The dining room is a place of gathering, comfort and community. Creating the right atmosphere in the room is a matter of choices in decor and design. For example, a traditional dining room creates a heartwarming tone while a modern one feels minimalist and light. Homeowners can often feel confused when trying to upgrade their dining room because it’s usually not as simple as buying new appliances or green-lighting a remodeling project. Here are some simple ideas to help you upgrade your dining room and create the atmosphere you want.

Relief

A lamp is often the centerpiece of a dining room. Your choice of lighting can greatly enhance the theme of the dining room you’re going for, so look for fixtures that enhance the other elements of the space. A chandelier adds a formal touch to the room, while more modern fixtures such as pendant and warehouse lamps can give a sense of chic sophistication. If you plan to hang a chandelier, keep in mind that the bottom of the fixture should hang about three feet above the dining table. If you have vaulted ceilings, it should hang even higher.

Floors

A complete upgrade of the dining room is done from the ground up. If your floor is aged or showing signs of wear, now is the perfect time to add a floor upgrade to your project list. Choosing the right floor is a matter of determining which material will work best in the space, assessing your budget and drawing up an installation plan. Materials such as vinyl, ceramic tile, and hardwood are popular options, not only because of their durability, but also because they are easy to clean. Other niche options like cork or concrete can help create a specific vibe, but may not be as widely available. Once you have chosen your material, you can talk to local contractors to compare installation quotes. There are pros and cons to laying floors alone or hiring a professional; know what they are before making a final decision.

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Table & Chairs

When it comes down to it, the essential function of your dining room is to provide an environment in which to enjoy a meal. Together with your main lighting fixture, your table and chairs help to form the center of the room. Size is a crucial part of your dining table. There is a Goldilocks dynamic with dining tables. The bigger the table, the more space everyone has, but the more space it takes up. Be sure to measure the exact measurements before shopping so you know exactly what size you are looking for.

Your chairs enhance the look and feel of your table. Consider balancing wood grain and matching colors. For example, if your dining table is designed with an intricate wood grain, look to chair sets with simple colors and designs to bring balance to the room. When it comes to the height of the seats, arms and backs, choose dimensions that suit the dining experience you want to create. In general, narrow chairs with a high back create a more formal atmosphere than their round, modern counterparts. Either way, choose the combination that suits you best and feels most comfortable.

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Color & Decor

A fresh coat of paint can take a dining room from old to vibrant in no time. If you’re thinking about painting your dining room, think about how the color scheme would complement and/or contrast colors elsewhere in your home. A contrasting color will help set the space apart, while a complimenting color will help bring things together. New color in the dining room doesn’t have to come solely from painting a wall. Colored furniture, decorative pillows, placemats and table decorations can also help enliven the space. Curtains and drapes can add a pop of color while softening the room, and when paired with a decorative rug can make your colors stand out at different eye levels.

To learn more about upgrading the space in your home, read our Guide to upgrading your bedroom.

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