How to Design an Inviting Dining Room

One of the biggest decor problems homeowners have is the dining room. How do you make it feel less formal and more welcoming? Often the dining room is overlooked, and more focus is paid to the living room, kitchen, and bedroom areas, leaving the dining room neglected, and well, too formal.

You might think that a matching dining room set will do the trick, but it won’t necessarily work, especially if you haven’t filled in the area with pieces you admire. However, by taking some time to consider accessories and furniture that can fill in the empty spaces, you can give the dining room that welcoming look your guests need.

Soften the Look With Rugs

Modern decor looks more balanced when it is paired with handmade items like a handwoven rug. An oversized art piece will also bring more of a tied-in look that goes with your modern furniture.

Wall Color Warms the Room

Some people love large dining rooms, but they can feel too large if they are only painted white. Instead, add some taupe hues or rustic color to one wall to add depth to a large dining room. Adding another color can make the room feel cozier and help dampen that empty echo sound some dining rooms have.

Add a Couch

No one said that a dining room couldn’t have a comfortable couch. If you want that homey cottage feel, a sofa can add a cozy nook to the dining room. You might also opt to use upholstered arm dining chairs at the end of the table. Just make sure the seat height is adequate for the table.

Install a Window Seat

If the dining room gets lots of light, add a cushioned window seat. This area will become the favorite reading place for the kids after they’ve had dinner. Plus, it makes a great conversational piece and an area where two people can have a drink, talk business or even have an intimate conversation.

Fake the Sun

If the dining area doesn’t get enough natural light, add interior French doors to the interior to reflect the light. These types of doors add elegance make the room flow with the living room and kitchen but at the same time give your dining area a bit of privacy for intimate dining.

Another way to brighten up a dark dining room is by adding beautiful bright-colored cushions. Think of adding something like yellow cushions and a green topiary for added brightness and warmth.

Choose Furniture and Accessory Shapes Correctly

Choose accessories and furnishings that relate to the space you have. For example, rectangular and elongated tables work in larger rooms, but square or round tables work better in smaller rooms or in areas that have an open floor plan.


Are you going to use your dining room frequently, or is it only for special occasions? The amount of time you spend in this room will influence the materials you choose for your furnishings. If you use it daily, wood is probably the best material. Wood adds warmth and comfort and doesn’t show fingerprints and dust as easily as glass or chrome. In the same way, if you are choosing accessories like a rug, you want a more durable option for a high-traffic area than for one that won’t be walked on very often.


Lighting sets the mood of a room, so determine what type of lighting fixture goes in this room. If possible, choose lighting that can be adjusted for different occasions. For example, chandeliers are the most used type of lighting in dining rooms, but modern styles also use pendant lights over the dining room table. Note that you should keep at least 34 inches between the fixture and the table, so people don’t hit their heads.

Add Color

Add warmth by adding color to a buffet, cabinet, or even the chairs. Try colors like firetruck red for a cool look.

Add Paint to One Wall

Paint one wall in wide stripes in two neutral tones. This dab of color adds interest to an otherwise plain room and gives you a place to add art that suits the horizontal stripes.