accommodate Extra Guests

Be prepared to have a seat for the extra family member or the friend-of-a-friend (who forgot to RSVP) by pulling in ottomans, benches, and stools from other areas in your home.

These moveable pieces are a practical and perfect, last-minute way to accommodate additional guests at large gatherings. Ready a few around the room—guests can perch here with their cocktails before dinner, or simply use them as a spot for placing bags and coats.

 

2. Make Drinks Self-Serve

It’s as simple as pulling in a bar cart to allow guests to stir up their own drinks. Choose an option with casters, AKA wheels, that you can easily move around.

This allows you the flexibility of placing your bar cart in the corner for cocktail hour and then moving it into another room for post-dinner drinks and coffee.

thanksgiving prep

3. Make More Room to Gather

Expandable dining tables with leaves are perfect for hosting big events. They ensure you’ll never be short on space when having a dinner party, but won’t take up too much room on a daily basis.

Stylist Tip: Choose a rug that’s sized to your table when it’s expanded. We recommend that your entire table and chairs sit fully on top of a rug. You won’t have to worry about the rug getting caught under chair legs as your guests scoot in and out.

4. Eliminate Trips Back and Forth

Just as you would have a drinks station for your guests, create a buffet area on a credenza for appetizers and desserts.

This will keep you from having to make trips back and forth to the kitchen. Not to mention, once dinner is over, everyone knows exactly where to find the sweets and pies. Keep some extra plates and napkins in the cupboards of your credenza and you’re all set.

Ready to pep your space for hosting?

 

You Finally Have a Dining Room. Now What?

While the kitchen may be the heart of the home, a dining room, if you love to entertain, is a luxury.

At Modsy, we often get requests from homeowners that have moved from a small house or apartment into one that has a dedicated dining area for entertaining friends and family. It’s a space that can feel unfamiliar, which makes it especially challenging to figure out where to start when decorating. After all, the dining room is a space that should feel comfortable but also stylish enough to host parties and family holidays.

Use this guide to help you navigate all the key decisions to design your perfect dining room.

 

Deciding on Your Perfect Table

Before looking at all your dining table options, consider how you want to use the space. Will you host casual weekend dinners with friends or big holiday gatherings with family? Your entertaining style should be the starting point for informing the type of dining table you require.

For keeping it casual…

A long communal farmhouse table is great for its versatility—it can host big groups, function as a work surface, and it can also be dressed up with a tablecloth for formal occasions. Its natural wood tones make for a great foundation for choosing chairs and other decor to match.

For making it formal…

Try a round pedestal table, which will immediately conjure up classic, elegant appeal. One with extendable leaves will provide the flexibility for entertaining large crowds. A small round bistro table is also a stylish and space-saving option if you have less square-footage to work with.

 

Bringing in Good Seating

Comfort is key when it comes to choosing dining chairs and seating options. You want to ensure your guests feel relaxed and at ease during long meals. There’s no right or wrong, but look to the design details of your dining table as a guide for your seating (think tapered legs that coordinate, natural materials that complement each other, etc.)

If you want a casual mix…

Try pulling up a bench alongside a matching set of chairs for an easy-going eclectic look. This is a great way to incorporate flexible seating that is also kid-friendly.

If you want a chic grouping…

You can’t go wrong with a sophisticated set of matching chairs. Consider how the details will pair with your table and work from there—exposed wooden legs, a simple silhouette, neutral upholstery with tufting on the back. This works especially well if you’ve opted for a round table.

 

Choosing Rug or No Rug

Placing a rug underneath your table can help to ground and delineate your dining area, especially in an open living space. Even in a dedicated dining room, it can add stylish focus—just make sure your chair legs all stay on the rug, even when they’re pulled out. On the other hand, if you have beautiful wood floors to show off (or messy kids who love spaghetti), you may want to skip the rug altogether.

Try a sturdy rug…

In a natural fiber, such as jute or sisal, which are built to withstand foot traffic and wear and tear. If you use your dining room for both everyday and formal occasions, these are stylish workhorses that can go well with a range of decor.

Try a low-pile rug…

Such as a flat-weave or a kilim, if natural-fiber rugs is not your style. Low-pile rugs are the opposite of ones that are shaggy and fluffy, meaning they’ll be much more practical in an entertaining space as well as easy to clean with a vacuum.

 

Add Multiple Light Sources

Once you have your foundational pieces—table, chairs, rug—it’s time to make sure your room has good lighting. Most homes come with a simple overhead fixture that is usually far from sufficient. Additionally, the shapes and designs are less than spectacular. Approach choosing overhead lighting for your dining room like art—it should be bright and sculptural.

Switch in a pendant…

That has more than just one bulb as the light source. Many designs provide sputnik-style as well as multi-light constructions that can help bring both brightness and sculptural appeal to the space above your table. A chandelier also provides the same effect.

Switch it up with sconces…

These wall hanging fixtures are worth the hassle and investment. They add the perfect ambient lighting and they can be spread around a room. New designs even offer sconces with plugs, which means they can be easily installed no matter your space. Try to match the materials and styles of your sconces to your overhead fixture.

 

Creating Various Focal Points

No dining room is complete without a few stylish focal points. Be it a bar, an etagere, a console, or an oversize mirror or piece of art, there should be a range of intriguing spaces to look to within any dining room.

