3 Common Dining Room Design Mistakes

As a designer, every day we have an opportunity to assist clients with our years of experience and skills to create beautiful and functional environments. A large part of what we do as designers is to assist clients who might have attempted a professional level of design on their own but experienced lackluster results. They most likely wasted costly labor and money on purchases that didn’t quite work. However, homeowners are not at fault here, and there’s a whole industry based on the claims that home design is easy and that anybody can do it quickly with no skill or experience. Many homeowners find out that this is far from the case.

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We love getting these clients back on track to the quality design that they have longed for. Sometimes, this might involve a few tweaks, and however often, it involves starting from scratch with a new design.

Here are just a few common design issues that we see regularly in dining room spaces.

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Woodwork and trim

We often see creative attempts at designing walls with elaborate woodwork. When done properly, a dining room can be a beautiful place to add these elements. Many times, these attempts are random and with no strategy or are unproportioned with the space, not tying in well with the existing architecture or shape of the space. This is an area where very expensive mistakes can be made. Designing woodwork in a dining room can be tricky. Not only does woodwork detail need to be proportioned to the space, but it also needs to be proportioned properly to everything that’s going in the space. It needs to stop and start where it looks right architecturally and where it ties in well with the rest of the house or any adjoining spaces.


There are common mistakes we see in the area of lighting in the dining room space. Many of these mistakes occur because when the lighting is installed in the space, there is no thought to the furniture placement, the size of the dining table, or the size and shape of the fixture that’s going to be installed. More often than not, when designing a dining room space to make everything look right, we have to move the placement of the main lighting or chandelier piece, making the placement proper for the new design and everything going into it.

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Table size

A great furniture layout can make or break a space. In a dining room, this is very important because although there might be fewer pieces of furniture that you might have than a living room space. Each selection of furnishings is extremely important, especially when it comes to size and proportion. Selecting a dining room table can be difficult, depending on the size and shape of a room. A round table might work better than a rectangle. Or, in some spaces, your round table won’t work at all. There’s no clear-cut formula for this. My experience tells me when I walk into a room, I immediately know what size table and what configuration would work best. But if you don’t have an eye for proportion and configuration or just don’t have experience with furnishing spaces, this could be quite difficult.

Starting your project with a professional design will ensure that you are putting your money into only design elements and purchases that you know will give you the desired results.

Until next time,


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