It’s that time of year when we start wanting our homes to feel cosy. The nights are drawing in and the weather is getting colder, so we retreat inside and hunker down for the winter. A big part of this hibernation revolves around eating with hearty stews and Sunday roasts forming the backbone of many meals. Whether it’s a romantic supper or a family dinner, your dining room decor should be cosy, inviting and welcoming to complement the season.
Here, we share some cosy dining room ideas from a reclaimed wood dining table to soft lighting, candles and warming colours to make the most of your room and ensure eating together is a pleasure to be savoured as much as the food itself.
1. Open-plan kitchen and dining room inspiration
The trend for open-plan living doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon. But, how can you make an open living and dining room feel cosy? Creating a coherent look and feel between your kitchen and dining area can help to make the room more intimate. Use the same material for your kitchen worktops and your dining table – something like solid oak wooden worktops and a reclaimed wood or rustic dining table will always be in style, whether you want a contemporary or more rustic aesthetic.
The use of plants and greenery can also make an open space feel more enclosed and inviting. Bringing the outside in is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it can also have practical benefits to mental health and wellbeing. Following the theme between your cosy dining space and your kitchen – maybe even with the use of growing indoor herbs that can be used in your cooking – will make the space cheerful, fresh and snug. If a living room is also attached to your dining room, a colour scheme or matching soft furnishings will all bring together a feeling of calm and restfulness.
2. Comfy and stylish rustic furniture
The most important part of any dining room is the furniture. Dining room sets can be bought as one, containing matching tables and chairs, or you can mix it up with a solid wood dining table and separate cosy dining room chairs that offer comfort as well as style. Soft leather, faux leather or sumptuous velvet chairs instantly make any room feel cosy and luxuriant.
Add a wooden dining bench, sideboards or cabinets to bring the space together, whilst adding essential storage. Darker wood will help make a space feel more enclosed which, in turn, creates a cosier atmosphere, whilst a lighter finish will bring in a Hygge kind of mood to cocoon and separate you from your outside surroundings.
3. Light up your room
Lighting can make or break any room, and your dining room is no exception. You want to make sure you can see what you are eating and drinking, but for a cosy dining room, you could consider dimmable lights or table lamps. Or maybe combine the two and have a feature light above your dining table, but opt for softer lighting for when you want a more atmospheric setting.
If you use your dining room as a space to work from home, or for kids’ homework, then a brighter light may be useful. The area can also be zoned with a row of spotlights or even some dramatic pendant lighting for maximum effect. Choose a timeless design that is made to last or for something completely unique find a craftsperson who will make a purpose-built light fitting just for you and your dining space.
4. Add a splash of colour
Don’t be afraid of colour, particularly when aiming for a cosy dining room. This could be a fully painted room from skirting boards to ceiling – go for deep jewel colours for added drama – or add a feature wall using colour or contrasting wallpaper. Make a statement with your soft furnishings such as cushions, tablecloths, curtains or blinds and enjoy playing about with different shades to see what works for you.
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to colour. Be as creative as you like to get a room that works for you. Dress it up for a maximalist effect that suggests a feeling of envelopment with lots of different colours, styles and textures. Alternatively, opt for something more minimal with subtle touches for a relaxing habitat that exudes tranquillity.
5. Unique dining room decor
Asides from colour or wallpaper, what you put on the walls of your dining room should not be forgotten either. Why should a dining room be any different to a living room or bedroom when it comes to interior design? Accessorise with hanging decorative plates, bowls or woven baskets on the walls or for something unique, create a piece of artwork using old cutlery to create a talking point. Don’t feel you have to be dining-focused though, anything goes. Let your creativity flow!
As well as focusing on your wall decor, make a feature of a cabinet or wooden sideboard to help zone and enhance certain areas. Frame family photos for a display of memories, use it as a treasure trove for holiday souvenirs, or have a bookcase full of books and include a comfy armchair in the room for a multi-purpose space. It is your room; make it as unique as you are.
Final cosy dining room ideas
Creating a cosy dining room will likely mean that your family will be more inclined to linger at the dining table to chat and spend quality time with each other in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, rather than rushing off to carry on with their usual daily lives. Meals will be more of an event to enjoy - using decorative and interesting crockery and serving dishes will make the experience feel more special.
Our handcrafted reclaimed furniture is just the first step in designing a cosy dining room to be proud of. Discover our full collection for further inspiration.
Kelly Edwards is an interior designer and home improvement specialist with 15 years of experience in the industry. Alongside numerous projects, Kelly enjoys writing in her free time to shine a light on the importance of sustainability. Connect with Kelly on LinkedIn: @KellyEdwardsInterior.