In Partnership withThe Home Depot

6 Tips for Designing a Stylish, Modern Dining Room

published Aug 18, 2023
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Credit: Jess Isaac

The phrase “open concept” calls to mind breezy rooms, natural light, and fluid movement from one space to the next. And after nine months of construction dust in their L.A. home, that’s exactly what Kirsten and her husband had: Their newly completed kitchen and dining room renovation created a bright, airy footprint for entertaining family and friends. But it was also, for a moment, a big empty space.

“We’ve been collecting our furniture piecemeal over the years, and we’re at a stage in our lives where we wanted a cohesive space with an elevated feel,” Kirsten says. “Even more so after living in a construction site!”

Credit: Jess Isaac

The renovation took a big chunk out of their budget, but Kirsten and her husband were able to achieve the sophisticated look they were after with some stunning pieces from The Home Depot. Their online-only selection of furniture and home decor is a destination for affordable style, with quality pieces that have the fresh, modern feel Kirsten wanted. Here’s how it all came together, plus some tips on how to achieve the sleek look in your space.

1. Opt for Simple Seating

There’s a reason that pared-down shapes are a hallmark of modernism; their crisp silhouettes create a clean effect and add effortless elegance. Kirsten put this principle to work around the dining table, with warm minimalist dining chairs in black wood. She combined them with one of our favorite features of a modern dining room: beautiful bench seating.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Erik Staalberg

2. Embrace the Bench

These solid wood dining benches not only match the modernist dining table perfectly, but they also create a pleasing contrast to the chairs. This adds visual interest to the space and keeps things from looking too matchy-matchy. Even better: The backless dining benches don’t block light or sight lines to those gorgeous French doors and the patio beyond.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Erik Staalberg

3. Keep it Comfortable

We love a modern vibe, but it can run the risk of feeling uninviting, which was the opposite of Kirsten’s goal. She added softer touches to stay cozy, like a lightweight cotton throw and even a small sheepskin rug as a seat cushion on the bench.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Erik Staalberg

4. Anchor the Space with a Rug

Open concepts often need help making their distinct functions stand out. A subtly patterned area rug outlines the dining area without overwhelming it. Since Kirsten’s space flows so openly between the kitchen/dining area and the back patio, she chose an indoor/outdoor style for durability. (Also, outdoor rugs are incredibly easy to wash.) Pro tip: When shopping for dining room rugs, aim for a size four feet longer and wider than your table.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Erik Staalberg

5. Add a Bar Cart

Kirsten wanted her space to be ready for entertaining, and nothing sets the party mood like a well-stocked bar cart. This one has a distinctive sculptural design that feels fresh and contemporary. We love how well it blends into the room’s aesthetic while also being helpful storage. “How could we not adore the bar cart?!” Kirsten says. “It makes you the ultimate hosts!”

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Erik Staalberg

6. Beige + Black = Warm Modernism

Kirsten’s new dining area is proof this color palette hits just the right combination of sleek and inviting. A warmly glowing table lamp echos the effect, while natural accents like a marble pedestaled fruit bowl and taper candle holders help the whole scene feel earthy and grounded.

Altogether, these ideas add up to a design that’s exactly what Kirsten was after. “The new open-plan kitchen and dining room feel warm and welcoming — a perfect place for guests to relax,” she says. “There’s enough space to mingle, and most importantly, enough seating for the minglers to sit on.”

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Erik Staalberg