8 Traditional Dining Room Ideas That Offer a Fresh Take on the Classic Look

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Dining rooms are heavily rooted in tradition and while the formula for how one is furnished can be more or less the same, it's the unique variety of decorative styles that sets the tone and the overall vibe. These days, the focus may be on modern, boho, or eclectic spaces, but we're all for taking it back to the basics.

Traditional dining rooms champion the art of entertaining and inspire gatherings that are just as luxe as the decor itself. The old-school aesthetic isn't about investing in matching cherry wood furniture sets or walls painted in a snoozy shade of brownish-beige; it's more about striking an effortless combination of comfort and elegance.

Unsure of where to start? Allow the spaces ahead to serve as your ultimate source of inspiration for mastering traditional style.

1. A table fit for all.

A grand dining table that can span the entirety of the room is a hallmark of traditional style and an essential for hosting gatherings. In this mod-meets-classic space, designed by Studio McGee, the lengthy piece is flanked by a pair of upholstered armchairs that complement the muted scheme while providing a hint of contrast to the wooden details.

Get the look: McGee & Co. Eloise Woven Dining Chair, $398

2.  A balanced palette.

Employ a moody color scheme to create an ambient space that feels laidback yet refined. Take a page out of Amber Lewis' book and channel both the old and the new. While the off-white walls keep things light and airy, the bigger ticket items, such as the bookcases and table, ground the sophisticated eatery.

Get the look: Shoppe by Amber Interiors Simeon Dining Table, $8,200

3. Lighting that makes a statement.

A design-forward light source is what separates an average dinner party from a memorable one. Invest in an oversize pendant and hang it low from the ceiling to anchor the area and draw all eyes to the center of the table. In this spot, designed by Kate Marker Interiors, a beaded chandelier gives a traditional dining room an intimate yet glamorous feeling, while staying true to its timeless roots.

Get the look: Arteriors Viola Large Chandelier, $4,460

4. Windows with a touch of flair.

Don't shy away from making a statement, especially when it involves adding a pop of color and pattern to your space. In this moody West Charlotte home, designed by House of Nomad, the graphic window treatments are a respite from the surrounding jewel tones, bringing with them an added touch of lightness.

Get the look: Kelly Wearstler Graffito Fabric, $196 per yard

5. Something extra for the walls.

We would be hard-pressed to spot a traditional dining room without at least one memorable work of art on the walls. Aside from bringing in a much-needed dose of character, it provides depth and an element of interest, as well. In this cozy setup designed by Chango & Co., the framed piece contributes a hint of blush to balance out the near monochrome palette.

Get the look: Anthropologie Illa Study 1 Wall Art, $348

6. Storage units that do more than just store stuff.

A grand credenza is just as important in a traditional dining room as the table itself. Short of allowing it to live solely as a functional piece of storage, you can elevate it like designer Heidi Callier did in this space by pairing it with artwork on the walls, and a tray with a curated selection of decor and greenery. During dinner parties it can be used as an extra serving station or a conveniently located bar.

Get the look: O&G Studio Wayland Elbow Chair, starting at $971

7. Details that feel refined.

If you're looking to add a touch of flair to the dining room, moldings are the way to go and this dreamy spot by Rehabitat Interiors is all the proof we need. Even if the remainder of the space is modestly furnished, the subtle detailing on the walls can instantly add a classical and luxe finish to any interior.

Get the look: Ian K. Fowler Etoile Round Chandelier, $975

8. A layered accent for the floors.

Textures are as integral to a traditional dining room as anything else. While upholstered chairs and window treatments are one way to go about it, few accent pieces will make an impact quite like a rug. Position a landing pad beneath the dining table and chairs to visually establish the boundaries with a stage-like effect.

Get the look: Pottery Barn Reeva Printed Rug, $399 - $2,199


Anna is a New York-based writer and editor with a penchant for travel, design, and interiors.

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