Some of our best conversations happen over a good meal. So, it’s only a given that having a beautiful dining space is an important element when designing your home.
We’ve talked about Instagram-worthy bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens before. This round, we compiled a few of our favorite designs to help give your dining room the transformation you’ve always wanted – one that combines comfort, style, and functionality.
Whether you’re hosting a party, preparing for an event, or just want to spruce up your space, these ideas can help take your dining room to a whole ‘nother level. With our Instagram-worthy tips, you’ll be sure to wow your family, friends (and yourself) with a gorgeous dining room.
Photo source: @christian_bense
1. Build a library wall
The dining room doesn’t need to be a formal room anymore. With modern homes that seek to create welcoming spaces no matter the size, dining spaces can be transformed into a multipurpose area you can use everyday.
One way of reinventing your modern dining room is by adding bookshelves to create your very own stylish library.
A built-in floor-to-ceiling library wall can do wonders! It does such a good job of adding pops of colors to your space, that you won’t need to invest in expensive wall art anymore. Not only this, but it can also hold your other decor items, helping you maximize your storage space for additional seating instead.
Photo source: @cococozy
Check out the dining room above. The floor-to-ceiling shelving creates enough space to showcase a collection of books and antiques, adding much-needed warmth into this minimalist area. To elevate your interiors further, play with the way you display your books. Decorate with a stack of books to create mini podiums and place a catch bowl, eye-catching paper weight, or a small plant.
For Japandi-style lovers, showcase the functionality, simplicity, and craftsmanship of an artisan-made bookshelf. Decorate with oil paintings, earthenware, unique sculptures, and a lot of your favorite books! Having different and unique pieces of interest will also be great conversation starters especially when you’re entertaining new guests.
When it comes to styling it, just remember that it’s okay to leave negative space on your shelves so as not to make the room feel cluttered. This in-between gaps can make a room feel harmonious and allow you to see each chosen piece clearly.
Here’s another fun idea, play with dark hues to make your library stand out. Doing this will surely create a lasting impression and a dramatic flair to the room. Check out the images above.
Take this room on the left for example, the rich blues creates a vibrant background for the colorful set of books. The brass accents for the lighting tops it off for a glamorous and attractive dining space. You can also opt to add a reading lamp sitting on the shelf or some dim lighting nearby to evoke a warm atmosphere in the evening. To amp up the coziness, add cushy chairs to create an intimate spot to chat after dinner. Place this atop a soft rug to create an even more comfortable, contemplative mood.
Now the right one. If you’re pressed for space and budget, you can always use wall mounts to showcase your collection. Get that rustic and lived-in look with some wooden shelves from your favorite second hand stores. Simply stain them the same shade to match with your interiors. Have them floating or connect a matte wire to create a modular bookshelf.
Decorate it with some prints with a similar color scheme for a room that looks put-together.
2. Or, create a built-in bar
Prefer to serve up a mean martini instead of first editions? Then consider carving out space for a built-in bar right in your dining room.
Having a home bar within arm’s reach will make it easier to fix yourself and your guests a drink without having to go back and forth to the kitchen. Plus, it makes your dining space look sleek and sophisticated.
For starters, make sure your built-in bar is partnered with a built-in rack to store the drinks, cabinet and shelf space for your glasses. And, of course, a countertop space for the rest of your collection, and even some snacks.
Take a cue from this home bar which showcases a dark and moody paint and detailed backsplash to give it a cocktail bar feel. Alternatively, go for a chevron tile backsplash with light oak shelves to create a luxe feel in a minimalist home.
You can even turn an awkward corner into a compact home bar. Add a small counter, drawer, cabinet, a wine cooler, and a couple of floating shelves and voila! You’ll have enough space for the refreshments you and your guests need all day.
If you prefer to keep your drinks inside a closet for safe keeping, then we recommend you use a glass-front wine storage. This will allow your guests to see your collection easily. Plus, it also adds an elegant look to your space.
Photo source: @housemilldesign
Best yet, this dining room and bar combination is not only for spacious areas. Yes, that’s right. You don’t need a full-blown set up to have a stylish and functional home bar. There’s still plenty of ways to achieve this even in a smaller space.
Do this by transforming your console table into a bar cabinet (check the left image below). Give it a new look with a marble countertop and metallic gold finishes to add more glitz into your dining room.
