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Ideas & Advice > Dining Room Decor Ideas > Modern Dining Room Decor Ideas

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Modern Dining Room Decor Ideas

Designing a space in its entirety can be a difficult task, especially if you have just a hazy vision in mind of what you want at the end. Maybe there's a particular color that you like, or a style you want to implement. If the style you like is modern, then you've landed at the right place! Today, we're looking at modern, contemporary dining areas and giving our advice on how to create a modern dining room of your own.

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Daring Colors And Patterns - White Kitchen Decor Ideas

Mid Century Flair

Neutral colors and earth tones are a big part of modern design. You can incorporate it into your dining room through your wall choices, whether they be wood panelling or tile reminiscent of cement. However, if you enjoy modern design but like a flair of retro, mid-century design, add in unique chairs like these. The webbing on the backs and seats of the chairs reminds me of the lawn chairs my parents would sit in whenever they went to a picnic or sporting event--classic seating. The difference though is that these are brought into the modern day by having clean lines and consistent brown weaving. Dressing up the space with chairs like these is a nice callback to the past, but not in a tacky way.

Straight To The Point

Modern style is known for its simplicity. If you want a modern dining room, choose furniture and walls that have straight, clean lines. The cabinets in the back serve as a clear example; go with storage that has straight lines, no handles, no ornamentation. The same goes for your dining room set. You don't need to be devoid of style, but in the styling you do choose, use simple shapes and lines. Even the rugs under the table, which are very unique in shape, follow the principle of using straight lines and angles. You can add in flair by using unique rug shapes, or if you like a sleeker modern style, go with a traditional rectangle.

Mid Century Flair - Modern Dining Room Decor Ideas
The Simple Eclectic - Modern Dining Room Decor Ideas

The Simple Eclectic

One fun feature of modern design is its love of shapes. In this dining room, you'll see a lot of straight lines in the walls, the furniture, rug, and of course the windows. What you probably didn't see at first was the pendant lights. These three are all in the same family, but they all have a unique shape to them. If you enjoy modern style but also like a sense of eclecticism, add in lights like these. Let them be the same color and style family, but line up several of them to highlight a sense of lightheartedness and fun.

Small Space, Big Potential

Even if you only have a small space for dining, you can still set it up in style. In fact, because modern style is so minimalist, it works well in small spaces, since there aren't a lot of accents or details to clutter up the space. If you want to make the most of a small, modern dining space, use light or white furniture. Also, if your room is an open concept from living room to dining all the way to kitchen, having a dinette set up like this acts as a natural divider between the rooms without obstructing eyelines.

Small Space, Big Potential - Modern Dining Room Decor Ideas
Dark And Light - Modern Dining Room Decor Ideas

Natural Accents

Modern design is known for its neutral, earthy color palette as well as its straightforward furniture. However, neutral doesn't mean dull. Your dining room can come alive if you choose light walls and floors, and then add in darker accent pieces with those trademark simple lines/low chair backs. Don't feel like you need to rely on just the wood to bring in nature; bring it in through plants, plates, and even the walls. These walls are made of brick (man-made material, I know) but they still serve as a link to a material we often see outdoors when driving down the road. They are much more "natural" than drywall, anyway, so there's a point in favor of nature!

Dark And Light

Just because it's a kitchen doesn't mean that it can't have a theme. You can easily follow this kitchen's nature theme by incorporating natural materials, such as wood on the ceiling, natural stone backsplash, and highlighting any wooden floors that you have. If you have an island like this one, you can also incorporate shiplap in that to add to the woodsy feel. This island utilizes black, but if you love a good pop of color, consider doing yours with a pop of green, or teal, or even a blue. The possibilities are unlimited!

Browse more blue dining room decorating ideas >

Natural Accents - Modern Dining Room Decor Ideas

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Traditionally Modern - Modern Dining Room Decor Ideas
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Traditionally Modern

Like both modern and traditional design? The two can blend together! Choose one style to be the star of the room, and then add in accents of the other style. In this example, you'll see modern dining and lighting, but a traditional persian rug beneath it and light white cabinets on the side. The two styles blend well, since they both work with light walls and floors, so don't be afraid to mix the two together.

Big Space, Little Furniture, Huge Personality

If you have a large dining space, don't feel like you need to fill it to the brim with furniture. If you only need four seats at the table and a simple dinette, then there's no need to add more. But if you want to make the space feel more full, fun, and add an unexpected design element, go for a uniquely shaped and patterned rug. Not all the colors of the rug have to be somewhere else in the room, but make sure at least one color in the rug connects to the furniture (ie the tan/browns in the rug connecting to the wood tones).

Big Space, Little Furniture, Huge Personality - Modern Dining Room Decor Ideas
Modern Architecture - Modern Dining Room Design Ideas

Modern Architecture

Here's another example of a big space that's only filled with what's essential. It applies the same principles as the previous dining room, but it does add in one other element of modern design: highlighting simple and sleek architecture. This dining room is exposed to the open set of stairs behind it as well as the windows. If you have a similarly open concept, again, don't feel like you need to fill it to the brim. Let your architecture be the star of the show and a nice focal point for your guests to enjoy while sitting at the table.

Unique Art - Modern Dining Room Design Ideas

Design To Guide

When stylizing a space, you want to subtly guide the eye as to how to look at the room. This modern dining space is simple, but it does guide your eye with all of its vertical lines. First your eye is drawn to the chandelier that cascades downward, then the artwork on the back wall that does the same. Even the walls themselves with their vertical wood slats guide the eye vertically. Consider having a vertical or horizontal motif throughout the room to guide your eye through the space.

