A Foolproof Layering Formula for a Dreamy Rustic Glam Dining Room

updated Jul 17, 2020
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(Image credit: Minette Hand)

The dining room — or in smaller homes, the “dining area” — has become a forgotten, cluttered spot in many homes. With our tables piled with old mail collecting dust, many of us eat our meals in front of Netflix or on the go. But whether you entertain guests or cook meals for one, you deserve a beautiful spot in your home just for enjoying eating a meal. And the good news is that you don’t need an elaborate formal dinnerware set to create a dine-in space…just take this stunningly decorated dining corner in this Louisiana dream house as an inspiring example.

(Image credit: Minette Hand)

In this Louisiana house, a large great room is divided into a kitchen, living room and this dining room area above. Like many people who have open living areas without walls or other visual dividers, Kelly had to use decor to designate the area. The result of her careful layering is a rustic glam dining area anyone would want to enjoy a meal in.

To recreate this look, add-in some of these layers to your home:

1. Rug

A rug (or two) is especially important when you are carving out a dining area in a larger great room, because it’s the rug that will visually define the area. Make sure you choose a size large enough to accommodate your furniture. If budget is an issue, you can use a larger, more affordable rug as the size-defining layer, and add a more attractive but smaller rug on top.

→ Find the Right Rug Size Guides

2. Furniture

You can choose a matching dining room set if you want to, but as Kelly’s dining area proves, an eclectic mix is dynamic and offers a variety of different seating options for different types of folks! Here a rustic wood bench with hairpin legs joins two blush-pink upholstered slipper chairs, which in turn contrast beautifully with three vintage emerald-green chairs.

Kelly chose a dining table from Paul Michael Company, and the pink chairs were found at World Market. The bench was DIYed using a plank of wood and hairpin legs from Etsy. Some Apartment Therapy Marketplace vintage dining chair finds that would round out anyone’s dining room furniture collection are: these 2 Vintage Danish Modern Kai Kristiansen Chairs; Jens Risom Dining Chairs; and four curved brass modern dining chairs.

(Image credit: Minette Hand)

3. Life

Plants are key for any room, and the dining room is no different. Utilize a plant stand to give a potted plant height next to a dining table, or consider hanging a plant or two from the ceiling to visually balance the space.

4. Texture

There actually isn’t a ton of “stuff” in Kelly’s dining area. Yet, the space feels full and intriguing. Texture plays a big part in this compact area. The rustic wood complements the white, modern farmhouse-style shiplap. And the fluffy sheepskin adds both surprise and elegance to the vignette.

→ 6 Ways to Add Texture to a Room Without Spending a Ton of Money

(Image credit: Minette Hand)

5. Simple centerpiece

Some folks enjoy keeping their dining table set for a fancy meal, but that feels like a bit much for me. Though I do understand the mindset: Make your table look like it’s ready for a dinner and you might be persuaded to use it more. I think the same effect can be achieved by just making sure your table’s not completely empty; a simple centerpiece or a small plant or tray can make a room look complete.

7. Art

In Kelly’s dining area, a big, colorful art piece by Lola Donoghue adds energy and beauty to the simple composition. I think because it’s a large-scale solo piece and not a wall art collage, the dining area feels calm, collected and uncluttered. If you don’t have the budget to splurge on an artistic original, make your own!

8. Lighting

Good lighting can make or break a room, especially in the dining room, where you want enough light to be able to see your food, but enough ambiance, too. A single solo hanging pendant right over the table can achieve just the right light level, as well as visually “top off” the dining room’s entire composition. The pendant light in this dining room is from World Market.

(Image credit: Minette Hand)