Room by Room Interior Design Tips: Dining Room

This is the fifth article in our “Room by Room” interior design idea series.  You can read earlier articles about living areas, bedrooms, kitchens, and baths.

If the kitchen is where you do much of the “work” of living in your home, the dining room is where you get to show off all that effort.  While it can be a more formal space, but it does not have to be rigid or “stuffy.” After all, it has just one purpose… ENTERTAINING!

The dining room is your chance to create a delicious design in a visually savory style.  Serve up delectable décor with your divine dishes and ensure your guests enjoy an unforgettable experience in the company of treasured family and friends.  Here are some of my favorite dining room design ideas…

Everything’s Bigger and Better in Texas (Dining Rooms)

The table is the focus of the dining room, so it’s important to choose a showstopper.  Selecting and spotlighting a well-made and carefully finished table with details on the ends, legs, or a unique wood grain pattern or finish commands special attention.

I also recommend choosing the largest table your room can handle.  You can always add/subtract a table leaf or two to accommodate different events versus everyday living.

Don’t limit yourself to a small dinner party just because your table won’t accommodate everyone present.  For family holidays, you can pop in the extra leaves to make sure no one gets stuck at the “kid’s table.”  Not sure how large a table your room can hold? Call an interior designer to consult you on your ideal dining room design.

Creature Comforts

If you want your guests to linger over dinner with another glass of wine, then comfortable seating is a MUST so they won’t want to cut the evening short.  I love plush, upholstered dining chairs for this reason… the ultimate luxury that invites your guests to sit back and relax.

You may prefer to focus on the architectural interest in an antique carved wood back chair, or feature a uniquely shaped contemporary frame that creates a striking visual impact.  These chairs may or may not be as comfortable for lengthy seating, but sure will give that personalized “wow” factor.

Regardless of your seating goals, ensure you have enough chairs for your anticipated use.  Don’t forget about the places created when you add the leaves to the table as these new place settings require seats.  When your table is in its smaller orientation, you can keep the extra chairs in a corner or along the wall. You can also consider using them in a study or dressing room until needed.

Creative Displays

Having a striking china cabinet in the dining room to display your finest dinnerware or a favorite collection is always appropriate. A cabinet with glass doors and interior lighting is the perfect way to feature these items.

Alternatively, make a great presentation with artwork hung above a custom buffet framed by elegant lamps and possibly an accessory. Just be sure that your surfaces are not too cluttered… one or two statement pieces make a much bigger visual impact than a dozen items crowded together.  Continue the color or theme of any visible cabinet collection into the artwork on the walls for a cohesive, and more impactful look.



Most rooms contain a centrally located chandelier, but selecting the correct size and style with professional guidance can make a significant difference in how your room “speaks” to visitors.  I also recommend using lamps or another form of indirect lighting as this can be as simple as using candles or spotlights for artwork.

If ceilings are low and a chandelier proves intrusive, recessed can lighting in the ceiling is a great option. Regardless of choice, I recommend all hardwire lighting use a dimmable switch. Various light sources and levels heighten visual interest and the appropriate ambiance in the room, particularly in the evening.

Entertaining in a comfortable and luxurious dining room creates indelible memories during holidays, special events and family gatherings.

Contact a professional designer to complete your ideal home design project.  Nicole Arnold Interiors specializes in creating custom-designed rooms that capture your personality and spirit and make you and your guests feel perfectly at home.