These understated dining spaces let the food do all the talking.
Keep your dining room calm with these laid back, neutral dining room ideas. These rustic and restful rooms prove that plain doesn’t have to be boring. Keep colours cool, then add texture through industrial pendant lighting, midcentury chairs, rustic dining tables and muted tiled or wooden floors. Not only do neutral colours open up small spaces, but the effect can be calming as well. Compliment your colour scheme with beautiful over-table lighting on a dimmer switch, to help create a cosy mood in the evenings.
Light wood Wishbone chairs and a modern dining table add to the crisp and bright aesthetic.
Get the look: The Konstantine dining table is from Living Space. These are Hans J Wegner’s Wishbone chairs for Carl Hansen & Søn from The Conran Shop. The Parker wall sconces and white vases are by Jonathan Adler. The painting is by Ray Caesar.
This dining space combines a sophisticated but relaxed palette with an elegant marble table top and comfortable, chunky seating.
Get the look: The dining table is bespoke. The Red chairs are from Stellar Works. The Hooked 3.0 lights are by Buster + Punch. The rug is from Linie Design.
Sharp, colour-dipped outlines are undercut by the natural hues of the oak flooring. The customised light over the table was tricky to mount in the right position, but worth the fiddle.
Get the look: The Steel table is by Piergiorgio & Michele Cazzaniga for MDF Italia, with Houdini chairs by Stefan Diez for e15, all from Viaduct. The artworks are by Stuart Semple. The limited edition plates are a collaboration between Royal Doulton and street artist Pure Evil.
A chandelier by an LA designer emphasises the proportions of this simple, elegant space.
Get the look: Get the look The table is by White Arrow. The J39 chairs by Børge Mogensen are vintage finds. This is the Pivot chandelier by Brendan Ravenhill. The Moroccan rug is from Etsy.
White walls and large windows frame the outside beautifully, while furniture with classic, simple lines lets the nature outdoors provide all the drama.
Get the look: The dining table is by Heerenhuis – its SPO solid-oak design is a match. The chairs were from Ikea, but are now discontinued – the Skin chair by Archirivolto for Calligaris is a similar design. This is Ikea’s Fillsta pendant.
The Studio Dunn lighting design over the dining area is as poised as a tightrope walker’s pole.
Get the look: This is the Strut table by Blu Dot. The Saarinen Executive chairs by Knoll are upholstered in Lace linen by Rebecca Atwood. The photograph is by Jeff Barnett-Winsby. This is the Sorenthia pendant by Studio Dunn.
The owners of this light and airy dining space have turned traditional tongue-and-groove on its head – or rather, its side – and have laid planks horizontally to mirror the ceiling, creating a more spacious feel.
Get the look: The Dauphine dining chairs, approx £210 each, are by Flamant. The Caribou cantilever metal frame chair, £1,854, left; and Sable Italian leather chairs, £1,464, centre and right, are by Ochre. Try Fired Earth for similar pale wood flooring, from £94.94 per sq m.
This contemporary extension opens out the interior, creating a fluid link between the inside and the garden. The long, clubbable dining table and the log-burning stove exude the spirit of hygge – warmth and companionship – giving this dining space a Scandi feel.
Get the look: The flooring is by Dinesen. The bespoke dining table is by Benchmark. These are CH24 Wishbone chairs by Hans J Wegner for Carl Hanson & Søn at The Conran Shop.
Use a band of paint to add interest to a room, introduce a splash of colour or highlight a particularly interesting detail. The area above a picture rail, architrave or high shelf lends itself to this idea. Painting a wide band of colour around a room acts to break up expanses of wall, introduces a new colour without being overbearing and creates cohesion around the space.
Get the look: Calamine Pink estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball, £39.50 for 2.5l, is used to frame a collection of ceramics. The reclaimed wood table was made by DT-69 – expect to pay from £1,500 for similar. The wall light and console table are vintage finds – try Newark or Ardingly Antiques Fairs for similar. This is Jonathan Adler’s Frida vase, £295.
A modern brass pendant draws the eye up and adds necessary height and dimension to this grand room. Bare windows and clean lines in the modern furniture create a minimalist vibe.
Get the look: This is the Strut table by Blu Dot. The Saarinen Executive chairs by Knoll are upholstered in lace linen by Rebecca Atwood. The photograph is by Jeff Barnett-Winsby. This is the Sorenthia pendant by Studio Dunn.
The scroll of brown paper is a blank canvas for daily doodles, a 'Quote of The Day' and shopping lists. The two post-it artworks by Katie Lips are the only pops of colour, and don't distract from the otherwise monochrome space.
Get the look: Capture inspiration on a brown paper roll from New Zealand brand George & Willy. This is a Loop Stand table by Hay. The white House chairs are from John Lewis. These are the Piña chair by Jaime Hayón for Magis, left, and the Carbon chair by Bertjan Pot and Marcel Wanders for Moooi right. The paintings created using Post-it notes are by Katie Lips.
A double-height space was created, allowing lots more light to flow in. The curve of the wall works wonderfully with the table.
Get the look: This is the Saarinen Tulip table for Knoll, teamed with DSW side chairs in White by Charles and Ray Eames for Vitra at Aram Store.
The kitchen table and bench is used for everyday breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bespoke banquette bench is covered in faux leather. It takes up less space than chairs, plus kids can crash around on it, without the worry of any damage being done. The dining bench was designed as space-efficient seating; you need around 90cm behind a chair, so you can pull it out, so with space lacking a bench was installed instead.
Get the look: Table, Habitat. Chairs, Maisons du Monde. Tiles, European Heritage. Caravaggio pendant light, Holloways of Ludlow.
Avoid a tangle of table and chair legs by building seating nooks into corners or window bays. That way, you can streamline your look as well as factor in storage beneath. Top off with custom upholstery for a luxe brasserie vibe – button-back, butter-soft leather or velvet for louche glamour, or linen for Scandi simplicity. Whichever you choose, it’ll be the hottest seat in the house.
Get the look: This banquette was designed by Christophe Clement at The Ugly Room. For similar designs, try C&S Interiors, from £1,000. Pendant lighting is used to define the seating area as a ‘zone’ – these are Lee Broom’s Crystal bulbs and pendants, £199 each. The cabinet is by British Standard by Plain English.
Taking centre stage of the house is the dining area, with a tree growing right through the middle of it.
Get the look: The kitchen is the Cesar Maxima 2.2 designed by Ben Jones of Espresso Design. All the appliances are by Miele. This is the Table B dining table by BD Barcelona. The Vitra Panton S chairs are available from John Lewis.
The open-plan space allows for effortless entertaining, offering an easy transition from the meals at the dining table to coffee on the sofa, with steps providing a subtle division between the two spaces.
Get the look: The dining tables are from Jayson Home. The chairs are from Tolix. The cushions were custom-made by P&T Interiors using Designers Guild fabric. The large, antique candle holders are from a Paris dealer. The pots and jars are from Seletti. The vintage Thirties pig was used as a street marker for a Texas barbecue diner.