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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.

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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.

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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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The Only Dining Table Guide You’ll Ever Need

dining room

Your dining table is one of the most crucial pieces of furniture (especially during the upcoming holiday season!) in your home. A person’s gotta eat, after all! Not only is it the place you and your family dine on the regular, but it’s also the focal point of your kitchen or dining room and the place where family and friends gather for everything from formal dinners to casual gatherings to the occasional crafts session and everything in between.

A great dining area means you have a place to enjoy bountiful meals, laughter, shared stories, and memories with family and friends. No wonder choosing a dining table can be hard! There are many factors to consider to make sure you have an attractive and practical setting that fits your space, offers adequate seating and fits in with your own personal style. If you’re ready to invest in a new table, this dining table guide will walk you through everything you need to know to make sure you furnish your dining room with functionality and style.

dining roomConsider Your Dining Table Shape

When choosing a dining table, one of the first things to consider is the shape – this helps to narrow your search a bit, too. You can choose from the whole array of selections based on your personal taste, but there are some general guidelines to follow when it comes to the shape of a dining table. It usually boils down to the size and shape of your dining room.

dining roomRectangle/Square

This is the most common shape for a dining table. This is largely because these shapes work best in rectangular rooms and most dining rooms are – you guessed it – rectangular! It’s a good shape to seat more than 4 people, so keep this in mind if you have a big family or love entertaining. But keep in mind, it’s not awesome for super large gatherings because there’s not as much room on the tabletop to fit place settings on both sides and food in the middle.

oval tableRound/Oval

Round tables are great because they can accommodate the most people. It’s easy to squeeze in an extra table setting or two where there aren’t any corners! They’re better for small rooms or rooms that aren’t square, as their rounded edges help create easy flow through the room. Circular tables are perfect for small gatherings and make an intimate and cozy setting for conversation. Oval tables help fill out longer, more narrow rooms.

dining roomFind the Right Dining Table Length

The size of your dining room table will depend on the size of your room and how many people you want to accommodate.

In order to make sure each diner has enough elbow room while chatting, follow these standard seats to size ratios:

  • A 48” long table seats 4 people
  • A 60” long table seats 6 people
  • A 72” long table seats 8 people

Of course, if you don’t mind a more intimate setting or have little ones at the table with you, you might be able to squeeze in an extra seat.

Expandable dining tables are also a great option! If you don’t need as much table space on the day-to-day, but want to have the flexibility for an occasional dinner party or holiday gathering, consider a table with leaves that can be dropped or inserted at the center of the table.

tall chairsGo For The Right Dining Table Height

Dining tables generally come in 3 height variations. Most standard dining tables fall between 28-30” to allow for comfortable legroom underneath. Counter height tables are closer to 36”. And pub-style tables are the tallest, falling in the range of 40-42”.

If you’re not married to the idea of a traditional dining table, counter and pub tables are worth considering! They’re convenient because they can double as a place to serve food or extra space for food prep and work especially well in small spaces with open kitchens.

dining roomPick Your Dining Table Material

Dining tables come in a wide range of materials. So when choosing a dining table, this factor mainly boils down to your own personal aesthetics and how much wear and tear your dining table will need to withstand. Here are some of the most popular material options for dining tables.

wood table

Wood

Wood is the most common choice for dining tables because it’s super durable and stands up to everyday butchering! It’s also easy to maintain or refinish with paint or stain as needed.

Natural wood offers a beautiful color and texture in a dining space and there are plenty of different types and shades of wood to choose from. Weathered or reclaimed wood looks great in a variety of styles and can also hide nicks or scratches – great for families! Solid wood is more expensive and can be damaged more easily, so it’s more of an investment.

Veneer

Veneer or laminate options can mimic the look of wood but are usually a much more affordable alternative. It is a non-porous material so it’s easy to clean and holds up to stains better than many other materials. However, if the veneer chips, stains, or get scratched, it can’t be refinished, unlike solid wood.

glass

Glass

Glass dining tables provide a sleek look for modern or contemporary spaces. They are great for small dining area because they don’t add any clunky visual weight to a room.

Glass is also super low maintenance and easy to clean. However, these tables might not be very family-friendly as they easily show finger smudges and their sharp edges can pose a threat to rambunctious little ones!

marble

Marble

Many people consider marble to be one of the best dining table materials. It’s luxurious and sophisticated and puts the natural beauty of the stone on full display. However, marble is a porous material meaning it can stain easily and quickly. While it’s great for elegant, traditional settings, it might not be the best choice if you have a family of young kiddos or like to entertain often.

