Dining Design Guide – 6 Tips For Bringing New Life Into Your Dining Room


The poor old traditional dining room has suffered somewhat of an identity crisis of late.With so many contemporary home designs focussing on the kitchen / meals area, many dining rooms have been left to wilt from neglect.

With the recent renewed interest in the dinner party raised by numerous television shows, many people are now dusting off the silverware and resurrecting the art of fine dining.  While formal dining areas may no longer be the family hub they once were, they are now reemerging as a centre for socially stimulating dinner parties.

If this new wave of culinary entertaining sounds appealing, it may be time to give the old dining room a little love.  With this in mind, I have put together some simple suggestions to bring back some pizazz and return your dining room to an alluring part of the family home.

Colourful class

Let’s begin with a blank canvas–remove furnishings and drapery from the room, if possible.  Once this has been achieved, you are ready to transform the room to it’s full potential.

Select your colour palette. This is where personal taste needs to have a voice.  No matter what your final colour board is, through the use of quality curtain fabric, judicious paint application and luxury wallpaper choice, you can evoke warmth and allure. 


Whether you decide on one large overhanging feature light, downlights or a mixture of lamps and candles, your lighting will have a dramatic impact on the final ambience of the room.Whether that be through contemporary sophistication, classic elegance or dramatic decadence–the choice is yours.

Consider the following suggestions:

  • Dark walls – dining usually takes place in the evening and the use of dark blues, greens or charcoal can instill an intimate atmosphere into a room.
  • Pick out wall colours in your drapery – curtains, cushions and even napkins.
  • Floral centrepieces can accent a range of colours and be used to bring your colour palette together.

Setting the scene 


Your dining table and chairs should be the main statement pieces in the room, drawing the eye and welcoming you to sit and stay awhile.  Contemporary stylists have moved towards creating an eclectic mix of chairs through a combination of colours and fabrics but all under a common umbrella of style. 

When throwing social gatherings you will require a table to seat at least 8 to 10 guests.  Contemporary style has moved away from the traditional highly polished tables and sideboards.  Consider:

  • Rustic distressed woods
  • French provincial
  • Upcycled pieces 
  • Shabby chic

Soft glow – lighting

Whether you decide on one large overhanging feature light, downlights or a mixture of lamps and candles, your lighting will have a dramatic impact on the final ambience of the room.

For evening soirees, thoughtfully positioned candelabras are the ideal lighting to relax guests and show your room off to best advantage.  By incorporating a large mirror to reflect your lighting, you can create a magical and spacious feel to the room.

Warming welcome


Creating a room which beckons you in, begins with setting the scene with a warm and inviting open fire–the crackling wood and rustic smell of smoke.  For those not fortunate enough to have a ready built fireplace or gas fire, the electric fireplace may just be your saviour. I swear by these versatile devices myself as they come in a variety of styles from contemporary to classic and can be moved from room to room as needs dictate–plug and go simplicity!

Table setting


Source: (www.hgtv.com)

The table setting will draw the eye and set the scene for the promise of a magical evening ahead.  This is where your artistic talents can have free reign with colour and styling.

Polished silverware, sparkling crystal glasses, stunning floral centerpieces and elegant crockery will all come together to make guests gasp in delight on entering the room.

Casually perfect

Where once dinner party hosts aimed for structured perfection for their guests, the trend has now moved to casual elegance.  Hosts no longer find themselves walking around the table with a tape measure working out the distance between cutlery and plates.  A relaxed, cheerful host is a far more accurate barometer of whether your evening will be a success, than well placed flatware.

If you are looking to bring a little more social intercourse into your life, overhauling your dining room may be the place to begin.  With some well implemented design strategies, you may be soon on your way to a new world of dining delight.

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