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10 Simple Decorating Tricks to Transform Your Dining Room 

Your dining room is the centrepiece for socialising. A few subtle and not-so-subtle changes can make all the difference in how your guests perceive it - and how they experience the taste of your food. 

Even the most scrumptious home-cooked spaghetti bolognese can feel like it came from the can when eaten in a poorly-decorated dining room. So, we’re going to teach you how to channel your inner interior decorator.

1. Don’t Place Your Table First

multiple pieces of designer furniture in a dining room

A dining room with only a dining table and chairs for furniture looks bland. Use another large piece of furniture like a sideboard or buffet or an entertainment centre as a secondary focal point. 

Place that item first, then place your table. You always want to have clearance, and you can only judge that with all the large pieces in place.

2. Choose the Shape of the Table

a small designer dining set

A smaller dining room should be like Camelot. Use your judgement on the size of the room and of the table, but the idea is simple; less space means people are more likely to bump painfully into table edges and corners. 

You should probably have at least a metre of clearance from the outermost edges of chairs to the wall. If you have other furniture, adjust this distance to match. Put your smaller table as close to the centre of the room as you can. The more space, the better.

If you can, get a table with leaf inserts. They make it easy to adjust the size.

3. Use an Area Rug

an area rug under a dining set

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Image of area rug used as centrepiece in dining room

Your dining room floor takes lots of abuse from chairs scraping back and forth. If you have a reliable, well-made area rug from our selection, it can cushion your floor, serve as a centrepiece for your room, and give your guests comfort.

4. Change Your Lighting

Pendant lights in a designed dining room

The dining room is supposed to be elegant. Do you want to eat under drab fluorescent lights or blazing bulbs? Probably not. 

Why not spice up your dining room decor with a chandelier or pendant lights? Chandeliers work great for larger dining rooms or elegant occasions. Pendant lights work best for smaller dining rooms. 

Keep candles on hand for smaller, more intimate gatherings. Cliché as it may be, sometimes you don't always want full lighting. No matter what you pick, base your lighting on your dining table, namely hanging it above.

Layer your lights. Use overhead lights as your main source. Add more brightness to the room by using floor lamps or table lamps.

5. Comfy Chairs

comfortable dining chairs in a designed space

Nobody wants to squirm in an uncomfortable chair whilst they try to enjoy dinner. Get highbacked wooden chairs with moderate upholstery and cushioning. They don't have to be ramrod-straight. You're eating and enjoying time with family, not studying for an exam. As long as the dining chair is supportive and looks good in your dining room, that's all that matters.

Choose dark colours for chair upholstery. Dark colours hide stains better. You're not going to leave stains intentionally, but accidents do happen.

Give your guests plenty of leg room under the tabletop or table apron. About half a metre should do the trick. People need room for their feet to touch the floor and not have their knees bump the edge of the table.

6. Generous Table Coverings

a modern dining set in a designed space

Tablecloth or placemat? Who says you have to pick? We certainly don’t - in fact, we think it might be good to use both. A tablecloth gives a little extra visual bulk to the table. The more lavish the occasion, the larger your tablecloth should be.

Have your tablecloth and placemats complement each other. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. Use solid-coloured placemats on patterned cloths, and use patterned placemats on solid tablecloths. It creates a pleasing contrast, so your table doesn't look drab.

Oh, and don’t shy away from plastic tablecloths. They’re much easier to clean and less expensive than actual cloth.

7. Declutter the Space

A minimal dining set in a designed space

Your dining room should be for enjoying food, not for use as a furniture exhibit. Keep only the essential furniture in the area, like the table, chairs, and maybe a glass cabinet. 

If you’re using your dining room as a multitasking space, have extra elements like bookshelves placed as far away from the table and chairs as you can.

If you can move any of your small furniture to another room without sacrificing convenience, then do it. Making your space look wide open enhances the welcoming aspect of your dining room.

8. Liven Up Empty Space

Artwork in the designer dining room

Staring at a blank wall brings hospitals to mind. You don't want your guests to be reminded of being in a hospital, so you should put something on those bare walls. 

Take a look at some of our various wall prints, hanging artwork, and other decors to bring personality to the space. Otherwise, a large blank wall could feel sterile or like it's missing something.

This advice can also go for your table. If your table is too large for your average need, consider replacing it with a smaller one.

9. Use Warm Colours

Warm artwork in a designed space

Put some of that knowledge from art class to use in your interior decorating plan. These warm colours include red, orange, yellow, and every shade in between. 

Warm colours have the effect of making things look closer and more intimate. Check out our selection of warm-coloured furniture and accessories.

10. Use Seasonal Colour Schemes

a seasonal themed dining room

Following from the last suggestion, you can change out your accessories occasionally for ones of more season-appropriate colours if you want. 

Try light greens for spring, full greens for summer, red and yellow for fall, and darker colours for winter. White trim also works well for winter to make it look like your dining room has some snow. You’re not eating outdoors, but you can make it look like you are.
Follow our suggestions to make your dining room look like a place your family and friends will want to spend time. With today’s hectic lifestyle, having a cosy dining room can be just the hint of relaxation your family deserves. Try out some of our dining room furniture to see what works well in your space.