Design Tips for Your Dining Room

warm and inviting dining room design with unique details
havenbrook dining

Many great memories are made around the dining room table. And they’re made even better if your dining room design is inviting, comfortable, and functional.

So, with that in mind, we’re sharing some simple guidelines that will help your dining room put it’s best foot forward – both for everyday dining and entertaining guests.

Here they are:

Choose a style

There really are no rules about what style your dining room design needs to be. The sky’s the limit, but save yourself time and headaches by deciding on your design style, preferences, and functional needs prior to getting started.

light and airy dining room with natural acacia wood furniture
rockhampton dining


Dining rooms size and styles vary but furniture placement is pretty standard.

Dining table and chairs:

Plan for 3′ of walkway to comfortably navigate around the dining table and chairs.


Allow space for the depth of your storage piece + 3′ of walkway around the table, if possible.  (Do you have room to comfortably open doors and drawers?)

light neutral dining room with farmhouse charm
madison county dining



The size of your dining room light should be relative to the scale of the room and size of your dining table.


Hang chandeliers approximately 30-32″ above the table in a room with 8′ ceilings.  For a room over 8′ tall add 3″ per foot above 8′.

Center lighting over the dining table – low enough to light the entire table, but high enough not to interfere with conversation. Allow at least 6 inches of clearance on each side of the table so that guests won’t bump their heads.

atwood creek dining

Other light sources.

If the size of the room can accommodate it, incorporate other methods of lighting in your dining room design as well, like wall sconces, or lamps on a buffet or console.


Whatever the lighting choice, it’s good to install a dimmer switch so that you can adjust the lighting to fit the time of day and occasion.  Everyone will look better and be more comfortable with softer light!

Area Rugs

Rugs aren’t a requirement in dining rooms but they do soften any space, as well as deaden sound in rooms without carpet.  They also help define the dining area and make it feel more cozy.

dining room design with 2 pendant lights centered over the table and texture added with an area rug
proximity heights dining | similar rug

Size guidelines (may need to be tweaked dependent on space):

Ideally, choose a size that allows chair legs to remain on the rug, even when someone is seated.

To determine rug size, measure the width and length of the table, then add 24″ minimum to each measurement. (Don’t forget to add additional length if your table has a leaf.)

colorful modern dining room design
space savers dining

{TIP: If a rug absolutely won’t work in your space (or even if it will), consider adding fully upholstered chairs or chairs with upholstered seats to add softness, texture, and color. Upholstered benches are also a great option.}


Once everything is in place, it’s time to add the final details!

Accessories are a low commitment way to finish off any room and put your unique stamp on it.  It’s a great time to experiment, have fun, and show your personality. And the accessories will give your room a finished feel.

Warm and rustic dining room with tons of character
taos dining

Are you ready to start your dining room design? We’d love to help! Check out our Table Talk collection below…

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