10 Simple Decorating Tricks to Transform Your Dining Room
Despite often being the centrepiece of your at-home social life, dining rooms have a reputation for being decoratively overlooked. If yours is feeling a little drab – too lived in, unremarkable, too plain or just uninteresting – then perhaps it’s time for a spruce. Not only will you adore hosting and entertaining in a refreshed space, but your guests are bound to notice the difference.
From grand entertaining spaces to cosy dining nooks, it might seem a little daunting to completely rejig what is generally a function-first room. That’s why we’ve rounded up our ten top tricks to completely transform your dining room – these easy steps will help you curate your best dining room yet.
1. Start with Table Size
Whether you believe size matters or not, it’s definitely something that can make or break your dining room, both in terms of functionality and aesthetics. Optimise the flow of your room by ensuring you’ve got at least 1 metre of space surrounding your dining table of choice, so that you can comfortably pull out chairs, move around and generally mingle with ease. Don’t forget to consider any sideboards or additional furniture pieces in the room when sizing up your room!
2. Choose the Shape of the Table
Just as important as the size of your dining table is its shape! Once again, this will often be dependent on the size and design of the room you’re working with, but thankfully, there are gorgeous options in an array of shapes and styles. Round or ovular tables will help you maximise space, and the way dining chairs are subsequently placed encourages an open and inclusive flow of conversation. Square or rectangular tables are better suited to rooms with more space, but also add structure to a room and suit a more traditional style.
If you’re a little short on space, but want the best of both worlds, consider an extendable dining table. These can be stored in their smaller form and pulled out when extra guests need to be seated. They’re perfect for transitioning between smaller, more intimate get-togethers and larger dinner parties.
3. Use an Area Rug
Now that the table is all sorted, it’s time to start honing in on the various elements that will tie your dining room together, creating an enviably-styled space for incredible food and even better conversation. Rugs serve a few purposes – they add flair, define your space and ‘ground’ your table and chairs within the room. They’re especially helpful if your home has an open floor plan that flows from one room to the next, as they’ll help separate each space.
The style and shape of the rug you choose will firstly be dependent on the existing aesthetic in your dining room. If your style is more modern or minimalist, opt for something neutral in a block colour or very subtle pattern. Feeling funkier? A patterned rug in a beautiful paisley or tribal print will really tie the room together. In terms of shape, you’ll generally want to mirror the shape of your table to keep things cohesive, however, this isn't a hard and fast rule. Just ensure each side of the rug extends approximately 60cm from your table on all sides.
If you’re a regular entertainer, or even just a die-hard home chef, chances are you’ll need some quality storage in your dining room to keep any must-haves like crockery and cutlery safely in check. Thankfully, furniture pieces like hand-crafted sideboards, beautiful wooden consoles and buffet-style cabinets exist! These are a gorgeous way to add storage as well as visual interest to your dining room.
Depending on the style of your dining room, you’ve got so many options for storage. Traditionalists might love a tall, bookshelf-like cabinet with exposed storage, whereas fans of mid-century styles could opt for a chic wooden sideboard in a stunning deep brown wood. If you don’t need a whole lot of storage, why not go for a bar cabinet? These smaller options will still let you stack up the essentials, plus they look gorgeous styled with your favourite aperitifs and some metal accents.
5. Settle in Style Chairs
You’ve sorted your table, but what about its accompanying chairs? This decor decision can be a tricky one, but chairs are key to elevating your space and adding yet another layer of your own personal style. Even if you opt for something simple, your dining chairs should make a statement.
When selecting your chairs, be sure to consider the material, height and overall style of the chairs. Will they be comfortable during long, relaxing nights spent chatting with friends? Will they tuck neatly under your table of choice? Do they tie in with your existing decor or are they accent pieces? Be sure to consider fun elements like plush velvet upholstery, touches of metal or rich wooden tones.
6. Introduce Your At-Home Bar
No matter your tipple of choice, a bar cabinet is one of the chicest elements you can add to your dining room. You’ll have ingredients for your favourite drinks to hand while entertaining, and you’ll also add a secondary point of interest to the room, creating depth and excitement. There are a few ways to construct a beautiful bar in your dining room – and they’re all valid – but in particular, we love an open-front cabinet to showcase gorgeous bottles and glassware. If you prefer a closed cabinet, why not stack your go-to items on top using a beautiful bar tray?
7. Keep the Room Clear and Calm
Dining rooms often lend themselves to other activities, from family puzzle night to a quiet spot for the kids to do their homework when the kitchen is a flurry of activity. If this sounds like your household, it’s important to keep your dining room free of clutter and give yourself the space to freely move around while performing daily tasks. This means that when it’s time to entertain or dine, tidying is simpler, and it’s easier to connect with your loved ones without distraction.
Relegate bookshelves, desks, storage cabinets and other large furniture pieces to other rooms where possible, encouraging segmentation and restoring the room to its intended use.
8. Liven Up Empty Space
Dining room decor is generally on the simpler side, but one way to inject personality is through wall art. From traditional paintings to abstract art, photography and multimedia work, there are limitless options, each of which will give your dining room a completely different tone and feel. Art is the perfect way to showcase who you and your family are without compromising the style you’ve so carefully curated.
9. Use Warm Colours
A tip for making your dining room the inviting, intimate space it should be is to use warm tones when decorating and selecting furniture. Think of your ideal dinner party – chances are, you’ve pictured a relaxed atmosphere, low lighting, and possibly, warm, welcoming shades. To bring this dream to life, we recommend opting for warm wood tones like chestnut across your furniture, keeping things as consistent as possible to create a cohesive design. Complement these pieces with decor in shades of brown, rust, cream, gold and olive, to name a few. Top it all off with diffused warm lighting for a room that you’ll want to spend all your time in.
10. Classic Colour Schemes
Finally, if colour choices are getting you down, it’s best to go back to basics! The classics are classic for a reason – they’ll never lose their popularity, they’re easy to style and always look chic and clean. Go for monochrome with a variety of whites or browns, or opt for traditional achromatic with a modern black and white look. Neutrals and tonal palettes are also go-to options that lend themselves to simple styling and a huge range of aesthetic choices.
Take your dining room to the next level – and step up your entertaining game while you’re at it – with these ten simple decorating tricks. With a space that’s functional yet beautiful and perfectly designed, you’ll want to invite guests over for every meal . . . as long as they do the catering every now and then.
Shop BROSA’s range of dining room furniture and decor with Australia-wide shipping to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and beyond.