Blog Posts  | March 20, 2019


How to create a dining room that reflects your lifestyle, plus 6 dining style ideas

Do you like to sit around the dining table with friends and family while enjoying a delicious meal? Do you love good food and good conversation?  According to Canadel’s Inspired Magazine 43% of us rarely or never go to restaurants for dinner and 70% of us eat most of our meals at home.

Some of the most meaningful experiences happen around the dinner table. Even with a busy schedule, after a long day, we enjoy sharing a meal with our loved ones and hearing about their day.  

Sometimes dining areas can be a challenge, especially in a room that’s sparse, cluttered or uncomfortable. Usually our eating areas are allocated to a small room, an open concept area or right next to the kitchen. Achieving the ambience you desire can sometimes be difficult, but your design choices can help.  


When it comes to home décor, you always have to keep the big picture in mind  when making design decisions. Things like the scale of your home, room layout, wall and floor colours, lighting, functionality and flow need to be considered. In open concept rooms, keeping  the same colour scheme throughout is a smart decision. Be careful though, we don’t need to match everything, and the flow is important.

If your dining room is next to your kitchen, the functionality for the everyday use is imperative. In this type of layout the dinette is an extension of your kitchen. In an open floor plan, the look should remain consistent with the use of similar textures. The table can work as a focal point. Select textures that add character, for example a distressed wood table and leather chairs. In addition, a statement chandelier can create a subtle separation, and define the eating area. In order to keep a cohesive look, choose accessories and table arrangements with your accent colour that complements your décor.

Above photo: Open concept living/dining room designed by Estefanie Schuster  


A dining room separated from the rest of the house is the perfect candidate for its own distinct décor. In this case you can go with bolder elements that make a big statement.  You can invest in wallpaper, a hutch, rugs, mirrors, lighting and artwork which help the room stand out. Read our blog: 5 tips for creating a beautifully decorated dining room.

How to find your style

I’ve been working as an interior designer for about 11 years now, and many of my clients tell me they don’t know what their own personal style is. They haven’t really given it much thought and don’t even know where to start. Your home is such an intimate space, and should reflect your personality with style. In order to be successful in achieving this, you must put the time and effort in to determining your preferred design style.

Here are some steps that you can follow in order to find your style:

  1. Pinterest is a great tool! Select some looks that put a smile on your face:) check out La-Z-Boy’s Pinterest page.
  2. Start with an anchor piece, like your favorite piece of art or an area rug.
  3. Create a mood board of items that you love and would like to see in your room. (see examples of mood boards below)  
  4. Consider restaurants you frequent or really want to dine at (perhaps it has something to do with the décor)
  5. Enlist the help of a professional designer, here’s how.

Visualizing your preferred style helps to build a concept in your mind of the mood you’re looking for. The table and chairs you choose will have a huge impact on your dining room. Here’s a list of 6 styles and accessories that complement them and will bring your dining room to life!

Six of the Most Common Dining Design Styles



The farmhouse style (also known as farmhouse chic) is very popular these days. With farmhouse style furniture and the right accessories and fabric, you can create a coastal look. People who like this style also like antiques. They love vintage pieces that have a history or have been passed down through generations.


Vintage vases, trays, organics, shabby chic accessories and Lamb’s-ear plant are good choices for the farmhouse table. Consider a buffet as it creates a great presence in the room. Fabrics can be soft, like florals or striped patterns. A subtle contrasting wood colour gives some depth and warmth. You can use throws and pillows on the benches to make them cozy and inviting.


It’s easy to mistake modern for contemporary. I like to call it mid-century or mid-century modern. More of a minimalist style, the modern dining room has clean lines, is functional and clutter free.

One or two accent colours adds an extra flavour and highlights the shape of the pieces. An abstract patterned piece of artwork or a rug can warm things up. Candle holders made of interesting materials with a simple and angular design adds a fine touch. Textiles are clean and texturized, less is more.


Rustic follows the same principles as the farmhouse style but consists of more rural and crafted finishes. The distressed finish is displayed in materials such as raw wood, stone, aged copper and iron. The textiles have earthy tones and the furniture is typically chunkier. This style isn’t always defined as a cabin look, rustic can be elegant.


Go for organic elements and a hint of traditional décor. Paisley and plaids on fabrics, window treatments and vases are allowed. Keep it monochromatic and use more authentic hardwoods.  


The Industrial style has a rustic core and urban feel, like old factories and warehouses.  The perfect blend of wood and metal with a loft/industrial aesthetic; picture New York industrial areas in your home. Elements combine organic wood and sleek metal with a rustic finish. Ductwork, beams and bricks are usually incorporated into an industrial style room.

The style is practical and multifunctional. A bookshelf can be used as a buffet  to display dinnerware. Show off your ceramic dishes on open shelves that light up. Soften up the look with design features and materials that contrast. Elements such as leather, pewter, plants, pillows, patterns and neutral arrangements work well.


The traditional style uses classic and colonial elements. For some people, this look is updated and predictable; for others it’s timeless and inviting. The traditionalist likes the history behind the pieces. They enjoy the style because it’s safe and sophisticated and the colours provide a feeling of calm.  Heavy trim work and built in cabinetry with ornamental embellishments can usually be found in a traditional home.


The traditional style can be very versatile and can incorporate a bit of every room style. For example, a room with a Louis XV accent chair, an overdyed Oriental rug and contemporary sofa? Voila, we have revisited the traditional look! If you’d rather keep it classic, invest in centerpieces, candle sticks, buffet and hutch with ornaments. Nail heads can add the final touch to your dining chairs or you can go for adorned wooden legs. The base of the traditional table is very curvy and ornamental. Choose non textured and matte fabrics. Flower and paisley patterns work well.


With sleek form and functional design, the contemporary style moto is minimalism. Contemporary style is all about the now and the future. Colours are neutral with a tone on tone pallet, why not add a bold accent colour? The dining set usually has clean lines, a glass top and metal details.

The lighting is big on style and always surprises with different exotic finishes and shapes. More linen and geometric patterned fabrics work well in this space. Artwork also complements the style and has a sculptural role on the entire look. Clutter is off limits, that way you can focus on the statement pieces.


Don’t be afraid to mix and match styles, home décor is about being creative and innovative. Remember, your home should tell your story and reflect your personality. The important thing is to respect décor rules in order to put together the right pieces. It’s ok to select a modern chair and mix it with a contemporary table. Why not add a vintage piece here and there?  Discovering your own style first is the key to helping you build a lovely dining room in which you can create memorable experiences for years to come.

By Estefanie Schuster

In-Home Designer, La-Z-Boy Ottawa




Homebody: A Guide To Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines.Hardcover, 352 pages Published November 6th 2018 by Harper Design (first published November 2018.)


Issue 03  Inspired Magazine

Issue 05 Inspired Magazine

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This