After a few years of puzzles, classes, Zoom meetings, and storage space, it's time to dress up your dining room again.

Clear off the puzzles, reschedule your Zoom meetings, and move the kids’ classroom to somewhere else, because we’re officially taking back our dining rooms.

Fifty percent of interior design professionals, according to a 2022 Apartment Therapy survey, say dining rooms are making a comeback this year. It’s not that the room suddenly had no purpose in our homes prior to this—it’s that for many of us, the room had almost too many purposes. Amid pandemic-related shutdowns and work- and school-from-home moves, the dining room became our desk space, our classroom, our game room, and more.

At the same time, trends in home design were leaning toward a more casual eating space in the kitchen, with built-in banquettes or countertop seating. But as people begin craving dinner parties again—or just a good “old-fashioned” family meal—and as work-from-home setups become a more permanent reality for some, design forecasters say it’s time to reclaim the dining room for, well, dining.

Ready to reach outside your comfort zone to impress dinner party guests and your family alike? We’re here for it. Try a two-toned midcentury modern theme, or incorporate some cool, coastal calm. Mismatched chairs against a bright white backdrop can add pops of color. More than anything else, create a space that feels good to you.

Wash those napkins, find your favorite centerpiece, and keep scrolling for some dining room design inspiration.

High Contrast

Finished harvest fall centerpiece

Thomas J. Story

A black-and-cream theme can be classic. Soften the room with curtains, a natural centerpiece, and a soft rug, and you’ve got a timeless dining room that’s ready to show off.

Craftsman Color

Lauren Soloff Home Tour Dining Room
A long table with room for dinner and homework was a priority for these homeowners.

Thomas J. Story

This bright white room with natural wood tones pops with bright and colorful pieces, like a green backsplash and yellow candelabra used as a centerpiece. A long table that could be dually used for dinner and homework was a priority for homeowners Lauren Soloff and Adam Sher.

Coastal Nook

dining-nook-newport-beach
Instead of devoting space to a formal dining room, the young family entertains outside, or in this kitchen nook.

Vanessa Lentine

Small space? No problem. Take a note from Mindy Gayer in Orange County, California, and devote your small dining room or nook to a light and airy dining setup with a coastal vibe by adding wicker or rattan chairs, plus a white wooden table.

Spanish Inspiration

Spanish home remodel dining room Toni Lewis architect
A faux painter was brought in to give the beams an authentic, weathered look. Wishbone chairs surround a traditional trestle table. Artwork by Rachel Weber.

Marisa Vitale

Weathered beams and a Spanish table make this room designed by Toni Lewis and Marc Schoeplein feel like an heirloom in a cozy but colorful Spanish revival home.

Cool and Coastal

beach dining room lilac wall
An ethereal wall mural in shades of lilac, inspired by misty morning beach fog, anchor the dining room

Shawn Callo

A misty wall mural in this home from Los Angeles-based interior decorator Kristi Bender shows off the dining space that feels minimal and calming thanks to a sleek wooden bench and teal chairs.

Reclaimed Wood

Dining Room

Rafael Soldi

A new reclaimed table and shelving were brought into this once-sparse dining room by architect Robert Hutchison to give the space more dimension.

Lagom with Natural Light

Isabelle Dahlin Dining Room
This dining room, with a vintage table, Shaker style chairs and an ornate chandelier, has the lagom mix. The antique rug is the only pattern in the room, and the warm while walls are unadorned.

Bethany Nauert

A window at one end of this dining room from designer Isabelle Dahlin gives the space plenty of natural light, while the table and rug bring in the lagom style.

Colorful and Modern

Gibbin Home Tour Bronstein Dining Room
Chris Gibbin built the dining table and installed handsome paneling. The modern chairs are from Abell’s auction house. The chandelier is by DWR.

Douglas Hill Photography

Play with natural textures and an unexpected color palette for a modern dining room, like this one from architect Bob Bronstein with blue wall paneling and a sleek chandelier.

Feng Shui Dining

Feng Shui Dining Room

Jenna Peffley

Aim for personal touches on a simple backdrop for a dining room with great feng shui, according to Dana Claudet, who offered Sunset an added paint warning: “Blue is a studied appetite suppressant for many, so you may want to go easy on the blue as you set up your dining room.”

Two-Tone Midcentury Modern

LA Ranch Home Dining Room

Jessica Alexander

Trying to go bold with upholstery but can’t decide on a pattern? Try two, using these dining room chairs in a space from interior designer Amy Elbaum as inspiration.

Design Above and Below

Dining Room

Thomas J. Story

Don’t forget to draw the eye up—and down, as we learned from this desert property. These Fireclay Tile floors are a showstopper, paired with a wood-paneled ceiling and oversized pendant.


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