10 Ways to Create a Chic, Family-Friendly Dining Room

Bring style and substance to your dining room with fun, family-friendly touches that are as pretty as they are practical.
Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
April 27, 2015

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Sarah Dorio

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Sophisticated With Touches of Whimsy

This light-filled dining room is packed with bright color, classic-style furnishings and kid-friendly fabrics. Its main color, a carefully chosen spring green, is gender-neutral and perfect for the entire family.

Color Repetition

For a well-layered look, try introducing several shades of the same dominant color to your dining room with paint, draperies, upholstery and artwork. A slight variation in tone will keep the space from feeling matchy-matchy or flat.

Unexpected Art

In the dining room, art is used to create a focal point and provoke conversation from guests. Consider an unexpected approach to custom artwork by having children's drawings professionally mounted and framed. Instead of museum glass, opt for non-glare acrylic which is kid-safe and easy to clean.

Mirror Tricks

To make a spatially-challenged dining room feel larger and brighter, consider hanging an oversized mirror above the sideboard or directly across from any windows. This will help bounce light around the room, create the illusion of more space and help capitalize on any exterior views.


Choosing the right sideboard for your dining room makes a big impact on its design both aesthetically and practically. Stick with a sideboard that includes concealed and open storage; this will allow you to keep clutter tucked away, while also providing easy access to everyday items, like placemats and napkins.

Classic Lines

It's important to pay as much attention to comfort as aesthetic when choosing chairs. While wooden and metal chairs are the easiest to clean, they're not the most comfortable. An excellent alternative to wood and metal is an upholstered Louis XVI chair. Known for its fluted legs, square back and timeless style, this French piece works in modern and traditional settings. Linen and cotton upholstery options are great for spaces with active kids; however, leather and vinyl styles are the most kid-proof and easy to clean.

Practical Fabrics

Put a practical spin on the window treatments by choosing carefree fabrics. Here, cotton duck fabric in spring green was chosen for its casual look and its ability to be dry-cleaned in the event of any mishaps. Other kid-friendly options include acrylic, polyester, linen and burlap.

Flat-Weave Rug

Rugs offer a chance to play with color, texture and pattern while also defining the dining space from other areas. For a classic touch, consider low-maintenance, flat-weave rugs. Thin and lightweight, these rugs can simply be hung outside and beaten for a quick dusting.


Most designers prefer to stay consistent with metal finishes in dining rooms, from the hardware and lighting down to the flatware on the table. While stainless steel and pewter have remained the most popular choice across the country, antique brass is a more unique yet timeless option. In this dining room, brass was used on the chandelier, the mirror and on the artwork frames.

Carefree Table Settings

Take the formality out of your dining room with a more casual approach to setting the table. In place of fine china and monogrammed napkins, use colorful cloth napkins, bright placemats and melamine plates and bowls.

All About Symmetry

When possible, center the furniture and statement lighting around the room's windows. Coordinating the space design around the natural light source allows for unobstructed views of the outdoors, lots of natural light and perfect symmetry.

More from:

HGTV Spring House