We fondly remember our childhood home and and all the quirks that came along with growing up there. For example, even though we had a dining room, it was only used for special occasions (Thanksgiving and Christmas). We always felt that our formal dining room was a wasted space--and that if it weren't so stuffy it might've been enjoyed more than twice a year...
The first thing we noticed about all of these dining rooms was the inclusion of an informal dining room table. Because the tables aren't fancy, it won't be a problem if you spill a drink or want to use the space for crafting or reading the paper. In addition, you could also use mismatched dining room chairs to make each space even more laid-back. Each room is kept accessible by sticking to soft backdrop colors like yellows, earth blue and white. We also noticed that artwork is kept to a minimum with most of the dining rooms relying on beautiful overhead lighting (or a great view) which acts as the focal point.
(Images: 1. ColorTherapy: Monet's Dining Room, 2. Inspiration: Dining Room in a Portland Bungalow, 3. me*jo, 4. Before & After: Dining Room, 5. How Are Your Home Resolutions Coming Along?)