Looking for modern dining room ideas that are going to make your space feel chic and contemporary but still warm and welcoming? We've got just the thing.
All successful modern dining room ideas are based around a few key considerations: less clutter, texture and some shapely furniture. Get it right and you can wow family and guests before their gastronomic experience at the table.
If you love a simple feel but with modern furniture then this look is for you. And it needn’t be minimalist either... You can add in as much color as you want using paint or one of the many great wallpapers around that were basically made for contemporary schemes.
Modern dining room ideas for modest and grand homes
'The addition of dining tables, rugs and impactful ceiling lights can provide instant luxury, though I recommend some budgeting for these embellishments', says Kate Conrad, interior design specialist at luxury homeware providers, Madison & Mayfair.
'It is wise to select these pieces in colors that are easily cleaned and fabrics that will last. While these means slightly more expenditure, ‘affordably chic’ is most certainly the aim – and with some wise shopping, they are easily acquired.
'If materials are natural and arrive in earthy tones, they are likely to last and will assuredly emanate a high-end interior feel.'
1. Add texture and tactility with bouclé
'Inspired by French 50s wooden warmth, with a nod to Italian Modernism, the Trocadero table is the kind of piece you fantasize about stumbling upon at Paris' Marché aux Puces', says Jonathan Adler.
'Swag an architectural chandelier overhead and pair with sculptural, boucle-covered seats for full-blown mealtime magic. I want to boucle all day and then, just when I think I’m done, I’ll also want to boucle all night. It’s boucle’s moment and I couldn’t be happier. I’m covering everything—sofas, chairs, my husband, my dog—in ivory boucle.'
2. Embrace Scandi style by incorporating natural materials
'The simplicity of Scandi style uses natural materials, organic shapes and a soft palette to bring calm to open-plan spaces', says Helen Stone, interiors writer, John Lewis & Partners.
'At its heart are natural materials including pale wood and jute with a focus on organic shapes, sculptural lighting and statement ceramics. Warmth comes from pale shades of plaster and chalky earth tones while hits of Matt black provide bold accent. Blonde wood and fitted storage found throughout but there is a more forgiving softness here with wovens, rattan and woven jute promising warmth and comfort.'
'Layering up the accessories will make this look your own and you can afford to be bold. Look for interesting silhouettes and create families of mismatched lamps and ceramics that have a common profile or color palette. A mini art collection can be effective in this scheme, using bold graphic abstracts or framed black-and-white photos to tell your story. Mix up the sizes and formats to keep that relaxed, organic mood.'
3. Add pastel shutters for a soft introduction to color
If bold, bright hues aren't for you, you needn't shy away from color altogether. Pale pastels are all over Instagram and aren't just used for aesthetic purposes...although it's a bit perk!
These solid pastel shutters from Shutterly Fabulous are the perfect window treatment idea to add interest and excitement to your modern dining room idea. Pair with similarly-colored chairs for a sweet area that children won't want to scurry away from before they've finished their meal.
4. Introduce a modern feature wall
If an accent wall idea in a modern dining area feels faux pas, or old-fashioned, it's probably because you haven't found the right look for your home. Rest assured the experts very much veer towards this paint decor to add interest and zone multi-functional living spaces like a kitchen-diner.
'As a trend, feature walls come and go. As a considered design statement, though, blocks of accent color are always on point. It’s a particularly useful decorating trick in open-plan spaces where it can help to define zones and create pace and interest – think of a dining space in an open-plan kitchen, for example', says Stone.
5. Go for a modern Mediterranean vibe
'Inspired by the design and culture of southern France, this trend embodies creativity and modern Mediterranean living,' says Fionnuala Johnston, partner and senior home designer, John Lewis & Partners.
'The indoor, outdoor style that is evocative of a relaxed holiday feel makes these spaces inviting and sociable, places that you want to spend time in.'
6. Choose engineered wood for durability
'When it comes to choosing flooring for your dining room, there are three main things to consider: style and design, durability and ease of cleaning', says David Snazel , buyer, hard flooring at Carpetright.
'Dining rooms usually see a lot of traffic, so it’s best to opt for high quality, durable flooring that is low maintenance and will stand the test of time. It is likely there will be spills and splashes from food and drinks so choosing a material that is easy to clean is essential, particularly when entertaining. Darker designs and styles will be a little more forgiving to everyday marks.'
'Hard flooring is a popular option in many homes that often host guests. Engineered wood is a premium solution providing a durable and attractive finish. It works well in busy family homes and higher end projects and is very easy to maintain. If you want to add a tactile touch under foot, layer rugs to add interest with color and pattern.'
7. Or go for luxury vinyl tile instead
'If you are working to a tighter budget, luxury vinyl is an elegant choice. It effectively emulates more expensive design styles, whilst being incredibly practical and durable', says Snazel.
'Luxury Vinyl is not only highly water resistant, low maintenance and easy to look after, but also compatible with underfloor heating so makes an incredibly practical and stylish choice for dining rooms.'
