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10 Quick Tips for Dining Room Design

Stratos dining table by Cattelan Italia

With the holiday season ramping up, many of us are planning to host dinner parties or serve up holiday feasts. A functional dining room that is beautifully designed and decorated can make these occasions even more memorable. If your dining space needs sprucing up, but you’re not sure where to begin, Copenhagen is here to help.

Mark Hames, a sales associate at Copenhagen Austin, says, “I love helping customers with dining room design because it is a great opportunity to express creativity. It gives me a chance to get to know the customer, their style, and their vision for their dining room.” Hames also says that, for people looking to refresh their dining room, it may be simpler than they think. Rather than re-doing the entire space, a few well-chosen touches can go a long way.

Here are Hames’ top ten tips for dining room design that are relatively quicker and easier to implement – so your dining space can be ready for the holidays, or any time of year.

1. Make use of a mirror.

“A large mirror hung on the wall opposite the window will make your room look bigger and brighter,” Hames says. You may enjoy a more traditional design like the Daphne Mirror, with its walnut frame and rounded square shape, or go for a more striking look with a mirror like the Diamond, with its geometric facets. For a touch of fun, try the Dublin Mirror, whose six overlapping circular frames let it double as a piece of wall art. Since their reflective qualities can create the illusion that a room is larger than it is, a mirror is an ideal addition for smaller dining spaces – or any room you want to give an expansive feel to.

2. Dramatic lighting adds style.

For his second tip, Hames recommends “a statement chandelier or pendant hung over the table to instantly give the dining room a luxurious feel.” Long admired for their opulent and ethereal qualities, hanging light sources can lend sophistication to even modest or minimal dining rooms, in addition to bathing a space in warm light. Because modern chandeliers and pendants come in a variety of styles, and because most ceilings are structurally able to support hanging lights, having a chandelier or pendant in your dining room may be more attainable than you think.

3. Choose a color theme.

Color can be a powerful tool for livening up a space and creating a desired ambiance, especially around the holidays. You may especially enjoy introducing themed colors around your dining setup through smaller accents that can be easily switched out depending on the occasion. Try matching items like your centerpiece, napkins, placemats, name cards, and more in a statement color or color palette. You may also want to consider the effects certain hues can have on mood and appetite – for instance, reds, oranges, and yellows are said to have an energizing effect that increases appetite. They also make a great color palette for fall!

4. Accessorize with an area rug.

Often an overlooked accessory for dining spaces, “a bright and bold area rug placed under the table can add some much-needed color and texture to a dining room,” says Hames. In terms of practicality, he recommends a rug made of easier-to-clean materials, like polyester or polypropylene, and with a lower pile, so the chairs are easier to pull out. The Spectrum Linear is one example of a low-pile polypropylene rug whose fun striped pattern can liven up any dining space. For a more subtle look, the Nido Rug offers neutral shades of grey and blue and a flat yet textural weave that provides a cozy feel.

5. Update your dining chairs.

New dining chairs can subtly change the feel of a room, as well as enhancing the look of the table they’re paired with. “If your dining chairs are feeling a little plain, consider swapping them out for a bolder, more modern option,” Hames recommends. For instance, the Bombe Dining Chair features a plush, rounded shape and a swivel base for both style and functionality. The Jason Dining Chair is another striking choice, with a hexagonal backrest and the ability to stack. “For a chair that will keep your guests lingering comfortably at the dinner table, the Stressless® Laurel comes with an ergonomic design and a built-in recline function,” Hames adds.

6. Jazz it up with artwork.

Artwork can be a fun and easy way to brighten any interior. Hames adds, “Interesting works of art, such as paintings, wall sculptures, or free-standing sculptures, bring a lot of personality and life to a room.” You can even swap out the art in a space to match the season or occasion. For instance, a painting like Beauvais features a rustic feel and warm, earthy colors that make it ideal for fall, while the Orchid Collage wall sculpture embodies a delicate floral look perfect for spring. You can also try one or more sculptures like the chic Fashion Lady, or the charming Red Hen paired with the Blue Rooster, displayed on your sideboard or as part of your centerpiece.

7. Foliage is your friend.

“Plants and greenery can do wonders to breathe life into a room, and the dining room is no exception,” says Hames. “Even artificial plants can perk up a space, especially if they’re realistic or larger in size, like the Mango Tree or Yucca Plant.” You may also love assembling a seasonal centerpiece for your table featuring real or artificial flowers, leaves, fruits, or gourds. Other ideas include incorporating a sprig of foliage as an accent on each place setting, or adding garlands to your table, chairs, or walls.

8. Consider a clock.

Often disregarded in the digital age, a clock can be a unique and elegant choice for accessorizing your dining room. Hames suggests hanging a large or sculpturally designed clock on the wall “to bring an interesting focal point to the space.” As a bonus, having a clock in the room may help prevent guests from looking at their phones to check the time if you’re planning to keep your dinner device-free.


9. Bring in a dining bench.

“A bench or a banquette along one side of the table helps to maximize seating,” Hames explains. Because most dining benches can flexibly accommodate two to four sitters, a bench is a good option for gatherings where you may end up with slightly more or slightly fewer guests than planned. Designed for functionality, the Shine Bench has a right-angled form that makes it perfect for placing in a corner – especially helpful in smaller spaces. The Enigma Bench features a trestle base for a more traditional aesthetic, while the Allure Bench comes in four colors of leather to match nearly any dining room.

10. Serve and store with a sideboard.

A sideboard can be a savvy choice for your dining room due to its multifunctional and aesthetic qualities. Storage compartments in a sideboard let you keep dishes and silverware safe and organized, while the top can double as a serving surface that creates more space on your dinner table. What’s more, many modern sideboards, like the Vivaldi or Costes, have stunning designs that make them functional art for your dining room.

If you’re looking to elevate your dining room design, a trip to Copenhagen may be in order. And if you need help finding personalized recommendations for your dining space, feel free to ask any of Copenhagen’s customer-oriented sales associates and designers, like Mark Hames. “I love finding ways to combine clients’ style with functionality to create a unique and comfortable space,” he says. “Hearing about a customer’s satisfaction when their vision comes to life is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.”