10 designers share their thoughts on how to create a stylish dining room

01 May 2018

Are you needing some inspiration for your dining room? Homes to love has written an informative and inspiring article (which we have added to), featuring advice from some of our favourite NZ designers!


1. Team cool outdoor chairs with an indoor table

Outdoor chairs made from metal or plastic add a casual and cool vibe - are usually very durable, wipeable and sometimes even stackable, making them very versatile and an effortless compliment to your dining table.

“When choosing the size of your dining table, proportion is key in relation to your dining area and table length. Ample room for platters and decorations, and room for people to move creates easy conversation and a meal to remember.” – Jeremy Willoughby, Corso De’ Fiori.

Designer secret: Remember to consider your table width


2. Use a patterned rug to lift a simple scheme

Rugs are a great way to warm up timber or concrete floors, as well as bring colour and texture into a neutral room. Easier to change out than your dining setting, treat rugs as another accessory!

“Rug size is so important; more than colour and design. the right size will define the space and make your furniture look better. it will pull everything together, making the space inviting – somewhere you’ll want to spend time.” – Annie Loveridge, The Ivy House.

Designer secret: It’s all about defining the space


3. Keep your kitchen island clutter free to create a social space

An island is multi-functional and can be used as both a prep space and another seating space. Treat it this way and keep display items to a minimal - a bunch of flowers, special ornament or fruit bowl is enough, and allows you to fully show off the space available.

“The benefit of island seating is the social interaction, encouraging conversation between the busy cook and the casual observer or family member awaiting their meal.” – Toni Roberts, Kitchen Architect.

Designer secret: Create laidback spaces


4. Get an outdoor table on wheels

If this isn't an option, our Domino table works for both outdoors and indoors, which means that you don't necessarily need to purchase two settings! Just bring in and out as the seasons change.

“Outdoor tables are a part of our lives but the reality is we can’t always be outdoors. To give your outdoor area flexibility add lockable wheels to your table or add then to your inside table so it can be wheeled outside.”– Tomi Williams, Indigo Design.

Designer secret: A table on wheels allows you to customise your furniture arrangement


5. Mix and match your chairs

Here they have chosen chairs all in a similar light-medium, warm toned wood. They are in no way identical, but this still seems to work - it's all about gut feel and taking risks, you may have to experiment before you find the combination that works perfectly!

Choose chairs in a similar colour or material for a resolved look. “Choose a plain table with matching wooden chairs. Then let each family member Paint a chair in the colour of their choice.” – Karen Warman, Resene.

Designer secret: Consider height when choosing your chairs


6. Mix designer chairs with a rustic wooden table

The table doesn't have to be rustic, in fact. If you are over your dining room and either don't want to get rid of or don't have the budget to change the whole setting, just change just the chairs! Create interest with a contrasting style, colour or texture - instant update.

“Dining chairs can help connect your kitchen with your living area if they are of a style that references both so consider this when you’re buying. Just as a colour palette should have continuity throughout a home so should your furniture.” – Vanessa Nouwens, Stylist.

Design secret: Style can be perfectly mismatched


7. Accent a neutral dining setting with a bright pendant light

Much like a colourful rug, a feature light brings personality to a room - and you can always move it somewhere else if you decide to change up the feel!

“A statement light over the dining table adds a focal point and balance by creating interest in the upper half of the room. it helps pull the space together and create a sense of occasion. be brave and choose a statement piece you love.” – Shelley Ferguson, Your Home & Garden Editorial Director.

Design secret: Good lighting is essential


8. Use art to create interest

Bring colour, texture and personality to a space with art work. This is also a great way to link rooms together (ie: pick out a feature colour and tie your artwork in with your pendant light, lounge suite or accessories!).

“A dining room is more than a place to host a dinner; It’s a place to do homework and catch up with friends. It needs personality to reflect this and art is an easy way to do this. try oversized art or a group of prints to draw your eye to a sunny corner.” – Alex Fulton, Alex Fulton Design.

Designer secret: A fabulous artwork is a great conversation starter at dinner parties


9. Hang garlands and tassels for year-round fun

“Mixing and matching different shapes, styles, colours and textures ON your dining room furniture creates a fun and interesting look. Change them when you’re ready for a new look.” – Vic Bibby, Bibby + Brady.

Design secret: Choose warm colours and big textures


10. Revamp an old timber dining table with a marble top – Timeless!

Revamp your old dining table by sanding and painting or adding a glass or marble top is an easy way to change the entire look of a piece. The same applies to chairs - a quick sand or paint, a recover of the cushions/squabs or addition of a sheepskin throw is a great way to update. Upcycling is amazing when it is done right but if you are unsure where to start, consult a professional first!

“The risk with white-on-white kitchens is that they can look sterile. add layers of texture – mixing gloss, matte and satin finishes, and using whites with subtle patterns or grains. pick one standout accessory with high design impact, such as a tap, lighting or splashback.” – Nicky Duggan, Evolution of Surfaces

Design secret: It’s all about textural finishes

Source: https://www.homestolove.co.nz/diy-how-to/how-to/how-to-create-a-stylish-dining-room