Jasmine Sims looking at interior design magazines

The Dining Room: A Memorable Space for Meals + Gathering

The Dining Room: A Memorable Space for Meals + Gathering

This is the second in a 3-part series on the "Hearts of the Home" concept and its connection to holistic and wellness-driven interior design. In the first installment, I shared tips on purposefully designing your living room. Now, let's explore the dining room, another space that serves as a gathering point for family and friends, and plays a crucial role in creating memorable experiences.

Who needs a dining room, anyway?

Like the living room, it's essential to assess the function and purpose of a dining room. Unlike the living room, however, the first question to answer is: Do you need a formal dining room? While your home likely comes with a dedicated dining room, that doesn’t mean you have to use it as such. Here are the two questions I work through with my clients on this matter:

  1. Will you actually use the space? If you have an eat-in kitchen that has its own space for a table, it’s likely that this is where your family meals will take place. And, sure, you may see yourself hosting lavish dinner parties, but do you even *enjoy* hosting parties? Or will your parties typically take the form of outdoor gatherings? Is there an expectation that you will host the family holiday gatherings? These are questions that you can ask yourself to determine if this space will be used more than that rare one-time occurrence.
  2. Do you have a better use for the space? A significant part of my interior design process focuses on understanding my clients’ hobbies and interests and making sure we create space for those. In doing so, I have frequently repurposed my clients’ second dining rooms into reading and music rooms, offices, and crafting spaces. These bespoke design choices ensure that clients have a home personalized to them.

There’s absolutely no right or wrong answer to these questions. In fact, working through these questions will create confidence in your decision. If you’ve decided that you need a dining room, being clear on the purpose, considering the design schematic, and deciding on the right furnishings and accessories come next. Let’s chat through these in detail.


Understanding how you plan to use the space will inform your interior design choices. Will it be used for daily meals or formal occasions? If you’re using it on a daily basis, you’ll want to select durable materials and furnishings. For formal occasions, you’ll want to include luxury design elements and showpieces, such as custom furniture pieces, china cabinets, and fine art.

Overall design schematic

Incorporating color and texture is an effective way to personalize your dining room. Wall color can create a backdrop for your furnishings, while wallpaper and wall treatments add visual interest and depth. Textiles and fabrics, such as curtains, table linens, and upholstery, can introduce pattern and texture to the space.

Furnishings and accessories

One of the most critical aspects of a dining room is the furniture, particularly the dining table. Consider the size and shape of the table, as well as the material, to ensure it fits your needs and style. Chairs and seating arrangements should be comfortable and accommodate the number of people you typically host. Additional furniture pieces, such as sideboards and buffets, can add storage and display space while enhancing the overall design.

Lighting is another essential element in the dining room. A combination of ambient and accent lighting can create a welcoming atmosphere and ensure that the space is well-lit for various activities. Ambient lighting, such as a chandelier or pendant lights, sets the overall mood. Accent lighting, such as wall sconces or floor lamps, can highlight artwork and architectural features and illuminate specific areas like a buffet table.

To bring your dining room to life, consider personalizing it with art and decor that reflect your tastes and interests. This not only adds character but also allows you to create a space that supports your holistic wellness.

MODERN + LUXE: Our Pre-Styled Collection

Now, let's look at a case study of a moody, yet neutral dining room with midcentury flair.

MODERN + LUXE is a pre-styled collection curated by Sims + Co. Design.

For this space, we envisioned a space for intimate, sophisticated, and memorable gatherings. We achieved this by using black walls to create a moody atmosphere and incorporating wallpaper for added visual interest. To tie the space together, we selected midcentury modern furniture from Four Hands that complemented the room's aesthetic and provided timeless appeal. The accessories, including wall sconces and art, leather seating bench, and tabletop statues, finish off the space. Incorporating all of the dining room design tips above, this space is perfect for those at-home date nights, or with close friends sharing a bottle of wine after a delicious chef-cooked meal.

In conclusion, designing a dining room that reflects your personal style and supports your holistic wellness involves understanding its purpose, choosing the right furniture and lighting, and incorporating color, texture, and personal touches. Stay tuned for the final installment in our "Hearts of the Home" series, where I'll put all of our findings together with a client project the studio recently completed.

More resources: 

Love this design? You’re in luck. While I will never sell custom designs that we create for our clients, MODERN + LUXE is a collection in my pre-styled design services, which enable access to well-designed and curated spaces by providing products typically only available to the trade. You can access this collection by clicking here to shop these items with our partner vendor.

Ready to live in a beautifully functional home that creates a sense of calm in your busy life? Covering all of North Carolina and beyond, our interior designers are ready to help you optimize your space with the perfect design to meet your unique needs.

Contact us to book your free 30-minute discovery call today!

What our

Clients are saying

“I moved into a new house and had no idea how to decorate my bedroom. Jasmine was there to help me with every step of the process. She made sure to understand my preferences with color schemes and aesthetics, and she provided me with multiple options to choose from. Whenever I had questions, she was always communicative and I never felt uncomfortable reaching out to her.

Now I have an amazing space that I love. Thank you, Jasmine!”

Jessica, Charlotte NC

“Jasmine helped take out so much confusion and overwhelm in planning out a move into my new townhome. She is thorough, efficient and a pleasure to work with! It was my first time working with an interior designer, and I'm grateful I found Jasmine. Trust her process and you will not be disappointed!”

Frank, Durham, NC

“Working with Jasmine was amazing. Everything from design to implementation was spot on. My style as we discussed was brought to life.”

Donald, Charlotte NC

“I literally sleep better having beautiful design surrounding me. Thank you Jasmine for your amazing vision and deliberate execution!”

Ray, Washington DC

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