Lori Gilder

Lori Gilder is an award-winning Architectural Interior Designer known for her clean, architectural lines and comfortable California Modern style.

Interior Design Tips – How To Decorate A Formal Dining Room

Dining spaces can be formal, casual, or a combination of both. Many traditional homes have both a formal dining room and an informal eat-in kitchen.

When planning for a remodel of this area, whether you’re converting an existing space or adding on, consider:

  • The size of your family
  • The number of guests you typically invite to dinner parties
  • The types of occasions when you’ll use the room.

These facts will help guide you in planning the size of your dining space, the layout, and the furniture you’ll ultimately choose. Also consider traffic flow and especially the proximity to the kitchen for serving meals.

Your dining room is also a great space to store extra-large serving pieces that don’t typically fit in your kitchen. Whether you incorporate built-in cabinetry or individual storage pieces, make sure to provide enough clearance for cabinet doors to open fully. When planning lighting, consider all the uses: dramatic enough for elegant dinner parties and bright enough for your kids’ birthday parties.

10 Tips To Consider When Designing A More Formal Dining Room

  1. Add character in your dining room by adding simple wood panels, moldings, or beams on your ceiling.
  2. For a more traditional feel and layered look, install some paneled wainscoting and beefy crown molding around the perimeter of your room.
  3. Increase the size of your baseboard by adding another piece of molding to the existing material to make it look chunkier and more substantial.
  4. If you’re lucky enough to have hardwood flooring beneath that old green carpeting, then simply re-finish and stain it in a deep rich tone.
  5. When renovating your dining room, check the plans to make sure your existing furniture will fit back in to the new space.
  6. Rectangular dining tables are best suited for rectangular dining rooms. If you need to seat 8 to 10 people, the recommended room size is a minimum of 10’6” x 15’.
  7. Square dining spaces look fantastic with either square or round tables. Rounds are my personal favorite as they provide for a much more intimate dining experience. For 8 to 10 people, the recommended room size for an 8 ft. diameter table typically is an 18’6” square space.
  8. Provide a focal point in the dining room either by enhancing an existing fireplace or creating a new vignette by introducing a beautiful hutch for storage, and flank your favorite piece of art above with a pair of colorful lamps.
  9. Use a combination of light sources. In addition to a central fixture or chandelier, it’s tremendously effective to add some recessed halogen light fixtures to highlight artwork, or any other key pieces—and your crystal and silverware will sparkle like diamonds.
  10. Hang your chandelier anywhere from 36” to 42” from the tabletop (from the top of the table to the underside of the fixture). Keep the diameter of the fixture 9”- 12” smaller than the width of your table.

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.



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Lori Gilder is an award-winning Architectural Interior Designer known for her clean, architectural lines and comfortable California Modern style.
©2014 | Lori Gilder Interior Makeover