Dining Room: Ideas & Inspiration

Tired of your old, thrown-together dining room? Maybe you're ready to ditch that hand-me-down oak table that was better left in the '80s — or you know the layout of your teeny-tiny dinette needs some serious work. Or perhaps your storage game needs a major upgrade, and you're desperate for new dining room ideas to keep your fancy china tucked away.

Regardless of your reasons and whether or not you have a standalone dining room (lucky duck), or no dining room at all, your next home renovation doesn't have to cause massive amounts of stress. If you're ready to start remodeling your eatery, then congratulations are in order — you've come to the right place.

Here's the Hunker dining room guide with everything you need to know before picking up the paintbrush.

Small Dining Room

Not all of us are blessed with a beautiful, oversize dining space. Some of us need to make do with a small nook. Not to worry ... we've got your back — starting with the table. While there are a wealth of dining table options for small spaces, make sure you've measured twice before clicking "Buy." You need to know the best shape and size for your space, otherwise you risk looking cramped.

Pay attention to storage, too. Clever storage is oh-so-important when outfitting a tiny dining space. Consider bench seating with built-in storage, buying miniature buffets, outfitting a bar cart, or decking out your walls. With a little out-of-the-box thinking, making the most of your small space is easy.

Outfit your small dining room by starting with this smart guide.

Dining Room Lighting

Lighting is oh-so-important in creating the perfect dining room ambiance. Whether you're hosting an intimate dinner soiree or planning a rowdy Super Bowl party, you want to suit your lighting to your space and the mood — which means taking a lot into consideration. How big is your table? Are you looking for a chandelier or for track lighting? What's your budget?

First, consider what style of lighting you're seeking. Do you lust over dreamy pendants? Or are you hoping to up the glam factor with a showstopping chandelier? Perhaps you're just looking for simple ceiling lights. Any style can be beautifully integrated into your decor — whether you're modern, midcentury, rustic, contemporary, bohemian or farmhouse.

Here's the definitive guide to dining room lighting ideas.

Dining Room Storage

But even if your dining room is oversize, you'll need to outfit it with plenty of storage, especially if you're a big entertainer. Dinner requires a lot of things, from plates and cups to tablecloths and place mats. Keeping all of that stuff tucked out of sight will ensure that your space won't feel cluttered — and we have some pretty unexpected solutions to help.

Built-in dining room storage is the easiest way to create a streamlined space, but not everyone has room (or the money, or the skills) for custom built-ins. In that case, why not make your furniture pull double-duty? Clever dining room storage ideas include benches, open shelving, and floor-to-ceiling bookcases. Or bring out your sophisticated side with midcentury sideboards, bar cabinets, buffets, and accent chests.

Figure out the best dining room storage idea for you.

Dining Room Colors

A dining room is more than tables, chairs, and storage. Picking the right color is essential for creating the perfect ambiance. Deep, stormy blues may invoke a moody, sophisticated feel; breezy neutrals, like white, can make a small space feel larger — or cohesively merge your dining room-slash-living room combo. The best part of paint is that you can always change it. Hate the shade you slapped on the wall? There's an easy fix: Just do it again.

Feeling super bold? Consider black, which brings serious drama, or green for that royal feel. Consider tipping a hat toward trends by painting your walls greige or, if you're looking for something a hair more timeless, full-on beige. And there's no shame in going funky: Pinks and reds can look stunning, too.

Ready to hunt for your fave new color? Find more dining room color ideas.

Dining Room Styles

But what if you're not sure what style you are? There are so many possibilities, from contemporary to industrial to bohemian to Scandinavian — and everything in between. Choosing just one can be a struggle. Don't fret: These dining room ideas might help you understand which style speaks to you.

Remember: you don't have to pick just one. Love modern and farmhouse? Combine the two to create a fresh, inviting space. Or perhaps you're more of a traditionalist. In that case, consider a midcentury dining room to serve up all of those Mad Men-esque vibes — after all, Don Draper will never go out of style. Country mice might enjoy a more rustic approach, which promises to make you believe you're chowing down at a very fancy farm.

Ready to start picking out your dining room style? Here's the how-to.

Dining Room Furniture and Decor

You've sorted out your style, color palette, storage, and lighting — now it's time for the fun stuff. Picking the best table to suit your space means sorting through what feels like a million options, but we've already found some affordable selections for you. However, if you're planning to combine your living and dining areas, keep your furniture layout in mind.

Now it's time to decorate. Want your space to look expensive? Small tweaks make that possible — like luxurious wallpaper or velvet dining chairs. Don't forget about your walls, either: an oversize print, textile art, or murals can transform a dining room into a true destination. How about a rug to add additional color and texture? And top things off with a houseplant or two for good measure.


Jamie Wiebe

Jamie Wiebe

Jamie is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado, who writes about real estate and interior design.