Dining rooms are curious spaces that have traditionally felt quite formal, and some would even argue they’ve fallen out of fashion. New builds often replace them with open living, dining and kitchen areas. Many DIY-savvy homeowners convert them to a study or extra bedroom.
While there’s nothing wrong with reimagining your space, don’t be too quick to dismiss your dining room. With the right styling, it has the potential to become the heart of your home and a special place for eating, celebrating and making memories. Far from being a symbol of wealth and privilege, dining rooms create meaning by bringing everyone together to enjoy life’s simple pleasures!
If you’re wondering how to decorate a dining room, keep reading for our insider tips and tricks. We share several chic dining room décor ideas and our favourite furniture for dining rooms from the Florence, Edvard Olsen and Hokkaido collections.
Dining room décor ideas
1. Mix and match dining chairs
Modern dining room ideas don’t have to be minimalistic. Cut through monotony and spark interest by mixing and matching dining chairs. Although a little kooky, the mishmash of colours provides a striking contrast against neutral backdrops. Plus, the different shapes interrupt harsh lines for a much-needed softness.
There are a few rules to follow when mixing furniture for dining rooms. Above all else, there needs to be a thread of continuity, so your space doesn’t feel chaotic. You could choose the same style of chairs in clashing colours. Or stick to the same colour but mix up the materials and upholstery.
We love combining sage green dining chairs, dove grey dining chairs and navy blue dining chairs from the timeless Florence collection. The pretty seaside shades invoke images of sunny days and rolling waves, while the ergonomic structures offer unparalleled comfort. Thanks to the high-quality craftsmanship, every mealtime will feel like a five-star experience!
If you’re a fan of modern dining chairs with a rustic edge, opt for solid acacia wood seats. The fascinating wood grains make eye-catching focal points, boasting honey undertones that ooze warmth. Best of all, acacia wood is antibacterial and stain resistant for maximum practicality.
2. Introduce a stylish dining bench
There’s nothing worse than a stuffy dining room design that scares guests with stiff-backed chairs and formal seating plans. Instead, create a relaxed atmosphere that gets the drinks and conversation flowing!
Making your dining room feel more casual is easier than you think. Start by removing unnecessary furniture for an open aesthetic. Then, swap dark colours for bright airy neutrals and soft pastels. Light palettes are perfect for laid-back soirees and lively parties due to their uplifting qualities.
You could also replace conventional furniture with modern interpretations, like this white dining bench from the Florence range. It will make mealtimes more intimate, and there’s always enough room to shuffle up and squeeze in one more. Plus, it’s suitable for small dining rooms. Once everyone’s fed, slide it underneath your table to free up precious floor space.
Combine your dining bench with matching white dining chairs for the best of both worlds. If you’re worried about all-white feeling too clinical, drape some colourful throws over the seats and scatter some cosy, textured cushions.
3. Declutter small dining rooms
Like removing unnecessary furniture, decluttering is key to an open, trendy dining room. In the words of Marie Kondo, only keep the things that “spark joy” and unashamedly skip the rest!
If you’re struggling to let go of your treasured trinkets, invest in a bold navy blue sideboard or a neutral dove grey sideboard. There are plenty of designs to peruse, including compact tallboys, corner units and storage benches.
Alongside looking utterly gorgeous, with limewashed acacia wood tops and elegant Georgian feet, Florence sideboards are a love letter to family life. The generous inner compartments provide abundant storage for glasses, cutlery and napkins. Enjoy a tipple after work? Choose a sideboard with wine rack to store your favourite vintages.
Dining room storage aside, sideboards seamlessly support functions. Most units are the ideal height for dishing up Sunday lunch, and the naturally heat-resistant acacia wood tops can withstand the hottest plates and gravy dishes.
Browse more tips for choosing the perfect dining room sideboard on our blog.
4. Rethink traditional silhouettes
Bridgerton-inspired dining room design is a popular trend – think large square or rectangular tables, chocolatey wooden accents, damask wallpaper and heavy fabrics. However, this style is generally best suited to country houses, as the focus on symmetry can make newer dining rooms feel boxy and uncomfortably uniform.
That’s where a pedestal dining table can help. The curved silhouette is a breath of fresh air in a market saturated with harsh angles. Robust legs and a decorative stand give way to a brushed acacia top. The wood has also been treated with an oil guard to protect the unique patina.
Most importantly, round tables inspire connection. Everyone can see each other, nobody feels left out of a conversation and it’s easier to chat with multiple guests at once. Plus, hosts don’t have to worry about awkward corners, and the room’s flow becomes more intuitive.
5. Invest in a colourful statement piece
When asking yourself how to decorate a dining room, remember to lead with simplicity. The most impactful dining room styling ideas are usually obvious and don’t require an extortionate amount of time or money.
For example, you could buy a brand-new, colourful statement piece, like a navy dining table or green dining table. The striking shades immediately draw the eye and lend drab dining rooms character. Far from being overwhelming, the warm finishes are subtle enough to complement everything from industrial-modern to mid-century modern décor.
Found another colour idea for your dining room? We can help you implement it with our clever custom paint service. Choose a piece of furniture, complete our online form and we’ll bring your vision to life in our well-stocked workshop. As well as the shade, we can also personalise the finish and handles to reflect your mood board.
