Interior designer secrets: Decorating your dining room

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Home Staging : Roland Gardens In:Style Direct Minimalist dining room
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There’s something to be said for hosting/attending a grand dinner party. Especially if the setting looks like it’s been styled by a professional Interior Designer/Decorator with a keen eye for detail.

And what, exactly, does “detail” pertain to? It’s that design that just looks right – the right lighting, the right colours, the right table matched with the right chairs, etc. 

On that note, we decided to perk up our ears and hear what the experts in the design industry have to say about decorating dining rooms.

Here’s what we found…  

1. Your table width is crucial

Oliphant Street, Queen's Park Grand Design London Ltd Rustic style dining room
Grand Design London Ltd

Oliphant Street, Queen's Park

Grand Design London Ltd

We can’t help you fit ALL your guests at one table, but we can certainly inform you that 1100 mm is considered the ideal dining table width. That’s because it allows adequate room for your seated guests’ movement while still having enough space for those food platters, table décor, wine bottles, glassware, candles, etc. 

2. A rug helps… a LOT

It’s easy for dining tables and –chairs to get lost, especially in larger rooms. That’s when placing a rug underneath (ideally, it should be 600 mm wider on all sides of the table) not only defines your dining zone, but also adds additional detail (colour, texture, pattern) into the space. 

3. Wallpaper cuts your work in half

Soft Blue Pixers Eclectic style dining room Blue

Soft Blue


Want to make a dramatic high-end statement at your dinner events? Wallpaper your dining room. Having a detailed/elaborate pattern splashed on the walls ensure adequate detail for the entire room, meaning you don’t need to spend as much on décor and accessories to bring visual character in. 

4. Height matters

If you are obtaining your chairs and table from different providers, ensure proper measurements have been taken. It’s great to try an eclectic look with contemporary tables and vintage chairs, but a mismatched height is sure to put an uncomfortable dent in your dinner party. 

5. Round tables encourage better flow

Wellington St Johns Wood NW1 APT Renovation Ltd Modern dining room
APT Renovation Ltd

Wellington St Johns Wood NW1

APT Renovation Ltd

If your open-plan dining room is rather small and leads off into other rooms, consider replacing your rectangular/square dining table with a curvier model. It visually “fits” better into the space while also encouraging better flow of traffic, as there are no sharp corners or edges waiting for you. 

6. Food lighting is everything

Chalet Gstaad Ardesia Design Rustic style dining room
Ardesia Design

Chalet Gstaad

Ardesia Design

While we always encourage layered lighting in any room, it’s the fixtures above your dining table that are crucial here. Fortunately, you don’t require tall ceilings to hang beautiful pendants! Dangling these over your dining space adds a focal point to the room and better illuminates what’s on the table.

7. Make it not just about eating

Instead of just letting it be a room for a table and some chairs, rather create interest in every piece you add. This can include using different end chairs, adding a green wall, opting for eye-catching wallpaper (we just had to throw that in there), combining two different floor materials…   basically, anything that can make someone stop and take a second look (in a good way, of course).

Are you all caught up with these 8 interior lighting tips for 2021?

Which designer tip(s) will you be copying in your dining room first?

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