Dining Room Decorating Ideas

Turn your dining room into an inviting space!

Dining room decorating ideas can be pretty straightforward and not difficult to implement. The difficult part is not letting this room become your dumping station. Most people tend to use their dining room as either an office or an extra play room.

However, once you spend the time and money to decorate and design this room, keeping it clean and neat really becomes a whole lot easier. You walk through with a feeling of peacefulness, rather than having your sub-conscious whisper, “You need to clean up this room”. It truly is one of the best ways to bring peace to your home and heart. So, before you start any dining room decorating ideas, turn on some music, fix a cold drink, and go clean.

Whether you are decorating a small dining room or a large dining room the basic rules are the same. Let’s go step-by-step and layer by layer to help you decorate your dining room beautifully and elegantly!

Beautiful dining room designed by Herb Blair of Nashville, TN.

Now you may be wondering why aren’t we talking about paint colors first? Well, because there are certain furniture finishes that actually clash with different paint colors. So, if you don’t already have your furniture, you need to start with your furniture choices first.

So, what makes this room pretty easy to decorate? Well, for one thing your dining room furniture choices aren’t difficult. Table and chairs are the first obvious choice; then you have to decide whether you want to go with a hutch or a buffet.

Some rooms may allow for another piece of furniture, but this must be chosen wisely. You do not want to overcrowd the room. If in doubt, leave it out.

Buffet or hutch? I typically lean toward a buffet. With a buffet, you can add extra lighting by using two buffet lamps. You have the opportunity to do more accessorizing, and if you have a smaller dining room, a hutch tends to shrink the room.

Painting Your Dining Room

Choosing interior paint colors for any room can be one of the most difficult decorating choices to make! The paint needs to coordinate with your flooring and your furniture choices. And, that little tiny square paper sample that you come home with from the home improvement store never looks quite the same once it is painted on your wall.

My number one advice to clients is always, GET A SAMPLE! Even if you have to purchase several samples, it is worth it. Buy some $.50 foam brushes that you can throw away, and paint your samples on several pieces of cardboard. Next, tape them up on all four walls. Why? Light hits every wall differently, and your paint color will look different on every wall.

Leave it up for a day and evening, and really spend some time looking at it and pondering about which paint color really speaks to you.

My personal preference is to have a subtle color on the walls, and then have my drapes and accessories the “pop” of color in the room.

Dining Room Window Treatment Ideas

Now, let’s talk about window treatment ideas. When choosing your drapery style for this room, look for fabric that has colors that complement the wall color.   Using two long panels to flank the window doesn’t overpower the room, but gives it overall softness and elegance.

For the hardware I cut a large wooden rod down to 18″, then drilled a hole for the finial. Not only did it save money, but I really like the look.

The dining room is the one room where I do like to have fabulous drapes. My top dining room decorating idea would be making sure your window treatments compliment and accentuate your furniture.

Many times I see dining rooms that are filled with very expensive pieces of furniture, and then the drapes look like they were left over from the 1980’s. I’m not trying to be rude when I say that, just balance your room out with elegance.

Accessorizing Your Dining Room

If you decide to go with the buffet, I love a floral arrangement on the buffet between two buffet lamps. Another dining room decorating idea is to have some sort of candle arrangement on the dining room table. Have only one floral arrangement in your dining room.

Try to choose a floral arrangement that pulls out some of the colors from your room. The container makes all the difference. I found this one at the flea market!

I’m sure you have been in an expensive interior decor store and priced floral arrangements! I know, I gasp every time! So, here’s the thing, you can make your own silk flower centerpiece. Don’t be intimidated! My page on making your own arrangement is step-by-step, and is an easy floral arrangement for a beginner. Just be patient and keep working with your flowers, and I promise you will be able to make a stunning centerpiece for less than half of what it costs in that fru-fru store!

If florals aren’t the look you are wanting for your dining room decorating ideas, then add some natural elements. I found these seed balls at the craft store.

I love buffet lamps. Buffet lamps are one of my favorite dining room decorating ideas! I always put a 40 watt bulb in them to keep a low ambient light. When deciding on your lamps, take both the base of the lamp, and the shade into consideration.

Here I chose a gold patina in order for the lamp to stand out from the dark buffet. The shades pull out the red from the floral arrangement.

A rug under the table adds warmth and beauty, as well as protection for the floor. Just remember to purchase a rug large enough to pull a chair all the way out from the table.

If your budget allows, splurge on a beautiful light fixture! I recently purchased this light fixture, and it made a world of difference! I won’t even show you a photo of what I used to have!

If you are changing your light fixture, it would be an easy time to add a medallion to your ceiling. You can buy these unfinished at any home improvement store.

Well, what are you waiting for? Make your list, “Dining Room Decorating Ideas”, and get started! Just be sure to send me a dinner invitation!

Be sure to send along any dining room decorating ideas you have finished in your home!

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