A Cool and Casual Dining Spot for the Whole Family

Airy hues and kid-proof materials transform a formal dining room into an inviting spot for home-cooked meals.

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January 12, 2017

Light Blue Transitional Dining Room With Coffered Ceiling

Furniture plucked from online retailers and one-of-a-kind antiques fill a bright dining room with classic style and kid-friendly touches.

Airtight Containers Make Snacking Easy

A trio of airtight containers keeps after-school snacks within arm's reach for all members of the family. The cookies add a dash of texture and color.

Antique Geometric Mirror

Even in spaces not designated for beauty and grooming, textured glass is a great way to add a touch of antiquity. This geometric mirror, placed just above the buffet, bounces light around the space and adds vintage flair.

Dining Room and Living Room With Casual Ambiance

Dining rooms used for casual meals call for comfortable accessories. Since the nearby family room opens into the generously sized dining spot, both spaces are equipped with forgiving textiles and no-frills elements.

Family-Friendly Blue Transitional Dining Room

The trick to creating a dining space that feels informal is all about the styling. Here, vintage family relics and easy, breezy sunflowers dress up the snack station.

Common Colors Connect Dining and Living Rooms

When decorating rooms that open into one another, it’s important to create a natural flow with colors that don’t compete with each other. At first glance, the dining room and adjacent family room appear to be the same shade of blue, but they’re actually different. The minor tweak in tint gives each area its own identity without separating them too much visually.

Round Drawer Handles on Hardy Metal Chest

If you’re looking for chests, dressers or sideboards that can withstand the wear and tear of active kids and pets, consider vintage-inspired pieces made of metal. This extra-tall, riveted metal chest works perfectly as a snack center for busy kids; however, it can also be used in a bedroom for clothing storage or tucked inside an entryway as a welcoming console.

Neutral Linen-Upholstered Dining Room Chair

Choosing upholstery fabric for casual spaces can be tricky, as casual fabrics such as cotton don’t add textural value to a room’s design. An excellent fabric choice for casual style is backed linen. Known for its lived-in look, linen is excellent for draperies when used without any backing; however, if you’re planning on using linen as upholstery, it’s best to have it backed with acrylic or paper before dropping off to the upholsterer.

Low-Maintenance Floral Arrangement on Dining Room Table

Calla lilies are an excellent choice for comfy dining rooms in need of elegant, no-fuss floral centerpieces. To prolong the lifespan of cut calla lilies, change their water every two days, place them only in indirect sunlight and avoid drafts of hot or cold air.

Mercury-Glass Table Lamp

A juxtaposition of raw and refined materials can add excellent visual depth to a space. Try table lamps made of mercury glass paired with worn, aged pieces for the perfect balance of coarse and smooth. Here, a pair of mercury glass lamps adds an elegant touch to the farmhouse-style buffet.

Mixed-Finish Photo Frames

Avoid the matchy-matchy look by mixing photo frames in different colors and finishes. In this dining room, photos are framed in a mix of solid frames made of stained and painted woods as well as different metals.

Dining Room Table Made of Mixed Materials

Bring a touch of personality to any space in the house with furniture pieces made of mixed materials. The classic farmhouse-style table used in this dining room offers a painted white finish on its legs and base, while a more practical, lightly stained wooden top stands up to the wear and tear of busy kids.

Nail-Head Detail on Upholstered Dining Room Chair

Nail-head detail isn’t just for glitzy, glamorous furniture. Bring a more laid-back look to your upholstered dining room seating with simple black tack detail. Similar to nail heads, tacks are applied with a mallet and spaced apart in varied widths for a custom look.

Oversized Black-and-White Photography in Blue Dining Room

Add instant personality to your dining room with overscaled framed family photography. For a more unique approach, consider enlarging candid images, even if they’re grainy and imperfect. Here, two shots of young brothers jumping on a bed add a playful touch and let guests know they’re welcome to kick back and relax.

Rustic-Finish Farmhouse-Style Dining Room Buffet

Rustic finishes are an excellent choice for creating a casual, informal aesthetic. This farmhouse-style buffet features elegant, European lines, weathered wood and worn industrial metals.

Satin-Brass Dining Room Chandelier

Interested in bringing brass accents into your home but worried about creating a 1980s look? Satin brass may be what you need. Known for its dull, modern finish, satin brass is less flashy and dated than many of the lacquered styles used in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s.

Snack Station With Schoolhouse Vintage Style

To add a vintage look that appeals to kids and parents alike, consider accessorizing your space with antique school house objects. The snack station in this dining room is outfitted with old scoreboard numbers from a football field as well as a 1960s globe.

White Paint in Dining Room Highlights Historic Millwork

One of the most effective ways to highlight custom or historic millwork, such as trim or ceiling beams, is with contrasting white paint. To accentuate the original millwork in this 1920s bungalow, its walls feature muted shades of blue while its trim is a bright shade of ultra white.

Blue Transitional Dining Room With Farmhouse Buffet

If your dining room is lacking in space or natural light, mirrors may be just what you need. Placing a mirror opposite the main light source will reflect light throughout the room and double the view to the outdoors.

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