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4 Fundamental Styles of Traditional Dining Room Decor

traditional dining room decor

Food tastes better when you eat it with your family’ is more than just a saying: studies show that it’s true. With family meals being so important, creating a dining room you can enjoy and be proud of is a must for many homeowners. If you want to create the perfect area in your home where you can enjoy good food, relax and engage in good conversation across the table, we have the traditional dining room decor inspiration to help. 

  1. Country Cottage 
  2. Grand And Glamorous 
  3. French Farmhouse 
  4. Dark Dinner 

1. Country Cottage 

What could be cosier and more homely than a quaint, cottage-inspired farmhouse chic dining room? Evoking memories of traditional family mealtimes defined by real home cooking, the country cottage themed dining room is the perfect traditional style for nostalgic homeowners. 

rustic wood dining table in cream and blue themed kitchen and dining area

Image by Marc Wilson 

Revive and refresh this dining room design style and inject your personality by incorporating statement colours that reflect you. Although softer colours such as lavender, yellow and periwinkle fit well with this traditional dining room style, don’t be afraid of bolder colours too.

 white and pink dining room with lacy table cloth, dark wood dining table and flower patterned wallpaper

Image via Fairynests 

Vintage lace tablecloths, wooden cabinetry and countertops, ornate plates on display, the presence of flowers featuring in vases, the detailed wallpaper and decor designs are staples of this warm, welcoming style.

white and blue dining room kitchen area with traditional white arger stove and patterned plates

Image by Colin Poole 

The country cottage style epitomises traditional English decor and is perfect for multi-functional spaces of all sizes. So, whether you’re dining space is its own room with high ceilings and a 12-seater dining table or the centre of your traditional kitchen or open-plan living room, this flexible traditional style is full of potential and personality. 

traditional dining room with light greens, brown and pink patterned furniture and artwork

Image from The Wall Street Journal 


2. Grand and Glamorous

You don’t need 10 foot high ceilings or windows that span the entire length of your wall for a grand dining room. Real crystal chandeliers and gold embossed oak placemats don’t always make a dining room glamorous or impressive. 

The size of your room and the limitations of your budget doesn’t mean a glamorous, grand traditional dining room is beyond your reach. Creating a grand dining room is about how you decorate the room, not the price of the items you decorate it with. 

classy dining room with light grey walls, dark wooden dining table and chandelier

Image by Tom Grimes for Deborah Leamann Interior Design 

Good lighting, a strictly-observed colour scheme, a statement dining table, wall decor and room features such as panelled walls or a fireplace are all key in creating a grand dining room. All of these elements can also be achieved on almost any budget for homeowners who are patient and thrifty enough. 

Match your wall, furniture and drapes in a strict colour scheme. Your scheme can be bold or neutral - the choice is yours - but don't deviate from it. 

sea foam green dining room with patterned coloured wallpaper and matching dining chairs with chandelier overhead

Image by Eric Roth for Kristin Paton Interiors 

Your statement table doesn’t need to be big or topped in marble. For smaller spaces, opt for a table that’s an interesting shape instead of the classic long table choice. Known for their association with King Arthur of legend, round tables are an all too overlooked option for dining rooms. They save space and provide plenty of surface space to get creative with centrepieces. 

Modern traditional grey, black and gold dining room with round dining table

Image by Houzlook

A fireplace is the heart of any home and a dining room with a fireplace is the epitome of traditional elegance and grandeur. If you don’t have a real fireplace in your dining room, adding a fake one can create an interesting visual feature while almost providing a source of ambient light in the form of candles. 

Styling a false fireplace is a great way to add colour and dimension to a dining room - or any other room for that matter. 

white false fireplace with candles clustered in the middle

Image by Crate & Barel 


3. French Farmhouse 

One of the key styles that inspired the shabby chic era of decor. French Farmhouse pairs the soft colours and traditional patterns of the traditional farmhouse style with the clean elegance and sophistication found in all types of French-inspired decor

Light colours, exposed or distressed wooden tables, classic and vintage-style plush dining chairs with ornate details on the legs, an eye-catching floral centrepiece and an even more attention-grabbing low chandelier are the key components of a dining room in this style. 

distressed wood dining table and chairs in grey and white rustic french dining room

Image from French Garden House 

Natural textures and colours such as rattan, distressed wood, (faux) fur and brick all amplify the charm of the French Farmhouse theme by making a usually pristine traditional decor trend such as French more industrial and realistic. These materials add character and warmth to the French Farmhouse dining room.

