Dining Area Design: Tips for Creating a Stylish & Practical Space

Dining rooms can either be one of the most or least used rooms in a home. More than anything, what tips the scale in one direction is functionality. A lot of families use their dining rooms for far more than just special occasions, which means creating a layout that facilitates different activities. To create a multifunctional and beautiful dining space that you can use everyday, we’ve compiled some of our favorite tips on what to include in your design.

Opt for an Expandable Table

If you are designing your dining room from scratch, the best place to start (after your flooring and walls) is your table. It is the focal point of the room and the place where everyone will gather. We recommend measuring your space and putting down masking tape where you would like the table to be before deciding on anything. An expandable table is an excellent choice as it allows for flexibility when you have larger gatherings. The adaptability is particularly useful in smaller rooms where maximizing space is essential. Just be sure that when you expand the table, there is still plenty of room to move around.

Playful Seating

After you’ve chosen your table, it’s time to select your chairs. You can go one of two ways – either select chairs that coordinate with the table, or opt for a fun twist with colorful or sculptural ones. Bold hues of painted or patterned upholstery make a statement, or choose an interesting shape, like a wishbone chair. Get creative! Playful seating will add an element of surprise that not only makes the room feel special, but also sets the tone for a joyful dining experience.

Sideboards for Storage

Another factor that sets dining rooms apart is the amount of storage. A sideboard makes it easy to store linens, glassware, trays, and more within close reach of the table. You’ll want to keep everything dining-related in one place to make the most of the room so that setting the table is easy. 

When choosing your sideboard, we recommend measuring the height and opting for one that will allow you to serve from it with ease. It should be around the same height as your dining table. Be sure to also check that when the doors of the sideboard are open, guests can still pull out their chairs from the table.

Layered Lighting

Lighting is key in a dining room, particularly if you are planning to use yours as a multifunctional space. For dinner parties, you’ll want to have a cozy ambience, which is best achieved with the use of a chandelier, pendant lights, sconces, or candles. 

However, if you are planning to use your dining table as a work or homework space, you’ll need brighter illumination. This is where recessed overhead lighting comes in handy. Think about the uses of your space and choose a layered lighting scheme that serves your purposes. A dimmer switch is always a good idea for multifunctional spaces.


Choosing Your Artwork

Artwork is a very personal choice, and you can either make a statement with a large focal piece, or incorporate several smaller works around your dining room. You can either choose your artwork and let that decide your color palette for the room, or select artwork that fits your existing scheme. If you have a traditional dining room, you might consider a large mirror with a gold frame to add a bit of sparkle to your space.

Design & Dine in Style

Designing a stylish and practical dining area can be tricky, which is where our designers at GDC Home come in. Once you book a consultation with one of our interior designers, we will walk you through all the considerations for your particular dining space. With our expertise and Charleston design stores filled with all your dining room essentials, creating a beautiful, functional dining room couldn’t be easier.

Shop the Look

Getaway Dining Table

A breezy statement piece with soft and simple lines in neutral finish.

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Sanibel Pair of Side Chairs

A warm rattan and bamboo body, and a cozy upholstered seat cushion with playful ribbon-tie detailing.

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Nottaway Chandelier

The Nottaway Gold Small Chandelier include long arms that stretch gracefully from a small cog and a ring that ornaments its bottom-most point.

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Marsh & Tide

Giclee on Gallery Wrapped Canvas, Artist Enhanced, Frame Antique Silver

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Explore more of our latest styles and keep up-to-date with design trends by following GDC Home on our social platforms below. View our gallery and use the hashtag to find your next design inspiration!

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