Your dining room colors will depend to a large extent on factors such as whether it's to be a family room, a special occasion room, or the dining area is part of an existing room such as a kitchen.

You can select your colors so the room blends in with other rooms in your home, or go for a completely separate scheme.

As with any room in your home, base the colors on your own preferences. Fashions come and go. The latest recommended colors from a TV show may look exciting. But you're the one who'll have to live with the results.

Remember that dining rooms can often be decorated in a more vibrant style than you would use for other areas. Eating a meal with others is an absorbing activity. You're not normally paying too much attention to the decor. It should provide an attractive background.

First think in broad terms

If you find making decisions on color difficult, it may help to think in broad terms first, and then narrow down your choice.

Neutral scheme

This is a popular option for family dining rooms, where it's a casual place to eat. Often you can use the colors of natural materials such as wood and tiles for your inspiration. If your floor tiles have a natural orange or terracotta in them, bring that color out in curtains or seat covers.

Whenever you use natural materials, remember a few indoor plants give a refreshing look the room, especially if they are in attractive pots.

Formal dining

When selecting dining room color for a formal room, decide on the type of effect you want to achieve.

Traditional style? Then go for traditional colors, keeping the furniture of a similar nature. If you use an oriental rug on the floor, then use the colors in that to guide you.

One advantage of a formal dining room is that you can use stronger colors on the walls than you would normally use. Because guests are paying attention to the food and to each other, and often the lighting is low (candles, for instance), the depth of color adds to the atmosphere.


traditional dining room

If you have a reasonably large dining room and you want to add a touch of grandeur to it, have a chair rail (dado rail) with plain paint or wallpaper below it and a different finish above. Here the wide striped wallpaper provides a good background. The yellow and green colors of the walls and upholstery fabric are brought together in the cloth on the table, which also adds red for warmth.


Modern dining room

Modern decor is often associated with living rooms or bedrooms, but not often with dining rooms. But there's no reason why you can't have a modern or contemporary room.

Once you've chosen your modern colors and found the chair covers, window shades and any other features you want to include, if you have trouble finding a suitable table, consider using a glass one. The glass will add to the modernity, but not detract from any of the colors.


modern dining room

This modern dining room set demonstrates how blocks of color are often used in modern settings. The soft brown of the chair wood is echoed in the narrow stripes on the walls. The darker upholstery cloth of the chairs matches the main area of the table.


Examples of dining room color

Here are a few examples of different rooms to give you some inspiration.

yellow dining room

A simple, warm room where the dining room colors use a brown, yellow, cream and gold combination. The wood of the table and chairs is echoed in the wood pole and other furniture. Try to imagine the room without the plants, and you'll appreciate how much interest they add to any room.


blue curtains

A traditional dining room, with lots of space around the table. The rug on the wood floor gives warmth, and the drapes and wall lights give a classical air. The sideboard provides adequate storage space for dining essentials, and the Chippendale style chairs add to the timeless effect.


upholstered dining chairs

A luxury room. The main color interest is in the chair fabric, which ties in nicely with the rug pattern. Note the large mirror, which has the effect of opening out the room. Glass top tables can be very attractive in this type of room.


One of the best ways to get inspiration for your dining room colors is to look at pictures such as these and adapt them for your own use. Don't try to copy them exactly, but pick out features you like so you can use the idea in your own room.

For example, in the last photo above you might not have thought of having chairs with arms for your dining room, or having two tall candle holders placed on the table. By examining illustrations such as these you can get inspiration for your own home.


(If you want more information on these ideas go to the dining room decor page.)



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