A Little Bit Country
Blend rustic charm with French elegance in a dining room reminiscent of a countryside chateau. Wide-plank floors and a chunky farm table are traditional basics, while a detailed chandelier and transferware plates up the ante, introducing sophisticated French elements.
- For rustic charm, choose dining chairs with a warm patina.
- Woven seats on these chairs add texture to the room.
- Change the lampshades on a chandelier to reflect the season.
- Green walls bring the outdoors insider
Adding Warmth and White
A warm-as-toast raised hearth and an extra-large firebox bring views of a roaring fire to the dining area. The fireplace's sculptural limestone surround complements a pale terra-cotta tile floor, off-white walls, and dark-stained antique English table.
- The absence of artwork and fabrics makes textures more prominent.
- An antique or a vintage table can be a sturdy choice for family dining.
- Rush seat chairs are a classic neutral choice.
- Texture appears in interesting chair backs, ribbed glass, and tile floor.
Beyond the Pale
A dramatic painting gives this sunny dining room its punch. The other elements in the room are kept clean-lined and neutral to balance the powerful focal point. Chairs covered in washable white duck surround the simple farm table. The light-tone wood floors are left bare.
- Art needn't be hung on white walls to make it stand out.
- Your home should incorporate the colors you love and that make you happy.
- White baseboards provide visual relief.
- Displaying color in your home takes courage, but it can make a big impact.
Black Dining Area
A neutral background and simple parquet flooring allow interesting accessories to be the main attraction of this eating area next to a kitchen. Though the chandelier is traditional, the art and furnishings are contemporary.
- Dramatic artwork, lit by a picture light, is noticed immediately.
- Touches of black and bits of gold bring a cohesive look to the small room.
- Small gold saucers, hung high on the wall, bring a bit of sparkle.
- Five identical picture frames help unite a group of family photos.
In this cool contemporary space, only a muted green rug and vibrant vase break up the simple black-and-white palette. Italian woven chairs surround a vintage table refinished in chocolate brown. A Kapa shell light fixture from the Philippines hangs from the ceiling.
- White walls keep architectural elements from competing with furnishings.
- Displaying artwork in the wall nook minimizes the wide open space.
- Fresh white lilies add a crisp, classic touch to the modern space.
- Bamboo blinds mimic the textured look of the woven chairs.
Bold & Beautiful Dining
Flowing traffic patterns and abundant natural light make this uncluttered dining room perfect for entertaining. Its oxblood-and-ebony color scheme plays out on a neutral background. In the adjoining kitchen, polished granite-tile countertops grace custom-built maple cabinetry.
- Funky light fixtures shine above Asian-style ceramics and mid-century, modern-look furnishings.
- The texture of the area rug and window treatments inject a natural note into the chrome-and-glass- filled space.
- A mix of rough and sleek surfaces make stylish living the focus.
- A monochromatic color scheme is the perfect showcase for modern furniture and accents.
This banquette niche, created from a former laundry room, embodies what modern traditionalism is all about. The streamlined shape and warm wood recall the spare but inviting look of Scandinavian design. Brown vinyl upholstery, cozy pillows, and pretty accessories make the space feel more like a living room than a kitchen.
- A textured drum shade is a warm alternative to a metal chandelier.
- From moldings to paneling, trimwork is key to adding architectural interest.
- Tongue-and-groove paneling gives the walls texture that no paint treatment could match.
- Confining patterns to accessories keeps a small space from looking too busy.
Casual Wicker Dining
Family-friendly wicker chairs surround this homeowner-crafted farmhouse-style dining room table. Nearby sits a 400-year-old carved chest with hand-forged hardware.
- The neutral floor and area rug duplicate tones of the wood and wicker.
- Loosely fitted chair cushions can be cleaned or updated as needed.
- Touches of iron are repeated in the wall sconces and chandelier.
Changing Table Style
Are you stuck with a table that's no longer your style? Take heart. This dining room surrounds a neutral contemporary table with French Country style. Tones of white and cream on the walls are reflected in the creamware collection and the chair fabric as well.
- Dark wood floors and furniture ground a pale room with some deep tones.
