The Washington Design Center


Designing an Elegant Dining Room

Vladamir Kagan Intaglio Dining Table available from Holly Hunt

Vladamir Kagan Intaglio Dining Table available from Holly Hunt

In many homes where there is a breakfast room and a dining room and your design clients mainly use the latter during holidays and formal entertaining then you probably want the dining room to look more formal than a dining space that you use daily. Creating an elegant space isn't that difficult if you follow a few design trends.

Focal Point

Every room needs a focal point. In a dining room, it's usually the table. For an elegant space, you'll want something that's stylish. Try a table with cabriole legs, for example. You should also opt for upholstered chairs, so you and your guests can enjoy a leisurely meal without getting sore from uncomfortable seating. Consider a dining room table with glass inserts for a truly unique look. Glass looks good with most types of décor and gives the dining room a more open appearance. Many of the furniture showrooms in the Washington Design Center can help you customize individual elements to suit your specific design requirements.

Dining Chairs from Century Furniture
Dining Chairs from Century Furniture
Henredon Cabriolet Dining Table
Whitaker Dining Table from Henredon at Michael-Cleary


In a dining room, lighting is a key consideration. You'll want an eye-catching fixture with enough light to enjoy your food and guests adequately, but not so much that it's glaring. Pendant lights will work well in an elegant contemporary décor. A dramatic suspension light will add interest to a modern space. A chandelier looks gorgeous in a home that's more traditional in style.

Titan Chandelier
Titan Chandelier from Avrett at J Lambeth
Rainhill Chandelier
Rainhill Rectangular Chandelier from Currey & Co at AmericanEye

Storage with Style

You'll need storage that can double as a display case in your dining room. It should contain areas where you can set decorator pieces and keep things like linen napkins, napkin holders, a silver set, or other items in drawers or behind closed cabinets. If you have enough space, consider using two servers to maximize storage. You can place them side by side to elongate a wall or place them on opposite sides of the room for balance.

Ralph Lauren Home Mayfair Server
Mayfair Server from Ralph Lauren Home at Kravet

Floor Decor

If you want to soften the look of your room, you can include an area rug beneath your table and chairs. You'll need to make certain that the rug is large enough for guests to push out their chairs and pull them back in without getting caught on the border. Match the rug color with the color of your wall décor for a coordinated look. You can also opt for a neutral rug color that will work with any décor in case you decide to change your color scheme in the future.

STARK Sapphire
STARK Sapphire rug from the ‘Novara’ Collection
Amour Romance Rug from Galleria Carpets & Rugs
Amour Romance from Galleria Carpets & Rugs

With a little help from the showrooms at the Washington Design Center, you can design an elegant dining space in your home that will please and impress your family and guests. After you finish your clients new elegant dining room décor, they will want to throw many more dinner parties to show off your stunning room design.