Bring these elements in using a mixture of seating styles, placemats or tablecloths made from natural materials and a wooden or exposed brick feature wall. The naturally occurring colours of these feature wall ideas nicely complement the usually light and bright whites and creams of the traditional French Farmhouse dining room. 

french farmhouse dining room with exposed brick wall, chandelier and light wood dining table

Image by Home Stories A to Z 

Another defining trait of the French Farmhouse style is the attention to detail. Small touches such as well-grouped trinkets on the sideboard or perfectly coordinated table runners and fabric napkins are important. Don’t forget details such as placemats, candlesticks or seat covers.

All of these small details are a way to incorporate a hint of femininity and your style into the dining room. 

hite french themed dining room with distressed wood dining table in the centre and antique mirror on the wall

Image by Shabby Fufu 

4. Dark Dinner 

A dark room doesn’t have to mean a gloomy room. Dark dining rooms have been on trend for many years with most of these designs leaning into traditional components of dining room decor such as chandeliers, long dark wood tables, grand high-backed chairs and wooden wall panelling.

Dark dining rooms create a moody and completely sophisticated atmosphere, perfect for hosting a dressed-up dinner party or for brightening up with candles and natural light for family mealtimes. 

Pair dark walls with floral centrepieces and flourishes along with chair covers, table runners and dishware in lighter tones. Classic and traditional dark dining room colours include dark blue, green, burgundy and black or deep grey. These colours pair well with brass hardware and frames on the wall to add warmth and accentuate the opulence of the room.

elegant dark royal blue dining room with chandelier and set table

Image by The English Home 

If you have dark wood wall panelling in your dark, traditional dining room, there are a few ways to make sure the details of the panels don’t get lost. Highlight the edges of the panels in a metallic shade - such a gold, copper or brass - to match the lighting fixtures, door handles, sconces or other features of the room. 

This gives the room more of a sense of character and luxury while underscoring the more traditional and stylish antique elements in the dining room. 

For smaller rooms, half-wall wood panelling that runs around two-thirds of the way up your wall may be the best idea to give the appearance of higher ceilings which is important in a dark room, 

gradn dining room with ornate black wood wall panelling  and long dining table with rows of chairs. antique gold mirror and chandelier and candle scones bring warmth to the room

Image from Pinterest 

Traditional styles don’t just have to rely on ornate, baroque and antique items reminiscent of the Victorian era - arguably the period which popularised excess, grandeur and luxury. 

For a dark dining room with a contemporary, party feel, art deco is a traditional style that can easily achieve this. Use classic art deco patterns in furniture or on an accent wall for an obvious nod to the 1920s concept. Alternatively, incorporate the rounded shapes and clean lines of these classic patterns to create a dining room that's a stylish blank canvas for all the future dinners, parties or family socialising you plan on using the room for. 

sleek dining room with black panneled walls and art deco inspired gold hanging light shades and side board.

Image by House of Silver Linings 

Creating the perfect dining room to host your family and guests is no small task. Finding inspiration and styles you are drawn to can take time and effort as with any home project. Save your valuable time when it comes to planning your home projects with our free Inspirations Guide, designed to give you all the ideas for home decor and design you need in one place. 

Inspiration For Every Room 

Be inspired to create the perfect home with our free downloaded Inspirations Guide. Gone are the days of buying piles of interior design magazines or spending hours online scrolling for inspiration ideas. Whether it's your kitchen that needs an overhaul or you want to channel your inner Jay Gatsby and create an envious bedroom, there's something in there for every corner of your home. 

Create a home that reflects your style and personality and is loved by family and guests alike. Just click the link to get your copy.

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