- Notice the many curves and circles, visibly relating each element.
- Small touches of gilt add touches of sparkle to the room.
- A display of all-white depends on shape and shadow for interest.
A blue Asian-style rug contributes fresh color to an otherwise neutral dining room. Though all of the room's woodwork was painted white, none of its linear quality or substance has been lost.
- Pops of color help add interest to neutral spaces.
- Straight-lined furniture fits into an electic room.
- Cabinet hardware and leaded glass panels contribute to texture.
A palette inspired by nature creates a serene scheme in this vintage-look dining room. Architectural details add subtle interest to the clean design while down-to-earth furnishings, including a large trestle table and slipcovered chairs, anchor the room.
- The dining chairs are dressed in easy-to-launder slipcovers.
- Dark wood floors ground the space without appearing heavy.
- Wide moldings, paneled doors, and dark wood floors create a vintage look.
- Small prints framed with large mats look simply elegant above the mantel.
Splashed with color, this vintage kitchen looks thoroughly modern. Blue and pink cabinets, green floors, and burgundy built-in banquettes are lively additions to the white-walled space. The table serves as a dining spot and extra workspace, while a fabric-covered corkboard above the banquette displays mementos and photos.
- The original chandelier, with its crystal teardrops, adds vintage charm to the space.
- The lace tablecloth, crystal chandelier, and glass bottles are pretty, feminine touches.
- Light hits the glass balls hanging in the window, giving the kitchen a special glow.
- Bring instant depth to a kitchen by painting a bank of cabinets a bright hue.
Cozy Cottage Dining
A simple banquet is the perfect solution for a small space dining room. To add a bit of cottage flair, this room pairs a mix of antique inspired chairs with an oak table.
- Choose casual fabric like this simple stripe to add to the cottage feel.
- Mix and match wood types in the room for a more rustic approach.
- Search flea markets for antique chandeliers like this one or your local home improvement stores for a replica.
Dine in Style
Using modern materials in a vintage home gives it a young energy. This once-formal dining room was given a pared-down casual style more appropriate for daily use. Fiberglass chairs are child-friendly and provide a contrast to the dark patina of the table.
- Designed by Eero Saarinen, these tulip chairs are modern classics.
- Simple architectural prints make unique artwork with a masculine vibe.
- White moldings pop against dark floors and furnishings.
- Adding an upholstered pad to the chairs makes them more practical.
A formal dining room is all about entertaining. This dining table seats six for an intimate affair or can expand to accommodate a party of 12. French doors around the room allow dinner parties to spill out onto an adjoining patio. A traditional sideboard, which stores extra linens and dinnerware, can serve as a buffet.
- A large potted plant brings a bit of the outdoors inside.
- Leaving the wood floors bare keeps them bright and makes the room feel more open.
- Simple silver candlesticks and flowers in small glass bottles make a striking centerpiece.
- The moldings, hardwood floors, and crystal chandelier are true to the period of the home.
Inspired by the glitz and glamour of Old Hollywood, this luxe dining room features a dynamic display wall. Identically framed and symmetrically arranged prints by a French painter lend the air of a classic library to this traditionally furnished space.
- A ceiling medallion is a classic touch at the top of the chandelier.
- Get creative with architectural details, such as using moldings as frames.
- Beautiful parquet floors are left bare to show off the interesting pattern.
- The carved chairs and triple pedestal table match the room's elegant style.
Golden Glory Dining
Drenched in red and gold, this dining room looks like a million bucks. Tinted plaster mixed with marble dust coats the walls, buffed to produce a soft sheen. Dining chairs upholstered in gold damask are a soft touch against the wood table. A large area rug brings color underfoot and gold drapes tie the palette together.
- An area rug prevents scratches from dining chair legs on a wood floor.
- A grouping of botanical prints add lightness to the vivid walls.
- A round table with a single pedestal offers flexible seating options.
- Known to stimulate the appetite, red is a perfect choice for a dining room.
Living in Light
Though this home's color palette is pale, each fabric features a texture to help hide the dirt and wear common to a home that includes three children. In this dining room, an oversize lantern-style chandelier reinforces the center of the room and the mahogany dining table.
