Tips AU

60 Divine dining room ideas

By Gianna Huesch

Published: January 16th, 2021

Feast your eyes on our assortment of dining room ideas—there’s something for every taste

As much as the place where you cook is considered the heart of a home, so too is the place where you eat. Whether that’s a space within your kitchen, or whether you have a separate, formal dining room, either way, the emphasis is on creating a comfortable and functional space where people will love to hang out. Not only do you want the space to act as a beautiful backdrop to show off your meals, but you also want a harmonious, atmospheric ambience that puts you and your guests in a flattering light and good mood. And that’s why I’ve put these 60 dining room ideas together for when you’re just not too sure which way you want to go.

The main elements for your dining room will be a hero dining table, an array of gorgeous chairs, sufficient storage for your needs, soft and inviting lighting, beautiful flooring, and ideally, some kind of intriguing statement décor, to start the dinner party conversation or just give your room personality.

Dining tables ideas

With tables, there are so many variables: shapes, size, material, colour, style. Even within decorating styles, there’s huge freedom of choice. It will boil down to what suits your needs best, and what appeals to you the most. Since your dining room table will be heavily used and should be built to last, it’s worth investing in–look beyond retail chains to source handmade or even bespoke tables made by artisans.

Below, I’ve got some beautiful tables and dining room ideas to use for inspo. And don’t forget, you can always get help with your table assembly or if you find something second hand – furniture restoration.

1. Rectangular

Rectangular shaped tables are known for their versatility and represent a classic, traditional silhouette. Going for a relaxed, coastal farmhouse look like this? Tip a bucket of white paint over your dining room interior, including your old wooden table and chairs, and you’ll instantly have a fresh, clean, inviting dining space. Then, drop a pin on your dining space’s location with a graphic, attention-seeking pendant light.

If you love the freshness of a white interior, you’ll love these white bathroom and white bedroom ideas.

2. Square

Then there’s the square table, which has that lovely democratic feeling to it, putting all guests on an equal footing. Square tables can be easy to work with—they can paradoxically save space in the room and manage to feel spacious for diners.

3. Oval

As humans, we respond well to rounded shapes and forms, and that’s why the oval table gives us such good vibes. I especially like this Japandi (ie Japanese-Scandi fusion) style one with its clean lines, elegant form and unusual, twisted leg design. When you have a beautiful but simple dining table like this, it really allows the food and guests to take centre stage.

oval dining room table
Source: Pinterest

4. Round

A round, four-person dining table has a particular intimacy about it. And like the oval-shaped table, it has an organic feel, while lacking corners makes it space-saving. Here, I love the mix of timber tabletop with a white base, and its softness means it melds well with the felted chairs.

5. Oversized dining room table

Tables that go on for days are ideal for bigger families or people who love to entertain. Long, conference-style dining tables allow plenty of room for all, but when you’re going for an oversized table, keep the design understated with slim profile legs. Balance the size and shape with a single, circular pendant light for visual interest; and balance the heaviness of the black with some fresh green plants.

6. Marble-topped

If your taste tends more towards contemporary Parisian sophistication, add some glam with a marble-topped table. Carry on the luxe aesthetic with pastel velvet mid-century style chairs and intricate chevron flooring, and keep the rest of the space achromatic. I’m loving the whitewashed mirror frame here blending into the wall so that the mirror seems like a window.

But I think my favourite part is the different coloured chairs, which having non-uniform chairs has become quite the trend. It doesn’t mean you need to buy new chairs, perhaps you just need some upholstery help.

7. Two-tone

Take a style tip from the designers of this boutique hotel, by adding a perimeter of black to a simple vintage square table. Leaving the timber warm and natural in the middle adds warmth and marries beautifully with the wooden chairs and warm-toned pendant.

square dining room table
Source: Bedthreads

By the way, the last few dining room ideas (and plenty more below) have fireplaces, and if you would like to add one in your dining room or wondering how to style your existing one – take a look at these fireplace tile ideas.

8. Reclaimed wood

Love farmhouse? Then your best bet is to find a weathered old timber table secondhand or have one made from reclaimed wood,  or maybe with a live edge like this. Add a relaxed, boho style décor like a woven, bell-shaped light, a massive patterned rug, and a few verdant plants. Pair with exposed beams, which always signal farmhouse—you might be lucky enough to already have them or you could always find a contractor to instal them.

