50 Dining Room Decor Ideas For a Stylish Entertaining Space

dining room decor ideas

Design by Candace Mary Interiors / Photo by Martin Vecchio

Formal dining rooms have gone by the wayside in many modern homes, deemed too stuffy and unsuitable for contemporary living. But having a dedicated room with a large table set up for the purpose of sharing a meal is a luxury. And if your home includes a dining room, it shouldn't be treated an afterthought or decorated like a stage set that gets used for special occasions just a few times a year.

From wall paint to wallpaper, furniture to lighting, and decor and accessories like rugs and art, there are endless ways to style your dining room to suit your home, mood, or lifestyle. Check out these stylish and functional dining rooms that are designed for sharing memorable meals with family, hosting dinner guests, or serving as an bonus space for reading, studying, or working from home during off hours.

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    Accent With Metallics

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    Design by Liberty Interiors / Photo by Hannah Blackmore 

    This bright and breezy Melbourne dining room from Australian interior designer Nicole Rosenberg of Liberty Interiors has simple, clean lined furnishings in a mix of white and wood tones, a single boldly colorful piece of art, and a pair of shiny copper toned Tom Dixon pendant lights that gleam even in daytime, have a mirrored finish with a convex mirror effect, and provide soft diffused ambient light for dining after dark.

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  • 02 of 50

    Modernize the Farmhouse

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    Design by AHG Interiors / Photo by Nick Glemenakis

    This 19th century farmhouse from AHG Interiors mixes authentic charms like rustic ceiling beams and hardwood floors with 20th century wishbone chairs and modern lighting to create a homey 21st century place to gather and share a meal.

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    Add Sculptural Elements

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    Design by Atelier Davis / Photo by Heidi Harris

    Interior designer Jessica Davis of Atelier Davis added a set of dining chairs upholstered in matching blue ultrasuede that creates a formal look for this dining room space. But she styled it for off-duty days with a voluptuous glass vase filled with branches and a collection of small sculptural objects on the table that carry over to the sideboard styled with books and art on the walls.

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    Smooth Out the Edges

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    Design by Sissy + Marley Interiors / Photo by Marco Ricca

    If your dining room is a pass-through space, consider a round table that will keep circulation flowing and eliminate unwelcome encounters with sharp corners. In this design from Sissy + Marley Interiors, a classic Saarinen table is paired with wishbone chairs, adding some midcentury modern flair to a modern farmhouse-style renovation.

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  • 05 of 50

    Hang a Gallery Wall

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    Design by Velinda Hellen For Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    This dining room designed by Velinda Hellen for Emily Henderson Design has a fresh modern feel with its white walls and natural materials like wood and rattan, while a gallery wall with a mix of modern and vintage prints and a set of French bistro chairs makes it feel like it wasn't designed yesterday.

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  • 06 of 50

    Reinvent a Classic

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    Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Erin Kelly

    This sleek dining room from Leanne Ford Interiors mixes a clean palette of black, white, and wood accents, while a modern update on the classic china cabinet featuring black metal and glass grid doors occupies the far wall.

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  • 07 of 50

    Embrace the Rainbow

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    Design by Lisa Gilmore Design / Photo by Native House Photography

    While many people add color to their dining rooms with a rug, this Florida dining room from Lisa Gilmore Design skips the rug altogether and adds in a free-spirited use of color from the patterned drapes to the artwork to the wallpaper and seating instead, making the formal retro style feel current and unique.

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  • 08 of 50

    Swap White Walls for Cream and Beige

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    Design by Chango & Co. / Photo by Sarah Elliott and Chris Coe

    In this NYC dining room from Chango & Co., warm shades of cream and beige on the walls provide a softer feel than stark white while still providing an excellent counterpoint for graphic black accents and pale tones of wood.

