5 Tips for Designing a Dining Room

by Ann Hayward 05/02/2021

Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay

Your dining room might serve as your main eating area, or you might just use it on special occasions, such as holiday gatherings. Whether you get a lot or just a little use out of your dining room, it’s important to make sure this space looks its best. If you’re thinking of ways to spruce up your dining room, keep these design tips in mind.

Table Shape

While rectangular tables are common in dining rooms, they’re not your only option. For a smaller dining room, you can choose a square table. This works well if you don’t usually have more than a few people at your dining room table.

To improve the flow of the room, consider choosing a round table. Round dining room tables work best in open dining rooms that lead to other rooms or areas, rather than in closed-off dining rooms. These tables can make it easier for people to get from one area to the next without having to avoid sharp table corners or edges.

Chair and Table Heights

This is an easy design factor to overlook, but it’s important to make sure chair and table heights offer comfortable seating. You might not have this problem if you’re purchasing a set of table and chairs. However, this can be an issue if you’re considering mixing and matching a table and chairs, such as a vintage table with more modern chairs. Your dining room chairs should be high enough while still leaving plenty of space for people to sit comfortably at the table.

Area Rugs

Area rugs can help define your dining room space. Consider placing a large area rug under your table and chairs. Just make sure your area rug is the right size for the room. Area rugs in dining rooms should be a couple of feet wider than your dining room table on each side. An area rug that’s too small can seem out of place. Choose a rug that complements the rest of your dining room design in terms of color, or consider an area rug with a bold pattern to liven up an otherwise neutral dining room.

Lighting Fixtures

Your dining room should provide the right amount of lighting that’s not overly harsh or too dim. Choose a pendant light to go over your dining room table for a classic and elegant look. Ideally, your pendant light fixture should have a dimmer switch, so you can adjust how bright the room is. Depending on the layout and size of your dining room, you might not need any other lighting. However, you might consider wall sconces if you have a larger dining room or if your pendant fixture doesn’t have adjustable lighting. Wall sconces can add softer lighting to your dining room if needed. These light fixtures can also add illumination to dining rooms that don’t have windows.

Colors and Textures

Different color and texture combinations can add visual appeal to your dining room. In addition to an area rug, you can also experiment with different color and texture combinations with accent pieces, chair upholstery and window treatments. For example, you might pair bamboo blinds with an earth-toned area rug and reclaimed wood accent pieces. You can try a variety of color and texture combinations to get the exact look you want for your dining room.

About the Author

Ann Hayward

Born in Philadelphia and raised in the suburbs, Ann Hayward got her Pennsylvania real estate license at age 18 even before going to college. This second-generation real estate professional followed in the footsteps of her father and two uncles, inheriting their passion for the business. Licensed in DC, Maryland and Virginia, Ann is accomplished in her career, with numerous designations including SFR, SRES, PSA, WHC, and multiunit Housing Development Finance Professional (HDFP) from the National Development Council. She specializes in Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties, Northern Virginia and Washington, DC, all jurisdictions where Ann has lived and knows very well. In addition to her professional expertise, she owns and manages personal investment property, understands and has been involved in the renovation/remodeling process, and has great resources which she shares with clients. When you hire Ann to represent you, she will make your buying or selling experience an enjoyable, rewarding one. Her compassion, sensitivity to her clients’ needs, eye for detail, and ability to see the big picture when guiding you through a purchase or sale are unique assets that will ensure your success. A diverse and relevant background also gives Ann a distinct edge. For 30 years, she worked in fast-paced, high-pressure television and theatrical production, attaining the highest achievement – DGA membership as a Director, and as an award-winning staff and freelance writer. Her keen audio visual skills and design sense benefit sellers in marketing their properties, and are invaluable in helping buyers see the potential of space. A true renaissance woman, Ann was also an income tax professional and office manager for H&R Block, so she thoroughly understands the tax and financial implications of acquiring and selling real estate. Her superior organizational skills are further evidenced as owner of a downsizing/professional organizing business, Managed For You, which allows her to connect with everyone from millennials to boomers and seniors, whether for small space planning or assisting with major decluttering and transitioning. Ann holds an AB in American History from Simmons College, Boston, plus attended Robert Wagner Graduate School of Public Administration where she was a candidate for Doctorate. She additionally studied Film Direction at the American Film Institute in LA, and was a Stanford University post-graduate Professional Journalism Fellow. Personally, Ann is an avid if not very good golfer, and the co-founder of a nonprofit 501c3 organization offering educational guidance, tutoring and counseling for youngsters from elementary school through college admission. She sits on the board of trustees of a nonprofit educational film production corporation as well. (202) 494-6252 [email protected]