Metal

A metal dining table can add a cool, industrial feel to any room. It’s also super durable and easy to clean up. Some metals can be prone to corrosion, however, so make sure to choose a cleaning product that won’t damage it.

dining chairsExplore Dining Table Styles

Finally, choosing the best dining table means finding the right style for your space. There are so many styles to consider, from modern to rustic, contemporary to traditional, and each style has plenty of variation within it! In addition to being functional, you want your dining table to reflect your personal style and complement the decor in the rest of your home.

Take our style quiz or check out our dining table style guide to learn all about the pros and cons of different dining tables!

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The Ultimate Guide to Dining Table Styles

dining table

Hosting season is upon us and, if you love entertaining as much as we do, you’re probably thinking ahead to all the fun gatherings in store. It’s no secret that your dining table is central to all the celebrations the season will bring! The largest piece of furniture and sets the mood, style, and is the heartbeat of the entire dining experience.

If you’re undertaking a dining room upgrade this year or just swapping out an old dining table for something new, you might have noticed that there are quite a few options when it comes to dining table styles. So how do you know which one is right for you?

What table shape do you prefer? Which option will seat the most people? What table design will fit best with the style of my dining room?

There are so many dining table styles to choose from, you’re probably wondering where to begin. A dining table can be a big investment, so you want to make sure you pick one that fits your style and meets all your hosting needs. To help, we’re breaking down the different dining table styles here so you can find the one that works best for you.

dining tableFarmhouse Dining Table Style

A farmhouse dining table design is generally super wide-open, warm, and welcoming option. This style is great for complementing a super rustic style and makes for an extra cozy vibe. It adds a vintage-inspired touch that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into an old country farmhouse, even if you live in a high-rise apartment. Farmhouse tables are usually made of rough, solid wood and are larger in size and very sturdy.

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The Perks: You can pair a farmhouse table with a dining bench for a more family-friendly style or turn up the sophistication with upholstered chairs.

The Vibe: Solid, sturdy and timeless – this is the workhouse of dining tables.

dining tablePedestal Dining Table Style

Pedestal dining tables are generally composed of a wide, usually round table top sitting on a single solid leg in the middle. They are stylish, architecturally savvy, and just plain useful in a dining room. Some more contemporary options sit on two legs instead of one supporting column. They come in a variety of styles and can blend in with an assortment of dining room designs.

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The Perks: Pedestal tables hold plenty of platters and can seat more people than a square or rectangular table. That way you can squeeze more chairs around the table in a pinch!

The Vibe: Smart, symmetrical, and stylish. These tables can put the fun in functional in any dining room design.

dining tableParsons Dining Table Style

The Parsons Dining table is the perfect table for a super streamlined and contemporary style. There is a myriad of incarnations of its simple, balanced form, but it is always distinguished by clean angles and straight lines with absolutely no frills or ornamentation. The neat silhouette makes them well-suited for modern or contemporary interiors.

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The Perks: The pared-down aesthetic makes this table incredibly versatile and timeless.

The Vibe: Dress it up for an elegant and dramatic look. Dress it down for a simple, laid-back style.

dining tableTrestle Dining Table Style

Trestle dining tables have a tabletop that sits upon two trestle supports. They were very popular in the Middle Ages and offer a timeless style, and the simple look is a natural fit in many dining rooms. They were built to be portable and flexible – back then people didn’t have dedicated dining rooms so dining tables had to be easy to take apart, transport, and reassemble. These tables remain popular today because they’re sturdy, attractive, and great for hosting large groups.

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The Perks: Trestle tables come in so many styles that you can find one that will work with your aesthetic no matter what.

The Vibe: This is the kind of table that makes you think of gathering friends and family for a jovial night of eating, drinking, and merrymaking.

dining roomMid-Century Modern Dining Table Style

Mid-Century Modern is everyone’s new old favorite aesthetic – and the trend is still going strong! It’s a complete style of furniture and you can usually spot a mid-century modern dining table by its warm natural wood construction and slender, tapered legs. The sleek silhouette and light woods of the era feel both polished and fresh and bridge the gap between comfortable living and aesthetic delight.

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The Perks: A style of furniture designed during an era when American families were moving into more urban, smaller spaces, mid-century modern furniture is great for smaller dining rooms.

The Vibe: Clean lines, geometric shapes, and sleek simplicity give these tables a timeless appeal.

dining roomTraditional Dining Table Style

A traditional dining table is usually consists of sturdy wood with a high-shine varnish. You’ll often find these tables with more ornamentation and carved features on the legs. You can keep with the traditional vibe by pairing it with traditional dining chairs, go more farmhouse with upholstered options, or even play up an eclectic vibe by mixing in chairs of different styles.

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The Perks: These tables are large and in charge, with plenty of room for guests. They make a lovely centerpiece and are substantial enough to call for a big, beautiful chandelier to illuminate the dining area.

The Vibe: Traditional dining tables are elegant, super-versatile and never go out of style.

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