4 Essentials for the Perfect Dining Room

Designer Spotlight: Dining With Style

Whether your dining space is formal or informal, it should look inviting. A few key ingredients for a dining area that will fit your needs are creating the perfect backdrop, finding the right furniture, choosing the right lighting and displaying the most stylish accents. Create an eating area that's full of flavor with spicy color and tasty accents.


Whether a scheme is quiet or bold, texture is an essential element for adding interest. For instance, choose a textured wall covering, like grass-paper, or linen. You could also paint a bold color on an accent wall to add drama. There a many innovative approaches  to addressing the windows for your dining space. You could select from woven blinds, double layers, custom made drapery panels, cornices or no treatment at all. Special considerations may affect the treatments you choose, such as, windows in corners or windows placed at different heights. Your goal is to unify the room with the same fabric at the same height, if possible. This creates consistency and balance throughout the setting, two elements of design.

Designer Spotlight: Dining With Style


The center of any dining room is the dining table. Choose a table that suits your needs and fits your style. Allow for enough space to circulate around the table. A rectangle table is traditional, but a round table makes for a more personal dining experience. If you like to entertain, plan for expansion. Comfortable chairs are a must. Be creative when choosing the right seating. Mix and match your chairs for an eclectic style or seek out chairs that fit the scheme of your dining room. Sideboards and hutches are great furniture pieces for displaying private collections and storing dinnerware, glassware and linens.


When selecting lighting for your dining space, you will want a fixture that illuminates the room without creating a glare. Indirect lighting is always better than direct. You will need to consider the size and placement of the chandelier in proportion to the table. For visual harmony, the bottom of a chandelier should sit 30 to 34 inches above a table. Wall sconces over a buffet, add a soft glow and sets a comforting mood throughout the room.

Designer Spotlight: Dining With Style

Accents & Accessories

Treat your dining room as showcase when you are not eating. Create a still life in the middle of the table with objects of art and various textures. Such as, fresh flowers, mirrors with votives and candles, the options are endless. Keep it interesting by changing your display to reflect the seasons. Framed art always adds visual interest to a room.

You can hang a large painting over a sideboard or create a collage of framed art work on the wall. Anchor your dining room with an area rug. This will subtly define the table and unite the visual mass of table and chair legs. TIP: As a general rule, you should be able to push your chair from the table without the legs touching the bare floor.

Whether  you add a little or a lot, it's easy to pump up the volume with colorful accessories and creative accents. No matter who comes to your table or what's on the menu, you deserve a dining area that reflects your decorating taste and signature style.


Shandra Ward

Shandra Ward is CEO and Principle Designer of Signature Designs Interior + Event Design Studio.  She loves all things design and party planning. Her artistic ability and instinctive eye for design, space and functionality have played key roles in making Shandra the successful designer she is today. Her diverse design background includes commercial design, real estate staging, set design for theater and television. She loves to throw fabulous cocktail parties for friends at least twice a year. Shandra’s writing has appeared in Bread and Butter magazine and Exhalt magazine Dallas/Houston. She has written articles for Pier 1, Wayfair.com and other online blog sites. Plus, she has contributed design advice to corporate publications, like The COSTCO Connection magazine. Learn more about Shandra.