For the simplest and most pared down version, simply slide in a bar cart or a tiny tray to hold the vital ingredients for your cocktails and mocktails. It’s an extremely versatile and easy way to serve drinks no matter your square footage. You can even make it look prettier by arranging some decorative elements depending on the season.
3. Style with eclectic art
Give your dining room more personality by infusing it with eye-catching, eclectic art pieces! We’re talking paintings, mural wall coverings, and decor that can add colorful characteristics to your space.
One of our favorite ideas is decorating a blank wall as an art gallery. It’s easy to get creative with this by choosing your favorite art prints and pairing it with frames of different colors, texture, and styles. We recommend your favorite thrift shop for one-of-a-kind pieces that will create a lot of visual interest in your space.
Just like this dining room below, you can use your favorite graphic pieces, posters, and even a photograph you’ve taken to make your room feel more personal. Each one can tell a story that you can surely talk about over a good meal.
Photo source: @thespruceofficial
For bolder impact, go for artistic wallcovering that showcases your favorite flowers, shapes, or birds to give it a garden feel. This is perfect for tropical-inspired interior design. If you want to flex your artistic skills, then try hand-painting your walls to add your own personal touch!
But if that’s a bit much for you, a statement wall or ceiling will do that trick. Doing this can also break up the room and certainly update it into one that’s full of glam. It’s a perfect backdrop to hanging beautiful fixtures, framed art pieces, and metallic accents.
Photo source: @iqi.concept
4. Experiment with different seating styles
Just like our previous tip, we believe that an Instagram-worthy dining room needs to embrace a creative twist. So, instead of using uniformed chairs, opt for a wooden bench or two. This will create a more rustic, homey feel that’ll give your home that comfortable cabin lodge atmosphere.
Another fun idea: Turn your dining room into a cafe by day and a bistro by night by embracing banquette seating. Opting for this will add a beautiful aesthetic to your space, making it perfect for slow breakfasts, coffee breaks, and evening lounging.
Popularized in mid-century modern design, this idea is still used in homes and restos everywhere. It works perfectly in big and small spaces, and can be custom fitted for the irregular angles of your home to maximize every inch of space.
Pair your bench seating with different types of chairs to make it even more interesting. Here’s where you can let your creative juices flow: use a variety of vintage chairs or seats made with varied materials, shapes and colors to create a space of your own.
PS: Add an under bench storage underneath a wooden banquette to sneak in extra space. This can hold your blankets, extra pillowcases, and pillows that you can bring up anytime you want to amp up the comfy feeling.
5. Set the scene with the right curtains
We’re all for practical purchases that can transform the look and feel of your home. Curtains are one of these. It won’t only provide your dining space with much needed privacy, but it can also be an elegant backdrop to the rest of your furniture.
Inject your personality by choosing vibrant curtains that add depth to your space and draw the eye. We’re talking rich colorways, textures, and patterns. Taking a page from the granny chic style, printed curtains can also exude a charm and effortless formality.
If you’re not ready to embrace a lot of color and patterns in your space, curtains can also be a quick way to incorporate varied hues! Simply choose a fabric that matches one of your furniture or decor pieces in the room. May it be your upholstered chair or throw blankets, match it with your curtains for an understated, complementary look.
They are versatile and can be an essential facet to enhance your space. In a room with a lot of hard furniture, light wispy curtains made out of linen will balance it out with softness. While drapes made out of silks and velvet give an elegant flair into your dining area; and using darker, richer colors add opulence.
Pro-tip: Hang your curtains from the ceiling to the floor to make your space feel larger than it actually is. For an additional dramatic finish, you can even extend the length of your curtain to create a delicate fold. This will give you that lavish feel that will look perfect in a minimalist modern space.
6. Dress up your dining room table with gorgeous centerpieces
You don’t need an occasion to have an amazing centerpiece. It’s a great addition and a pretty affordable way of breathing new life into your dining room.
You can never go wrong with candlesticks. It’s such a quintessential centerpiece that will fit right in any interior, modern farmhouse, bohemian, coastal, you name it! Alternate your candlesticks with flowers for a decadent look. Furthermore, stick to a color scheme for a centerpiece that’ll elevate your space.
