Your dining room should serve as the hub for family meals, but when dated decor or built-up clutter causes you to relocate to the kitchen or TV room instead, you end up underutilizing one of your home's most central rooms. Give your dining room the makeover it deserves with these fresh and modern design ideas. Whether you're looking for inexpensive quick fixes or inspiration for a total do-over, these stunning spaces will motivate you to make some big changes — and sit down with the kids or friends for more memorable dinners.
To reclaim your dining room from papers and bills, "you need to figure out the logjams that are creating clutter and handle those with portable solutions," professional organizer Lorie Marrero says. For example, if you pay bills at the table, get a rolling cart; if the surface doubles as a work desk, get a caddy for your office supplies. That way, come dinnertime, you can move your mess out of sight. For a cheap remodel, a fresh coat of paint on the walls (or floor!) can work wonders, or switch out tablecloths, rugs, or other accent pieces for a five-minute update. A quick tip: Before you buy any big furniture, measure and outline its dimensions in painter’s tape to make sure it won’t disrupt the flow of the space. Ready to get started? Check out these gorgeous dining rooms for all the inspiration you need.
1. Fresh Wallpaper
Wainscoting or a chair rail creates a perfect base to highlight a favorite pattern. Lining just the top half of the wall also lets a pricey pick go further.
2. Textured Neutrals
A concise color palette will help your first-floor decor flow seamlessly. "Neutrals like grays and natural materials like leather and stone are foolproof together," says designer Amber Lewis. Layer in various textures like a rattan pendant and woven rug to add excitement.
3. White Backdrop
It's hard to beat classic white walls. "It’s bright and clean, and it acts as a blank canvas for the rest of the decor," Lewis says. (It also helps reflect natural light, which can help the room feel bigger.) Pick a shade with a hint of gray to make it feel warm and inviting.
4. Bright Seating
Let your chairs set the scene by picking a set in an unexpected color, like this sunny yellow or an inviting blush pink. Your guests won't hesitate to take a seat.
5. Circular Table
A room full of boxy pieces can quickly feel cramped, so go with a round dining table for a dynamic element. Plus, it’s easier to walk around in tight spaces.
6. Painted Floors
Instead of redoing the walls, change the color underfoot for a makeover with a major impact. A bright aqua color here sets off antique wood furniture.
7. Bold Tablecloth
Swap in statement linens to change the look of your dining room on the fly. A brightly colored floral pattern like this one also hides inevitable stains and spills better than a solid color, too.
8. Smart Screen
Partition off the eating area from the rest of the living space with a decorative folding screen and its own rug. By visually outlining various zones, you can make an open area feel more intimate.
9. Built-In Seating
A cushioned bench can help make the most of a small space. You can position the table closer to the wall or the window and fit more people in for family meals. Pop in plenty of pillows to cozy up the little nook.
10. Unexpected Touches
The table and chairs act as the focal point of your dining room, but show the rest of your space some love, too. "Do something unexpected," advises Rachel Bliefnick, founder of the design blog This Is Our Bliss. "Give your ceiling an interesting paint treatment, or put punchy pillows on your dining chairs and then layer a bold rug over your existing one."