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  • 09 of 50

    Add a Library

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    Design by Marie Flanigan Interiors / Photo by Julie Soefer

    Many people use their off-duty dining rooms for studying or working from home. This dining room by Marie Flanigan Interiors features a wall of floor-to-ceiling shelves that follow the pitched curve of the roof and provide endless reading material while adding color and life to the room, making it the perfect setting for Zoom calls, homework sessions, dinner parties, or hosting the book club.

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    Choose a Wall-to-Wall Rug

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    Design by Becca Interiors

    While you might be tempted to choose a dining room rug that just fits the table and chairs, this nearly wall-to-wall striped rug from Becca Interiors makes the case for going bigger, anchoring the space and setting the relaxed but stylish tone in this farmhouse-inspired Southhampton surf retreat.

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  • 11 of 50

    Install Wallpaper Panels

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    Design by Candace Mary Interiors / Photo by Martin Vecchio

    Adding wallpaper to the dining room is an easy way to make an impact. In this dining room from Candace Mary Interiors, the wallpaper is applied in panels that are framed out by wood detailing for a slightly formal effect.

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  • 12 of 50

    Choose a Transparent Light Fixture

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    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Photo by Margaret Austin Photo

    In this this light and airy dining room from Cathie Hong Interiors, a glass bubble chandelier with a variety of blown glass globes of varying sizes and heights adds light over the dining table while keeping the focus on the room's clean lines, warm wood tones, and expansive views of the outdoors.

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  • 13 of 50

    Mismatch Your Chairs

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    Fantastic Frank

    A vibrant gallery wall full of art and objects that doesn't take itself too seriously, a vintage chandelier, and a jumble of colorful mismatched chairs make this dining room from Fantastic Frank playful, cheerful, and inviting. Choosing a variety of seating makes your dining room feel spontaneous and collected over time. You can mix styles and colors as seen here, or choose different styles in a single color palette such as white or black. Or you can compromise by combining three different pairs of chairs around a table that you can shuffle around at will.

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  • 14 of 50

    Build in a Bar

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    Design by Raili CA Design / Photo by David Tsay

    This handsome black, white, and blond wood dining room from Raili CA Design features a seamlessly built-in floor-to-ceiling bar that is functional and decorative at the same time, displaying bottles and glassware on open shelving.

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  • 15 of 50

    Add Airy Light Fixtures

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    Design by Chango & Co. / Photo by Raquel Langworthy

    Chango & Co. suspended a pair of Danish wood pendant lights over the dining table of a light-flooded, window-filled dining room that add a semi-transparent natural sculptural element while preserving the room's voluminoua and airy feel.

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  • 16 of 50

    Add a Floor Mirror

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    Home Made By Carmona

    The dining room is a great place to decorate with mirrors. Blogger Ursula Carmona from Home Made By Carmona leaned a tall, gold-trimmed floor mirror against her dining room wall, which reflects both natural light and the light cast from the large central chandelier, while doubling the perception of space by increasing sightlines.

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  • 17 of 50

    Match the Drapes to the Tablecloth

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    Fantastic Frank

    Dining room tablecloths are one of those decor items that seem to disappear a little with every passing year, trotted out only for special occasions or by anxious hosts who worry about preventing table rings from sweaty bottomed glasses. But you can make your dining room feel cozier by adding an unfussy tablecloth in natural linen like this Scandi dining room from Fantastic Frank that adds a homey touch without feeling too formal thanks to its naturally rumpled appearance. The same fabric was used on the window treatments to tie it all together.

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  • 18 of 50

    Add Classic Wainscoting

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    Fantastic Frank

    This Swedish country dining room from Fantastic Frank has a wainscoting detail around the perimeter of the room with a classic picture ledge that is sparsely decorated with art and objects as a nod to history without feeling too stuffy or old-fashioned. The wood detailing is painted in a dark, warm gray that grounds the room and creates a relaxing and homey atmosphere. A cherry red armchair in the corner provides an off-duty place to rest as well as a bright color accent.