Contemporary Abstraction

Going abstract is another natural way to add in some modern flair. Notice in this dining room how they have the abstract art on the wall and the rug on the floor to define the space. Don't forget though that light fixtures can also be considered a part of the artwork. In fact, as you look at this space, you'll see the art is intentionally placed to the left so that the light hangs down in front of a blank canvas--a work of art all on its own. So in your space, choose art that you love AND a special light to create a dynamic set.

Design To Guide - Modern Dining Room Design Ideas
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Modern Cottage

Believe it or not, you CAN create a space that is both modern and well loved. The furniture of the room fits into that modern style, but the room itself is reminiscent of a cottage with its old plastered, textured walls. The two styles work together because the table and light fixtures both have a more rustic, worn look to them, just as a cottage wood. To effectively blend the two styles, choose modern accents that look a bit more vintage and worn and let natural architecture/walls like this one accent that look.

Light Art

Not a fan of hanging art on the walls? You don't have to! Instead of decorating the walls, go with a unique chandelier or pendant light above your dining table. There are so many options out there with lighting fixtures that you can even use it as an opportunity to bring in another design style. The shapes of this chandelier, for example, are very modern, but the blue color is reminiscent of a more vintage style. Add in your own style and piece of art with your light(s).

Modern Cottage - Modern Dining Room Design Ideas
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Modern Storage

Most of us are not minimalists when it comes to the stuff we keep. Even though modern style is often known to be minimalist, it doesn't have to be completely bare. Add in modern storage with clean lines and covered compartments to keep your stuff but have a modern display. If you do have any open shelves like this one, categorize your items so that it's organized and intentional. In this case, all the spaces are filled with books (making it an organized collection on display) and they are all sorted by color. Color blocking like this in a modern design is a neat way to add in color and visual interest to an otherwise simple space.

Practically Natural

Wood and stone both fit into modern style's attempt to bring in natural elements. Obviously the table is clean and sleek with its straight lines, but even the floor is more modern as opposed to traditional. How? Instead of it being uneven stonework, these are tiles that are made to look like stone floor. When designing your space, think about the practicality of bringing in those natural elements; real stone may look great, but is it a tripping hazard for your guests? How is it to clean? Going with a tile is a more modern, safe way to add nature to your dining area.

For more naturalist ideas, check out ourFarmhouse Dining Room Decorating Ideas>

Only Natural - White Kitchen Decor Design Tips
Modern Elegance - Modern Dining Room Design Ideas

Modern Boho

Yes, three design styles CAN fit together! If you like those three, here are some recommendations on how to create a dining space that can be considered modern, boho, and elegant. To achieve the elegance, go with a dark wall and glossy glossy metal accents (the dining table, for example). For the modern aspect, choose furniture with clean straight lines (the tabletop and chairs). Finally, for boho, add in natural textures (rattan chairs, palm leaves, and woven wall decor). There are many ways to combine styles, but those are the tips to recreate a space similar to the one shown here.

Modern Elegance

If you like both modern and elegant style, go with furniture that has clean lines but also clear portions. You can still go with natural, earthy tones in the room's accents, but whenever you have something clear (like the chairs), choose dark seat cushions to bring out an elegant contrast. Don't let that be the only place you bring in the black, though! Scatter the color throughout the room in the minimal accents you use, whether it be a vase, light fixture, or both.

Modern Elegant Boho - Modern Dining Room Design Ideas

Oversize - Modern Dining Room Design Ideas

Oversized Decor

Earlier we saw some examples of how a modern space can be created through minimal furniture in a large space. This room is minimal in its furniture as well, but instead of having a large, emptier space, the furniture and accents are all larger. Notice the huge plant in the corner, the sprawling chandelier, and the large table pedestal. This room isn't filled to the brim with furniture, but with the furniture/accents it does choose, it fills the space. If you like modern style but not pure minimalism, go with larger pieces to fill the space, but be selective in not cluttering the space with too many different pieces.

Traditional Modern - Modern Dining Room Design Ideas

Perfectly Balanced

This unusual white and black living room borrows elements from the tranquil atmosphere of a spa. Use soft shades of blue in small doses throughout a room to encourage relaxation. Pillows upholstered in textures that invite your touch make a basic couch instantly appealing. Various styles of artwork in different shapes and sizes keep this room informal and friendly. This visually stunning rug's gently curved lines adds to the overall sense of calm.

Traditional Modern

Natural architecture of the house may make you feel like you need to stick a certain design style, but instead of viewing it as a design challenge, look at it as a design opportunity. The architectural features can serve as a natural way to combine different design styles. For example, the arched built ins here fit a traditional vibe, but combined with the modern dining set and modern accents, it is a natural way to combine the two styles. Be sure though that the architecture isn't the only sign of the style; incorporate it through other means, such as the color scheme, additional furniture, lights, etc.

Perfectly Balanced - Modern Dining Room Design Ideas

As you can see, there are so many different ways to work with a purely modern style, but there are also countless ways to blend it with other design styles. Remember the basics of modern design: its love of clean cut lines, its typically minimal design, and its love of neutral colors. Starting with these as the foundation of your style is a great launching point for creating a 100% modern kitchen or creating the base for a mixed style room. Whether you like a pop of boho, traditional, or some other style with your modern mix, have fun creating a dining room that fits your style.

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