Sadly, sometimes the dining room loses its identity when saddled with the activities of daily life. Whether overtaken by the kids’ school projects, designated as your home office or recruited to store odds and ends, you can bring your dining room back to its former self by injecting it with a healthy dose of your signature design aesthetic. Use these stylish decorating ideas as a springboard to transform your dining room from drab to delightfully divine!
Don’t Hesitate, Illuminate
One of the main elements critical to a functional and beautiful dining room is proper illumination. Lighting can set a romantic mood or brighten the room for a celebratory event. Use several light sources to create just the right effect. A chandelier or pendant fixture directs light onto the table surface, while recessed fixtures creates visual warmth throughout the space.
Be sure to install dimmer switches on each fixture so you can control the amount of light. For a modern, streamlined look, choose industrial pendants positioned over the table. A sparkling crystal chandelier imparts a touch of elegance to traditional rooms.
Add life to your dining room with houseplants. They not only provide color, visual interest and texture—they even purify the air! Plants are one of the most economical ways to spruce up your dining space. Make a big statement with a potted tree such as ficus benjamina, areca palm or fiddle leaf fig.
If your thumb is not of the green variety, use silk imposters that look almost as good as the real deal. The larger the plant, the higher the price tag, so you may want to stick with smaller versions like popular succulents to create a living, growing centerpiece.
Take a Seat
Think outside the dining room and come up with some unconventional seating ideas. Use an assortment of wooden side chairs and comfortable upholstered chairs at head the table. Or, forgo chairs altogether by turning a corner of small dining room into a cozy banquette. If your dining chairs are a little past their prime, why not reinvent them? Slipcovers are a quick and easy way to completely change the look of any chair.
Make a Statement
Use a combination of complementary colors and variety of patterns to make a bold statement in your dining room. Take a look at the color wheel and pick two colors situated opposite each other. This strategy is the perfect way to create a foolproof color palette. As long as you remain consistent with your two main colors, you can have a ball mixing in patterns at will. Go crazy with geometrics, ikats, florals, stripes and plaids on the walls, dinnerware, upholstery and flooring.
When decorating your dining room, don’t forget the ceiling. It’s considered the fifth wall, you know. Detail such as beams, corbels or an intricate ceiling medallion will bring high ceilings down to size and create architecture where there was none. Other ways to create depth and drama include painting the ceiling a deep, rich paint color, applying reflective gold leaf or hanging patterned wallpaper up the walls and onto the ceiling itself.
Create a Narrative
Select a piece that tells a story and make it a focal point in the room. It could be a weathered farmhouse china cabinet, the deal of the century Duncan Phyfe table or your grandmother’s cherished buffet mirror.
If you don’t have any large-scale items to showcase, display your favorite dinnerware, silver or mismatched china for all to see and enjoy. Set the table even if you’re not expecting guests. Hang plates on the wall in a grouping as artwork.