How to Design a Dining Room

Dining rooms are tricky spaces for you to get right because they need a delicate balance between form and function. 

Whether you have a kitchen diner or a separate dining room that you envision as a glamorous space to host, these tips will help you design a dining room.

Decide on the primary function/ Focal Point

dining room table

First, ask yourself what the main function you intend for your dining room. Is it an intimate space for you to have regular meals with family members? Or rather, will it be mainly for entertaining dinner guests and parties? 

Also, will it double as a workspace now that you work from home more than ever? Are you interested in a casual and intimate space, or something more formal and elegant?

Working out these details helps you visualize the number of people you want to seat, and what area of your house can be viewed while sitting down for meals. Having a primary function in mind will also help you determine how to highlight the focal point of your dining room.

Small round tables are ideal for a few people and optimal for conversation. On the other hand, long and narrow rectangular tables are more suited to maximize the number of seating options along the perimeter. This longer setting also spawns a different conversational pattern that will be restricted to those beside each other rather than a single flowing conversation.

Zone Separation with Flooring and Ceiling

zoning dining room

In an open plan design that meshes together a kitchen, a dining room, and a living room, consider separating the zones with ceiling wallpaper. This adds some visual distinction which can be emphasized by differentiating the furniture design, color, lighting fixtures and floor patterns.  

In terms of flooring, consider an area rug as an accent of the table that helps take your desired design all the way down to the floor. This is an ideal choice because it does not interfere with your original floor at a structural level, and can be refreshed as often or as rarely as you choose. Remember to opt for a high-quality and durable area rug since your dining room is likely to encounter high foot traffic.

Install the right lighting

lighting dining room

Planning the lighting early in the design process will help you to set the overall tone of the whole room while considering other elements that will bounce off the light. 

Typically, you will want to make sure there is enough light to see food and utensils well, while at the same time pursuing an ambient glow that adds to the spectacle. 

Experts recommend diffused lights that do not shine on particular spaces, but rather those that disperse low and even light throughout the dining room.

A good idea is to opt for multiple light sources such as pendant lights or chandeliers, both of which can be used to define a clear focal point. These can be complemented by adding lights at eye level around the room that resembles the tone of the focal light.

Stylish Furniture

dining room style

Picking the right furniture is a key part of a dining room Therefore, consider the size and shape of the dining room table and chairs that suit your space best. 

Think of the number of people you intend to seat since this is determined by the space and will dictate the number of chairs you place.

Design experts suggest putting down some sticky tape to mimic the shape and size of what you intend to buy. This will help you visualize how the furniture will fit in the space, and how easily you can move around the dining room. Such measures will help you account for scale since the last thing you want is a small table floating on a wide floor in a sea of chairs.

Remember that the furniture will be the centerpiece of your dining room, and it should suitably complement the color scheme you choose. For a minimalist and futuristic appearance, consider ghost chairs like the classic Louis XVI design that can take a room by storm, emphasizing some luxury and personality into the dining experience.

Create a private and intimate setting

wall screens

Considering that it is a place that combines food and your favorite people, your dining room should feel cozy and should make a statement. You can use bold color tones and colorful wall that gives off an instant hit of pattern and color. A striking setting inevitably sparks conversation and is a perfect backdrop for entertaining loved ones.

You can browse a selection of large floating screens to isolate the dining room from other areas of the home. These screens not only separate areas, but can be placed creatively to frame views of open areas such as the living room, a home library, or a patio.

Floral arrangements

floral arrangement

One way of creating a focal point is to place floral arrangements that draw attention to the centerline of the table. 

Just make sure they are not too high that they impede the line of sight of people sitting at the dinner table. This is an inexpensive way of adding some color and detail to a dining room, and can conveniently be changed often to lend a new look and feel to a room from time to time.

Striking Artwork

Well-curated and striking artwork can give you that finishing touch to the design of your living room walls. It can be a conversation starter and a particular design can offer a personal touch and a unique appearance.


Following the tips provided above can help you get a better idea of how to design and strikingly attractive and practical dining room whose form supports the function. Consider these and other great tips from experienced professionals to figure out what works best for your preference.