- Traditional furnishings are mixed with modern chairs and accessories.
- Furniture details lend interest and texture to the space.
- A pale, neutral background lets bursts of color take center stage.
- Window shades offer privacy and let in light above.
Bare wood floors gleam under the 1940s Heywood-Wakefield table and modern designer chairs. Overhead, a trio of pendant lights serves to illuminate the length of the table and supplies a touch of tailored and striped pattern to the otherwise plain scheme.
- Classic white dishes in sculptural shapes convey modern minimalism.
- The wheeled cart transports items from kitchen to table and back.
- Accessories, like dinner napkins, can provide distinctive pops of color.
Turn the tables in a dining room by blending designer goods with items from discount stores. In this splashy dining room, a flea market table teams with pricey Louis XVI-inspired armchairs. Bargain-priced accessories justify a few splurges, including a focal-point rug.
- Logs bundled with twine give a decorative fireplace a dose of reality.
- Colorful accessories play against the pure white surfaces.
- Make art pop against white walls by layering it on a painted canvas.
- Solid-and-sheer striped curtains let in light while still allowing privacy.
This dining room perfectly reflects both its owners' tastes. Clean lines, a cool color palette, and minimal accessories please the husband's contemporary leanings, while heavy drapes, a dripping chandelier, and rich wood tones satisfy the wife's traditional interests.
- French doors separate the dining room from the living room.
- A reproduction French crystal chandelier and sconces add warm elegance.
- In an unusual twist, the modern chairs are tufted.
- Upholstered walls soundproof the room.
Punchy Palette Living
This room is a fiesta of color! The blending of styles includes retro, modern, country, and even a little tropical (notice the hint of a pineapple motif in the chandelier), based on the look of Fiesta pottery.
- Orange ruffles on the seat cushions add texture and flair.
- The dining set and rug provide a comforting country element to this room.
- Colorful tableware can mix and match at will.
- Bold wall color in chartreuse was taken directly from the pottery.
Return to Splendor
Fine antiques and rich fabrics give this dining room a heightened sense of grandeur. The Louis Philippe dining chairs were upholstered in an orange-melon hue pulled from the antique Oushak rug. A gold and crystal French chandelier continues the high-minded style overhead.
- The walls are kept neutral to balance the heavy doses of melon in the room.
- White enamel took the chairs from dark and stuffy to light and classic.
- Panels of iridescent orange silk add glamour to the adjacent living room.
- Gold-accented china and flatware enhance the dining room's overall glow.
Simple Design Dining
The elegantly simple design of this contemporary dining room is easy on the eye with painted walls and ebony wood floors. Gently curving lines balance the starkly linear look of the wood floor and French doors.
- The home's remodel added single-pane French doors that open the space to light and views.
- New doorways were raised to 7 feet, giving the ceilings a greater sense of height.
- Plush dining chairs add soft contrast to the room's shiny surfaces.
- Recessed ceiling lights and sconces offer sleek good looks in small spaces.
Simple Dining Style
Devoid of frills, this dining room adopts traditional elements displayed with an eye for contemporary simplicity. Diagonally installed wood flooring mimics an area rug, while up at the ceiling a crystal chandelier stands out against the casually rough brick fireplace.
- The floor's diagonal lines draw the eye into the space.
- Vaulted ceilings add height and volume to this small room.
- White walls and upholstery contribute to a contemporary feel.
- The absence of accessories keeps the look simple.
Small but Mighty
In a small room, space planning is the key to success. To make the most of this diminutive dining room, which shares some of its 200 square feet with the front entryway, an efficient butler's pantry with a glass counter hugs the wall adjoining the kitchen.
- Made of capiz shells, the chandelier is a feminine touch.
- White woodwork and pale walls keep the small space bright and airy.
- Glass-front cabinets put dishes on display; solid doors below hide messes.
- Upholstered chairs and a large area rug bring needed color to the space.
This smart dining room is lively and current but built around pieces that will last, including sturdy dining tables and classic parsons chairs. Affordable accessories, such as the textured rug and modern artwork, add bursts of color and reflect trends but are easily replaced as the owners' tastes change.