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    Hang Oversized Lighting

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    Design by Chango & Co. / Photo by Raquel Langworthy

    Three large modern pendant lights are suspended from the beam in this airy and spacious dining room from Chango & Co., anchoring the 12-seat table and helping to create a sense of intimacy in the high ceilinged room that makes guests feel more comfortable when sharing a meal.

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  • 20 of 50

    Choose Colorful Chairs

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    Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Erin Kelly

    This updated 70s Pittsburgh home from Leanne Ford Interiors has a bump out sunroom dining room with wraparound windows and whitewashed finishes that has sweeping views of the outdoors. A set of buttercup yellow Panton chairs with groovy vintage curves lets the sunshine in even on cloudy days, and provides a color accent that wakes up the design.

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  • 21 of 50

    Make It Cozy

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    Design by Ryann Miller For Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    This small dining room designed by Ryann Miller For Emily Henderson Design is located just off of the kitchen, making it a pass-through space. While it can be a mistake in a small space to push the furniture against the wall, in this case it makes sense since the table is set for two most days. And on those occasions when there are more people at the table, it can be pulled away from the wall and floated in the center of the room to provide space for extra seating.

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    Deck Out the Ceiling

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    Design by Christina Kim Interior Design / Photo by Raquel Langworthy

    This dining room from Christina Kim Interior Design has a reclaimed wood ceiling detail that contrasts with the white shiplap walls, adding warmth, texture, and a surprise element. Shiny gold pendant lights add contrast with the dark wood tones, and fluffy seat covers draped on the backs of chairs create a cozy and inviting feel.

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    Pair Navy Paint With Gold Accents

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    Design by Tyler Karu / Photo by Erin Little

    Deep saturated navy paint on the walls makes a strong foil for gold accents in this dining room from Tyler Karu, while a mid-toned wood table and natural leather chairs adds contrast and a modern touch. Warm gold-toned accents also work well against other dark, saturated colors such as charcoal, green, brown, or off black.

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    Mix Black and White With Pale Wood

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    Design by Forbes + Masters

    A chunky blond wood dining table and striking black chairs and decorative accents make this dining room from Forbes + Masters look modern, sleek, and ready for action. Tall black tapered candlesticks of varying heights add interest and keep the table from feeling too stark and bare when not in use.

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  • 25 of 50

    Embrace Minimalism

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    Design by Cathie Hong Interiors / Photo by Christy Q. Photo

    Cathie Hong Interiors created a soft minimalist San Francisco dining room with clean lines and warm wood tones, from the herringbone floors to the dining table and chairs, that reflected her clients' Asian heritage and love of Danish design inspired by a trip to Copenhagen.

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  • 26 of 50

    Incorporate an Arched Buffet

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    A Beautiful Mess

    This built-in buffet with an arched opening from A Beautiful Mess is painted in a feel-good shade of pink. Thick wood floating shelves that match the warm tones of the dining room chairs and table are lined with a collection of tableware, and the sideboard is a nice spot for flowers and setting out dishes for family-style eating or as a dessert bar.

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    Add Drama With an Accent Wall

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    Michelle Berwick Design

    This dining room from Michelle Berwick Design is defined by a multicolored flower bomb accent wallpaper wall that is a conversation starter and a mood booster that's easy to achieve, and simple to change out when it's time for something new. The designer used the same wallpaper in the breakfast nook in the adjacent kitchen to tie the spaces together.

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    Keep It Traditional

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    Design by Nile Johnson Interior Design

    This dining room from Nile Johnson Interior Design is a lively take on traditional style that mixes soft pistachio green wall paint with a crystal chandelier, a red and blue toned vintage rug, antique carved wood sideboards, and a mix of comfortable upholstered chairs in shades of blue and white to create a well appointed and memorable spot for gathering with friends and family.

