Dining Room Reveal: Creating a bold, beautiful space

Is the “traditional” dining room dead? No, though it has evolved.

While the push for open concept living has dramatically changed the way we use our spaces, I firmly believe the dining room still has value. In fact, our busy lifestyles make it more relevant than ever. Modern families are desperately hungry for time to relax and connect with each other. Sitting down for a family dinner—without TV or distracting devices—offers the perfect opportunity to touch base and reminisce about the day.

Traditional dining rooms set the scene for those important family interactions.

When designing our dining room, my goal was to create an inviting, eye-catching space our family would actually use. Why spend time decorating a room that sits idle most of the year? We needed a bold, yet comfortable gathering space. It also had to mesh with the historic vibe of our 1912 home.

Here are 5 key pieces to freshen up a traditional space and a few helpful design tips…

Dining Room Decorwine glassesDining Room Decor

 Dining ChairsTrestle TableRug |Horse Sculpture | Sheer Damask Curtains | Wine Glasses |DIY Portrait

Dramatic dining chairs

These lovely chairs served as my inspiration point. Most of our home is neutral, so I was itching for something that would pack a visual punch. There is something so chic about colorful dining chairs in a soft gray or white room!

  • Design tip #1: Small space like mine? Opt for armless dining chairs or only use dining chairs with arms at the head and foot of the table. (Arms add about 6″ to the overall width of a single dining chair)

My teal shade is discontinued in World Market’s Lydia style, but the ink blue or denim would be an equally stunning way to inject color into a simple palette. These chairs look formal and mid-century Hollywood, but hold up really well. They are also super comfortable, enveloping your body in softness. I often move my laptop to the dining room to work because I enjoy sitting in them so much!

Bold dining chairs are a smart way to bring drama to your space because there are so many options available now. You can really express your personality and design sensibilities. Select one style you love or try pairing two complementary styles/patterns for a more eclectic look. The sky’s the limit!

trestle tablecat on tableDining ChairsTrestle TableRug |Horse Sculpture | Sheer Damask Curtains | Wine Glasses | DIY Portrait

Trestle table

The dining table was the most important design decision for the room and also the most challenging. I looked for a solid year before finding the right piece! Because our home is older, we needed a table that is smaller than most of the popular styles now. Anything larger than 66″ would overwhelm the room.

  • Design tip #2: Make sure you have at least 36-48″ of clearance between your table and any walls/obstruction. 48″ is ideal for comfortable traffic flow.

I was hunting for an architectural piece with interesting lines and fell in love with Pier 1’s Bradding collection, which comes in both 66″ and 84″ dimensions. You can also get an extension table that reaches 106″. The leg detailing is just gorgeous, offering both a rustic and traditional vibe. I ordered the espresso finish, but also love the shadow gray and natural stonewash. This was by far the best quality table I found at this price point.

A quick word of caution about Pier 1 furniture, you may see items on the store floor that are not immediately available in your location. I waited more than a month for my table. However, it was worth the wait! I just love it.

versatile rug

A versatile, neutral rug

When you make a big statement with your dining chairs, you need something with subtle elegance underfoot. This ivory/gray rug played so well with the teal tones of my chairs. It is one of those rare pieces that will work with nearly all color schemes.

I was super nervous about ordering a rug online. (Who wants to drag an 8×10 to the post office to return it? Not me!) So I did my homework, spent hours reading reviews and browsed every website I could think of before selecting this piece. It looks just as beautiful as expensive alternatives I found at Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs. Best of all, it cleans up surprisingly well for a light colored rug. It has survived cat hairballs and dropped food. Hey, accidents happen.

  • Design tip #3: Your rug should be large enough so that pulled-back chairs don’t catch on the edge—in general you want to add 36 inches to the dimensions on either side.

Here are a few of the other affordable rugs that made my list of contenders.

Cohesive curtains 

In a formal dining room, curtains are like jewelry. They put the finishing touch on a room and tie everything together. I found these beauties from Amazon. The sheer gray damask provides interest, but in an unobtrusive way. They would look great in a living or bedroom too. I usually purchase my window treatments online because the windows in our old home need extra long panels (96″ or longer). If you have odd sized windows, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at your range of options using Amazon or Wayfair.

  • Design tip #4: Curtains not hanging right? You can “train” the fabric to fall in the right direction. I typically pin my curtains for a day or two at the top and bottom to get the folds just right.

curtainspinning curtains

Personal touches and a bit of DIY

  • Design tip #5: Don’t like the color of your light fixture? Try painting it before replacing! This chandelier was originally black. I used Martha Stewart acrylic craft paints to turn it silver. I’ll do a full tutorial on this soon.

chandelier

No room is complete without a few items of whimsy. I have a thing for horses and couldn’t resist this beautiful art piece, now on clearance. I smile every time I gaze at this sculpture on my sideboard. I also love these crackle wine glasses. They make me think of the ocean on a beautiful day and really helped complete the look of our built in cabinet.

horse sculpturepaint by number

Finally—and perhaps my favorite element in the room—we have my husband’s artwork. It’s one of the most thoughtful gifts he’s ever given me. He took our favorite photo as a couple and had it turned into a paint by number kit from Easy123Art. He intended for me to paint it, as I am the “artist” of the family. However, I was too busy with work at the time to tackle it. Thankfully, he stepped in and did a marvelous job. From a distance it looks just like the photo! He spent hours on it, even using a tooth pick to nail the detail work.

Whew… that was a long post! I’m curious, does your family have a traditional dining room? How did you style it? And as always, if you have any questions please comment below.

