Formal Dining Room Decorating Ideas

Many new homeowners find themselves puzzled and unsure of how to make the best use of their formal dining room space. While it isn’t the destination for most meals, it’s still a large part of the main living area and one that guests will pay particular attention to. With that in mind, designing an attractive formal dining room is an excellent idea! Use this article as a source of inspiration for dining room décor and dining room decorating ideas to create a polished atmosphere for mealtime and entertaining guests.

Crown Molding

Newly constructed homes are now boasting crown molding throughout every room in the house. If your home isn’t outfitted with crown molding, don’t be discouraged! It’s incredibly simple to install crown molding and doesn’t come with the hefty price tag that most homeowners assume. Take a look at our guide to adding architectural details like crown molding and more, in Home Pick-Me-Up Projects Less Than $500. It’s certainly a great design element if you’re looking for dining room decorating ideas on a budget!

Formal Dining Room Decorating Ideas

Crown molding is a textured and styled wood element that lines the area where your walls meet your ceiling. Straight-line styles and more architecturally advanced methods provide an added element of detail to the room. Your crown molding is usually the same color as your ceiling or white. Rarely is it the same color as the wall itself.

Speak with a contractor to get an estimate for the installation of crown molding. Whether your style is modern or classic, this is a beautiful dining room wall décor touch that will also increase the value of your home. (Check out our article on more home renovation projects that are huge upgrades when getting your home ready for sale.) This is also one of many great dining room designs for small spaces, as it take up minimal space relative to the room. Get inspired by more small room designs for your dining room from House Beautiful.

Statement Rugs

In most homes, the dining room isn’t outfitted with carpet, but rather the hardwood floor or tile that fills the other main living spaces. This makes for a practical living solution and is easy to care for.

Formal Dining Room Decorating Ideas

Looking for a statement rug for the room is a smart way to preserve the integrity of your flooring and add some style elements to the room. Match the rug to the paint on the wall and consider it in relation to your window treatments. Your rug choice will heavily depend on the overall décor style you’re looking to achieve. (If you’re looking for more dining room decorating themes, browse this collection of elegant rooms from Real Simple.) Traditionally, rugs of this size don’t run cheap, but aside from the furniture itself, it is by far the most expensive part of your remodel.

Formal Dining Room Decorating Ideas

Another word of advice for finding the right rug to accent your dining table décor is to consider the furniture itself. Dark wood is best complemented by lighter colors (think minty blues or medium to light greens) while light colored wood is nicely accented by darker hues. White furniture is a clean canvas for the color pop of your choice!

Mostly any rug material is up for consideration for use under your dining room table set. Look for a low pile style (one that isn’t soft and cushy on your feet) as these are easier to clean and will maintain their look for longer. Cotton, jute, silk, synthetic blends and wool are the most common styles. Avoid leather rugs, fur rugs and chenille rugs as these are softer styles that are better suited for bedroom or bathroom use.

For more home flooring ideas, check out our guides on how to choose the right wood flooring and carpeting for your house or condo.

Window Treatments

Formal Dining Room Decorating Ideas

Virtually all formal dining rooms have at least one window to bring natural light and character into the room. In addition to standard sun/privacy shades, it might be worthwhile to work with a professional to design custom window treatments. A professional will take careful measurements of your window and present different length options depending on the type of look you wish to achieve. From there, they’ll show you solid and patterned options that mesh well with the furniture color and style, paint and other dining room decorating ideas you’ve gone with.

Formal Dining Room Decorating Ideas




Formal Dining Room Decorating Ideas

One of the beautiful truths to formal dining room décor is that it doesn’t take much to make the space look great. A dining room chandelier is a staple piece of a formal eating area that gives you a bold chance to make a statement. Skip on the boring, standard light and opt for a chandelier that will really wow guests during mealtime.

Formal Dining Room Decorating Ideas

There are thousands of chandeliers on the market to choose from and thousands of designers waiting to create something special just for your home. Consider the overall look and feel of your dining room and go from there. Have a classic, Victorian style room? A traditional looking teardrop and crystal chandelier will fit right in. Going modern, edgy and minimalistic? Wood, metal, and exposed light bulbs create a look that stands out and pulls everything together, for a unique dining room decorating idea. (It’s also a great design element for a modern kitchen.)

Create a beautiful atmosphere where your friends and family members can come together during holidays and parties. With such a beautifully designed dining space to enjoy a meal in, the conversation is sure to flow and lead to many cherished memories and good times. Splurge on high-quality furniture that will last a lifetime and find the perfect rug to be a large part of your dining room décor.


Do you have a designated room for formal entertaining? What are some of your own favorite formal dining room decorating ideas? What was your biggest splurge item? Share your stories with us and join the conversation in the comments section below.

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