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    Hang Floor-to-Ceiling Drapes

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    Design by Tyler Karu

    This dining room from interior designer Tyler Karu is warm and inviting, with its honey-colored wood tones, leather seat covers, dramatic woven pendant light, and homey table lamp with a warm fabric shade set on the sideboard. The pale butterscotch-colored floor-to-ceiling drapes add coziness and provide light control as well as privacy, particularly for evening dinner parties or if your dining room is visible from the street.

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    Mix Old and New

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    Design by Michelle Berwick Design

    In this dining room from Michelle Berwick Design, an antique dining table is mixed with a modern sideboard and chairs, showing how easy it can be to combine old and new elements if you stick to a neutral color palette and focus on choosing interesting shapes and balancing proportions to fit your space. While some may object to the use of animal skin rugs for ethical reasons, a cowhide rug is a surprisingly good choice for beneath a dining table since it is easy to vacuum and you can wipe the surface clean with a damp cloth for most spills (but good luck if you spill a beverage of any sort).

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  • 31 of 50

    Add a Wall of Built-In Storage

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    Design by Leclair Decor

    This dining room from Leclair Decor has a contemporary version of an old school built-in sideboard wall with surrounding storage cabinets for dishes, tableware, and seasonal decorations to maximize storage space. A large bronze-framed mirror bounces around light and creates a sense of depth on an otherwise flat wall.

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    Plant a Tree

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    Design by Jenn Pablo Studio

    This dining room from Jenn Pablo Studio mixes upholstered bench seating with wooden dining chairs to create a serene and minimalist look. A potted indoor tree perched in the corner brings the room to life and a bit of the outdoors inside.

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    Try a Transparent Table

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    Design by Velinda Hellen for Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Veronica Crawford

    If your dining room is located in a pass through or a small space, using a transparent glass or lucite table will lighten up the room, reflect light, and allow your choice of dining room chairs to stand out, like this dining room designed by Velinda Hellen for Emily Henderson Design.

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  • 34 of 50

    Match the Walls to the Drapes

    dining room decor ideas

    Design by Forbes + Masters

    This sepia-toned dining room from Forbes + Masters has hand-painted wall and window treatments that create a unique three-dimensional look that is a step beyond the usual dining room wallpaper. Keeping the palette limited to shades of white, beige, and brown keeps the bold design from overwhelming.

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    Incorporate a Corner Banquette

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    Design by Alvin Wayne

    Interior designer Alvin Wayne added an olive green corner banquette to this NYC dining room to create a cozy and intimate feel, finishing off the space with a round table, a couple of chairs to provide extra seating, and large-scale tropical leaf wallpaper in earthy shades of brown and green.

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    Celebrate Midcentury Style

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    Design by Jenn Pablo Studio

    This sunny California dining room from Jenn Pablo Studio mixes warm wood, natural sheepskin, a vintage metal pendant light, and a round midcentury modern style dining table, plus plenty of greenery and flowers both inside and outside the floor-to-ceiling windows to create a chic and laid back place for meals, drinks, card games, and conversations with timeless midcentury modern appeal.

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  • 37 of 50

    Use Paint to Define Spaces

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    Design by Christina Kim Interior Design / Photo by Raquel Langworthy

    Soft blue-gray paint on the wall paneling helps define this coastal Sea Girt, New Jersey dining room from Christina Kim Interior Design, framing the open view of the entry, stairs, and home office, which is painted in a darker shade of blue. Using variations on blue and white throughout the home reinforces the coastal theme while creating enough variation to keep it interesting.

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    Add a Quirky Chandelier

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    Fantastic Frank

    Dining room pendant lighting can be used to anchor the table, define the space in an open area, add ambient light, or start a conversation. This Scandi dining room from Fantastic Frank has classic black wood spindle back chairs, a simple white table, and a playful pair of wineglass chandeliers that is quirky and fun.

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  • 39 of 50

    Use Bench Seating

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    Design by Kara Mann

    If you're working with a narrow or limited space, adding a bench on one or both sides of the dining table reduces visual clutter and will save you having to push chairs in and out as you pass by, like this historic farmhouse renovation from interior designer Kara Mann in Westchester County, New York.