'There are a huge variety of styles and colors and being easy to fit, highly durable, slip-resistant and moisture proof it is ideal for busy households with young children.'
8. Go industrial chic with different shades of grey
Cool and edgy, the industrial trend is one way to go when looking to create a modern dining room area with lots of character. Think chalky grey concrete paint for texture, a shiny chrome pendant ceiling light with a thick braided flex cable, galvanized chairs and a lightweight dark table linen.
'Watery greys are airy and dreamy and will give that feeling of spaciousness', says Smith.
'Greys are hugely versatile – from cool off white shades, through warmer neutral mid tones to the very deep and mysterious. They have more color and texture within them than straight black – a monochrome scheme of black and white is much more unforgiving than one of shades of slate and clay, which will change subtlety with the light throughout the day, giving them personality and character.'
9. Engulf your walls in mood-boosting yellow
'For a modern look, balance yellows with something cool like a pale grey or an off white. Try teaming this with natural woods and materials like wicker and bamboo as these will blend in well with the contrasting tones. As yellow easily adds warmth to any room, it can be particularly effective in a dining area.' says Judy Smith, color consultant, Crown Paints.
10. Mix luxury materials in wood, marble and matt black
When looking to create a modern dining room idea, sometimes less is more. In a minimalist scheme, you'll want to favor quality over quality so a stripped back scheme with a marble-look table (even if it's not REAL marble), wooden chairs and Matt black earthenware can make the dining area look more expensive than it actually is.
And don't forget about the lighting. Natalie Mann, new product development co-ordinator for Iconic Lights explains: 'A well-planned lighting scheme is the anchor to the rooms decor, so it’s important to get it right. Lighting generally falls into three types: task, accent and overhead and considering the different ways in which you use the room will help you decide what’s needed,'
'A dining room space usually requires multi-functional uses, from dining, entertaining, relaxing to homework. Layering the lighting will allow you to set the tone according to the mood and time of day, for example pendants work to cast a soft ambient glow for a more intimate setting, while brighter spotlights necessary for daily tasks.'
11. Slow down with a modern farmhouse dining area
'We wanted to create a fresh, timeless space that blended the best of farmhouse and nordic design', explains Lindye Galloway, owner and creative director of The Lindye Galloway Design Studio.
'The warm white oak and contrasting design moments invited our clients to slow down and savor life throughout home. You can make a dining room look more modern by incorporating mixed elements such as contemporary and rustic furniture.
'Opt for a rustic farm table with modern dining chairs to create a state of the art room that is inviting for all. Accessorizing with beautiful decor objects such as candle sticks, bowls of fruit, wooden elements, and such will help bring about your personal style.'
12. Go for an all wood affair
This beautiful space is for those who are inspired by the Mid-Century modern style with a hint of Scandi. Look at all of the wood - if you want to feel connected to nature and love the rustic feel then consider this for your dining room.
It works seamlessly together and the overall look is warming to the eye even though it’s in a modern space. You can add industrial elements like concrete effect vases and whitewashed floorboards to create a contrast and we love the Louis Poulson pendant!
13. Opt for a patterned floor
We often forget that we can use rugs in modern dining rooms, they are seen predominantly in living rooms and bedrooms and this is a great example of how you can make it work.
The white dining room scheme acts as a blank canvas so the patterned rug steals the show - that and the fabulous high gloss table with brass base! Add in a layer of texture with the super stylish chairs and rattan pendant.
14. Go for striking black dining room furniture
You may have noticed that black is creeping into our homes more and more...We think it works really well as long as you balance it with other colors and texture. It works well in this dining room as the space is light and bright and the table and chairs have a curvy appeal - this is important as you don’t want too many angles with dark colors. The gorgeous pendants add that pop of color - you could carry that through into the plates and glassware and add texture with patterned jugs and bowls.
15. Or go monochrome for a minimalist look
Sleek and stylish, this smart dining room has a touch of 60s styling with its black and white houndstooth check dining chairs.
Mix and matching pattern with plain is a winner as it prevents a look from becoming too overpowering. Pull in some textures for the table and add a striking pendant light and your monochromatic dining room is complete.
16. Ditch the chairs for a relaxed look
We love this easy living look, it’s casual and stylish and who says you need to have dining chairs? Benches and stools are just as adequate and you can fit more bottoms on benches so they are ideal if you have a big family. Make them comfier with cushions and sheepskins – they will also add color and texture.
17. Go bold with your colors
Your dining room should be a reflection of you, the colors you love and style you love. This bright and cheery dining room blends color and texture perfectly, it’s a happy space that will lighten your mood whatever time of year it is. You could paint your walls behind the table in two shades of pink and match your chairs. Then choose accessories in similar shades to use on the table.
18. Mix and match your chairs
There’s nothing to stop you having all your chairs in different colors, in fact it adds an eclectic feel to the space and makes it easier to accessorize. Teamed with a modern glass topped table the tapered legs match the chair legs – cohesivity is key for creating a stylish look, it’s all in the detail so look out for these touches if you can.
