How to Create the Perfect Family Dining Room

Welcome to another in my series of how to create perfect family spaces in your home. This time I’m looking at how you can create the perfect family dining room.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not an interior designer, just a lover of great style and design, with a strong belief that you can have a desirable home even if you have children. The ideas and tips that I share are just that, personal and hopefully inspiring, based on my research and implementation in my own home over the years.

So what will help you create the perfect family dining room?

Well, it really doesn’t matter if you don’t have a specific dining room, just a dining area will do, and there are lots of ways to make this work for your family.

Choose Your Style:

rustic dining space

Before you begin designing any space in your home, ensure you have a clear idea of the style you’re wanting to achieve. Do you like a contemporary look? Or something more traditional, eclectic, urban or retro? Perhaps you’re a fan of a modern Scandinavian look like me? Ask yourself some key questions about what you want the space to do for you and your family. Does it need to be more than just a dining area? How much storage do you need? How will you encourage your children to use the table for mealtimes, if necessary?

Do Your Research:

colourful family dining

Use tools like Pinterest, Houzz and Polyvore to find ideas and styles that suit you and your home. Hunt through old magazines,  website and blogs to find ideas and inspiration. Pin all the ideas onto a Pinterest board like this one here, or create a moodboard on Polyvore. If you want to know how to do this, take a look at my tutorial. Research is key, to help you formulate your ideas, and prevent you making any expensive purchases that you don’t need. It’s also a great way to visualise the end result.

Perfect Seating:

family dining

At the centre of your dining room or dining space, should be the table and chairs of course. Obviously it needs to be big enough to seat your immediate family, but consider if you need extra space for visitors and guests. Often an extending table is the answer here. You don’t have to spend a fortune either. Think about upcycling a table you’ve picked up from the Charity shop, like this one I spotted in Shelter a little while ago, which allows you to create something personal and unique. A bit of time, effort and Annie Sloane paint and you can create something wonderful. The main thing is to ensure the table fits the space you have and is easy to access as you just won’t use it if you need to move lots of things to get to it.

The next thing is the chairs. Here you can be more creative too. If you have younger children you won’t want anything too expensive, particularly fabric, that can be ruined in one sitting. Instead think of wipeable materials like plastic or wood, that will be durable too. Suede and plush fabric are best avoided at this stage. Then think about comfort for both you and the children. Chairs need to be high enough to allow children to sit comfortably at the table so, once they’re out of a high chair, give them a booster seat or cushion on an adult chair. And thinking of the high chair, ensure there’s enough space to allow the chair to reach the table. This means you can eat as a family and the children will learn the importance of family meals from an early age.

Becky from Thrifty Home says:

Don’t be precious in family dining, think wipeable, replaceable, not too expensive and FUN!

Accessories and Storage:


If you like to entertain you’ll need space to store table accessories, but at the very least you’ll want to keep your table mats close to hand. Some storage is very useful, and you can even keep your family crockery here too. Encouraging the children to lay the table regularly is a great way to include them in family dining. Decorate the room to fit in with the rest of your home, with wall art, rugs, accessories and lighting. If you can add lighting above the table, that’s a great way to create a stylish, yet practical atmosphere.

Making More of the Space:

If you need a multipurpose space (like I do) consider how the table may be used outside of mealtimes. Activities such as crafting, homework, food preparation and working from home, all make use of our dining table in our home so it needs to be able to stand up to it. Add a wipeable tablecloth to help protect the surface of your table, and give you other options for its use.

You can find more stylish dining inspiration on my Pinterest Board.

What make the perfect family dining room for you?

How to create the perfect family dining room

Images: 1 || 2 || 3 || 4

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram


  1. Becky
    December 30, 2014 / 12:46 pm

    Lovely post Jen lots of inspiration here

    • mary
      October 15, 2016 / 6:44 pm

      i think you are right and it should be noted.

  2. Jess
    December 30, 2014 / 6:07 pm

    I really need to sort out our dining area, we have got this huge table which I absolutely detest. Matt’s dad gave it to us and he’s really attached to it but it’s mahogany wood which I hate and it’s way too big for the space, I actually told him the other day he has two weeks to find somewhere for it otherwise it’s going! x

    • Jen Stanbrook
      January 5, 2015 / 5:14 pm

      Shame it’s too big, it would make a nice makeover project 😉

  3. Penny
    December 31, 2014 / 1:22 am

    Oooh I like to have lots of old jam jars for pencils, and wicker baskets for condiments so the table can quickly swap between somewhere to eat and somewhere to play/draw/craft. And padded seats, or cushions because it means people stay at the table longer!

  4. Eleanor (The Bristol Parent)
    December 31, 2014 / 2:54 pm

    Agree with you on using Pinterest, it’s been the best thing I’ve got my head around in 2014 for interiors stuff!

  5. Fritha
    January 1, 2015 / 5:57 pm

    ah that second one is my friend Hayley’s home! Some great ideas and loving all the colour in these pics x

    • Jen Stanbrook
      January 5, 2015 / 5:11 pm

      No! What a coincidence, it’s lovely! x

  6. Laura
    January 2, 2015 / 2:25 pm

    Really useful tips and how inspiring are all of these images – we need to work on our space! Thanks for sharing

    Laura x

    • Jen Stanbrook
      January 5, 2015 / 5:11 pm

      Thanks so much Laura x

  7. Bryan McDonald
    January 5, 2015 / 6:08 am

    Hi Jen,

    This is an interesting topic that I’ve been reading for new week. I think dining room is one of most important parts of the house. This is a place where family members seat and talk to each other after working day. For my self, I always demand the other members in my family try to stair away from personal devices when we’re in dining room. To do this, the room must be comfortable for everyone and we often keep this space as clean as possible. Your post makes sense for me and I think I will have some nice ideas for my home in 2014. Thank you for a great post.

  8. Vicky
    January 5, 2015 / 7:55 am

    Our dining area is basically a table at the end of the lounge, which I used to love but just isn’t big enough now. I’d love one of those scaffolding tables, but they’re pretty pricey!

  9. Remade in Britain
    January 5, 2015 / 11:49 am

    OUr dining area is so often covered in toys and half finished projects I can never really tell what it looks like! When I finally get around to renovating it though, these are some fantastic ideas.

    • Jen Stanbrook
      January 5, 2015 / 5:21 pm

      Thanks so much. I know how you feel about the toys!

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  11. Financial Researcher
    March 8, 2015 / 10:56 am

    I like the idea of the chairs when having kids in the family. This blog is awesome

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  14. Tish Grayson
    December 1, 2015 / 7:04 am

    Thank you very much for writing such an interesting article on this topic. This has really made me think and I hope to read more.

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