6. Swap clunky storage units for a modern display cabinet
Alongside upgrading the non-negotiables, like dining chairs, tables and benches, it pays to modernise your dining room storage. Clunky drawers and shelving units only take up space, defeating the purpose of storage and making dining rooms feel claustrophobic. Instead, choose a corner sideboard unit or one of our stunning kitchen display cabinets.
Searching for a showstopper? Check out this Florence display cabinet with wine rack. The full-bodied bottom sideboard includes three drawers, four wicker-style baskets and a wine rack that holds ten bottles. Up top, the glass cabinet reveals three strong shelves for showcasing your ornaments and dinnerware.
Or go for something a little smaller. The Florence corner display cabinet is thinner but equally brilliant at meeting your storage needs. The lower unit is ideal for organising plates, while the top can be used to display your go-to glasses and tipples. If you want to illuminate your dining room accessories, there’s even an access point at the top for an extra light fitting.
7. Incorporate natural materials
There’s a whole host of modern dining room ideas to explore, with one of the most popular being organic modern design. This interior trend blends earthy, raw materials with minimalist interiors, muted colours and leafy indoor plants.
The nature-inspired elements are excellent for multi-functional spaces. Does your dining room double as an office? Luckily, bringing the outside in improves mood and productivity. Plus, the balance between airy neutrals and earthy materials harmonises energy, invigorating when lethargic and grounding when anxious.
So, what materials work best? Ultimately, it’s up to you, but we love light oak and golden oak furniture from the Edvard Olsen collection. The Scandinavian designs embody minimalism with sleek edges, hidden compartments and uncomplicated frames. The pièce de résistance is the wood’s intricate grain pattern, which adds a touch of playfulness to the stripped-back structures.
To make a statement, combine a light oak dining table with matching dining chairs. Then, invite greenery into your space with sweeping palms, miniature succulents and fascinating terrariums. You could even hang Japanese kokedama from the ceiling – ornamental moss balls that are irresistibly low maintenance.
8. Elevate the mood with clever lighting
Don’t have the budget for a complete renovation? There’s no need to fret. Modern dining room design doesn’t have to break the bank. Simply use well-positioned lighting to enhance the ambience and elevate the mood.
Lighting is a clever hack that livens up the dreariest spaces. There are myriad options to consider, including stylish chandeliers, pendant lighting, ceiling lamps, floor lamps, table lamps and wall lights. You could even install a flickering electric fireplace for extra cosiness. The faux flames will heat your space physically and energetically, casting a warm golden glow across sparse, minimalist interiors.
Colour temperature and lighting tone matter. Contemporary spaces risk looking and feeling cold, but you can counter this with special bulbs. Soft white and warm white bulbs have a yellow tinge for a welcoming vibe. Bright white and daylight bulbs are a little more unforgiving, with a bluish tone that exposes imperfections (great for make-up, not so good for dining rooms).
9. Play with Japandi designs
Speaking of Japanese and Scandinavian dining room décor ideas, how about merging the two? Japandi furniture is all the rage, drawing from iconic design principles like balance and simplicity. This popular fusion prioritises aesthetically pleasing yet highly functional pieces made from eco-friendly materials.
If you need more inspiration, browse through the sophisticated Hokkaido range or discover interior design tips for Japandi living rooms on our blog. Designs combine chevron detailing, clean lines and tapered legs for the wow factor. Artisan makers handcraft each piece from European oak, one of the strongest hardwoods available, and coat surfaces in a matte lacquer for enhanced longevity.
The high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail shine through in this oak display cabinet. The open shelves are spacious enough to hold plants, pots and paperbacks, while the brushed-out wood grain screams understated chic. Underneath, there’s a roomy cupboard to organise your clutter.
Complete the look by installing a complementary round oak mirror. It’s miles ahead of traditional dining room accessories, boasting an integrated D-ring for easy hanging and a charming circular frame. Mirrors also give the illusion of space by maximising light, lengthening walls and raising ceilings.
10. Accessorise with soft furnishings and textiles
Lastly, accessorise, accessorise, accessorise! Layering different textures lends depth to two-dimensional spaces and removes the bite from overly curated dining rooms.
Textiles are making a comeback in all forms. Wicker-style and rattan baskets are modern yet rustic. Macrame wall hangings deliver cottagecore charm without compromising the contemporary feel. Whether you invest in textured furniture or use rugs, blankets and throws, building a cushy foundation creates warmth and promotes togetherness.
In this guide, we’ve covered tips for styling inside furniture for dining rooms. However, your outside eating space deserves a little TLC too. Our garden furniture includes elegant ottomans, rising tables, corners sofas and much, much more. The woven rattan-style bodies give way to sturdy powder-coated aluminium frames that promise to hold up against the temperamental UK summers.
We especially love this faux rattan dining set. The pioneering design lets you raise or lower the table. The powder-coated aluminium frame and 5mm poly rattan weave guarantee to look fabulous come rain or shine. For the finishing touch, choose between soft grey or natural showerproof cushions.
Explore more high-quality furniture for dining rooms
Hopefully, we’ve inspired you with our modern dining room décor ideas. The only thing left to do is browse our high-quality furniture for dining rooms. Whether you choose brand-new pieces or experiment with accessories, our tips will transform your space into a contemporary haven.
At furniture.co.uk, we have dining room accessories to suit every personality. Browse the Florence, Edvard Olsen and Hokkaido collections today, or have a look at our premium garden dining sets. Designs combine practicality with sleek aesthetics to make eating together even more enjoyable.
If you have questions about our products, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01989 736343 or email [email protected] and we’ll be in touch soon.