neutral colored circular dining table

Dining Room Styling 101: How To Curate A Timeless Space

A dining room is where the entire family gathers together to share stories, food, and memories. You will devour countless meals with your family in this space while creating the ultimate familial bond. I know this because our family dining room was that precious space growing up.

Although the kitchen and living room are often considered the heart of the home, the dining room is where I remember eating with my family every day after school, on family game nights, and at holiday gatherings. I don’t think I could imagine our home without this space.


Styling Your Dining Room

A space this important deserves an extra special decorative touch. No more matching furniture sets or mismatched place settings. It’s time to get serious about styling a curated space for your family to gather. Check out these X tips to help cultivate the dining room your family deserves.

Find The Right Table…

White washed dining room table with black chairs

Large wooden tables have almost become synonymous with farmhouse style. Sadly, these gorgeous wooden tables, which two particular HGTV celebrities made quite popular, don’t work in every home. To help select the right table for your space, there are a couple of factors you should consider:

  • How many people do you regularly seat?
  • How large (or small) is your dining room space?
  • Do you frequently have additional guests?
  • What style/materials are already in the room?

A good rule of thumb is to divide the diameter of the table by 12 inches to see how many people can properly fit. For example, if the diameter of your table is 60 inches you can fit 5 people. Consider keeping at least 42 to 48 inches from the table’s edge to the wall to ensure that everyone at your table can comfortably get up and move around.

If you have a smaller room and need additional table space, look for tables with folding leaf options. These will provide extra seating opportunities when dining but allow for a more minimal look when folded. Finding a dining room table could (and likely will) be a post of its own, but for now, focus on finding one that’s appropriately sized while adding a different material to the space than what already exists.

…And Chairs!

neutral dining room set with white linen chair coverings.

Please, please, please do not buy a matching dining room set! Although it can be tempting to simplify your furniture shopping process by grabbing that beautiful set from the showroom floor, I promise you it will not deliver the stylish look your dining room deserves. Instead, find your table first and then identify chairs that work in the space and compliment your table and interior design.

To select the right chairs, there are a couple of factors to consider. First is material – you’ll want to select a material for your chairs that differs from your table. Therefore, if you have a gorgeous, classic wooden farmhouse table, mix it up with fabric or metal chairs. If you still really want wooden chairs, find painted ones that tie in another color from the space.

Next, consider the sizing of both your table and the space. If you have a very thick table, dainty chairs may not appear proportionate to your table. Instead, find chairs that align sizing-wise while being mindful of your overall space. If your table is a bit big for your space, save room with smaller framed chairs instead of thick fabric ones.

As the age-old saying goes, “life is all about balance.” Balance is rudimentary in design and one should always be mindful of maintaining a good balance in your space. If you need additional support in selecting chairs, leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to assist!

Choose Your Centerpiece!

grey, white and black centerpiece on rounded dining room table

As you can see, I love hitting big-box retailers and local shops for design inspiration! This is especially useful when looking for dining room table inspiration. I say this with a couple of caveats, though.

One, always use it for inspiration, not imitation. Imitating designs you see in stores will leave your home feeling like a hodgepodge of design styles instead of your own curated space. Two, just because you saw it in a store doesn’t mean it’s stylish.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s dive into centerpiece design. The first rule of thumb is to always align your centerpiece structure with that of your table. Confused? Allow me to simplify.

White dishes on wooden farmhouse table framing two large vases with greenery

If your table is round or square, keep the centerpiece design focused on the center of the table. If you have an elongated table like a rectangle or square, elongate your design through the length of the table, but stop short of the full table. Don’t take this to mean your decoration has to be one long piece (although it can). Instead, ensure your decor is spaced out along your table like the two vases above.

When it comes to creating the centerpiece, that should be a blog itself! However, for today I recommend that you pick a cumulation of items that blend colors, metals, and other elements of the room. A few examples of great dining room centerpiece items include:

  • Vases (with or without flowers/greenery)
  • Candlesticks (with or without candles)
  • Potted plants
  • Greenery Boxes
  • Table runners
  • Trays
  • Garlands

Finishing Touches

white dish table setting with beige linen napkins on wooden dining room table

This next part is optional, but boy does it add that extra special spice to your dining room! If you have enough space around your centerpiece, I highly recommend finishing your tablescape off with finely crafted place settings. Adding this final touch truly adds another layer of style and design that you just can’t get from a centerpiece alone.

I love place settings so much that I dedicated an entire blog to them. For now, though, I’ll give you the skinny on how to craft the perfect place setting. Start with understanding the elements in your room. If you have wicker baskets and black accents, bring in the wicker with a placemat and perhaps select matte black silverware to adorn your table. Then, as usual, start layering. Add in-depth, height and dimension with varying shapes, colors, and materials.

You can go as crazy or minimal as you’d like. Blow your setting out with a textured goblet and several layers of plates and bowls or simplify it with a plate, bowl, and napkin. For detailed place setting examples for your dining room, check out 6 Simple Place Settings For Your Farmhouse Table.

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