And it will go perfectly with your farmhouse kitchen and rustic living room.

reclaimed wooden table
Source: Hunker

9. Colourful

For a modern dining room refresh, some simple furniture painting in your favourite colour will refresh the space. Go for a quirky, eclectic vibe with vintage bentwood chairs, an animal hide rug, and a piece of typography on the wall for a pop of fun and colour.

Chairs

Again, these days we’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to dining room chairs. There are beautiful designs in every style and it’s easy to find replicas of all the most-loved classics, like the Danish tulip or wishbone chairs, or American style spindle back or bentwood chairs. With so many options, the common denominator is that the chairs should be comfortable above all—after all, a lot of time is to be spent sitting here.

10. Pink midcentury style

One of those ‘can’t go wrong’ combos is a Tulip-style round table surrounded by gorgeous mid-century petal-style chairs, as seen in this vintage Palm Springs home/AirBnB. Set in a cooling white palette with sparse décor other than a statement chandelier (I love this one that looks like a dandelion puff!).

11. Black banquette dining setting

This dining room interior, within the award-winning Curatorial House by Arent & Pyke, features a beautiful black and white colour scheme, including this comfortable padded black banquette which has all the retro café feels. If you love this dining booth look, below I’ve also got examples of kitchen dining room ideas that incorporate bench or banquette seating like this.

black banquette
Source: Homes To Love

Also with a booth dining setting, that means less chair assembly that’s needed!

12. White dining room idea

A coastal, Hamptons slash Scandi dining room looks just perfect with whitewashed timber chairs and they can really be any style. These ones look cute with their reverse-dip dyed look giving them dainty little feet. The homeowners have amped up the local flavour here with bespoke furniture and artworks made by artisan makers.

white chairs in dining room
Source: Adore Magazine

13. Wicker or rattan

These are another never-fail choice for a contemporary dining room because organic materials like wicker and rattan have really captured people’s imagination in a big way in recent years. Here again, we have a dining room styled with a strong Japandi influence and emphasising a connection to the outdoors thanks to the natural fibres.

wicker dining room chairs
Source: Homes To Love

14. Black dining room chairs

There’s something very appealing about black dining chairs as a statement. They’re just a great way to create contrast and visual interest in an otherwise neutral palette, really popping against natural fibre rugs, for example. Here, the black chairs are beautifully balanced by the industrial style light fixture.

15. Vibrant dining room chairs

If you have a black table, however, you definitely won’t want black chairs as well. Instead, pair with brightly coloured chairs like the retro timber and velvet orange ones below. And how beautiful is the parquetry timber flooring in this kitchen dining space? You’ll find more dining room ideas for flooring below.

16. Barely there

The transparent Ghost chair has become a design classic ever since Philippe Starck first came up with the idea back in 2002, inspired by the shape of the historical Louis XVI armchair. Today there are all kinds of versions and replicas out there, with the transparent furniture being ideal for a dining room because it allows the focus to be on the attire and personal style of the diners, and because the unobtrusive profile keeps everything light and airy.

Can we also take a moment to fully appreciate the chandelier hanging over the dining room, they are something you don’t see every day anymore!

17. Mismatched colours

While these days, hardly anyone seems to buy a matchy-matchy dining table and chairs set, you also have leeway to mix and match your chairs themselves to create an even more eclectic and characterful aesthetic. Just ensure they have some common element for cohesion—whether that means different colours in the same style or different styles in the same colour. Here, slim-legged, mid-century flavoured chairs in a variety of colours add interest to this setting.

mismatched chairs
Source: Pinterest

18. Mismatched patterns

Changing up the pattern of the same style of chairs is another way to reduce uniformity and create more texture. These sophisticated upholstered chairs belong together, but the pattern shift breaks up any potential monotony. A woven light also adds texture here.

19. Vintage dining room chairs

If you want to create an eclectic, Parisian ambience, go for elaborate vintage chairs contrasted against a solid form table. Here, rules are boldly broken by mixing two different kinds of vintage—the antique French chairs juxtaposed with a plastic mid-century Saarinen Tulip table. The contrast of forms and materials makes it work.

vintage dining room chairs
Source: My Domaine

20. Rainbow brights

Infuse your dining room with kaleidoscopic colour for a boho look, with a crystal chandelier for added oomph. When using this much colour, keep the chair style simple with clean lines, to allow the focus to remain on the beautiful colours.

Dining room lighting ideas

Lighting plays such a vital role in dining room design, creating atmosphere and setting the mood. You’ll often see pendants hanging quite low over dining tables, as this creates a cocooning, cosy vibe and puts the spotlight on the dining zone. No matter what kind of lighting you love, the aim is to bestow flattering light onto the faces of the diners and to portray the meals in their best light as well. Also, you can Find an electrician near you for your lighting needs.

