Inspired by the restaurants in downtown L.A., the designers of the 2014 Sunset Idea House chose a long communal table for the dining room. The low table and stools balance the room’s double-height ceilings.
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Rough around the edges
A live-edge table with a metal base is the perfect marriage of industrial and rustic styles—a pairing that shines in this energy-efficient Colorado cabin. Swapping chairs for a matching bench fits a few more people around the table and makes the whole look casual.
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Don’t force a match
This eclectic space is all about mixing materials and patterns. The rule is to make sure all the finishes aren’t too similar, otherwise it will look as if you meant to match and it didn’t work. Here, the aquamarine grasscloth on the wall makes the black and white print on the banquette pop, and the brass chandelier is completely different from the leather in the chairs.
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It’s official: A Saarinen pedestal table is appropriate in any style of home. This one fits in with its modern bungalow surroundings with the help of a few vintage dining chairs.
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Embrace the dark side
A windowless dining room is made even cozier with a dark green sea-grass wall covering, hand made walnut furniture, and an earthy antique Turkish rug. A large-scale piece of art almost looks like a window to another world in this setting.
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All about color
This dining room opened to both the kitchen and living room, so the designer chose a neutral wall color (Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter) and set the room apart with punchy accents of orange-red, aqua, indigo, and Dijon yellow. Fabric-covered slatted chairs are a fresh take on relaxed style.
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Dress up neutrals
A neutral palette can seem dull without a touch of gloss. Fight that with gold and brass accents—they’ll act like jewelry for your room. To alleviate the visual heaviness of wood floors and wood furniture, choose upholstered dining chairs.
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Old and new
An inherited antique dining table fits right in with new clean-lined Ikea chairs painted black to match the built-in bookshelves, which cover the entire wall behind the table. Lamps, windows, and candles provide all the light the table needs, so a disco ball collection fills the ceiling space in the place of a traditional chandelier.
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“Modern Italian farmhouse” was the desired look in this dining room, which started with a custom glossy walnut table and bench. To underline the table’s contemporary qualities, the designer pulled in molded plastic chairs. The burlap lining on the chandelier adds a hint of rustic style.
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Dinner with a view
A span of windows that look out onto Mount Diablo make an unbeatable dinner party backdrop. The seating is designed with deep cushions and arms on every chair to encourage lingering.
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Ban chandelier fear
A dining room chandelier should be hung low enough to give adequate lighting to the table, but not so low that it interrupts sight lines across the table—or feels like it’s bearing down on you. Enter this light-as-air grouping that nixes any shades in favor of a maximum visibility.
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Even a small house can make room for a dining room. Designer Alexandra Angle carved out a dining spot in the seldom-used landing area beneath the stairs leading to the second floor. The bench lets her seat six, but when she’s not entertaining, she can pull the petite bench into another room to open up even more space here.
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Walls that wow
Dining rooms are a little like powder rooms—they’re not high-traffic, so they’re the perfect spot to take a design risk, like a creative wall treatment. Here, wide horizontal painted stripes in chocolate and white are a showy backdrop for antique painted chairs.
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Taking a backseat
Minimal furnishings keep all the attention on the outdoor space in this ranch home. The furniture—all vintage—still has personality, though. The schoolroom seats were left untouched to contrast the lacquered white table.
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A vintage wine bottle repurposed as a lamp hangs above the dining room table in this nature-inspired room. The chairs are upholstered with cork, a sustainable material. The windows were left bare, allowing natural light to flood through the space.
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All in the balance
A wide range of finishes pumps up the monochromatic black scheme: The metal-plated wall inspired the conical metal art, and the printed tufted pattern on the acrylic dining room chairs acts as a foil.
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This enclosed porch was reinvented as a light-filled dining room. A clean-lined farm-style table adds a modern edge to the vintage chandelier and chairs. To unify and mask the various materials in the porch—the wooden floors and cement block walls—the designers used dark gray paint on it all.
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An authentic midcentury vibe was the goal in this dining room, inspired by the vintage record player and custom sputnik-style chandelier. The table was made new based on midcentury furniture styles, but updated with salvaged scaffolding slathered in concrete and stucco for the tabletop.
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Benches let a crowd sit around a table, but they need some help in the comfort department. Try folding a blanket and placing it on top for some extra color and padding.
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