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As you decorate your home, you may find yourself prioritizing some rooms over others. For example, your family room, living room and kitchen, for example, may take time, focus, and budget away from other rooms. If you’re like many homeowners, you may find your dining room taking a back seat to the spaces that see more day-to-day use.

When you’re ready to turn the spotlight on your dining room, there is plenty of inspiration to be found. We’ve put together a list of elegant dining room decorating ideas to help you get started.

Start with Paint

A formal dining room, often located off the kitchen, commonly has a shortage of natural light. Combined with darker paint trends and sparse overhead lighting, dining rooms can feel darker than you might like.

Fortunately, there is an easy transition to a brighter atmosphere. Simply choose a light tone paint in a warm, neutral colour to freshen up your formal eating space. You might be surprised how this one change can alter the room entirely.

Refresh Your Dining Room Furniture

If you are in the market for new dining room furniture, be sure to give yourself the time to choose styles that feel right for your space. If you’re not sure you want to replace your furniture, consider having your table refinished or your chairs recovered.

Making these basic improvements can change the look of your room entirely, bringing a fresh feel, along with the opportunity to change your dining room’s colour palette. For those who plan to sell their houses, use furniture rental for home staging to decorate your dining room with stylish pieces for the short term.

Dress Your Windows

If you are lucky enough to have a window in your dining room, you will want to give some careful thought to the way you dress it. If it is relatively small, you may choose to maximize its light by covering it with sheers alone. If you have a larger window, you may have room to cover with side curtains or full window dressings.

Be sure to choose a fabric that compliments the style of your room. Linen and cotton canvas curtains come in a wide range of patterns and colours. To take your sophistication up a notch, consider using silk or even velvet curtains.

Think Underfoot

When it comes to a formal dining room, your flooring can often go one of two ways. You can choose a beautiful hardwood, from classic red oak to a more exotic bamboo. These floors are both versatile and easy to clean.

Alternatively, you can choose a carpet flooring for a cozy, warm feel in your dining room. If you decide to go with carpet, consider adding an area rug under your dining room table. This provides the opportunity to add layers of colour, patterns or texture. Plus, it allows you to send your carpet out for cleaning more easily.

Choose Lighting You Love

A formal dining room, perhaps more than any other room in your home, acts as a perfect canvas for your lighting style. The light that hangs over your dining room table not only creates mood and atmosphere, but also acts as a centrepiece for the entire room.

Take your time choosing your dining room lighting, as you’ll want to love your fixture for years to come. Your lighting store will have plenty styles to choose from. You’ll likely find everything from a classic chandelier to modern fixtures with decorative fairy lights.

Add Your Favourite Highlights

Perhaps the most playful part of decorating a formal dining room is choosing the finishing touches. Perhaps you’ll want to add a table runner in a colour that compliments the rest of the room? Maybe you’ll choose a statement bowl or dish that can rest on your table, filled with decorative items when not in use.

Or perhaps you’ll add glass or porcelain decorations to your side table or hutch. Whichever pieces you use, have fun adding these colourful highlights. Allow them to reflect your interests, tastes and overall style.

Finish with Flowers

Once you have your dining room looking just the way you want it, be sure to add fresh cut flowers as a final touch. Almost any colour or variety will bring life to your dining room, whether you prefer a stand-up vase, a succulent surrounded by stones or flowers floating in a broad bowl. Fresh flowers always finish a room with a warm, welcoming presence.

If you love to entertain, you may be on the lookout for tasteful formal dining room decoration ideas. If you have the chance to start from scratch, keep your room dimensions, lighting and flooring preferences in mind as you think about the dining room furniture you will use. As you look online for inspiration and ideas, you are sure to notice which styles, colour tones and accessories speak to you most. As you search, you will quickly find elements you want to recreate in your own home.