How to Design a Dining Room

Comfy & Chic

New York Office

How to Design a Dining Room


Choosing the right furniture, lighting and accessories to make your guests comfortable while still pulling off a chic look.


Formal or casual, reserved for special occasions or used daily, a dining room can be versatile. The way to determine the look is to start by considering the best way to use space in your room and whether or not it is to be open plan or another room entirely.


Most importantly, the dining room should continue the sensibility of the home's architecture and the rooms around it. More than other rooms in the house, dining rooms are evening or nighttime rooms which translates to convivial, warm, festive spaces to design. That said, even if it’s a space reserved for special occasions, it shouldn’t feel completely rarified, but rather a more dressed up interpretation of the overall design scheme.


Determine your entertaining style


Everyone love a round table, because conversation is so easy among all. If a person usually hosts parties larger than eight, a rectangular or oval table is going to work better.


Chairs should be chic, but comfort is absolutely essential. It’s absolutely crucial that the seating respects the scale of the space: you want to create an intimate atmosphere but still allow room for guests to feel at ease. When selecting the chairs themselves, I'm always looking for what I call a good ‘two-hour chair,’ one that will be comfortable for a long entertaining meal.


Everyone love layering light with a statement chandelier or series of pendants, sconces around the room, and architectural lighting washing the walls and focused lights on the table.


Make a difference with details


Choose a table well proportioned to the size of the room and the amount of people you wish to be able to seat. From there you can decide upon a rectangular, oval, square or round table,sometimes, the space itself will dictate this for you. A chandelier above a dining table is, in my opinion, what gives the real touch of elegance to a dining room. And ideally, choose one with a dimmer. This means you can change the atmosphere of the room with a flick of a switch.


Don’t hesitate to use a strong color on the walls that you can pick up on in the upholstery of the chairs and carpet. You might also choose a neutral pattern for the walls or take colors from an important painting that you might have hanging in the room and draw from this in the carpet, cushions, etcetera. Black and white can also be very elegant, too.


Create a point of view


A dining room should have warm colors on the wall, such as a rich, deep rust or a beautiful dark green or blue. Most people preference is earth tones, like deep orange or deep red, as they are the most inviting.


In a classic dining room, it’s best to place the table in the center of the room. However, if you decide to create an open-plan living space and include a living room, set the sofas and chairs first and then the dining room table usually gets placed in a corner. You might opt for a circular table, which is inviting and can be taken out as needed or stretched out into the space, or an oval or rectangular style with leaves to extend as needed. When placed in a corner, the table can be stacked with books, a big lamp, plants, or flowers and it will look very charming.


You need to have interesting rugs underfoot—they should have dynamism, depth, and charm. It needs to have a soul.