Photo source: @westwing_es
Candles are a great way to extend your centerpiece. Place them around a bowl of fruit, hydrangeas, or use tapered candles throughout the length of your table to add more color and enhance the atmosphere you’ve already got going on. You can even fashion a transparent vase into an elegant candle holder to add more texture and natural hues to your set up. To complete your look, pre-melt them for a rustic mood.
Don’t forget to play with height. Use short candles to create the illusion that your centerpiece is taller. On the other hand, tall candles can emphasize glamor and flair to finish up an elegant look. This is beautifully done in the centerpiece featured in Provincial Home Living. The choice of black candles instead of the more traditional colors allows it to stand out and lends some drama to the simple backdrop.
For the minimalists out there, we recommend adding a sprig of green in a wooden vase to bring the beauty of nature indoors. These will go well with some fresh fruits to add pops of color and to complete an intimate setting at night.
If you’re a plant lover but need some year-long centerpieces, use an arrangement of dried plants like pampas grass or cotton stems. Pair this with a bouquet of dried lavender placed in pottery vases to add more charm to your space.
Photo source: @decofromablondie
7. Time to change your lighting
Don’t just stick with the light fixtures that’ve been hanging in your dining room since the day you moved in. Let this be a sign to finally make a statement with an eye-catching light fixture.
Bigger is always better when it comes to dining room lighting, especially if you have space to play with scale. It’s a fun and easy way to add drama to your space. Take some notes from this Isamu Noguchi lighting popularized in the 1950’s.
Doesn’t it add a touch of elegance to your space?
Photo source: @render.and.render
Or, mix up your shapes with a three tiered hanging pendant lamp. If you get one in rattan, then it would fit perfectly in a rustic, minimalist space.
Choosing the right lighting helps create the perfect mood. We recommend dimmable lighting to do the job. May it be recessed lighting or smart bulbs, using softer lighting can cast a background glow and set the mood for an intimate dinner.
Just like this dining room below, show off your quirky personality with these sputnik chandeliers. It will definitely give your space a lively and elevated look. This will go well with any kind of interior style.
Photo source: @girlflowerblog
Hanging pendant lighting directly over your dining table will put your dining space in the spotlight. This is great for small spaces as it helps to break up your space, making it an established area of its own.
Another tip to remember is to strive for cohesion. Like all good designs, it helps to choose pieces that go together. For example, if you use brass accents on different furniture pieces like on stools and table legs, then light fixtures that have a similar touch will create a well-balanced, contemporary space.
8. Get creative with your dining table
Your dining table could be much more attractive and stylish than you think. Rather than a staple that fades into the background, it can actually be a thing of beauty, lending itself to your interiors to further dress up your space.
There’s plenty of ways to do this so we’ll be sharing a couple of our favorite ideas.
For a modern and dramatic look, go a black painted wooden table. Embrace contrasts and pair it with rattan or light colored chairs. The rustic vibes of the chair will balance out the dark shade, and give you a much more elevated look.
If you’re feeling creative, try upcycling a table from a vintage store. Give it new life by repainting it with a rich dark hue that will go well with your modern space.
Alternatively, you can also leave an old, yet sturdy table, bare. Take this dining room for example, the reclaimed wood looks rustic and homey, making itself right at home in this farmhouse style space. Having something of good quality and made from natural wood also adds heaps of character that a contemporary design simply won’t.
Spruce it up with artisanal decor, handmade pottery pieces, and white linen napkins to complete the look.
Photo source: @ideal.farmhouse
Another favorite of ours are pedestal tables. Sure, they come in every color, size, and shape, but they also offer practicality and comfort. Pedestal tables don’t have legs to hold it up, allowing for more room to fit more chairs. Plus, it makes it easy to move in, out, and around your space.
Pick one with a gold base to amp up the luxe feel in your dining room. You can customize the table even more by switching to a tabletop with marble, wood, granite, or tinted glass as shown in this space. The teal-colored velvet chairs used here also add glamor to this already fabulous room.
If you have a tiny home, then opt for a round table that will allow you to move around without bumping into corners. To make it more spacious, choose chairs with sleek, clean lines that allow light to pass through. After having a meal, you can also push back your chairs to conserve space around you, making it a versatile option for everyone. And that small bay window on the side adds to its overall charm and comfort.