This post is in partnership with The Home Depot

tip 01 — start with function first

Dining rooms don’t just have to be for eating & entertaining anymore — first decide how you want the space to function and serve your everyday life.

  • Is the space going to be traditional ?— used primarily as a dining room for eating and entertaining
  • Is the space going to be dual-purpose? — used occasionally as a dining space but primarily for another function like an office, playroom or library, etc.

in this space… this room is set up as a traditional dining room that’s primary function is eating and entertaining.

Starting with the function ensures you’re creating a space with a strong foundation before you add in design elements that make it feel like your style.

tip 02 — plan a table-centered layout

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is not creating an actual furniture plan for a space — measuring and planning it out to make sure everything fits.  Planning out your furniture layout is the secret to a polished space! 

 Creating a plan helps everything flow and ensures you don’t waste time buying furniture thats the wrong size

The shape of the room usually will determine your layout, so you want to start by measuring and sketching out a floor plan before you decide on your table shape / size. The size of your table will depend on the size of the room AND the number of people you plan on hosting in the space.

quick assessment: 

— how many people will be using the space or dining in here everyday? 

— how many people will you host for dinner parties? 

— do you host the holidays? If so how many people will you need to fit?

Once you have seats, you can choose the table size. Many tables list the seating capacity alongside the dimensions so be sure to check the product descriptions

in this space…I built the table from scratch to perfectly fit the space using plywood, pole wrap, gold tile edging, and some other materials from The Home Depot. Find the full process on instagram in my dining room highlight bubble.

The table size can also be variable variable if you get a table with leaves or one that’s fully expandable to accommodate the seating your need. If it’s expandable, draw your floor plan with both sizes so you can see how the space might need to adjust depending on how you’re using it.

tip 03 — choose chairs to add interest

I recommend furniture picks that balance comfort and style — they look good AND feel good to actually use. One of my favorite design tips is to add accent chairs at the head and foot of the table. It’s a fun way to add some contrast and extra interest to the space.

If you have your eye on dining chairs that are pricey or hard to clean, you can add them on each end instead of committing to a full set.

in this space…I chose to go with modern leather chairs for the sides of the table and comfy upholstered velvet chairs for each end. I got these velvet chairs from The Home Depot and they’re the perfect touch that took this furniture grouping to the next level

You want to choose furniture pieces that work together visually and create a combination of pieces that are coordinated and cohesive but don’t feel too matchy. For example, balance a rustic wood table with more modern chairs.

tip 04 — choose a palette that coordinates with the colors in the space

Use the base colors in the space to inform your color choices. These are the existing colors in the space that are from things like the flooring, the dominant wall color, the color of the finishes like light fixtures and hardware and any other dominant wood tones in the space. 

in this space… I kept the existing flooring and wall color. My neural colored chairs and white credenza fit perfectly with these base colors. I swapped out the light fixture from chrome to a modern gold chandelier from home depot. This locked in gold as my finish color for the space and helped to create a cohesive look for the gold mirrors I added.

Once these base colors are set, you can choose furniture pieces and decor that coordinate with them. Using the colors already in the space, you can add decor items using an aesthetic palette that expresses your style and personality.

Add colors you love through wall art, rugs, home accents, or table top touches like napkins and centerpieces.

tip 05 — use the area around the table for serving, storage & style

Use the space surrounding the table to add function for things like serving and storage and also create a vibe in the space through design elements. Set up the space for serving by adding pieces like a buffet, side table, or bar cart

in this space...I chose this beautiful modern credenza from The Home Depot. It offers lots of storage space and a wine rack. The glossy white finish is a sleek modern touch and the wood tones tie in perfectly with the color of the leather chairs

When choosing pieces, go back to your floor plan to see what size of pieces fit into the space and think through traffic flow. How people would be moving around in the space, making sure there’s enough room to walk with chairs pulled out, open drawers or cabinet doors.

PRO TIP: opt for pieces with wheels so you can easily rearrange the room as needed.

in this space...I added a vintage looking bar cart from The Home Depot with a gold finish to give extra space for storing glassware and mixing up drinks. This cart is on the other side of the room which helps balance out the room so serving isn’t just centered around the credenza.

tip 06 — skip the busy decor & make a design statement with your table settings

I love coordinating place settings with the design of the room for a polished designer look.

I choose pieces that are versatile enough to style for everyday and dress up for the holidays. I recommend going with textured neutral pieces so you can swap different colors in and out using decorative elements like napkins, placemats, centerpiece decor, etc.

in this space..My place settings have a mixed feel. I started with gold flatware to tie into the finish color of the space. For the salad plates, dinner plates + bowls, I actually mixed different sets to add contrast. I chose modern pieces and added balance with some pieces that felt a little more earthy.

To add interest while keeping things minimal, I like to create some variety in the place settings themselves. This is a perfect tip if you have kids as well, since you can create some place settings that feel more polished and swap in kid friendly elements for others.

in this space…I created variety in the place settings by adding two different styles of napkin rings — marble napkin rings and gold ones. I also added two different styles of water glasses, both stemmed and amber highball glasses.

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