7 Dining Room Ideas to Help Create a Beautiful Space

Are you looking for dining room decor ideas? I have seven tips to help you create a beautiful space. Whether you need a complete overhaul or just some updating, I have dining room ideas from painting, window treatments, accessorizing, furniture, and more.

Most of the tips I will show you come from one of my clients who graciously allowed me to photograph the space. Let’s get started.

Disclaimer: I may receive a small affiliate commission from purchases made via links in this article but at no cost to you.

Disclaimer: I may receive a small affiliate commission from purchases made via links in this article but at no cost to you.

Tip 1: Declutter

Many times the dining room becomes a dumping station. Make up your mind that the room will no longer be a dumping ground for everybody’s papers, shoes, and clutter. I recommend using Marie Kondo’s methods to help you clear out the clutter.

Tip 2: Paint

Nothing transforms a room quicker and more beautifully than paint. I know paint color is extremely difficult to choose but here are some quick little tips that can help you decide on a color.

For example, if there’s a certain color you love, like a certain shade of blue, choose about three different blue colors in that same hue. Put them on a sample. Bring them home, put them on the wall, and look at them during all times of the day and night.

Another trick: Put a white piece of paper up to your sample. When you do that, you’ll see how much darker the sample of paint will look. That helps you know how dark the color will look on the wall.

Tip 3: Furniture

If I’m designing a dining room from scratch, I like to choose a sideboard or buffet rather than a huge hutch. Most dining rooms are not very large. A hutch tends to shrink the room. If I have a sideboard or buffet, I can put buffet lamps on them and that adds ambient lighting to the room.

If you already have furniture–a lot of my clients already have gorgeous cherry wood furniture, for example–how can we just update it a bit? You can keep the table and put the chairs on the side. Or put captain’s chairs on the end and smaller Parson’s or upholstered chairs elsewhere to soften the look.

One of my clients was not so attached to her buffet so we brought in a different buffet and changed out her chairs.

Here’s another dining room where the table is beautiful but every chair is different and mismatched except for the two captain’s chairs on the ends. This look works.

What if you don’t want to change out your buffet or dining table? Paint it! Let me show you a before and after photo of a bedroom dresser.

What a beautiful makeover! It’s easy.

Tip 4: Lighting

This makes a huge difference in a room. If you have an outdated chandelier, it’s amazing how updating your light fixture can change the entire design of the room.

Buffet lamps are so important in a dining room. If you only have overhead lighting, you just really don’t get that warm, welcoming, and cozy feeling in the space.

Here’s another secret we use in our house. We use plug-in lamp remotes. Get five lamp plug-ins and two remotes. Each button on the remote controls each lamp that you’ve plugged into these outlets.

Tip 5: Window treatments

Window treatments make some of the biggest impacts in a room, and especially in the dining room. If you paint a dining room, your window treatments will be just about the only pattern design in the space.

Always hang them above your window as high as you can.

If your budget is tight, try HomeGoods for ready-made panels up to 108 inches. If you have more in the budget, try an online shop called Half Price Drapes–they have a beautiful French linen line and you can add tape on the edges to add a little bit of color.

If you have a larger budget, custom is ideal. Or, go to a fabric store and have someone come in and help you design them. We do virtual consultations at my store and I send clients three to five samples of fabrics I feel will be best for the room.

Tip 6: Wall decor

I will typically hang a mirror above the buffet in the dining room to reflect the light and brightness from the adjacent entryway. But it’s also a perfect place to hang a beautiful piece of artwork.

Just put whatever makes you happy on the rest of the walls, such as family portraits. But never overclutter the walls of a dining room with artwork.

Tip 7: Accessorizing

I keep accessories pretty minimal in a dining room. I love flowers so I will either place a floral arrangement on the table or buffet.

If I have an arrangement on the buffet I will put a large bowl on the table with two candlesticks on the side. I almost always put down a table runner because it adds softness to the room.

If I have a hutch, I still keep it minimal and go through the client’s dishes and organize and store some of them.

Or, I love to find a plain, oversized bowl or platter that I put on an easel between the two lamps.

As an extra, here are some of my favorite place settings just to give you an idea of how to style them.

Dining room ideas

I hope you were able to find some great dining room decorating ideas for your home. It doesn’t take much to make an inviting dining room. Let me know what you think about these dining room ideas by leaving me a comment.

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