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Dining rooms with a difference

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In this fast-paced age of increasingly casual eating arrangements, when meals may frequently be snatched on the sofa or while watching TV, a dining room is far from essential and most homes don’t have one. It’s certainly a nice-to-have, though, and if you are fortunate enough to have space for one in your home it’s a room you’ll want to make the most of. A dining room can be laid-back and casual enough that it’s the place you prefer to gather for dinner every night, or it can be a carefully cultivated formal space that you make use of only when you have visitors you really want to impress. There are no hard and fast rules about what a dining room should look like, or even what furniture needs to be in it – though a good-sized table is a reasonable place to start. The designers of the dining rooms featured here have each done something completely different with the space, creating eating areas that all have their own completely unique appeal.

​All on show

 Dining room by Federico Celletti
Federico Celletti

Sala da pranzo

Federico Celletti

The striking glass table is the central feature of this dining room. Its transparent top reveals the unusual, asymmetrical geometry of the many legs beneath. Slightly misaligned, they give this table a strong personality that influences the entire room. Look up, and you’ll see glass is important overhead in this room too. The cluster of lights is see-through, again displaying more of their interior workings than would normally be on show. The overall impression given is that this is a room that has no secrets, and nothing to hide.

(Note: architect Frederico Celletti's profile is worth checking out for more shots of this unique home.)

​The semi-permanent dining room

 Dining room by Dientre
Dientre

Mur habité

Dientre

This whole room has been designed with the ultimate level of versatility in mind. The various components can all be shifted around and hidden away as required. The chipboard material chosen for the main elements of the room seems to reflect this temporary, transient state of affairs. The oversized, exposed light bulbs above, too, are the ideal choice for this space, adding to the raw, unfinished atmosphere.

 Dining room by Dientre
Dientre

Mur habité

Dientre

The room can be rapidly transformed by simply shifting a little bit of chipboard around.

​Draw clear boundaries

If you have an open-plan living, dining and/or kitchen area, try using contrasting visual signposts to demarcate the separate functions of each part of the room. In this photo, the position of the eye-catching rug beneath the chairs and dining table clearly mark this out as a self-contained space with a purpose, even though it isn’t enclosed by walls. The bold striped wallpaper seen on the back wall, which is in a contrasting pattern and colour combination to the rug, also makes it seem that that particular area is a separate “room”.

Start from the beginning

The fresh, bright colours used here –and the strong contrast between them – helps this room come across as very contemporary. The most important object in the room is, of course, the huge seascape that takes up most of the back wall. If you are unsure of where to start with your decor for a particular room, choosing a attention-grabbing picture as your jumping-off point and then choosing the rest of your colour scheme based on what effectively complements it is a good way to get inspired.

​Good things come to those who wait

 Dining room by Emmanuelle Diebold
Emmanuelle Diebold

Salle à manger vintage

Emmanuelle Diebold

Some of the best rooms come out of collecting. This vintage-inspired room features several different types of chairs, as well as shades of wood that differ between each furniture item. But it works well because it gives the impression – whether accurately or not – that the room has come together naturally over time through flea market finds and antique shop bargains, rather than being perfectly planned right from the start.

If you like this look, take a look at this ideabook crammed full of lovely vintage accessories for the home—it might be right up your street. 

Do you have a dining room? Do you use it every day, or only for special occasions?
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