—-Lindsay


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38 COMMENTS

  1. Geraline Batarra | 22nd May 18

    This is such a beautiful setting of a dinning area. The color, the style and decor and the furniture are perfectly beautiful. If I do have this kind of dinning area definitely this will be my favorite area at my home.

    • laveremis | 23rd May 18

      Thanks for visiting the blog and for your kind words. Glad I could help provide inspiration for a future project!

  2. kumamonjeng | 22nd May 18

    Recently I have done some renovation in my home and this post has given me some inspiration. I like the lamp setting and the curtain pattern. Looks really classy and cosy.

    • laveremis | 23rd May 18

      Happy renovating! The curtains are surprisingly budget-friendly. You will find lots of good options online, if you are looking for unusual lengths.

  3. Czjai | 22nd May 18

    Such a lovely dining area. It’s elegant yet homey, and looks perfect from every angle. 🙂

    • laveremis | 23rd May 18

      That was exactly what I was going for, thanks for the kind words!

  4. Gurfaraaz | 22nd May 18

    Thank you darling, so many options for us now xxhttp://cialisyepqk.com/

  5. Megan | 22nd May 18

    I loooove this dining room! I’d love to be able to do home renovations like this someday, seriously so perfect. x

    • laveremis | 23rd May 18

      Hi Megan, thanks for visiting the blog and I hope you get the opportunity to do tackle a home project in the future. They are lots of work, but so fun and rewarding in the end.

  6. Elizabeth O | 22nd May 18

    This is such a great post. Your dining room looks exquisite indeed and all the details are beautiful. Such an adorable cat too.

    • laveremis | 23rd May 18

      Our cat loves to be part of the action, he has become a frequent photo-bomber in my blog posts. Thanks for the kind words!

  7. Mama | 22nd May 18

    We don’t have a dining room and we don’t even use the dining table we have unless we have company over. I’d like to change this and start having family dinners around it though. Your dining room is GORGEOUS.

    • laveremis | 23rd May 18

      I hear you! We got into a rut of eating dinner while watching TV recently, so I’m hoping to make family dinners our new normal. Thanks for visiting the blog!

  8. Holly | 22nd May 18

    Oh how lovely is this?? I love the details. Such a fun and festive idea.

    • laveremis | 23rd May 18

      Thanks for reading Holly! Glad to provide a touch of inspiration.

  9. Gladys Parker | 22nd May 18

    We do have a dining room, although, it is to compensate for our kitchen which is on the smaller side. It holds a kitchen table but not comfortably. I love your dining room table and those chairs OMGoodness, I love them. Your entire dining room looks beautiful. The furniture, the rug, the horse head statue awe, how sweet of your husband to paint that!

    • laveremis | 23rd May 18

      Hi Gladys, we are in a similar situation. Our kitchen in small, so the dining room is a must for us. I so appreciate your kind words, you made my day and my husband’s as well.

  10. Kristy Bullard | 22nd May 18

    I love all of the blue tones mixed in with the neutrals. I also love that sweet kitty! He ties the room together!

    • laveremis | 23rd May 18

      He does, doesn’t he? Quite a photogenic gentleman. 😉

  11. Victoria Martin | 22nd May 18

    Just love this room!! I can’t wait to come an tour your beautiful home this summer? Is the china cabinet a built in? PS, thank you for the card you sent with Mom, you are the sweetest!

    • laveremis | 23rd May 18

      We would LOVE to have you visit. We don’t have much going on in August and September, so you tell us when you have a break and we’ll provide a Indiana vacation ;). Yes, the cabinet is a built-in. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It is huge! They really knew how to build homes in 1912.

  12. Evelyn, PathofPresence | 23rd May 18

    I love the bold color on your chairs as inspiration. Flavor for the entire way. Your details are amazing. Great job!!

  13. Explore The 6 | 23rd May 18

    Beautiful room, very elegant and I absolutely love the color tone. Great job!

  14. Vanessa Delia | 23rd May 18

    I just love what you did to the place. I would not mind doing this style one bit.

  15. DANA GUTKOWSKI | 23rd May 18

    !Beautiful dining space! It’s so inviting. Makes me wanna sit down and enjoy a meal!

  16. Ashlee | She Can Social | 23rd May 18

    Gorgeous! I love all the blue tinted glass…so pretty and serene. Very well put-together dining space!

  17. Twinspirational | 23rd May 18

    We love pretty tablescapes! This dining room furniture and tablescape is so perfect! These are such great ways to decorate.

  18. Melanie | 23rd May 18

    Those chairs!! I love color so having the beautiful blue in the dining room makes me want to spend the day there. You did a fabulous job making it functional and gorgeous.

  19. Esme Sy | 23rd May 18

    I love that shot with the cat so much I can go off-topic here for hours, haha. Although I agree with how dining rooms have evolved, it’s all for the good aesthetically and all the key components for its natural usage are still there in the end.

  20. Preet | 23rd May 18

    Oh wow, I love how cozy space
    are. I love this so much.

  21. Rachel | 23rd May 18

    I simply love the colours! One of my fave! Chairs are lush!

  22. needa | 23rd May 18

    very elegant and beautiful.. I love the popup colours

  23. Betty | 24th May 18

    It look more spacious and it likes a homey to me. I like the combination of the colors tone. Not too complicated.

  24. Karlyn Cruz | 24th May 18

    Wow! I love this! And there are benefits in a person’s mood to being around the color blue too! Very lovely and classy looking!

  25. Alison Rost | 26th May 18

    I love the rustic feel of the space! It’s so beautiful that you chose a theme this elegant and classy. I love the colors as well. It comes together so beautifully!

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      Hi, I use WordPress with a variation of the “Daisy” theme. Hope this helps!

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