21 Dining Room Ideas

Caroline Gilbert
Written by Caroline Gilbert
Updated November 3, 2021
Three generation Black family eating dinner together at wood dining room table
Monkey Business – stock.adobe.com

“Stuffy” has no place here

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Tired of your old dining room setup? Or maybe you just bought a new house and have a dining room for the first time in your adult life. Either way, you need some dining room ideas that express your personality and don’t feel “stuffy”—no matter how formal the room is. Get inspired to transform your interior with these dining room decor ideas that fit a wide range of styles. 

1. Open-Concept Modern Farmhouse

Modern farmhouse dining room with rustic wood table, leather chairs, and modern candelabra chandelier
Neil – stock.adobe.com

This dining room is elegant and perfectly on trend but still manages to feel like a welcoming place where the kids could do their homework after school. That’s thanks to the knotty pine farmhouse table, comfy leather chairs, and bronze candelabra-style chandelier. 

2. Modern Small Dining Room

Open-concept condo with modern dining table and padded gray chairs
Cees – stock.adobe.com

Just because you have a long, narrow condo or a shotgun house doesn’t mean you can’t have a dining area. The key is sticking to a narrow dining room table and small chairs. If you have an open-concept living area, don’t forget to add a rug to help visually separate your dining space from your other “rooms.”

3. Modern Industrial

Modern industrial dining room with live-edge table, white modern chairs, and oversized black pendant light
Dariusz Jarzabek – stock.adobe.com

What’s the first thing you notice in this photo? The sleek live-edge wooden table? The cute white modern chairs? For us, it’s the show-stopping focal point—the oversized pendant light. If you’re looking for attention-stealing dining room lighting ideas, you can’t go wrong copying this one. 

4. Eclectic

Eclectic gray dining room with mismatched chairs, antique black pendant light, and duck painting
Photographee.eu – stock.adobe.com

Eclectic can be hard to pull off because there is an art to coordinating mismatched furniture. This house nails the concept by keeping everything anchored with a soft neutral color palette that has a few pops of color thrown in. We especially love the picture frame moulding painted to match the dove gray walls, a perfect example of modern wall panel design

5. Mid-Century Meets Modern Farmhouse

Dining room with wood dining table, rattan chairs, and circular modern farmhouse iron chandelier
coralimages – stock.adobe.com

Equally at home in a beach house or city apartment, this dining room blends mid-century rattan chairs with farmhouse touches. Combining the two decor styles may sound like a bit much, but this room proves that it can be done well as long as you pick no more than one or two pieces from each style.  

6. Cozy Transitional

Transitional dining room with board and batten walls, high-backed tufted gray chairs, wood table, and blue geometric rug
Javani LLC – stock.adobe.com

Yes, this is the most traditional of all of the dining room ideas, but it’s a far cry from your mother’s dining room. This transitional space pays homage to traditional dining rooms with classic board-and-batten dining room walls, but the tufted gray chairs feel cozy and modern. The royal blue rug with gray swirls adds to the contemporary look. 

7. Modern Boho with Plants

All white dining room with modern white table and chairs, boho chandelier, and lots of plants
Photographee.eu – stock.adobe.com

Want a fast way to inject some life into a stuffy dining room? Incorporate plants! They’ll add color while enhancing your indoor air quality. Plus, they look particularly adorable with an all-white modern boho design theme. If you don’t have any natural light to work with, opt for low-light houseplants.

8. Dreamy Abstract

Modern dining room with dark gray walls and chairs, navy table, navy, and pink curtains, and abstract navy and pink painting
Photographee.eu – stock.adobe.com

Basing your dining room decor around a giant abstract painting is a great place to start when designing you space. The painting here stands out against the dark gray wall but ties in perfectly to the dreamy gray, navy, and blush pink color scheme.  

9. Modern Minimalism

Modern minimalist dining room with black table and chairs overlooking a patio with a pool
alexandre zveiger – stock.adobe.com

Even without the view, this dining room impresses with its sleek minimalist design. The black-and-white color scheme is simple and timeless, though a funky black-and-white chandelier does add a bit of fun. 

