5 Simple Tips For Decorating A Dining Room

a neutral dining room with wood panelled walls, a faux fireplace, leather chairs and a wooden dining table with rug beneath

Ancoats Dining Chair with Brown Real Leather Seat and Black Base from Where Saints Go

Decorating a dining room is not a challenge I have ever faced. Of all the homes I have lived in since I was about 14, not one of them has had a separate dining room. (Well apart from the student house I lived in whilst at University, but we were strictly forbidden from decorating or making any changes at all). I’ve lived in plenty of homes with an open-plan living/dining room.

Research by Rightmove shows that mentions of separate dining rooms in property listings have declined by 28% in the last decade as people opt for more open-plan living spaces. Furthermore, according to a survey by Toolstation, 25 per cent of households that have dining rooms no longer use them.

But, this could be a trend we see in reverse from now on. The pandemic saw families having more time to cook at home and more time to share a meal around the table. While we were all isolated from wider society, research from Mars Foods suggested that 58% of people felt that sharing mealtimes results in greater connection with others. With many families wanting to continue the new dining habits they formed during the pandemic, it’s no wonder that dining rooms may be witnessing a comeback.

A minimalist marble topped dining table with ribbed column base. Two green velvet dining chairs on a geometric black and white rug

Ophelia Carver Dining Chair in Olive Green Sustainable Velvet from Cult Furniture

If you’re lucky enough to have this extra room, there are some important considerations to bear in mind when decorating a dining room. You want to ensure that you make the most of this room so that you and your family actually spend time in there. Otherwise, you risk it becoming a redundant room or, worse still, a dumping ground.

You’ll need to balance functionality with aesthetics of course, so that you end up with a room that not only looks great, but that also works for your family and your lifestyle. So, let’s look at some tips that can help you turn your dining room into the perfect place for your feasting family.

Decorating A Dining Room: 5 Simple Tips

1. Pick A Colour Scheme

A Scandi style dining room in neutral colours. A light wood sideboard is behind a dark wood dining table. there are six upholstered wooden dining chairs

Oliver dining table, Otis dining chairs and Gatby sideboard from Oak Furnitureland

As with all home improvements, before you start decorating, it’s always worth investing some time in planning first. Colour is one of the more notable areas to focus on when it comes to decorating a dining room.

The colour that you choose will depend on many factors. For a start, you will want to choose a colour palette that complements the rest of your home while creating a distinct feel in the dining room. You want a cohesive flow from room to room but there is nothing wrong with decorating a dining room so that it has a distinct personality.

Remember the psychology of colour when choosing which shade to decorate a dining room. Warm colours such as reds, oranges, and yellows can stimulate appetite and conversation, making them ideal for a lively dining room atmosphere. Cool colours like greens, blues and purples create a calming and relaxing environment, perfect for more formal or serene dining experiences. But be mindful that blue can be an appetite suppressant.

We are seeing lots of earthy colours such as chocolate browns and terracottas that are popular for dining rooms in 2024.

2. Select the Right Furniture

A large round wooden dining table and upholstered dining chairs. A sideboard with woven rattan doors in the background with a large vase on it and a geometric abstract art print

Erin Dining Chairs in Pepper from Satara Australia

Getting the furniture right is essential when decorating a dining room. If you are spending hours a day in this room enjoying mealtimes with friends and family, you want to ensure that the furniture is up to the job and can provide the comfort and support that you need.

Invest in a dining table and chairs that suit your style and needs. Consider the size of your room and how many people you need to accommodate. If you have a family of four, for example, but often entertain groups of friends, maybe consider an extendable table that can adapt to your changing needs.

Opt for comfortable chairs with good back support to encourage longer, more enjoyable meals. Take the materials into account too for ease of maintenance and cleaning. Wipe-clean chairs may be more practical if you have a young family, whereas a more opulent fabric like velvet could be an option if you have grown-up children or no children at all.

Round tables can be great for smaller spaces and promote conversation. In fact, curved furniture and organic shapes are still very on trend for 2024.

3. Choose Tactile Textures

A light an airy dining room with large windows. A wooden slat wall on the wall behind the marble dining table and upholstered grey chairs

Atherton 6 Seater Dining Table from VonHaus

Tactility is a great addition when decorating a dining room. So, consider adding lots of lovely layers of texture to your dining room.

Try using tablecloths, runners, and placemats in different materials and patterns. Linen, cotton, and even jute can add different textures to your table setting.

You may also want to add an area rug under the dining table to introduce warmth and softness. Bear in mind how easy a rug is to clean when making a choice. You don’t want to choose one that it is difficult to clean just incase you get food dropped on it or spilled drinks.

Textured walls can also make a really nice statement. Whether you choose wooden slat panelling, Anaglypta textured wallpaper, clay plaster or textured wall tiles, adding some tactile elements can bring many benefits when decorating a dining room. Again just be mindful of ease of cleaning. Sticky little toddler hands could make a right mess of your new grasscloth wallpaper.

4. Incorporate Functional Decor

A dark grren dining room with colourful artwork and trinkets on the fireplace mantel. A chunky wooden table with rattan bistro chairs and lots of flowers adorn the table. A bar cart is the corner of the room

La Dolce Living – Dining and Entertaining Collection from Wayfair

When you’re decorating a dining room, it’s natural to focus on the larger things. The right table and seats will be the most obvious. While these are important, it doesn’t mean you should overlook the minor details while you’re at it. Not only could they make more of an impression on the visuals than you’d think, but they could also affect how functional the room is.

Decorative elements should also serve a purpose. Use stylish storage solutions like a buffet or sideboard to keep dining essentials close at hand and to display beautiful dishware or decorative items. Incorporate a bar cart for added functionality and a touch of elegance. Ensure the space remains clutter-free by choosing multifunctional pieces.

And don’t forget the placemats for the table. These are often overlooked and are either practical or pretty. Try to choose placemats that can be both. They need to protect the table and be easy to clean, but they should also elevate the tablescape and add visual interest and even a bit of texture. You may want to layer your placemats to get the best of both worlds.

5. Consider Some Greenery

A dining room with table and four wooden chairs. Table is dressed with linen table cloth and lots of greenery. The window sill behind is covered in plants.

Antibes Green Tablelinen from Weaver Green

Speaking of minor details, it can also be worth considering adding a bit of greenery to your dining room.

Not only will plants add visual appeal to the room, but they can also make the air in a room healthier to breathe.

Whether you go full-on jungle or add a smattering of plants in strategic locations, you will definitely benefit from the mood-boosting power of plants.

5. Create Ambiance with Lighting

A dining room with mushroom coloured walls, a dark wood dining table and rattan chairs. A chest of drawers is in the corner of the room next to the marble fireplace. A large square long light hangs above the table.

Davey Lighting Tiled Diner 10 Pendant Dining Room Lighting from Original BTC

Focusing on your dining room’s ambience is always a good aspect to consider. It helps to set the scene in the room and create the feeling that you want people to experience.

Lighting plays a significant role in setting the mood in a dining room. Install a statement chandelier or pendant light above the dining table to create a focal point. Consider layering your lighting with wall sconces or floor lamps to add warmth and depth to the room.

Add dimmers to control the brightness and create a cosy atmosphere for intimate dinners.

So there you have it. Decorating a dining room doesn’t have to be complicated. Focus on these 5 tips to get started and once you have these nailed down, the rest of the details will come together much more easily. Remember to balance functionality with aesthetics and you can’t go wrong.

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