Lively & Colorful Dining Rooms

Inspiration Gallery

Although some of the most lively conversations take place over a good meal, dining rooms are not typically known for their lively decor. My own dining room, like most, is probably the most subdued spot in the house when it comes to color. However, as we're discovering this month, there's room for color even in the most formal of spaces. Aside from painted walls, there are a million other ways to infuse your dining room with color:

• Painted chairs are on the the easiest ways to infuse color in a room. I'm not advocating to go wild with a rainbow of spray paint on beautiful family heirlooms, but a collection of curbside and flea market finds is another story. Often it's the ugly veneer or chipped finish that lead perfectly solid chairs to the landfill. So rescue a few, renew them up with a coat of paint, and spice up your dining room in the process.

• As with paint, chairs can get a happy face-lift with a new upholstery job. Not all dining chairs are DIYable for the average craftster, but chairs with removable seats are some of the easiest to change yourself. Check the fabric remnant sections at your local craft or fabric store, and go to town with a staple gun.

• Light fixtures are an easy way to bring color and pattern to your room with paint and shades. Craigslist is full of (often free) fixtures that could use a little bit of color to save them form the dumpster. We love Megan of Beach Bungalow 8's red fixture (picture 8).

• Like any other room in the house, colorful curtains and accent rugs will spice up the whitest of rooms, just look at Jonathan Adler's design for Liz Lange's dining room (picture 1).

• And of course there are the obvious changeable table elements that can make a dining room look colorful no matter what the wall color: candles, table cloths, napkins, dishes, and flowers. For colorful inspiration look no further than tablescape master Eddie Ross (picture 2).

Images: 1: House Beautiful, 2: Eddies Ross, 3: Cottage Living, 4: In Style, 5: House Beautiful, 6: House and Home, 7: Design * Sponge, 8: Beach Bungalow 8

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