Minimalist fans will enjoy this little piece of history: Oscar Wilde was one, too. In the 1880s, he asked his friend E. W. Goodman, who embraced Japanese design, to oversee the look of his home on Tite Street, and Wilde was especially pleased with Goodman's minimalist approach to color in the dining room. Wilde wrote, "I have a dining room done in different shades of white, with white curtains embroidered in yellow silk: The effect is absolutely delightful." How fitting that the celebrated poet would see how powerful the use of little color could be. These minimalist dining room ideas may be stripped down in terms of color, decor, and materials, but they're stunning in their simplicity. Take a look.
1. Let There Be Chrome
When it comes to furniture and decor, brass and chrome finishes can instantly dress up a space. Here, in this minimalist dining room, a chrome pendant light adds a nice focal point that pairs nicely with the table's chrome base below — perfectly maintaining the room's modern appeal.
Get the look: Powell LED 10" Chrome Globe Pendant, $159
2. It's All About the Base
As above, so below. The brass pedestal base of this dining table is the star in this minimalist dining room. If you're leaning toward a monochrome palette, but want a stylish flourish, consider a table or chairs showcasing a metallic finish.
3. Fade to Black
The idea of an all-black dining room used to scream '90s bachelor pad, but the midcentury-inspired open back chairs with woven seats and basketweave lampshades in this minimalist dining room have made us believers. Using one color while incorporating different textures is a winning approach.
4. Nature at Its Best
In a grand shift from the all-black scheme, this all-wood dining room design, including the cool art composition on the wall, is beautiful for its natural finish and clean lines. And the Wegner Wishbone Chairs just never go out of style. Lose the rug in your eatery to really go minimal.
5. Seating for All
For those of you lucky enough to have a dining area that can seat 12, first of all, we're jealous. Second of all, copy this design and invite us over. We've already sung the praises of an all-wood dining setup and black fixtures, and this brings them together nicely, but what's a nice surprise are the slipcovered benches. They add a welcome softness to the space.
6. A Daring Symphony of Styles
Okay, maybe this pushes the limits of a minimalist dining room idea, but that's its appeal. Furniture and decor from different eras and styles make up this design, and while they're all great on their own, together they make up an unforgettable look that's dinner-party ready.
Get the look: Verner Panton Panton Chair, $395
7. Make It Clear
Choosing transparent furniture is an easy way to keep your dining room sleek and modern. Take yours to the extreme with acrylic chairs like this set of four from Wayfair. Clear chairs match with pretty much everything, right?
8. Bring On the Curves
Scandinavian design is all about clean lines and embracing natural light and uncluttered spaces. This minimalist dining room idea is especially alluring thanks to the curved and rounded edges of the table, chairs, and lighting. As you shop for your own furniture and decor, keep this look in mind.
Get the look: Paterson Dining Table, $276
9. Modernist Glamour
Finnish American architect and designer Eero Saarinen created some of the most iconic furniture (and buildings) of the 20th century. Having any of his pieces in your dining room instantly makes it a minimalist masterpiece.
Get the look: Eero Saarinen Knoll Tulip Arm Chair, $1,993
10. The Power of Three
The gray walls and cement flooring could feel soulless if not for the light wood furniture paired with white chairs and a trio of hanging pendant lamps to warm up this minimalist dining room. They provide just enough contrast to keep things cool and inviting.
Get the look: Muuto Grain Pendant, $209
11. Industrial Beauty
This minimalist dining room idea strikes a happy balance with a nice marriage of industrial and classic. Bringing together steel-frame chairs and a heavy dark-wood table, atop a light-patterned rug with a modern globe chandelier, creates a lovely setting that everyone can appreciate.
Get the look: Lulu and Georgia Trysta Dining Chair, $420
Author and book editor Teena Apeles is a collector of vintage pieces and untold stories. She writes about art, culture, design, activism, and history, and edits books on an even wider range of subjects. One of her favorite projects was the anthology Dear Seller: Real Estate Love Letters from Los Angeles, a unique exploration of the lives and homes of Angelenos, for Narrated Objects.