With the new year just days away, we’ve been on the lookout for the latest and greatest design trends for every space in your house, from bathrooms to bedrooms to your likely underutilized dining room.
The dining room's time as a catch-all for piles of who-know-what is over. Instead, break out your favorite cookbooks and plan a dinner party menu, because in 2023 your dining room will see renewed purpose as a place to gather with your closest friends and loved ones.
To inspire new life in your formal dining space, we turned to several interior designers for their insights on dining room trends they expect us to see in 2023. From unexpected lighting to classic woodwork, here are six trends to freshen up your dining room. We’ll wait patiently for our dinner party invitation.
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Darker Wood Furnishings Are Back
Take it from Mary Beth Christopher of MBC Interior Design: rich, dark wood tones will be the star of dining room designs, and for good reason.
“We are starting to see darker stains and woods used strategically in the house, and this will include the dining table,” she says. “People are longing for richer, more inviting environments after a decade of bleached woods and white walls. These darker woods bring in that sense of character and warmth that we’re all craving.”
Investing in a dining room table is no small purchase, but there’s no need to worry about a dark wood one going out of style anytime soon—or ever, even. “Darker wood harkens back to a somewhat more traditional and formal style, which has been around for centuries,” Christopher says. “It’s truly a timeless design style.”
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More and more, interior designer Sarah Cole is finding that her clients are looking for their spaces to express who they are. “They want their homes to be a statement,” she says.
This is especially important in entertaining spaces, like dining rooms, where your friends and loved ones can gather to see your home in action. “Whether it's a favorite color, heirloom antiques, or art that has sentimental meaning, look for more eclectic dining rooms with a collected feel in 2023,” Cole says.
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Add Some Glamour
Dining rooms can be utilitarian, but don't let that stop you from having a little fun with the design.
“A hardworking farm table makes sense for busy families, but that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice the glam,” Lynn Stone of Hunter Carson Design says. “In 2023, we’ll see the dining room reclaim its glamorous roots, while maintaining a sense of family function.”
For this dining room, Stone and her business partner Mandy Gregory married a bullet-proof oak trestle with a Kelly Wearstler chandelier and Verner Panton-inspired chairs. The results? A modern and (yes) glamorous space with unexpected yet practical pieces that are worthy of memorable dinner parties.Continue to 4 of 6 below.
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Dust off your Alison Roman cookbooks and sharpen your hostess skills, because Gregory has a prediction.
“2023 is going to be the great return to the dining room table,” she says. “Glamorous dinner parties will be back, so think extra-long tables, incredibly comfortable seating, and long, lingering meals.”Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Take a New Approach to Lighting
If the pendants above your dining room table are looking a little tired, it’s time to rethink your approach to lighting that oh-so-important space. Christopher is calling it now: come 2023, instead of hanging two or three pendants above a table (like has been popular for years), billiard lighting will make a splash.
“Billiard lighting is a single fixture with two or more light sources in a row,” says Christopher. “This offers a streamlined, fresher look than the expected pendants that we’ve seen for years.”
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Define an Open Floor Plan—Without Walls
“Open plan dining areas respond so much better than closed off spaces, but it’s still nice to delineate the space,” says Lynn Stone of Hunter Carson Design. How do you do that without adding walls? Take a peek at this dining room for a clue.
“Patterned dining room ceilings—whether you’re using wallpaper, color, or, like we did here, an inlaid wood design—creates a visual distinction without raising any walls,” Stone says.