These Dining Room Trends Set the Course For a Stylish 2021

Whether you have a pint-sized breakfast nook or a formal space dedicated for dinner parties, it’s safe to say the dining room is one of the most underrated parts of your home. You might have used it whenever guests stopped by, but it’s all too likely you ate most of your meals on your couch or bed. (Don’t we all?) But today, your dining room has become your makeshift office, a preferred spot for virtual happy hours, and, of course, where you eat some meals. 

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Your dining room is having a moment, so why not redecorate it? To ensure your dining room looks it’s absolute best, we asked a few designers to share their top trend predictions for the year ahead. From double-duty design to small, thoughtful touches, it’s clear that underrated dining rooms are so 2020.

Small Touches

If people have decided to keep their dining room, they are likely looking forward to actually using the space again at celebratory times with family and friends. It is a vote for optimism that is coming through in design decisions. Clients have been very open to take on a refresh that is festive, happy and carefree through easy changes: New table linens, centerpieces or art. We’re looking for things that will bring a genuine smile.”—Kathleen Walsh, designer 

As so many of us are more than nine months into our (not-so-new-anymore) world of working from home, I think it’s about time we reclaim our beautiful dining rooms. It could be a quick coat of a new paint color, swap out a mirror for old art, accessorize the dining table or invest in new table linens.” —Allison Caccoma, designer

Get the look: Rugs, Floor Pillows, Throw Pillows, Rectangular Pillows, Side Tables, Coffee Tables, Blackout Curtains, Throw Blankets, Coffee Mugs, Coasters, Serving Trays, Wall Hangings.

Double-Duty Design

My clients are focusing more on their dining area, which again must serve several purposes.  I’m finding that they want a pretty space and a utilitarian one, too. because so many meals are now being prepared at home. On the one hand, they need the extra space for WFH and school options, but they also want to entertain a select few friends since meeting and enjoying their friends at a restaurant is not possible as it gets colder and COVID persists around the country.” —Joy Williams, principal of Joyful Designs Studio

Get the look: Rugs, Floor Pillows, Throw Pillows, Rectangular Pillows, Side Tables, Coffee Tables, Blackout Curtains, Throw Blankets, Coffee Mugs, Coasters, Serving Trays, Wall Hangings.

Just Breathe

I think we will begin to see dining spaces set for smaller gatherings with decor that feels fresh, clean, and airy. You know, so you can see where the dirt and germs are hiding.” —Quintece Hill-Mattauszek, principal of Studio Q Designs

Get the look: Sun Shades, Outdoor Floor Cushions, Sling Chairs, Folding Stools, Picnic Blankets, Welcome Mats, Can Coolers, Yoga Mat, Beach Towels.

Natural Nook

Caning, rattan, woven seagrass, wicker—the list is endless! Although these materials have been around for quite some time, we are starting to see them used in a variety of applications, from furniture and lighting to accessories and window treatments.” —Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions

Get the look: Rugs, Floor Pillows, Throw Pillows, Rectangular Pillows, Side Tables, Coffee Tables, Blackout Curtains, Throw Blankets, Coffee Mugs, Coasters, Serving Trays, Wall Hangings.

The More, The Merrier

Traditional, formal dining rooms claiming a secluded space in a house feel like a thing of the past. Instead, we’re starting to see the focus shift to the blending of intimacy and functionality. I’d expect a transition away from 60-inch rounds to four-foot oval tables and more dining areas that break down literal and metaphorical walls, creating a space where mealtime and family time are one and the same.” —Cortney Bishop, principal of Cortney Bishop Design

Get the look: Rugs, Floor Pillows, Throw Pillows, Rectangular Pillows, Side Tables, Coffee Tables, Blackout Curtains, Throw Blankets, Coffee Mugs, Coasters, Serving Trays, Wall Hangings.

Make It Marble

There’s a reason why marble is so often associated with the kitchen and dining spaces. Besides being naturally beautiful and absolutely timeless, it’s incredibly functional. The same reasons that it makes for the best countertops make it perfect for the dining room. Think: serving pieces that are scratch-proof, candle holders, and trivets that are heat resistant, and vessels that can keep wine nice and cool. The possibilities are endless, not to mention the fact that different marbles provide a beautiful array of colors and grains to match your tablescape, adding in organic elements while keeping things crisp and elevated.” —Erica Peppers, COO, and head of product of SNOWE

Get the look: Rugs, Floor Pillows, Throw Pillows, Rectangular Pillows, Side Tables, Coffee Tables, Blackout Curtains, Throw Blankets, Coffee Mugs, Coasters, Serving Trays, Wall Hangings.

End of Dining Rooms

Outdoor dining space.
RIKKI SNYDER © 2016 HOUZZ

We’re actually seeing a shift away from the traditional dining room, considering the pandemic has impacted the ability to host indoor dinner parties. Instead, we’re anticipating that homeowners will find ways to make dining outside and repurpose indoor dining rooms for other activities, such as workspaces and exercise areas. Many people are considering sliding doors or partitions that can close off rooms for much-needed privacy.” —Mitchell Parker, Houzz senior editor.

Get the look: Sun Shades, Floor Cushions, Sling Chairs, Folding Stools, Picnic Blankets, Welcome Mats, Can Coolers, Yoga Mat, Beach Towels.

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