They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, but the dining room is nearly its equal. You gather here for meals, holidays, and celebrations, which means this spot should look great and serve your needs year after year.
But you likely don’t want to entertain family and friends in a room that’s overly trendy. Instead, stick with the classics—and you’ll give thanks every time you break bread.
To help with this task, we’re continuing our series “Timeless Home Design Trends” on ideas for dining room furniture, lighting, and decor that will never grow old on you or your guests. Here are the top 10 dining room looks that will endure.
1. Pedestal table
A pedestal or tulip shape is the perfect look in a small- to medium-size dining space. Simple lines appeal to the eye, and a slender center pole means there’s plenty of legroom underneath for diners.
This design sports an oak veneer and a base made from cast iron ($1,999, Crate & Barrel).
Photo by M. Lahr Homes
When you picture a classic dining room, you probably see moulding around the walls’ edges, wainscoting, a chair rail, or simple boxy panels.
“These elements can inspire a rustic, traditional, or even modern feel, depending on the lines, materials, and colors used—but they all evoke timeless design,” says Drew Henry of Design Dudes.
Add any one of these elements to your dining space for visual interest and a sense of elegance.
3. Farmhouse table
Amy Bly of Great Impressions Home Staging and Interiors votes for a modern farmhouse table, but without those chunky legs.
“Slimmer legs are more timeless,” she says.
This beauty is stained in pickled oak, but other shades are available, and the bench is included in the price ($645, Etsy).
4. Upholstered chairs
Padded seating around a dining table offers comfort to guests, so look to this type of chair when you’re considering an upgrade.
Bly recommends solid colors or neutrals as they’ll blend well with the rest of your room’s palette.
This duo is extremely well priced so you can outfit your table without breaking the bank ($229.99 for two, Overstock).
5. Transitional wood chairs
Not every chair has to be a fabric one—and in fact, switching up your seating with both upholstery and wooden seats looks fresher than a matched set of chairs.
Bly suggests transitional chairs, a look that splits the difference between traditional and contemporary designs.
Choose this perch in two chic neutrals, espresso or white, or try a pop of color, such as red or blue ($299.99 for two, Wayfair).
6. Wooden hutch
You need lots of storage in the dining room for table linens, silverware, candlesticks, and serving pieces, so shop wisely for a hutch, sideboard, or china cabinet.
Bly likes Shaker style, but other traditional looks like Mission also work. This solid wood pick features a neutral finish and three interior adjustable shelves ($599.99, Wayfair).
7. Multicolored medallion rug
“A medallion-style carpet, whether solid or pinpoint multicolored, has lots of longevity in the dining room,” notes Bly.
If you’re a fan of natural neutrals, sea grass is also a classic option. This rug comes in six shades, including gray, orange, light blue, and silver, and five sizes ($113.70, Home Depot).
8. Scenic walls
Photo by Crisp Architects
This timeless look teetered on the edge with some experts, but ultimately most felt painted wall scenes were far from trendy.
“Scenics can help bring the essence of the outdoors in, and this traditional decorating staple elegantly delivers artful color and whimsy to any dining space,” says Anna Brockway, co-founder of Chairish.
9. Art sets
No painter on hand to adorn your walls with a landscape? Turn to art sets instead.
“Create a cohesive design in the dining room without all the fuss of putting together a mixed and matched assortment for a gallery wall,” suggests Brockway.
This vibrant trio shows scenes from Yosemite National Park, but you can choose from many others, including Yellowstone, Acadia, and Glacier (from $51.88, Etsy).
10. Statement chandelier
“From Murano to plaster to tole, I love the idea of incorporating a showshopping chandelier in dining rooms of all styles,” says Brockway.
Pick the light that suits your fancy (and budget)—and you can’t go wrong. If you have 7 feet of clearance, you can add high drama to your dining space with these flowing geometric crystals ($799, Pottery Barn).
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