Simple Sophistication: 5 Simple Ways To Update Your Dining Room


Spanish Accent Home mediterranean-dining-room


Hey there!  Thanks for popping in! I can’t believe it’s November already! This year is just flying by. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Now is the time that chef’s start talking turkey and interior designer’s start talking, well you guessed it…dining rooms! Personally I love to talk dining rooms. It’s a place where good people gather to eat good food have good conversation.  Yes, it’s ALL good in the dining room!  So I thought I would share some design trends and few simple ideas that you can help you breathe new life into this special room in case you’re thinking of updating it for the big day.  The good news is that the dining room is one of the easiest rooms to update!

Traditionally speaking, when you think of the words “dining room” what comes to mind?  Formal…sophisticated…ornate…dark walls…crystal…china…silver…don’t touch, don’t spill anything, be on your best behavior, for special occasions ONLY?  Yikes!  No wonder why the dining room is becoming less popular in modern homes.  However, within the last decade the traditional dining room has been transformed from that room that’s set apart and “off-limits” to a place of daily gathering for  friends and family.  In modern open-concept homes it’s common to not even have a “room” for dining.  It’s more of a dining “area” near the kitchen and living spaces.   Traditionally, dining rooms have a more formal feel with dark painted walls, dark wood furniture with ornate carvings, heavy silk or damask draperies, oriental area rugs, maybe a china cabinet or oil paintings in ornate gold frames.  Where as now, it’s trending toward simplicity and making it more welcoming for everyday use without sacrificing style.  In short, when updating your dining area, keep it simple with a touch of sophistication.  Here are a some tips on how to give your dining room some simple sophisticated upgrades.

Sand Hill Residence beach-style-dining-room


1. Lighten Up ~ Raise your hand if you painted your dining room dark red or a more neutral “mocha” color 10 years ago (Me!).  Well, it’s time to roll on the color blocking primer and lighten up!  Whites and a lighter shades of grey are very popular wall colors right now, not only in the dining room, but in every room.  Keep color light, neutral and cohesive with the rest of the colors in your home.  If you love color you can add pops of it in the accessories.  You could also add wallpaper to an accent wall if want to make a bold statement, however think “simple” when choosing your wallpaper.  It doesn’t have to be loud to make a statement.

Frangipani Residence farmhouse-dining-room


2.  Start with the table ~ This is the most important piece in the dining room.  Make sure to choose the right size for your space.  Ask yourself…how many do I want to seat?  How many can my dining room seat comfortably? Can chairs be pushed in and out with ease?  Will my guests be able to move around the table comfortably?  If you have a rectangular dining area then an oval or rectangular table would be a good choice.  If you have a square dining space then a round table might be a better choice.  What style of table do you want?  Simple Rustic farmhouse tables or painted white finish tables are a great choice right now.  They can be matched with so many different pieces.  Which brings me to my next point…

Modern Farmhouse farmhouse-dining-room


3.  Mix & Match Pieces ~ Raise your hand if you’ve ever walked into a furniture store looking for a dining room furniture, and there it was on the showroom floor…in all of its matching glory…complete with table, all 8 chairs, buffet, and china cabinet looking all put together.  Your eyes turned to hearts and you bought the whole dang set! (ahem…me again.  I’m starting to feel like I’m in the middle of my own design confession session y’all!).  I get it, it’s all ready to go, the furniture movers unload it all into your space and BAM! insta-dining room.  Done!  So easy, right?  But learn from my mistakes friends, DON’T DO IT!!  The most beautiful living spaces have a collection of furnishings that don’t “match” but work well together. So start with a table that you love.   Then go find chairs that you love.  You can mix chairs with benches or banquettes. You can do 2 formal upholstered chairs on the ends and simple wooden chairs on the sides. You can pair clear acrylic chairs with a farmhouse table. Really, anything goes when it comes to the dining table so have fun with it!! Live with your table and chairs for a while then go find a buffet (if you need one) that you love.  And, by all means, don’t stress about them “matching!” Snap pictures of your space and think of the room as whole when purchasing furniture. It takes time to find the right pieces so don’t rush the design process.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on new furniture then you can freshen up your old furniture.  Paint the table white and buy new chairs or swap out a few chairs for a bench or banquette.  You could also paint your existing chairs a different color then the table for a more customized look. Just remember – keep it simple and have fun with it!


Parade Home 2016 transitional-dining-room


4.  Update the most important accessory ~ In most cases the chandelier is the focal point of the dining room. It hangs front and center at eye level, so it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the room.  It defines the feel of the room.  So put some thought into this important accessory.  If you like to keep things casual and simple go with a wrought iron, wood or glass globe chandelier with simple clean lines.  If you want to add a little more glam to your dining experience then go with a crystal or capiz chandelier.  This is your statement piece so make sure it reflects your style.

Farmhouse Dining Room farmhouse-dining-room


5.  Add natural elements ~ Organic is not only trending for your body, it’s trending for your home, as well.  Trade the oriental area rug for a natural fiber area rug.  Trade the heavy silk drapes for light linen drapes or woven shades.  Add accessories with natural elements such as wood, glass, and real flowers.  Add a real tree, such a fiddle leaf fig, in a woven basket.  Natural elements will soften and freshen up the space.  And, again, keep accessories simple!

2012 VHBA - Winter Wonderland of Homes traditional-dining-room


Blessings ~





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