Welcome to the RenoCompare dining room section, where we look at inspirational ideas, projects and images for dining rooms. According to Home Remodeling Magazine, the kitchen and dining areas are where families spend more than 50% of their time, so you want to provide a calm and inviting place for your family and friends to dine and socialize.
Whether you choose to create an elegant, grown-up dining room or a more family-friendly informal space, a dedicated area in your home for enjoying meals is essential. Most homeowners will be able to tackle simple updates such as replacing an old dining room set or adding new lighting and curtains on their own. But if you decide to take on a more elaborate remodel such as new wood flooring or the addition of more space by knocking down walls, you will most likely need the help of a good contractor that specializes in these areas.
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Dining Room Décor Ideas: Things to Consider
If you’re building a new home, or doing extensive remodeling work to an existing one, the first thing to think about is whether or not you want a separate, formal dining room or a more informal open-plan arrangement where the dining area is part of the main living or kitchen space. If your home is big enough, you may be able to have both options!
Once you’ve worked out where your dining room is going to be, the next decision will be about how you’ll style the room. This will be an easy task if you already have an overarching style for your whole home, such as farmhouse chic or mid-century modern, for example. Of course if you have an open-plan design, then your dining room décor will blend with the living room or kitchen style to a certain extent.
However, you may prefer to define each room of your home with a different vibe, for example going with a coastal feel in the bathroom, a glam design in the master bedroom, and a chic Parisian style in the dining room. In the end it comes down to choosing a style that reflects your personality and how you want to feel in your home.
Also worth bearing in mind is that certain design styles might be easier to transform from formal to informal to suit the occasion. For example, the fairly neutral aspect of a Scandinavian minimalist design can be made to look more formal by adding top-end silverware and sparkling crystal; or more relaxed and family-friendly with a brightly colored tablecloth and dinnerware with fun patterns.
By collecting a folder of inspirational dining room images, you’ll soon see a pattern emerging of the kind of design style you love best. Then you’ll be able to start putting together the design elements that make up that style.
Like kitchen flooring, you need to be practical and consider food and beverage spills when choosing your dining room flooring. Generally it’s going to be a choice of these materials: hardwood, laminate, cement, tiles, or resilient flooring such as vinyl, rubber or linoleum. Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) that mimics wood or natural stone is a newer form of vinyl that is also very popular these days.
Of course, once you’ve decided on the material, you then have the fun task of choosing the exact color/ pattern/ design and so on that will complement your look. If you have an open-plan home, an interesting idea is to use a different type of flooring to delineate the dining area: this looks particularly good if your living room area is hardwood and you switch to a gorgeous patterned tile for the dining area.
How you choose to decorate the walls of your dining room will, of course, be dictated by the overall style of the space and your personal taste. Neutral wall color schemes, such as warm creams, soft whites or light pastels, allow you to define the décor scheme with all the furniture and soft-furnishings; neutrals also give you the option to easily change the décor if you wish.
Bolder design choices, such as a patterned wallpaper or brightly colored accent wall need to be carefully considered – be sure that the color or pattern you choose is one you are happy to live with for a decent amount of time. Or go for it with gusto and the knowledge that, with a bit of elbow grease and no budget constraints, even the boldest wall treatment choices can be covered up with something else!
Bear in mind that paper and paint are not the only options for decorating your dining room walls. Depending on your taste, you can also opt for wood paneling, exposed brick or stone – using veneers if you don’t have the real thing – or using décor items such as mirrors or framed photos or artwork to create visual impact.
The furniture and soft furnishings that you choose for your dining room are going to be key in defining the style of your space. A chunky, oak farmhouse table has a completely different aesthetic to a streamlined, metal-framed, glass-topped one. Whether or not you add matching chairs, or ones that complement the table, or mix and match chair styles for an eclectic vibe will all also come into play when you’re honing your style.
Naturally the center of focus of the dining area is the dining table and chairs, but don’t forget other possible furniture items such as sideboards, buffets, bar carts and cabinets. And the soft furnishings such as curtains, drapes and upholstery as well as the accessories you add must all be considered carefully to enhance the look.
No dining room design is complete without an effective lighting plan. Lighting is one of the best ways to enhance mood and atmosphere in a room, so make sure you have adequate lighting options in your space so that you can change and control the lighting. That way you can easily transform your dining table from the brightly lit functional space you need at a kid’s birthday party, to the cozier, intimate space you need when hosting a dinner party with a few close friends. A combination of hanging chandeliers or pendant lights, wall lights and recessed lighting – all controlled with dimmer switches – often gives the best results.
So, as for most rooms in your home, there’s actually a lot to consider when remodeling and decorating a dining room. Start getting your dining room project ready by checking out the pictures of dining room ideas, inspirational designs and decorating tips from other homeowners and contractors that we’ve collected below. And when you’ve finished your dining room remodel, please share it with us too!