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  • 40 of 50

    Make It a Piano Bar

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    Fantastic Frank

    This dining room from Fantastic Frank features an upright piano, turning it into a music room by day and the perfect place for impromptu after-dinner entertainment that will have your friends and family lingering over the table until all hours at your own private piano bar. While adding an upright piano to your dining room is a sure way to add ambiance, it can also be a practical decision if you don't have enough space in the living room.

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    Add Rustic Elements

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    Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Reid Rolls

    A simple farm table, vintage wooden folding chairs with an aged and weathered patina, and an old watering can in the guise of a vase creates a sense of history in this simple and humbly decorated cottage dining room from Leanne Ford Interiors.

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    Hang Graphic Wallpaper

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    Design by Leclair Decor

    This coastal San Francisco dining room from Leclair Decor has white shiplap-clad vaulted ceilings, a neutral color palette, and black-and-white wallpaper that adds a soft modern graphic element while preserving the light and airy indoor/outdoor feel.

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  • 43 of 50

    Add a Coffee Bar

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    Most Lovely Things

    Blogger Annie Diamond from Most Lovely Things added a self-serve coffee bar station adjacent to her dining room that's set up for convenient morning coffee and after-dinner espressos, and helps free up space in the adjacent kitchen. Open storage and floating shelves house mugs, table linens, and other essentials.

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  • 44 of 50

    Repurpose an Unused Fireplace

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    Design by Brexton Cole Interiors

    Even an unused fireplace adds atmosphere to a room. In this cozy dining room from Brexton Cole Interiors, an antique fireplace is painted glossy black and its empty firebox is stuffed with books, an eye-catching decorating move that might otherwise strike fear in a book lover's heart.

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    Cover the Walls With Art

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    Design by Tyler Karu / Photo by Justin Levesque

    Interior designer Tyler Karu used a maximalist take on the gallery wall to turn every wall in this 1700s farmhouse dining room into an excuse to hang an assortment of framed art. Antique French chairs, a modern table, and sculptural knotted rope pendant lighting completes the eclectic look.

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  • 46 of 50

    Go Retro

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    A Beautiful Mess

    This vintage wood, glass front china cabinet from A Beautiful Mess adds some nostalgic vibes to a modern dining room and houses a collection of colored glassware. A sculptural round table, a simple globe pendant light, and rattan chairs complete the neo retro look.

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    Add a Showy Wine Cellar

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    Design by Kate Marker Interiors / Photo by Stoffer Photography

    This spacious suburban dining room from Kate Marker Interiors is all about the bling, from the oversized modern crystal chandelier hanging over the table to the showy adjacent metal and glass-front wine cellar that gives diners a view of the owner's impressive collection of bottles.

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    Try an Oval Table

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    A Beautiful Mess

    The dining table is the anchor piece to your dining room design. While it's hard to go wrong with a classic rectangle, depending on the shape of your room and your preferences, you can also choose a round, square, or oval table. This DIY oval table inspired by the Saarinen classic from A Beautiful Mess is paired with Eames Eiffel-style chairs, pink walls, green plants, and a midcentury modern-style sputnik pendant light, preserving flow in a relatively small space.

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    Use Muted Colors

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    Design by Ashley Montgomery Design

    Rustic ceiling beams, muted taupes and soft black accents, copper and earthenware accessories, and a mix of wood finishes from the farm table to the flooring makes this farmhouse dining room from Ashley Montgomery Design a timeless and calming spot for gathering.

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    Add a Living Wall

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    Design by Maite Granda

    This Florida dining room from Maite Granda has a floor-to-ceiling living wall that brings some scene-stealing, feel-good outdoor vibes into the contemporary space. If you don't have the budget for a floor-to-ceiling green wall, adding plants or a preserved moss wall hanging will create a similar if less dramatic effect.