21. Multiple pendants over dining table

Woven pendants are always stunning, and multiple woven pendants just amplify the effect. Steal the look of this dining room, part of the Surfrider boutique hotel in Malibu, which features a serene, neutral palette with plenty of on-trend organic materials. What a beautiful boho dining room!

multiple pendants
Source: Planete Deco

22. Linear suspension light

An increasingly popular style of light is the linear, parallel suspension light which runs the length of a dining table. It’s unobtrusive, neat in appearance and automatically contemporary. Just make sure your light doesn’t run the total length of the table—about four-fifths of the length is best.

linear suspension light
Source: Pinterest

23. Black pendants

A farmhouse style dining room always suits generously sized, industrial-look metal pendant lights. With a long rectangular table like this, your best bet is to have twin pendants above, to ensure even distribution of light. Here, the black pendants contrast against white walls and timber and match the black dining chairs that are part of this mix-and-match arrangement.

large black pendants
Source: Pinterest

24. Sculptural dining room lights

Instantly add drama and excitement to a plain dining room space by going for elaborate, architectural shapes in your overhead lighting. When you have a simple dining table and chairs like the one below, you can afford to be adventurous and avant-garde with your lighting instead. Here, a beautiful sculptural light similar to the iconic Georges “Blade” light, with its adjustable, petal-like cane panels.

sculptural light in dining room
Source: Shake My Blog

25. Natural dining room light idea

A rustic dining room suits coarsely woven pendant lights like this trio. A macrame wall hanging adds to the exotic flavour, while (authentic vintage or replica) mid-century wishbone chairs bring sophistication to the simple setting.

natural wood exotic decor
Source: Pinterest

26. Industrial glam

The glass and metal industrial pendants in this dining room really make a strong style statement, especially coupled with the metal and timber industrial table and retro-style tufted banquette. I love the textured or patterned carpet here and you can find someone to help you out with your carpeting needs.

27. Pale jute pendants

Jute is one of those neutral, natural materials that goes with so many interior styles and adds plenty of warmth to any setting. Here, a tropical coastal dining room aesthetic, with abundant foliage and colour-popping green chairs. The colour of the pendants is continued in the warm timber floorboards.

pale jute pendant lamps
Source: Hunker

28. Unusual black pendants

More twin woven pendants here in a contemporary dining room, this time with a striking sculptural shape that stands out against a plain black table and timber chairs. I like how the black wall décor repeats the simple colour scheme here.

unusual black pendants
Source: Coco Kelley

29. Boho pendant

Nothing brings boho vibes more than a large, fluid shaped woven pendant light. I love this feathery, multi-tiered design and its round shape nicely mirrors the round table below. A neutral coloured pendant also doesn’t compete with the saturated colours that are often present in a boho dining room. And how about this gorgeous arched doorway!

boho pendant
Source: Hunker

30. Clear glass lights

A cluster of organic-form, hand-blown glass pendants hanging at slightly different heights is a beautiful way to add drama to your dining room. I love that these are clear and ethereal; but with clear glass, make sure you choose a low wattage bulb to avoid blinding everyone at dinner.

sculptural glass lamps
Source: Frenchy Fancy

Dining room flooring

If you have the budget to refresh your dining room flooring, now is your chance to create the dining room of your dreams from the ground up. Maybe you want to go for eclectic tiling with striking colours and patterns, or perhaps a poured concrete floor is the base for you. Already have floorboards? Have them sanded, polished or whitewashed to vastly improve your dining space.

31. Tiled flooring

Vintage-style tiling is the perfect foil for a stunning antique dining table surrounded by mid-century style chairs. This room gives me all kinds of good vibes and I don’t think I would ever tire of looking at these tiles underfoot!

32. Pale floorboards

If you love an Australian coastal surf shack vibe, you can’t go wrong with pale timber floorboards. The soft neutral colour perfectly goes with the beachy colour palette and stays true to the focus on texture and materiality that Australian coastal interiors tend to have. To freshen up your dining room floor and find a floorboard expert near you!dining room with pale floorboards

Source: Est Living

33. Retro tiled flooring

Eccentric, almost terrazzo-style tiling with a retro flavour adds heaps of character to this kitchen dining room set. Tiles are so practical, being easy to clean and last forever while adding so much beauty to a space. I also love the mixed lighting here, with those glam metallic pendants above the table.

retro tiled floors
Source: SF Girl By Bay

34. Whitewashed floorboards

A white, Scandi style aesthetic for this dining room which is actually part of a shop in the Netherlands (of course). Pale timber furniture always looks beautiful against whitewashed floorboards, doesn’t it? This relaxed look is so suited to the Australian coastal lifestyle; you can imagine coming in from a surf with sand on your feet, to grab a bite to eat here.

