Start with a concrete idea of what you want the dining room to be at the end of the design process. At this point, be as wild and imaginative as you can. And then, like carving a masterpiece out of a block of wood, slowly chip away the ideas that don’t go well with the overall theme you are trying to pull. Keep refining and keep simplifying until you are left with a design that would make seasoned interior designers proud.
Today, open concept kitchens are used to instantly modernize homes, and create a more consistently functional space. Renovating your existing kitchen by opening it up is also a more cost-efficient option than adding on to your home, which many homeowners also choose to do. By opening the walls that surround the kitchen and “allowing the sightlines to expand beyond the kitchen, you create the perception of more space without the cost of creating more square footage”.
Another thing to think about is eliminating or relocating doorways that currently disrupt circulation. If you absolutely have to have multiple doorways in the kitchen, try to group them in one area to confine circulation to one or two routes. Another great rule of thumb to follow: Rooms that aren’t related to the kitchen shouldn’t connect to the kitchen.
This particular example has a more traditional look to it and employs an open layout, sharing its space with the adjacent kitchen. The use of French cabinet doors really opens up the room and puts on display the owner’s collection of fine porcelain. Smart use of a coffered ceiling and industrial chandelier rounds out the room’s aesthetic quite well.
Our previous home was basically “done” after our large remodel after our house fire and I wasn’t completely on board with a fixer upper. But this house has beautiful land and after several months on the market the price dropped, which peaked my interest. So we scheduled a showing and I left thinking, “No way.” Then over the next week God kept bringing the home to mind and my brain wouldn’t shut off thinking about all the updates I would make.
This living room is adorned by beautifully varnished wooden furniture, stylish glass and metal mantle pieces, a beautiful glass chandelier, and a classic geometric pattern area rug. Its polished hardwood floor matches the white walls and wainscoting and the tray ceiling above. The traditional aesthetic and the well-placed fireplace makes this room extremely homey and welcoming.

Your dining room should serve as the hub for family meals, but when dated decor or built-up clutter causes you to relocate to the kitchen or TV room instead, you end up underutilizing one of your home's most central rooms. Give your dining room the makeover it deserves with these fresh and modern design ideas. Whether you're looking for inexpensive quick fixes or inspiration for a total do-over, these stunning spaces will motivate you to make some big changes — and sit down with the kids or friends for more memorable dinners.


Hi Larson! Thank you so much for your kind words! I am, indeed, soooo glad we painted them white! It modernized the space so much. I love your idea of painting them and leaving the trim. If you don’t love wood trim you could always paint that as well. It is totally your preference. Just be prepared for a lot of work! If you are doing the whole house a sprayer might be recommended. 😉 I used the color Shiplap by Magnolia/Kilz Brand. It is a softer white with grey undertones and is lovely. I hope you love your transformation!

DO integrate natural light. When planning your open concept kitchen design, take advantage of exterior walls by adding windows and doors to help splash natural light into interior zones.  By adding windows, or even better French doors, you can see the landscaping from the interior, which in turn makes your space feel bigger, while also providing some of the psychological benefits you would get from actually being outside.

Craft a beautiful dining space with the Camelia 5 Piece Pub set. A pedestal style base on the table includes a spacious shelf and curvaceous leg supports that add visual interest. A beveled glass table top is round in shape, providing plenty of room for dining and entertaining and staying safe without sharp corners. Accompanied are four upholstered pub chairs. Upholstered seat and seat backs offer comfort and repose, while the upholstery brings a formal look and feel to the ensemble. The Camelia 5 Piece Table & Chair Set is perfect for a formal or casual dining space in your home.
However, the major trick was getting it out of the house! Once the wall was gone it fit well through the opening, but on the way out of the house there was only centimeters of space to fit it through our double doors. Let’s just say there were a lot of moments of shear panic as I watched 5 men man-handle the hot tub out of the house without assistance from machinery.
1. Less is More – As the late Bruce Lee once said, “It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” A mark of a good designer is their inclination to do subtractive design as opposed to additive. This includes creating efficient yet bold layouts with rectilinear shapes and making sure to make classy and discreet material choices.
Inspired by the lush landscape just outside the windows (which were salvaged from an old train depot!), the homeowner of this 105-year-old Victorian farmhouse filled the dining room with rustic wood elements and pops of green. The Beech wishbone chairs, which are lacquered in an apple green, pop against the large antique hutch that stores the homeowner's collection of copper Moscow mule mugs and green and white china. A pale pink Oriental rug with subtle hints of sky blue and chartreuse rounds out the mix.
DO direct traffic away from work areas. A common problem suffered by small kitchens is too many circulation routes, which, in turn, disrupts the primary activity areas, such as the sink, stovetop, and dishwasher. And with all that overly used space in the kitchen, the dining room suffers from lack of use. Combining the kitchen and the dining rooms into one spacious family room/kitchen is a much better choice for a formal lifestyle. Plus, by opening up the kitchen to the dining room, you can easily direct traffic away from high traffic areas in the kitchen, and maximize efficiency.
DO direct traffic away from work areas. A common problem suffered by small kitchens is too many circulation routes, which, in turn, disrupts the primary activity areas, such as the sink, stovetop, and dishwasher. And with all that overly used space in the kitchen, the dining room suffers from lack of use. Combining the kitchen and the dining rooms into one spacious family room/kitchen is a much better choice for a formal lifestyle. Plus, by opening up the kitchen to the dining room, you can easily direct traffic away from high traffic areas in the kitchen, and maximize efficiency.
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