Best Way To Know What To Put In Your Dining Room 2023

November 15, 2023

Deciding what to put in a dining room goes beyond the table, delving into the realm of comprehensive dining room design. Interior designers confront this crucial question head-on when crafting inviting spaces for gatherings. Beyond the focal point of the dining table, numerous dining room ideas merit attention for creating an ideal dining space. From seating and innovative dining room storage solutions to the nuances of dining room lighting, each element plays a vital role. To guide you in addressing the query of ‘what to put in a dining room beside a table,’ we sought advice from interior designers who share insights into the essential components for crafting the perfect dining environment.

1. Add A Console Table

When exploring what to put in a dining room beyond the dining table, interior designers consistently highlight the versatility of the credenza or console table. This multifunctional piece serves not only as a surface for serving food but also excels as a dining room storage solution for dishes or a stylish drinks cabinet. Additionally, during idle times, the console table transforms into a canvas for creativity, adorned with table lamps casting a warm glow or curated with decorative objects for an aesthetically pleasing display.

Interior designer Tracy Morris emphasizes the evolving role of dining rooms, stating, ‘Tables are being used for work and study. Add a buffet to allow for additional dish storage (or to store a printer!) and serving food.’ Judy Pickett of Design Lines Signature echoes this sentiment, advocating for a buffet or serving piece to enhance the room’s dimension and functionality.

For those with a penchant for traditional dining rooms, Louise Wicksteed, design director at Sims Hilditch, recommends incorporating an antique side table. This elegant addition can be adorned with paired table lamps and a round mirror above, not only enhancing the aesthetic appeal but also creating an illusion of a larger space.

Add A Console Table

2. Go For Upholstered Dining Chairs

Seating holds a pivotal role in crafting the perfect dining room, prompting the question, ‘What kind of dining chairs are best?’ to take center stage in the design process. The choice of seating hinges on the ambiance you wish to cultivate and, ultimately, what provides the utmost comfort.

For those seeking a formal setting imbued with a sense of occasion, distinct from the casual atmosphere of a kitchen diner, Simon Temprell of Neptune recommends upholstered dining chairs. According to him, ‘Upholstered dining chairs are more luxurious, bringing a feeling of softness and warmth into a space.’

Traditionally, upholstered dining chairs have been the go-to choice for seating. However, Amanda Huber of Dining Chair Co. notes that upholstered dining benches have gained popularity, introducing a slightly less formal setup. Huber emphasizes the versatility of upholstered chairs and benches, allowing for creative exploration in fabric choices once the chair or bench design is selected.

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Go For Upholstered Dining Chairs

3. Fit A Cabinet Or Dresser

Delving further into the realm of storage solutions, interior designer Anne Hepfer recommends the inclusion of a cabinet as a splendid addition to a dining room. Enhancing both functionality and sophistication, a china cabinet or a compact dresser serves as an excellent choice. These pieces not only offer additional storage but also provide an opportunity for tasteful styling with candles, fresh flowers, and lamps, creating an ambiance with a touch of moodiness.

While open dressers evoke a charming traditional vibe, cabinets with closed or glazed doors present a practical solution, reducing the need for constant dusting. Noelle Parks of Noelle Interiors suggests, ‘Glass door cabinets work well for homeowners wanting to display their dishes,’ adding an element of visual appeal to the dining room.

A diverse range of freestanding cabinets and dressers is readily available. Alternatively, opting for bespoke cabinets tailored to fit alcoves presents an ingenious small dining room idea, maximizing both space and style.

Fit A Cabinet Or Dresser

4. Relaxed Dining: Bench Vibes

When considering seating options for a kitchen diner, benches emerge as an excellent choice to infuse a more laid-back ambiance.

Louise Wicksteed, design director of Sims Hilditch, advocates for the use of relaxed bench seating paired with a wooden table, particularly in open-plan kitchen/dining rooms. According to Wicksteed, a kitchen/dining room serves as a social space intended to foster a sense of community and comfort. Incorporating comfortable bench seating aligns seamlessly with this objective, encouraging people to linger and enjoy their time in the space.

Relaxed Dining: Bench Vibes

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5. Think About Lighting

In the realm of interior design, dining room lighting ideas play a pivotal role, with a particular emphasis on dining rooms where the abundance of ambient lighting is crucial for setting the right atmosphere.

Louise Wicksteed emphasizes the use of layered lighting as a fantastic method to imbue a dining space with coziness. She recommends incorporating oversized overhead lighting along with table and wall lights, allowing for adjustable ambiance and creating a soft and inviting atmosphere throughout the day.

Addressing the question of what to put in a dining room beyond a table, designer Anne Hepfer proposes the inclusion of a fabulous light fixture to serve as a focal point for the room. Michael Sandsmark of Design West Interiors underscores the importance of credenzas complemented with sconces for ambient lighting, deeming them essential for cultivating a cozy dining room ambiance.

Think About Lighting

6. Add A Bar

Enhancing your dining room with a home bar idea goes beyond creating a space for post-dinner drinks; it also serves as a practical solution for concealing everyday tableware and essential accessories, notes Clara Ewart, the head of design at Kitesgrove.

Kitesgrove exemplifies this concept by incorporating a bespoke bar area, featuring a wine fridge and adorned with a captivating teal hue. The saturated color not only makes a bold statement but also provides a stunning backdrop for brass barware.

For those with space constraints or seeking flexibility, a bar cart idea is a versatile alternative. Easily repositioned throughout the room or stored away, a bar cart can be wheeled into the dining space whenever needed, offering a convenient solution for serving cocktails and aperitifs.

Add A Bar

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7. Styling Your Table

Transforming a dining table into a captivating focal point when not in use requires thoughtful dining table decor ideas. Natalia Miyar, the founder of Natalia Miyar Atelier, suggests employing over-scaled floral designs to anchor an idle dining table, especially in open-plan settings where an empty surface might create a void in the room.

Consider embracing the charm of the fall season with a delightful fall table decor idea. Create an arrangement featuring pumpkins, gourds, and candles, as beautifully demonstrated by Oka. This not only adds a seasonal touch but also infuses warmth and visual interest into the dining space.

Styling Your Table


Elevate your dining room design with more than just a table. From multifunctional credenzas to stylish seating, explore creative ideas on what to put in a dining room. Make your dining space a true reflection of your style and functionality, ensuring it becomes the heart of your home. If you have any questions or need more information about specific dining room furniture pieces, feel free to reach out to Q-Furniture. You can follow and contact us on Linkedin for more useful information and quality products.