- Artwork commissioned from beginning artists is an affordable solution.
- The two tables slip together to make one large table or they can be used separately.
- The sculptural pendent lights add texture without introducing more color to the room.
- The dining chairs are upholstered in neutral leather for classic appeal.
A simple palette of white, cream, and deep brown flows throughout this home, including the dining room where rich stained oak floors complement the walnut furnishings. The dining table's clean lines are accompanied by such details as angular notches on the legs.
- A band of windows placed high on the wall ensures privacy.
- Buy furniture with your home's lines, forms, and details in mind.
- The custom-designed table and benches seat up to 10.
- Area rugs help to clearly define living and dining areas.
The American Way
A New England farmhouse demands decor that's Colonial chic. This original dining room is traditional and simple. At its center stands an antique walnut single drop-leaf table dating to 1810; the table is surrounded by four reproduction Windsor chairs.
- A palette of fall tones (beiges and browns) creates a comfortable space.
- The chandelier is an antiques-store find.
- The elegant old windows are covered with simple wood blinds.
- The landscape painting brings a modern freshness to the room.
Though furnished with fine antiques, including a stately Federal table, and accented by old oil paintings, this room possesses a casual air thanks to smart color choices and use of texture. The lush embroidered silk that hangs in luminous panels at the room's windows sparked the room's design.
- A nubby sisal rug and slipcovered chairs reinforce the room's casual feel.
- The window panels puddle at the floor, echoing poufs along the headers.
- Piping, buttons, and pleated skirts add dressmaker details to the simple slipcovers.
- Textural tissue-glazed walls lend fresh vitality to the room.
Though this kitchen is fairly neutral, the banquette makes a color statement in a mix of blue vinyl (for kid-friendly clean up) and a coordinating fabric on the backrest. The view is dominant so window treatments were eliminated and the chandelier was kept out of the way.
- Placing the banquette on legs gives it the illusion of being a sofa.
- The banquette was built with a handy display shelf at the back.
- A freestanding table makes it easy to move around and clean.
- Light woods and neutral walls defer to pops of color in the seating.
Uniquely Refined Dining
To achieve a sense of elegance and refinement, this small dining room skips applied decorative elements -- window treatments, finials, textured walls -- in favor of simple architectural details. Flat paneling and a picture rail complement the scrubbed-oak dining table.
- The chairs' slipcovers can be removed and washed in case of spills.
- A woven-leather bench under the painting can be draw up to the table for extra seating.
- A light, monochromatic color palette makes the small room feel bright and airy.
- Large-scale furniture populates the room without feeling cramped.
The weathered patina of the beach landscape is reflected in the furniture of this cottage's dining room. The colors of sky and water on the walls and rug are punctuated with soft white, comfortably weathered furnishings. A unifying coat of white paint pulls together the reproduction dining table and old chairs.
- The buffet was painted blue, then white, and then sanded to bring out the under color.
- A garden basket filled with shells was added to the base of the chandelier.
- A bright gold chandelier was transformed with creamy white paint and glass beads.
- A buffet-top mirror reflects light and visually expands the room.
Designing in large, open expanses can be difficult. Rather than force this large area to serve double duty as both living and dining room, the owners instead dedicated the entire space to one purpose. The fireplace provides a stunning backdrop to a dining table and chairs.
- Two pendants provide more light for a long dining table.
- Mixing wood and upholstered dining chairs is a modern idea.
- Some of the dining chairs can be moved by the fireplace after dinner.
- Using the same pale colors throughout the space makes it feel cohesive.
Zesty Fresh Dining
This fresh dining room starts with a green-and-yellow color scheme pulled right out of the drapery fabric. Dynamic apple green paint added punch to the formerly gray walls, while molding got a lift from a coat of bright white. Outdated chairs look new again when covered in more of the luscious apple green.
- A traditional brass chandelier was replaced with a clean-lined fixture that offers more light.
- Table accessory hues tie in with the splashy yellow-and-red curtain fabric.
- Dynamic apple green walls infuse the space with color that contrasts with white ceilings and woodwork.
- Upholstered dining chairs coordinate with the green on the walls.