03.27.20 | Home Interior Design

How to Design a Dining Room

A dining room is so much more than simply a place to dine! It is a social center for your home. It’s where you host holiday meals, enjoy family game night, and make memories with friends. It should be an inviting space that encourages your loved ones to gather and spend quality time together. Thus, you should be intentional when determining the design for this space.

If you are looking to design a dining room or simply refresh your current one, check out the following home interior design tips from our interior designers at Brown to make the most of your dining room space!

1. Measurements Matter

Measuring your dining room space is an essential step before you begin designing!

Once you have your initial measurements, the first thing you will want to do is determine your table size. The table should allow for at least 3 feet of space between the dining chairs and nearby walls or furniture so that people can sit down, stand up, and walk around with ease.

Next, you’ll want to determine your light fixture size. As a rule of thumb, the light fixtures dimensions should be approximately one-third of the width of the dining table. The fixture should be low enough to illuminate the table, yet not so low that it interferes with the centerpiece or blocks vision—generally this would be around 30 to 36 inches above the top of the dining table. The fixture should be centered over the dining table, not placed in the middle of the room. Be sure to place your table before installing your lighting.

2. Selecting Furniture

Once you have your measurements, it is time to select the actual furniture pieces that will go in your dining room.

The dining room table should be chosen first, as it will act as the functional hub and aesthetic centerpiece of the entire room. Keep in mind how many people you would like to be able to seat, and that each person will require at least 2 feet of table top space. Round tables work particularly well in small or square rooms, while rectangular tables are well suited to larger and/or long and narrow spaces. If you have the space for it, you can expand your options by choosing a table with removable leaves.

Next, you will need to select your chairs. If you check out our portfolio, you’ll notice that many of our dining rooms feature head chairs that coordinate but do not exactly match the side chairs. We love this look because it brings drama and personality to a space, while breaking up the mundane ‘dining set’. When pairing two chair styles together, make sure the chairs have the same level of formality. They should also have at least one element that ties them together, whether that’s a color, a fabric, a finish, or a shape.

When selecting furniture, it is important to keep in mind how they will fit into your overall home interior design vision. For example, mahogany and cherry finishes give off a formal feel, whitewash and distressed finishes embrace a coastal style, and streamlined steel, stone, and glass emit contemporary vibes.

3. Set the Mood

In the dining room, a light fixture is a particularly significant design element as it can have a powerful impact on the overall mood of the space. We suggest utilizing dimmable lighting for total control over the ambiance. For example, you can keep the lights bright when hosting an afternoon brunch, or low for a formal dinner party. The style and shape of the fixture should compliment that of the table.

Additional light sources should also be considered. Recessed lights can help lighten up dark corners, wall sconces can showcase artwork, and candles can add a romantic feel to the room.

4. Add a Rug

Rugs have a unique ability to instantly make a room feel more comfortable and inviting. They allow you to add contrast, color, texture, and style to a dining room.

When selecting a rug, size is of the utmost importance. The rug should be large enough that even when chairs are pushed all the way out, the back legs are still on the rug. We suggest reserving at least 24 inches of extra room on all sides of the dining table to avoid these trip ups.

Because spills are inevitable, flat-weave or low-pile rugs are the practical choice in the dining room because they are much easier to clean. Thicker, fluffier rugs can be saved for the living room, where they will require less maintenance. In the same vein, darker colors and busier patterns in your rug are also practical as they will help to hide stains and dirt.

5. Pick a Statement Piece

Once you have your staple pieces in place, it is time to bring the room to life. Because dining rooms are often reserved for special occasions, what better way to set the tone than with a statement piece? A bold chandelier, extravagant piece of art, or unique centerpiece can all give off an aura of well-curated distinction. Remember to keep these pieces to a tasteful minimum. Too many bold accessories will make the space feel cluttered and disjointed.

Dining rooms should be spaces that suit your home’s architecture and reflect your home interior design style, while welcoming guests and enticing family to gather together. Dining rooms turn out best when they are well thought out and each piece is selected with precise size, style, and function in mind. For these reasons, dining room design can often feel a bit overwhelming.

If you are in need of a dining room design, or even a simple refresh, the home interior designers at Brown are here to help! From concept to completion, they will honor your style and functional needs while guiding you through the process and exceeding your every expectation. Stop by our showroom in East Boca today for a consultation with one of our experienced and talented interior designers. Together, we can create your dream dining room!