10. Rustic Glamour

Country house dining room interior with wooden table and green and gray velvet chairs
Andrey_Arkusha – stock.adobe.com

Rustic glamour might seem like an oxymoron, but it can works with the right pieces. Here, we see it executed flawlessly with a simple rectangular dining table paired with luxe gray and green velvet chairs. 

11. Modern Round Table

Brown wood round dining table with eight cream-colored chairs
Tom – stock.adobe.com

If you've got the space, take a page from King Arthur’s book and go for a round table. Everyone will feel included in the conversation at your next dinner party. Bonus points if you find mid-century modern chairs like these for a Palm Springs vibe no matter where you live. 

12. Cozy Formal

Large formal dining room with long wooden table, eight wood chairs, and two stuffed armless chairs
Ursula Page – stock.adobe.com

Sure, this dining room seems pretty traditional at first glance. There’s wainscotting and an elegant brass chandelier. And OK, there may be a built-in china hutch. But then you start to notice the details that keep it from looking too formal—the comfy stuffed chairs, the whimsical tree trunk painting, and the polka dot chair cushions. 

13. Rustic Communal

Sunny all-white dining room with rustic wood dining table with two benches
Astronaut Images/KOTO – stock.adobe.com

Want to snuggle up close to your loved ones? Then a rustic communal dining table with benches on either side is exactly what you need. Plus, when you combine it with white walls and a distressed buffet, you can make it work with a variety of decor styles, from beachy to modern farmhouse. 

14. Coastal Elegance

Beachy dining room with blue shiplap walls and built-ins, blue banquette, and white dining table
bennnn – stock.adobe.com

For a coastal vibe, copy this intimate cerulean dining room. It’s perfect for a small space, yet makes a big impact with its blue beadboard walls, cute little built-ins, and cozy banquette seating tucked in close to the window. 

15. Pops of Color

Dining table with stacked yellow, sea foam, and white plates on top of cotton placemats
bennnn – stock.adobe.com

Embrace a relaxed casualness in your dining room with the help of comfy throw pillows tossed on a banquette and a cheerful table setting. These stacked yellow and seafoam green plates feel put together yet informal. 

16. Edgy Pastels

Modern dining room with black chairs, round wood table, and pastel rug
Allison – stock.adobe.com

This dining room combines soft and edgy elements for a unique take on a modern look. Black dining chairs sit atop a pastel rug with pink and blue swirls, and a gold sputnik chandelier dangles over the round wood table. It’s a look that would work in many spaces, from a sprawling suburban mansion to a small condo in the city. 

Easy Dining Room Design Ideas

There’s no need to give your dining room a complete ceiling-to-floor makeover in order to update it. Here are a few simple tips to try when you want a new look fast. 

17. Ghost Your Dining Chairs

Craftsman style dining room with coffered ceiling, wood table, and clear plastic ghost chairs
Iriana Shiyan – stock.adobe.com

Try one of the latest dining room design trends—ghost chairs. Replace your existing chairs with these fashionable plastic chairs and catapult your dining room into 2022. 

18. Swap in a Bench

Minimalist dining room with gray dining room table, gray bench, and white woven chairs
XtravaganT – stock.adobe.com

Don’t want to replace all your chairs? No problem! Keep a few and add a bench for a modern touch. 

19. Pick a Statement Table

Dining room with contemporary wood table, white armless chairs, and tan walls
poligonchik – stock.adobe.com

A new dining table goes a long way toward updating your dining room, even more so when it’s a statement table with a unique shape. 

20. Decorate for the Season

dining room table decorated for Thanksgiving
Pixel-Shot – stock.adobe.com

The best dining room table decor ideas utilize seasonal plants and low-profile decorations to create a gorgeous tablescape that people can still see past. 

21. Suspend Some Greenery

Green hanging plant above a gray and wood dining room table with table decor
demphoto – stock.adobe.com

This is especially great for those who don’t have a light fixture or chandelier above their table and requires no electric work. 

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