Dining Room Design Inspiration

How often do you use your formal dining room? Most formal dining rooms typically gather dust 363 days a year. That’s why casual dining rooms have become much more sought after considering how unceremonious and relaxed our lifestyles have become.

My design philosophy is to make every inch of our home everyday functional. That includes not having to dust an unused formal dining room. No, thank you. I have bigger homeschool fish to fry.

When I used to style homes, I’d often meet with general contractors to keep my finger on the pulse of new-build design requests. Feedback showed most people are shying away from formal dining rooms and utilizing the space for everyday functional needs. I couldn’t agree with this change in stylistic direction more.


Dining Room Inspiration, Domino

The raw wood beams, visually interesting sputnik pendant, black French doors, round table with a clean-lined base and neutral woven chairs come together to create a dining room that’s casual, functional and nothing short of gorgeous.

Design Tip: “Make sure you allow a minimum of 36″ of space around your dining room table to give your chairs enough room to pull back. Nothing is worse than feeling cramped in a dining room.”

—Phoebe Howard

Dining Room Inspiration, The Surfrider

I’m personally obsessed with The Surfrider Malibu’s dining room. The cluster of woven pendants is something I’ve wanted to incorporate into my home for a long time. The vaulted shiplap ceiling, simple and relaxed table and stools and natural fiber rug oozes of creatively relaxed Califormia casual design. 

Design Tip: “Dining room chandeliers should hang 60″ to 66″ above the floor.”

—Betsy Burnham

Dining Room Inspiration, Rue Mag

If you happen to have boys in your home like me, this casual dining room is extra appealing. The woven chairs, black sputnik pendant and striped area rug lend to a more masculine vibe. But, it’s balanced and softened with fresh greenery and a cohesive wall grid of coordinating patterns. Notice the theme? Natural weaves, neutral tones, a touch of black and fresh greenery will never steer you wrong.

Design Tip: “A dining room rug should extend a minimum of 3′ from the edge of a dining table—dining chairs should always be fully on the rug, not two legs on and two legs off.”

—Ginger Brewton

Gathering around the dining table to share food and the events of our day is what family life is all about, right? So, whether you prefer formal or casual dining room design, I hope you gather with your family to use it often and well. 

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