How to Accessorize a Dining Room

How many of us pay much attention to our dining room? We have the dining table and chairs, all set up nice and tidy. There is nothing wrong with that, except it looks dull and boring. We need to pay a bit more attention to aesthetics so the room doesn’t appear stark and ‘naked’.

There are a good number of ways to style a dining area and give it some interest, but it first starts with the size of the set and its relationship to the shape and volume of the area.

You don’t want to fit a six-seater set into a space that’s better off with a four-chair set and you don’t want to place a round table in a rectangular floor space either.

For a fairly square-shaped room or space, a round table dining set or a square-shaped four-seater works best. A narrow dining area looks best when furnished with a rectangular table. However, these are not strict rules because, in some instances, configurations vary. Dining sets placed in wide bay window areas and oddly shaped dining rooms.

Ways to Style a Dining Room

The way a dining room is styled is always a reflection of the homeowner's personal style but even if you don’t possess interior decorating skills, you can still beautify your dining room in such a way that it will be transformed from the ordinary to the totally appealing.

Décor items, including other furnishings that you can add to enhance your eating area are:

Area rugs – They are not only good to define the dining area, especially in open-plan layouts, they visibly enhance the space by softening and lifting it up from a hard floor finish. For round top tables, a round rug works best and for a rectangular table, a rectangular one works best. It is important to use the right size area rug, not too large and not too small. The size of the dining set will determine the size of the rug that works best.

It’s good to ensure that the rug must connect the furniture pieces – table and chairs - and the chairs must slide in and out ON the rug. The back legs of your chair must not go over the edge of the rug.

Lighting - Install a decorative light fixture over the dining table, a pendant light(s) if you have a high ceiling or a flush-mounted light if you have a low ceiling. You can install a chandelier if you love the traditional. Ideas include fitting pendant lights in a row over a rectangular tabletop or in a central cluster for a modern look over a round top table.

Centrepiece – This can be a vase with fresh or artificial flowers. It can also be a couple of candelabras or a dried plant arrangement. Other ideas include a decorative platter of fresh fruits and berries, a decorative glass bowl of shells, smooth pebbles, dried figs, and the like.


Tabletop water fountains, a dish with floating scented candles, or a fishbowl with goldfish are other great ideas. However, ensure the centrepiece isn't too high and doesn't take up much space on the table. It's only meant to enhance, not crowd!

Table setting – You don’t have to give a get-together before you set up your dining table. Soften the table with linen, so if you like tablecloths, go for it but if you don’t, you can set the table with colour-coordinated placemats. Remember to include plates, cutlery/rings, and pretty cloth napkins, salt & pepper shakers, etc...

Slipcovers for chairs – If the dining chairs are old fashioned, drab, or plain, instead of going out to buy new chairs, you can cover them with slipcovers. Not only do they convey an elegant casual but look to dining rooms, they also make a dining room more inviting and user-friendly. Good thing . . . most slipcovers can easily be thrown in the wash in case of stains and spills.


Souvenirs and mementoes – You can display family relics, souvenirs, or other heirlooms. These can be placed on the sideboard, corner cabinet, or on the wall in a cluster. This works well in traditional dining room settings, but there is no reason why cherished pieces cannot be displayed in modern settings.

Banquette – for smaller dining spaces, introducing built-in banquette seats is a great idea. It not only adds extra seating space, but the space under the seat can also serve as storage. It’s good to tie it together with the dining chairs by using the same fabric as the chairs’ to upholster it.

Accent with Patterns – There is nothing as effective as bold patterns if you want to add some drama into a room. You can add some surprising elegance and style into a dining room by including lively patterns in attractive prints. For instance, bold zebra print (black and white) upholstery on area rugs or dining chairs will make an otherwise subdued room look attractive and inviting.

Choose a Great Pattern and Colour Scheme

After all is said and done, you need to play up a great pattern and colour scheme. Just as gold colour adds a stylish feel to an outfit, so does the warm tones of brushed gold tableware add finesse and sparkle to a set dining table, so choose your favourite colours and play them up in an attractive way.

Ensure you add textural depth as well . . . for example; you can get creative and mix the dining chairs upholstery fabrics with patterned upholstery cushions on the front and a coordinating solid colour on the back of the chairs.

Add some visual height to the room with vertical stripes in order to emphasise it. Floor-to-ceiling curtains will make the space feel light and airy.

Further Reading:

(Images . . . created by Viryabo@Polyvore)