So you're about to begin your dining room decor. You could go ahead and just select colors, patterns, furniture and fitments which you happen to like. There's nothing wrong with that.

But if you take a step back and ask yourself a few basic questions, you might get a clearer idea of how to go about your dining room decor.

Taking the time to re-evaluate how you use your room could throw up ideas you hadn't thought of. How you use - or could use - the room can have a big impact on you final decorating decisions.


Dining room decor questions to ask yourself

When you decide on a style for your room, think about how it will blend with your eating habits, whether it will be functional or for entertaining, or both.

  • Will it mostly be used during daytime or nighttime, summer or winter, or all of these?
  • If it's for your family, how many of you are there, and will it be a mix of ages?
  • For entertaining purposes, how many of you would there be at any one time?
  • Do you prefer an informal way of entertaining, or a more formal one?
  • Do you have an idea of the mood or atmosphere you want to create?

Knowing the answers to these questions won't give you an instant solution, but as you plan all the details of your dining room decor, you'll have a much clearer idea of what you're trying to achieve.

Practical features

The table

Of course your table is the main item in your room, and the shape and size of it will depend on the area you have available. We tend to naturally go for a square or rectangular table, but round tables have some advantages.

If you're space is limited, you may find a round table allows you to seat more people comfortably. It's also easier to everyone to take part in conversation, unlike a long rectangular table where you can only converse with those opposite or next to you.

It many not be a problem for you, but a round table also gets rid of the decision as to who sits at the head of the table...

If your round table is a pedestal type, then you can also easily squeeze in an extra guest if necessary.


country style table

A country style table. This type of table is ideal for daily use where a large family has to be catered for.


Be aware that if a table is too small, you won't have enough room for all the dishes (and guests to move their elbows). If it's too big, guests may have to shout at one another, especially if they are elderly, and passing items could present quite a challenge.

Now you can see that the size of table you select is influenced by the size of your room and the number of people to would like to seat at any one time.

The floor

Your choice of flooring will be influenced by whether you want a formal or informal room, and on the atmosphere you want.

If it's a practical room for your family (including small children) you might want a hard floor, such as tiles. For a formal room for entertaining friends for evening dinners, you might want to consider carpets and/or rugs.


You'll need ready access to table mats, napkins, glassware and silverware, so it's a good plan to have these stored where they are easily to hand.

A sideboard is an obvious choice of furniture, but you could also have cupboards and shelves. If you have a chimney breast these could be placed either side.

Glass fronted cabinets are a good idea so you could display your china and glass.

Dining room decor

The colors you select and the style of the room will greatly depend on your choice of formal or informal, and the atmosphere you want. You might find it helpful to look at three types of room.


This is where you want to use a room for more than one purpose. For example, you might have a room which you use as a study, but also want to use as a formal dining room. Concentrate on the dining room decor aspect so it successfully fulfills that function, and you can then also use it as a study.

For a family dining room your decor might be in keeping with the rest of your home. Go for a solid table and robust chairs, with good storage facilities in cupboards, dressers and shelves.

If your dining area is part of an open plan kitchen, then decorate the whole room using the same style.

If it's more of a formal room, then you could make it that bit special, with quality wallpaper, wood or carpeted floor with a Persian rug underneath the table. A mahogany table and chairs for a traditional style always works.



kitchen diner

Give the same attention to the dining area of a kitchen as you would to a separate dining room. The fabrics used for two of the dining chairs match the valances over the windows. Using different fabric for the other two chairs breaks up the 'designer' effect and adds interest.



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