Cracking The Dining Room Code

by Erica Owarume

(Image Credit: Soho Home)

How you go about designing your dining room is important. When you think about your dining room, most people today associate it with hosting. I am BIG on hosting and creating host-able spaces. A lot of people really don't use their dining room to its full potential. It remains unused until company comes over and they make a few jokes to mask their embarrassment for the lack-luster space (LOL).

I cannot relate (i'm a designer duh), but if you can KEEP READING...

First, breathe. We're going to save your dining room, but you have to do EVERYTHING I'm about to tell you. I would do it for you but you haven't reached out to me yet, so pay close attention.

Before we get started, here's some key points to remember:

* Your room should make a statement about you and be comfortable.

* You want to it to be a space for everyone to gather and enjoy your time together while creating memories.

* It doesn't have to be ultra formal but the basics remain the same... a table, some chairs and lighting.

To get your perfectly styled dining room you'll need 4 things:

1. A Table

The table should fit comfortably in the space and be functional

You need a table, right? When you go about picking a table for your space, make sure it's something you love and reflects your style. The table will be the focal point in this room. It's the biggest piece and the first thing your guest see.

You may fall in love with a high end table that’s made from beautiful specialty wood. It may call for extra care so think about your time and what's feasible for you. FUNCTIONALITY IS KEY!

Choose a table that can grow WITH you, not one that is the trend this season. Look for one that can expand with an added insert if needed

A table that is less ornate will be easier to accessorize in many different ways and go with the times.

Round tables are great for conversations, but are sometimes limited in their ability to expand.

2. Chairs

Chairs are key to your dining table. They should complement your table and be comfortable. Who wants to sit at your beautiful table while wishing they could go sit on your couch?!

Chairs don't have to be from the same furniture collection. Mix and match for an added flair.

Remember our key point from earlier"Your room should make a statement about you and be comfortable"

If you are uncomfortable in the mix and match idea, you can just switch out the captain’s chairs found at the heads of the table. 

Upholstered chairs will add color and texture while using slipcovers makes your chairs even more functional.

Creating a dining room experience is like cooking a delicious dinner. If you use all the right ingredients in just the right amounts, then you’re going to have an unforgettable meal. Mix and match your dining chair setup to create a dining room design with a full menu.

3. Storage

You will also need storage! Make sure you measure correctly and find an item that is the PROPER scale for the space. You don’t want to overcrowd your room. 

If you aren’t using the dining room for storage of your china, go with a console table and use it as a buffet.


If you are displaying items in china cabinet, show it off against a cool background

You can go with a credenza buffet or a china cabinet.

4. Accessories

Once you have these key furniture pieces selected it is time for accessorizing. This is the perfect opportunity to use your dining table as the stage for seasons, holidays, and your design scheme. Let your table show off you, your style and the time of year!

Well there you have it! I've gone over the basics for designing the perfect dining room. Now, there are quite a few options when it comes to color, style and textures. If you need help making the right decisions to perfectly suit your space, send me a note!

Design in 30
Design in 30

Design in 30

One 30 min. virtual interior design Q and A consultation w/ Erica, all done via email.   


Please note that these sessions make great content for my blog, with your purchase, I retain the right to use the images and responses, anonymously, of course. If you do want your session to be private, then please contact me at as there is a different rate and payment for a consultation where nothing is allowed to be shared.

Scroll down for more info!


Let me help! Design in 30 is a quick design consultation that's done remotely, via e-mail only (no phone calls or zoom), to answer a specific question or address a specific problem you're having with your interior. 

  • In order for me to provide the best advice possible, you will need to send me pictures of your area of concern, with some shot from a distance, and others close-up.
  • You are allowed up to 4 questions and can send up to 5 photos, attached to your email. After you purchase this service, I will send you an email with directions on how to respond.
Now, while I can't design your entire room in 30 minutes, I'll definitely be able to give you the direction you need, regarding the issue you're having.

Please try to be as concise and brief with your commentary and questions as possible. If it takes you an hour to write all of it up, then chances are it will take me an hour to go through it all and figure out what you want to know. That doesn't leave me any time to do the creative thinking part of this and answer your questions properly. 

Please Note: If you are interested in more of an eDesign solution for your space, with some product selections or if you have more open-ended questions, then I can quote that for you.

*Oh, and P.S. Book your Design in 30 consultation fast, because I only schedule three sessions per week! 

Cracking The Dining Room Code

Nov 07, 2021 Erica Owarume

A lot of people really don't use their dining room to its full potential. It remains unused until company comes over and they make a few jokes to mask their embarrassment for the lack-luster space (LOL). We're going to save your dining room, but you have to do EVERYTHING I'm about to tell you. 

Space Planning is NOT Optional!

Sep 20, 2021 Erica Owarume