35. Concrete flooring

Have a contemporary living room? Then poured concrete will work wonderfully for your dining space. Whether raw, polished or coloured, concrete feels sleek and modern and has that industrial feel to it too. You can find an expert in concrete flooring near you, or if you already have concrete floors, have someone spruce them up with a concrete floor polish.

concrete flooring
Source: Lonny

36. Dining room rugs

Whatever kind of flooring you have, adding a floor rug will enhance your dining room by making it more comfortable, more textured and by acting as an acoustic buffer to mellow out the sounds of dining. Here, an achromatic space that’s rich in contrast with the hard black accent wall against the plush, soft grey rug. Formal black chairs with gold legs add a little glam and again contrast with the simple timber table, while the multi-bulb Sputnik style chandelier brings that vintage touch.

rugs in dining room
Source: Hunker

37. Soft Scandi tones with rug

A Scandi style dining room with lots of timber furniture is softened with a pale, neutral rug here. Rugs define the dining area nicely and help prevent the nails-down-a-chalkboard sounds of chairs scraping on the floor.

38. Almost alfresco

This dining room is so full of light that it appears to be an outdoor area, but it’s actually enclosed by glass walls. In keeping with the summery, outdoorsy feel, a bright colourful rug adds vibrancy, as do the abstract David Bromley artworks on the wall. Add a vintage timber longboard and you’re good to go (or rather stay).

almost alfresco
Source: Homes To Love

39. Persian rug

Major doses of colour and pattern can be had by adding a large vintage Persian or Moroccan rug under your table, for a strong boho look. This homeowner found hers on Etsy. I also love the teak and rattan chairs around a simple, farmhouse style worn timber table. And keep your rug always in top-notch condition with some rug cleaning.

40. Colourful Scandi

Going for a Scandi vibe? You’re not limited exclusively to pale neutrals. Scandi design also favours pops of sky blue, for example, like this stunning dining room rug. I also love this white + pale timber, three-metre long table and the sculptural, bulbous-shaped woven pendants.

Dining room wall ideas

Dress up a formal dining space or make an informal one cosier—whether it’s with paint, panelling or paper, add some wow factor to your dining room.

41. Dark walls

An easy way to add an atmospheric, intense vibe to your dining room is to make it over to have dark, matt walls in a beautiful deep colour like this slate grey. There’s something luxe about darker walls, and you can enhance the effect with dramatic and glam, multi-bulb lighting fixtures. Want to get a professional to handle your dining room paintwork? Find a painter near you.

dark walls
Source: Domino

42. Dining room wallpaper

Another way to transform your dining room is to add wallpaper, whether on all four walls or just on an accent wall. Go for extra colour or pattern, or just make a statement with a print you adore. Here, the colour has been matched to the dining chairs.  I love this beautiful rosewood dining table!

wallpaper dining room
Source: Living etc.

43. Grey millwork

A refined, traditional, formal dining room can be made to feel super luxurious by treating the walls to some kind of textural panelling, like the geometric grey millwork which adds so much interest to this small, plain space. The colour palette is beautifully soft here, and the pale grey sets off the chandelier to perfection.

grey millwork
Source: Jillian Harris

44. Add art

Dining rooms are the perfect place to hang art, the more ambiguous and abstract the better, so as to act as a conversation starter. Classic Danish style in spades with this dining room belonging to a respected Danish interior designer. Once again, grey makes a wonderful backdrop to the timber dining setting and allows the original Sputnik chandelier to pop.

45. Black cane chairs with blue walls

Love cane chairs but don’t want to go with a neutral or natural colour palette? Don’t worry, because cane chairs can also be found in graphic black and white versions that are ideal for a bold contemporary dining room. I’m loving this beautiful shade of peacock blue on the walls, too.

black cane chairs with blue walls
Source: Shake My Blog

46. Board and batten wall

Like the above dining room, the walls here have been given texture and visual interest with board and batten, this time the entire height of the wall. The white walls complement the white timber dining table. I love white tables for dining rooms—they’re such a great way to put all the focus on your food and dining table décor.

Storage/shelving

Maybe you need to use your walls space more purposefully, or you’d simply like more room to display treasured objects and collectibles. Take advantage of your dining room space for more functional furniture, like bookshelves or a buffet.

