The conversation of how the current situation is changing our perspective of design is one that we will continue to have as home designers. One example: in years past, dining rooms were often saved for special occasions, but without regular visits to restaurants, homeowners are rethinking how they dine at home. The way we utilize our dining rooms, whether formal or not, should provide a comfortable space to enjoy good food and good conversation with family and friends. Sometimes, there is space to reserve an entire room for dining, while other times, a dining area is an extension of the kitchen. Either way, dining rooms deserve special attention, and these dining areas are worthy of special occasions and everyday meals.

Below, find Beth Haley’s top tips for styling the dining room.

Make the most of your space.

Dining Room Design Ideas | Beth Haley Design

When homeowners have limited square footage, they are quick to sacrifice a formal dining room. Just because you don’t have a dedicated room for formal dining doesn’t mean you have to forgo it altogether. This dining area located just off the kitchen makes the most of the space. Instead of the expected casual breakfast nook, Beth Haley introduced a formal fining area with a traditional dining set fit for any occasion.

Go big.

Ideas for Beautiful Dining Rooms | Beth Haley Design

Two oversized chandeliers hang above an oversized table in this industrial-style loft in Nashville. The scale of the lighting and furniture fit the space and work well with the high ceilings. For Beth Haley, scale is one of the most important components of good design. By determining your furniture needs based on the size of the room you are filling, you can accommodate more friends and family for dinner.

Create a multi-functional space.

Dining Room Design Ideas | Beth Haley Design

As we continue to work from home and our kids are taking online classes, it’s okay to have a dining room that doubles as a workstation. A more casual setup, like the one shown here, can easily be transformed to fit your needs. From breakfast on-the-go to at-home conference calls to a leisurely take-out dinner, the options for how and when to use this space are varied. The only rule: clean up your mess when you leave.

Comfort is key.
Dining Room Design Ideas | Beth Haley Design

Losing track of time and forgetting how many bottles of wine you consumed are signs of a successful dinner party. Create a space where guests can sit back, relax, and forget their troubles. The key to a comfortable setup is comfortable chairs, and nothing is more comfortable than a nicely upholstered chair. This particular space blurs the lines between casual and formal, making it more versatile than your traditional formal dining room.

Feel free to invite us over for dinner — or just to help you create a dining room fo your dreams. Either way, we are only a call away.


Like many of you, we are navigating a new work situation in light of the current events. In an effort to keep our design team and clients safe and happy, we have decided to limit the in-person meetings at the Beth Haley Design studio. In the meantime, Beth Haley Design continues to be a resource for interior design services, as well as a source of inspiration. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about our virtual interior design services during these stay-at-home times.


Discover more of our blog posts here. We cover everything from color to coffee table books to functional design.