[Formal Dining Rooms: 5 Elegant Decorating Ideas]

The dining room is central to the home. Whether you’re sitting down for your regular evening meal with family or hosting a group of guests, the dining room is most likely the place where you’ll be, so it’s important to make your dining room feel like an escape from daily life. 

Decorating a dining room can be tricky, so here are 5 tips for creating an elegant design while decorating your dining room. 

  • Don’t overcrowd your dining room

It’s important for you and your guests to feel comfortable in your dining room and if it’s difficult to get up from your seat, you might just be overcrowding the space. Be careful about furniture and furniture placement around your dining room. 

It’s understandable to want to show off all of your antique showpieces, but if doing so makes your dining room feel like the inside of a closet, you might want to reconsider your priorities. 

Limit the amount of furniture in your dining room, and stick with the bare essentials. A quality table, chairs, and china cabinets will provide enough furniture to wow any guests you have over.

  • Maximize the lighting 

If you’ve ever tried to eat a meal in a movie theatre then you probably  understand why it’s so important to have good lighting in your dining room. You and your guests need to be able to see what’s on your plates -especially if you’ve spent a lot of time preparing a delicious meal! 

To maximize lighting in your dining room, start by hanging a chandelier above your table. Most dining rooms will come with one equipped, but they’re not difficult to install if needed either. The chandelier will provide lighting for the tabletop, while lamps around the corners of the room can help the space feel more open. 

As always, the best type of light for just about any room is natural light, so if you have windows, make sure to let the sunshine in! 

  • Use a rug to control the space

The dining room table should be the centerpiece of the room, but if it’s left all by itself, the room can look and feel a little empty. To counteract this, you can incorporate a rug, which will also introduce warmth, color, and texture.

Rugs centered under your table can easily look like they belong there, whether they’re Persian, Oriental, or modern. Hardwood and tile floors can make any room feel luxurious and high-class, but they tend to also feel cold and empty. 

Covering part of the hard floors in your dining room will make the room a little bit quieter, cut down on ambient sound, and make your dining room even more conducive to conversation. To learn more about Persian and other luxury rugs, check out this article on Lawrence of La Brea. 

  • Introduce nature inside your dining room

Decorative plants in any room almost always bring a sense of calmness and serenity. If you have lots of accessories in your dining room already, adding a small plant or flowers will help to break up the clutter and make the room feel more welcoming. 

There’s no need to go all-out with plants however. You don’t want you and your guests to feel like you’re all seated inside a jungle, so finding the right balance of nature and not is essential. 

A pair of medium-sized potted plants can add color and life to an otherwise empty corner, and a small pot of flowers can make a fantastic centerpiece for everyday use. 

  • Use artwork to express your style

If you’ve ever been inside a professionally-designed dining room or have seen photographs, there’s a good chance you also saw some form of artwork hanging on the walls. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to convey a stylistic point. 

Whether it’s one distinctive art piece or several small pieces placed throughout the room, you can easily use artwork to show off your design taste. You should be mindful of the size of your dining room though. A larger painting might be too imposing for a smaller dining room, and a small painting will be swallowed up by the size of a large room. 

Once you’ve achieved a balance between the sizes of the dining room and your artwork, you’ll find it much easier to appreciate over dinner, as it will stand out the way it was meant to. 


Decorating a dining room can be tricky, but if you follow these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to impressing guests at your next formal dinner party!