If you have a dining room, you probably think, “I use this room 2x a year. What a waste”. If you don’t have a dining room, you think, “If only I had a dining room, I could host Thanksgiving and Christmas!”. I will admit, I am guilty of this. I have a great dining room. And it gets used 2x a year. And it also gets used occasionally as a place to do homework and it ALWAYS gets used as a place to leave things that don’t really have a home. Box of softballs? Dining room table. All the coats you ever wore all winter? Back of the dining room chairs. Paper (from god knows what?) Nice pile on top of the (say it with me!) DINING ROOM TABLE! Let’s make the dining room a cozy place we actually use, shall we? Here are my favorite cozy dining room ideas.
Cozy Dining Room Ideas that Will Make you Want to Use That Room!
The obvious way to start using your dining room on a daily basis is to eat dinner in it. There are a couple of reasons, I think, that people don’t do that.
You don’t want to mess up another room. The kitchen is already a mess from cooking dinner, so why not just keep the mess consolidated to one room?
It feels weird sitting at the table when it’s just your family at the table. Especially if it’s a smaller crew, like my family of four.
I have some answers to both of those protests.
Let’s talk first about not wanting to make messes. I do this. I avoid doing things that I know I’m going to have to clean up after. It’s wrong. Some of the best things you can do are messy. Eating. Painting. Playing a board game with your kids (Seriously, I hate putting away board games).
If you’ve got a cleaning routine and you stay on top of things, you aren’t going to notice the difference between eating in the dining room and eating in the kitchen. I know this to be true because I do have a cleaning routine and when I stick to it, cleaning is a breeze.
If you don’t want to do it every night of the week, pick one night a week that is special family dinner night and eat in the dining room. Light candles. Turn off the television for 15 minutes. Maybe even play a board game after.
Now that, is cozy.
The second problem, where it just feels weird to sit at the giant table with your little family, the solution to that is to make it cozy for you guys.
I have a habit of putting the leaf in the dining room table for Thanksgiving and then never taking it out. Actually, it’s not a habit. I put the leaf in many Thanksgivings ago and I never took it out. So the table is big enough for 8. If I take the leaf out, much more manageable size table. Put that on my to do list.
If you’re in the market for a dining room table, an easy way to stay cozy is to get a round table.
It also doesn’t hurt to have a view of a beautiful lake out of your many, many dining room windows. But the point is not the view, the point is the round table. You’re sitting and looking at each other! Instead of your phone or the television while you eat.
If you don’t have a dining room at all in your home, you may still have a cozy little corner where you can sneak in a table and chairs. If you can do a little banquette like in the dining room above, then you should most definitely do that.
Don’t you want to go sit there? With the sun in your face just a little? I would totally spend time in that spot, drinking coffee and reading books. When I’m not on the couch, drinking coffee and reading books.
If you’re like probably 90% of the world and you don’t have lakefront property like we saw in that first photo, then you can’t ignore the decor for your dining room. Make it pleasing to your eye and you will enjoy spending time in there.
Now that wallpaper is 100% me. I adore it. It’s my inspiration when I turn to every other room in the house and think about how to express what I love. It’s how I ended up with a Giant cow in my living room.
But I understand that it’s not for everyone. The point is to find a way to make the decor uniquely yours.
If you’re a plant person (I’m not, unless you consider a plant murderer a plant person), then maybe plants in your dining room is your thing. I actually would love to sit and look at plants, I think they are beautiful.
But plants do not have the ability to meow at me when they are hungry or thirsty like my cat does, so I forget about them. So no more plants for me.
This dining room is a wonderful example of cozy chaos. Fireplace? Yup. Color explosion? Absolutely. Slightly crazy chandelier to give you pause? Check.
This is something that speaks to me. You might hate it. I understand and I’m not offended. But, find something that speaks to you. If you love looking at the things you’ve filled your dining room with, then you will love being in your dining room. And maybe you’ll have family dinner in there!
Dining Room Centerpieces
Just like the fireplace mantel is the center of the living room, the Dining Room Centerpiece is the, well, centerpiece of the dining room decor.
A well thought out dining room centerpiece is a very good thing. A poorly thought out dining room centerpiece is a very bad thing.
I’m talking about the giant vase of fake flowers that you can’t see around and that you actually have to dust.
I’m going to let you in on a secret. If it has to be dusted, it has to pass a test to come into my house. That test is:
Is it so uniquely beautiful that I can live with dusting it weekly?
Does it serve a powerful enough service to me and my family to be worth my time and frustration dusting it every week?
If I can’t get a yes for one or both of those questions, then that thing is not coming in to my house. I use this test when thinking about dining room centerpieces.
Candles in a centerpiece is a must for me because that gives the whole thing a function. The function is to create ambience. The rocks are what got me though. That’s that little touch of unexpected that I love.
Rocks on the dining room table? SURE! Why not?
They may need an occasional dusting, but they have passed the test of being uniquely beautiful.
This whole thing works because there’s no obstructed view. The candlesticks are tall, but they are simple to see around. It’s also not particularly wide, so it isn’t taking up a lot of real estate on the table. This is a winner.
All the little bits and pieces you need to eat dinner at the table are in the centerpiece. There are plates, napkins, salt and pepper and silverware.
Very clever idea.
Here’s why it’s great. You can have your kids set the table and they won’t even really have to bother you in the kitchen while you’re cooking. AND. You’ve got everything out already. You might as well USE it, right?
I like the idea of a cluster of like items as a centerpiece. This grouping of milk glass as a centerpiece from Dimples and Tangles is lovely. The different heights and the texture of the milk glass makes it interesting.
The fact that it is all white, that grabs my attention. I think in my crazy dining room, it would be a great way to have something interesting on the table without competing for attention with the wallpaper.
Let’s make a plan to spend more time in the Dining Room. It’s a piece of your home that you should be enjoying more often! I’m going to pick a night, in fact, I’m picking tomorrow night, and we’re going to have dinner in the dining room. I’m not making anything fancy, I probably won’t get to do many of the things on this list to even get the room cozy. But just the simple fact of using the room, feeling it out for what might make it more comfortable, is a step in the right direction.