Gather 'Round the Table: 5 Distinctive Dining Room Styles

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Courtesy of Zillow Digs

By Kerrie Kelly

Dining rooms are a wonderful place to express your style through furniture, lighting, art, and color. Here are five favorite dining room styles, and the elements that make them so appealing.

Tailored and Traditional

Traditional style is all about the details: intricate carving, unique upholstery, textured linens, and statement lighting contribute to this exquisite look. Take your style traditional by focusing on architectural details like embellished table legs or an ornate console serving as a bar.

Paneling is also a classic element found in traditional dining rooms. A gray-toned wall with bright white trim creates a crisp and clean look. Top off the style with an eye-catching chandelier and a few sconces along the wall for ideal ambiance.

Some other style-boosting elements? Mixed finishes, graceful decorations, and textured rugs balance the look.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs

Modern and Modish

The modern-style dining room takes many shapes and forms, but some themes are very prominent and consistent throughout. Abstract art serves as a must-have focal point in any contemporary setting, but especially in a dining room. Modern art and decor add just the right amount of movement to an otherwise structured style.

Clean lines and crisp corners are another important detail in contemporary design. Whether your chairs' frames are perfectly rectangular, or your table's angles are prominent and precise, having perfectly formed 90-degree angles is key to a modern motif.

Other favorite contemporary design elements include high-gloss finishes, metallic details, and sleek and simple tablescapes.


Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Restful and Rustic

Rustic design often conjures up images of old log cabins and less-than-lovely ski lodges. Because the rustic look is so heavily influenced by wood and organic textures, it's best to keep it as light and airy as possible, adding in elements of contemporary and traditional designs.

Try creating fresh farmhouse style with exposed beams, a distressed dining room table with bench seating, and plenty of greenery. Details like barn-inspired doors, nailhead trim, and reclaimed wood offer up a refined version of the classic rustic style.
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Cool and Cottage

If you're partial to the calm and collected vibe of the Nantucket shoreline, you might be a fan of cottage design. This cozy and unpretentious style offers a light and bright alternative to traditional design with distressed wood elements, tons of texture, and simple, elegant lighting. You can't go wrong pairing a seagrass rug with an ornate dining table.

Keep colors soft and sinuous with tones of gray, beige and white, and lightly add pattern with an area rug, table linens, or upholstered chairs. Other cottage elements to consider: gentle patina on surfaces like tables, consoles, and shelves, slipcovered chairs, and curated tabletop decor.

Courtesy of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab via Zillow

Trendy and Transitional

Taking cues from modern and traditional design, the transitional style is a cultivation of contemporary elements and classic architecture. Minimal accents and culled accessories lend a clean touch to a timeless dining room setting, and the less-is-more-approach is alive and well throughout the space with statement lighting and just a few curated fittings detailing the space.

If you'd like to mimic the transitional style further, consider these design elements: crisp window treatments, a calming color palette, and organic decor.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs

While these are only a handful of the possible design styles to outfit your dining room, they are great starting points.

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