47. Black wooden wall storage

Plenty of storage to be had in this dining room, with the built-in wall unit. I love the mix of timbers in this space and the simple, clean lines. With the black chairs taking a background seat and blending into the black wall, the table is able to be the focus of attention.

48. Timber cabinetry

Custom timber cabinetry is the way to go if you have the budget, as this will make the absolute most of your available space and cover your specific needs. Once again this dining space has a lovely mix of raw and black timbers, while the twin black pendants make gorgeous complementary accents.

49. Colourful sideboard

If you’re decorating on a tight budget, you might prefer to find secondhand furniture and customise it to make it your own. This bright boho farmhouse flavoured dining room is a happy melange of bright colour and pattern, so an old sideboard painted duck egg blue is right at home here.

50. Surrounded by bookshelves

Colourful rows of books add pattern and shape to any living space, as well as telling something about the personality of the people who dwell there. If you love an eclectic, relaxed and unpretentious but soulful look, then surround your dining table with your beautiful book collection. White bookshelves are nice and unobtrusive against white walls, and allow the book covers to provide the colour.

surround with bookshelves
Source: SF Girl By Bay

51. Ceiling high shelving

This dreamy Danish-inspired dining room takes full advantage of the entire wall height with built-in shelving bordering the window. Timeless mid-century wishbone chairs, a neutral palette, copious amounts of timber and clean lines all add up to elegant Scandi style.

ceiling high shelving
Source: Domino

52. Vintage armoire

Adding one stunning piece of antique furniture can really make a dining room, so be on the hunt for a gorgeous storage item like this vintage armoire with glass doors. Your dining room will instantly feel sophisticated and you’ll have the perfect place to display any treasured heirlooms and trinkets, or simply house your day to day crockery.

vintage armoire storage
Source: Lily

Kitchen dining room/banquette

Don’t have a separate dining room? Here are some space-efficient and stylish kitchen dining room ideas. With space at a premium and to keep things feeling as airy and as roomy as possible, it makes sense to choose furniture that is streamlined and simple.

53. Timber and white kitchen dining

Bench seating is a great space saver, and can easily turn a tiny nook into a dining space for numerous people. I think the trick is to keep things very simple, like this beautiful timber setting in an all-white painted space. All you need to add is a pretty pendant light and a bit of greenery—then let the meals and people do the “decorating”.

timber and white kitchen dining
Source: Casa Vogue

54. Curved banquette

How beautiful—and comfy looking—is this curved padded banquette? I absolutely adore the little purple stools too, and you could easily slide them away under the table when not in use. The colour scheme here is magic too. I really can’t fault this little space at all.

55. Retro cane and green velvet

Cane seating is very firmly on the contemporary radar but also gives strong retro vibes. This kitchen dining room setting below has all the vintage café feels about it, and looks like the cosiest spot to unfurl your Saturday paper (or scroll through your insta feed) while eating your eggs.

retro green velvet seating
Source: Shake My Blog

56. Colourful banquette

Although simple lines and neutral coloured furniture will help make the most of a small kitchen dining room nook, you can still add drama and visual interest with your choice of soft furnishings and wall décor. Why not find your favourite fabric and have your banquette cushions covered!

colourful banquette
Source: InStyle

57. Comfy and livable

A tiny round table fits nicely into any kitchen corner, and adding a rectangular wooden bench (with a few colourful cushions) will save still more space on one side. A couple of comfy chairs on the other side will make it look more like a dining space.

58. Minimal timber

Here again, I have a gorgeous minimalist timber kitchen dining space with strong clean lines and no clutter. I love this floating wooden bench too, adding to the airiness of the little space.

59. Bench seating

This banquette arrangement looks super comfy with that luxe, built-in cushioning. Soft neutral tones with maybe a hint of Hamptons thanks to the oceanic blues in the banquette fabric and the large statement artwork, which brings all the tones together.

60. Tiny kitchen dining

Have a teeny tiny kitchen? You can still fit in a little dining table and chairs—especially if it’s a design that folds away into the wall like in this cottage kitchen. It’s all about being creative with your available space—and you can always pick the brains of an expert interior designer to help you devise the best solution.

And that’s a wrap on 60 dining room ideas that hopefully have given you some direction for your dining room revamp. Let me know your thoughts in the comments—which of these dining room décor ideas take your fancy the most?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gianna

I'm an interiors writer living in coastal Australia and discovering all the joys of DIY renovating.

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