19. Pick upholstered chairs for style and comfort
If you love entertaining then comfort is key, these upholstered chairs look very squishy which is most important we feel. As they are in a neutral shade they will go with any scheme, which is ideal if you like to change your look frequently. We love the use of a tablecloth – not something that’s seen often right now, but it works well here and adds an illustrative quality. And that view! Crittal windows and doors are increasing in popularity and are ideal for enhancing a space.
20. Create a glamorous vibe with gold
For a fabulous luxe look check out this fabulous table and chairs. We love a bit of pizazz and this dining space ticks all of those boxes. Due to the floor also being amazing (get your terrazzo patterned tiles on order) it’s best to keep the rest of the scheme simple so as not to compete. Keep the walls plain and your accessories streamlined.
21. Keep things neutral
Neutrals have their place – they’re calming for a start, which is always a bonus! And they are an ideal existing scheme to add new colors too. They work brilliantly with pastels and here, you can see black used as an accent color. It’s bold and beautiful - it immediately updates the look of the space and gives it a stylish edge. The vertical wooden table and sideboard match the pendant light. These all create a layer of texture and when combined with the black chairs and plates they complete the look.
22. Add a bold wallpaper to a contemporary dining room
To wow your guests as soon as they walk into your dining room, how about popping up a beautiful wallpaper as a focal point? It’s a great modern touch and if you pick a design that’s a single color it will be even more striking. Allow it to be the star of the show by keeping your furniture and tableware simple, and that goes for your colors too, the black vases and light are great additions to this simple yet effective scheme, and the stylish wood chairs add warmth to the overall look.
23. Use dark walls as a back drop to modern furniture
This fabulously dramatic wall provides the ideal backdrop for this contemporary dining room. We love how the wall has been split into two, with the black skirting and wall painted around the bottom and the bottle green textured effect above. The bright red shelving adds a splash of color and you can change the accessories on it to add in more pattern and bright shades as and when. Opt for interesting shapes like this modern table and chairs - especially that table, and we love the globe light!
24. Create a modern dining room that's clutter free
.Modern means minimal essentially, and so you need to keep clutter-free as much as possible! To prevent the look from becoming too clinical it’s worth bearing in mind the furniture that you pick – mid-toned wood works wonders for this and in this dining space the modern table and Eames chair legs all visually link to the kitchen worktop and ceiling panels. The patterned rug and artwork add a decorative touch and consider the shapes – the curvy chairs and glasses make the overall look much more interesting and less angular.
25. Go for an all-white color scheme
If an all-white scheme is your thing, and let’s face it, it’s the ultimate in modernity when it comes to interiors, you do need to consider a couple of key elements. Firstly, do try to add in some wood, it creates a visual break and although we say it a lot, it does add warmth.
The other important thing to consider is texture, this creates interest and prevents the look from becoming flat. So in this case, the herringbone floor and pendant both tick this box successfully! And finally, consider your accessories well, although the vases on the table are all clear glass, the shapes are interesting and that’s why it works for a styling point of view – and always add in some greenery or fresh blooms. If you want some white kitchen ideas to match, head to our gallery.
26. Mix a contemporary dining room into a traditional space
Modern dining room ideas don't have to be reserved for modern homes. We love the look of this space – the contemporary sculptural furniture with the period features creates such a cool contrast. Plus the dark walls make the white chairs and the pale wood stand out even against the wooden flooring.
How can you modernize a dining room?
'Dynamic spaces such as dining rooms lend themselves to bolder color choices,' says Sloan.
'When considering a dining table, I would say go bright or go home. Going bright with a piece of furniture and accompanying chairs means that the rest of the room can remain neutral to suit this pop of color. This would suit renters as well as color-shy owners.'
How can I make my dining room attractive?
'Leaving generous space is an essential element of achieving a luxury feel around the home. A maximalist approach to interiors obscures the details and architectural flourishes that we are striving to showcase – let walls and surfaces breathe', says Conrad.
'Arranging objects and ornaments ought to follow the rule of two or three, with displays organized in threes or in pairs. If you have encountered images of high-end interiors that have inspired your own, look at them again. You’ll notice no clutter, and arrangements will be presented minimally.'
'A neat and sophisticated look is easily achievable with a good organisation. Think of the most pleasurable hotel suites you have stayed in. The crispness of their arrangements, where only functional and beautiful objects are visible, gives these rooms an immediate feel of luxury.'
What is the best color for a modern dining room?
'For an ultra-modern dining space, opt for a table in a dark statement hue,' says Andrew Tanner, Home Design Manager at Habitat.
'Jet black styles contribute to a sleek contemporary aesthetic, while a lacquered finish evokes a feeling of luxury that's ideal for entertaining. Use bold pendant lighting and tableware to inject an uplifting pop of color to minimal monochrome settings.'