Jennifer Post dining room design

Photo: © Roger Davies

1. Don't Leave Them Hanging
"Switch up the art on a major wall. It's a simple change, but it affects the whole feeling of the space."
—Jennifer Post, whose design work is the subject of a new book, Jennifer Post: Pure Space, Elegant Minimalism, by Anna Kasabian
Suzanne and Lauren McGrath's dining room design

Photo: Lucas Allen

2. Make Room for More
"We like to have a great bench that can rest up against the wall and be pulled up to the table when needed. (It can also live part-time in an adjacent hallway.) The idea is that it's ready and waiting when the inevitable moment arises when you've got to squeeze in eight guests at a table for six."
—Suzanne and Lauren McGrath, authors of Good Bones, Great Pieces: The Seven Essential Pieces That Will Carry You Through a Lifetime (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)
Sabrina Soto dining room design

Photo courtesy of Century Furniture, (800) 852-5552

3. Center Yourself
"A living centerpiece can be a real showstopper: For an eclectic look, arrange a collection of potted mosses and succulents in found containers like Mason jars, tea cups or tin boxes. To add formality to a casual dining space, a tall and tailored floral bouquet in a glass vase will do just the trick."
—Sabrina Soto, author of Home Design: A Layer by Layer Approach to Turning Your Ideas Into the Home of Your Dreams (Wiley)
Kishani Perera dining room design

Photo: Jean Randazzo, from Vintage Remix (Abrams)

4. Take a Seat
"The best way to encourage comfort and conversation for your guests is through great seating. Invest in dining chairs that invite your family and friends to eat, drink, stay and relax."
—Kishani Perera, author of Vintage Remix: The Interiors of Kishani Perera (Abrams)
Annie Kelly dining room design

Photo: Tim Street-Porter

5. Go up a Wall
"For a fast and easy way to update your dining room, paint one wall to make an eye-catching statement and add mirrors, which reflect light and add sparkle."
—Annie Kelly, co-author of Rooms to Inspire by the Sea (Rizzoli)

Next: How the right decor can boost your mood


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