In a large space…

Bring in a credenza or a pair of etageres to fill with bowls, plates, linens, and other china for a fabulous display. Round it out with other books, vases, and other colorful accents. Or try turning an open-base console into a bar and stowing a pair of ottomans underneath—perfect if you need extra seating in a pinch.

In a small space…

An oversize piece of art or a statement mirror can really set any compact dining space apart. Just as they do in large spaces, they captivate the eye but also help to warm up your small space. Mirrors, in particular, will help to reflect light and give the illusion of more space and ceiling height.

 

Need more dining room advice?

Styling the Emmerson Dining Table 11 Ways

 

Dear Modsy,

I recently made the move from a tiny apartment to a full-sized home and finally have space for my old dining table that’s been in storage for years!

The problem is, I don’t have the original set of chairs and I don’t want to waste money on new ones that won’t match. Plus my décor style is more modern, while this table is pretty traditional…

Can you help me decide what kind of chairs will work with my table and my style?

Sincerely,
Table seeking Chairs

Dear Table,

Consider yourself no longer seeking chairs.

When it comes to the challenge of pairing a dining table and chairs you are not alone – this is a design dilemma many of our customers face!

To eliminate the guesswork, we “tried on” 11 of our favorite chairs the the Emmerson Dining Table (West Elm) in Modsy 3D. Take a look at all the options and see for yourself which you like!

Happy Styling,
Modsy

1. Wire Frame

Worried about different wood stains clashing? Why not opt for a metal option instead. Seat them around a modern table for an industrial look or add some unexpected texture to your traditional dining room.

We love the sleek shape and airy look of these woven wire chairs.

2. Name of the Cane

Sitting between a modern and classic look, we love this combo of the rustic caning and glossy wood frame. From a round white tulip table, to an old farmhouse table, there really isn’t a look this chair wouldn’t go with!

Get the scoop on this contemporary version or get your hands on Marcel Breuer’s original number.

3. Bent into Shape

A staple of bistros, this chair is instantly recognizable as a descendant of Michael Thonet’s iconic bentwood chair, designed in 1859. These curvy classics look great next to a traditional dining table, or can be paired with a modern option for a more eclectic vibe.

4. Yokes on Me

With a shape resembling traditional Chinese “yoke-back” chairs, we love this updated version with and tapered legs and a minimal frame. Utterly versatile, we picked the navy blue option to add a bit of drama alongside our reclaimed wood dining table.

We also swapped the two end chairs for the version in white to give our dining room a little extra eclectic-ness.

5. Sophisticated and Slipcovered

You cannot go wrong with a traditional table and slipcovered chairs. A timeless look, we chose two chairs to head the table, while matching benches provide low-profile seating along the sides for a more modern (and kid-friendly) look.

Swipe our machine-washable, slipcovered chair here.

6. Sit Sidesaddle

Another option for the head of the table, these saddle chairs are a great way to add a modern flair to your dining room. If you’re not into the ultra-modern look, swap the side chairs for benches.

Grab a buddy, that saddle seat comes as a pair.

8. Wishing for Wishbone

A Dansih classic, the Wishbone chair was designed by Hans Wegner in 1949 and continues to grace dining rooms until this day. We love the combination of warm woods, accented with pillows for an extra pop of comfort.

Love the look? Snag the real deal here.

9. Heavy Metal

Another café classic, this chair is the perfect way to add an industrial touch to your dining room or balance out a more traditional look. We love the contrast between the reclaimed wood and metal, which gains a lovely patina with age.

Have a seat with us in an original Tolix Chair.

10. Spirit of Tradition

An update on the classic American Windsor back chair, we love the look of a traditional form with a contemporary update. Cap your vintage farmhouse table with these for a more modern look, or add a little country charm to your Scandinavian dining table.

Get our look here, or add a little color with these ultra-wallet friendly pairings.

11. Upholstered Elegance

A classic and dignified shape, we love these chairs for a look that ages well. Use them in your modern dining room and then reuse them in your classic formal one, years later.

Have a little fun with our mustard, yellow selection.

 

Want to test drive some chairs in with your dining table?
Try on your favorite options in your space!

Modsy Collections: A Soothing & Serene Living + Dining Room

Now that 2016 is behind us, we hope you’ve had a chance to relax and spend time with loved ones. But, as we know recovering from the holidays isn’t always so easy. Here’s a little post-holiday detox for your home. We even went ahead and swept up the pine needles and packed up the holiday decorations for you.

A muted palette of beiges, greens, and earthy browns, lays the room’s serene foundation, while antiqued metal finishes and playful pops of pattern enliven the space and keep it feeling contemporary. A sophisticated collection that looks toward spring, but still warm and cozy for the winter.

Soothing & Serene Dining Room

Designed for anyone who craves a space that is so fresh and so clean, our collection will help you sail into the new year feeling uncluttered and renewed. Contemporary Minimalists, Discerning Collectors, and even those drawn to rustic and warm spaces will especially love this look. Not sure what your Modsy style is? Take our Style Quiz to find out.

Soothing & Serene Living and Dining Room

Stylist tip: Try pairing more formal pieces of furniture with playful accessories, such as fun art or patterned rug to give your space a little contemporary edge. We love the Looking Forward and Out of Egypt prints from Minted. They add the perfect touch of visual intrigue to a space, while still creating a balanced, put-together look.

Shop all the products in this collection below, or see it in your space with Modsy.

The Soothing & Serene Collection

4

Anthropologie

5

Ballard Designs

full-collection