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Interior Design: How to Set up and Decorate a Dining Room

Last modified: 2021-09-28 | Approximate reading time 6 mins

Amanda Harvey

The dining room is a versatile and important fixture in the home. Not only does this space often connect a room or two, but it’s also multi-functional and can act as a place to relax, entertain or in some cases, work. When it comes to arranging your furniture, fixtures, and accessories, you may at first find the task challenging.

Since it serves many purposes, there need to be organizational methods in place to keep things under control, chic and comfortable.

So, if you’re looking for some interior design tips for your dining room, then you’re moving in the right direction. This article will look at some current design trends and how you can tie them into your needs in order to create an ideal dining room.

Interior design: arranging a dining room

dining room interior decor

source: pexels

What are you working with?


When it comes to your dining room, the first thing necessary to determine is the kind of space you’re working with. Start by drawing a quick sketch of the shape and dimensions of the room. Now that you have a general idea of the shape you’re working with, you can start to think about what you envision using the room for. List all of the things you’d like to do in this room, and narrow down the most realistic options.


Will it be used to entertain, eat, spend time with family? Are you considering it as a home office, a space to relax or just dining only? Once you’ve determined your ideal use of the space, you can start to think about your needs and what should be included in the room. Ask yourself the following questions:


  • How much storage space do you need?
  • What type of furniture will work best? (static, multi-functional, etc)
  • Who will spend the most time here?

Knowing the answers will allow you to really start planning how to arrange this room to suit both your tastes and your needs.

Clear away clutter

It’s possible that at this current moment, your dining room is simply a table and some chairs. If this is the case, it’s likely the table holds plenty of clutter which tends to accumulate. Items like mail, bills, homework, toys, pens, pencils, and even clothing can find their way to the dining room table, especially if this room isn’t used regularly.

Don’t allow these things to pile up, and if they have, take the time to organize, properly place or toss out what you don’t need and aren’t using. Rather than treat it as a dumping ground, it’s crucial to instill in yourself and your family that this room should remain tidy. If this room will be used as a home office or homework station, consider placing a recycling bin in close reach so that leftover papers don’t stay sitting on the dinner table. 

Aside from clearing space on the table, consider other aspects of this room that may have piled up over time. Is your best china on display in a cabinet? Think about choosing just a few pieces to display and packing away the rest. This can make room for additional display pieces that are a little more modern or some additional storage space. 

dining room decor

source: unsplash

Choosing furniture: storage-smart or multi-functional

Again, when choosing the furniture for this room, it’s crucial to think about what you’re using it for and the functionality of the furniture. We’re going to cover a few key pieces of the dining room: 

Table:  If you’re going to be using the space primarily for dining, then the table will be the most important feature of the space. When choosing a table shape, go back to the dimensions of your room, as well as the number of people you need to accommodate. You may want to choose a table that’s able to expand and collapse when necessary, especially if you have a small household but entertain often.

If working with a large space, we’d suggest rectangular or oval, or small consider square or round. When it comes to placement, the main thing to avoid is disrupting the flow of traffic in this space or throughout your home. Leave room between the main pathway, walls, and table. With that in mind, make sure to create a distinct dining area by anchoring your table to a spot in the room, whether that’s beneath a light fixture, centered in front of a wall or bank of windows. 

Chairs: Alongside your table, you’ll need a chair or two. You may choose to buy a dining set, or mix and match styles for a more eclectic look. Chairs should be functional, comfortable but still present as sleek and chic. If you’re going with the mix and match option, do be sure that the chairs fit under the table comfortably.

Rugs: A rug is an exceptional way to define the space and mood. Not only this, it offers an extra layer of comfort for the room. If you have young children and are worried about things spills and stains, we’d suggest choosing a fabric that’s easy to clean such as cotton or synthetic fabric. If the rug has an intricate pattern or design, it’ll work to hide crumbs or other imperfections. Do be certain when choosing a size that the rug is larger than your table so that pulled-back chairs don’t end up caught on it.

Lighting: Now, the right lighting and fixture can really add the final touch to your dining room. Whether it’s elegance you’re seeking or a modern touch, there are plenty of options when it comes to style and design. Chandeliers and pendant lighting are two popular choices to hang over the dining table. Fixed track lighting is another excellent option, as you can change up the placement of each fixture.

dining room interior design

source: unsplash

Storage solutions

Now, aside from furniture and fixtures, you’ll need to consider how to keep this space tidy and organized. We mentioned that storage is key. Consider furniture with built-in storage, such as a window ottoman or upholstered bench that can hold items underneath the seat. If there isn’t room for anything aside from a table, chairs and an armoire, then consider retrofitting your armoire with shelving or extra cubbies to store things.

A side table is another option, especially if you’re trying to divide the dining room from the living room or kitchen. If you have a bit of flexibility in your budget, you may even want to have a storage piece custom-designed to really stand out.

Working with an interior designer for your dining room transformation project

Looking for someone with an eye for design to help you renovate your dining room? Why not hire an interior designer. Skilled and versatile, interior designers can work your needs and preferences into a space that is completely optimized. Not only will they be able to create a beautiful room, but they will also be sure to work within your budget and timeframe. When hiring a designer, take a peek at their portfolio to see what they've done before and if your tastes will mesh. Looking for inspiration? Head to our Facebook account or read these articles:

One of our writers has shared her experience collaborating with an interior designer for a large-scale renovation project. To read her article, click here.

Get 3 renovation quotes for your dining room renovation project can help you get quotes for your dining room renovation project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with the most suitable contractors for you. Fill in the form on our homepage (only a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from kitchen renovation specialists.

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