When you’re designing your dining room, the walls are likely the last thing on your mind. After all, as the prime spot in your home for gathering and, well, dining, this room is all about the seating. But once you’ve locked in the ideal dining room table and chairs to help you become the dinner party host of your dreams, it’s time to think about the little details that will help bring this space to life. And that’s where dining room wall decor comes into the picture.
Never underestimate the power of a strategically placed painting, a good pair of curtains, a bold mirror, or another decorative element to transform the overall feeling of a space. When it comes to your dining room, you want the design of your space to feel intimate and welcoming — which can translate many different ways, depending on your personal style. But above all, that means being deliberate and thoughtful with the dining room wall decor that you bring into your home.
That could be as simple as choosing a perfect oversized painting that pulls the rest of the space together — but there are countless other ideas that can make your dining room feel just right. Here are a few that Havenly’s team of expert designers turn to again and again.
1. Curate a pretty vignette
Sideboards are a great dining room element for storing fine china, utensils, tablecloths, and more, but they can also serve as the perfect platform for a renter-friendly dining room wall decor idea. An ornate mirror brings in a glamorous note — especially contrasted against a more mid-century modern piece of furniture – while a painting, vase, and small sculpture create a cool, layered vignette. Two matching table lamps perfectly frame the setup.
2. Go abstract
If your style skews modern or even classic, consider a singular, abstract piece. It needs to be oversized to anchor the eye, and choose tones that feel cohesive with the room’s existing design scheme. Abstract landscapes in particular can add a sense of calm while still offering enough visual interest.
3. Bring in bold accent colors
Set against a dynamic black wall, two oversize, colorful, abstract paintings make this already-bold dining room even more daring. What makes it work: The vivid blue dining room seats echo the bright cobalt in the paintings, creating a cohesive look.
4. Go linear
A linear series is a structured arrangement of related images. Not only is it an eye-catching artistic moment, but it’s a great way of adding a personal touch to the space while working with what you might already have on hand. A few ideas: frame photos, favorite pages from books, or stationery like letters, postcards, or even lovely invitations.
5. Make the most of window placement
Sometimes, the best dining room wall decor isn’t technically a piece of decor, after all — it’s a window. However, there are a few styling strategies that can make a window pop. When a large picture window is paired with art on both sides, the end result is similar to a gallery wall. Simple white frames that blend into the wall are the key to this look.
6. Style out a sleek console
Console tables aren’t just for the entryway. A slim black table in this dining room complements the space’s black chairs and provides a surface for a sweet vignette. A few, carefully arranged items — some taper candles, a vase, a framed work of art — enhance the look of an oversize, round wall mirror.
7. Create a museum-worthy display
This idea is all about tricks of the eye. When placed in front of a textural black canvas, a clear lucite pedestal supplies a platform for a standout piece of decor — in this case, a chic floral arrangement and a sleek cocktail shaker. Consider it evidence that your dining room wall decor can make all the other elements of your space look more intentional.
8. Create a statement with extra-large canvases
When you’re going for a high-design interior, Jeanneret chairs and all, it’s best for your dining room wall decor to look just as elevated. Two large, textured canvases suit this space’s organic palette and bring a touch of warmth to clean white walls. A small detail – gold, museum-worthy sconces hung above each canvas — takes this design to the next level.
9. Install floating shelves
Here’s a great idea for small spaces in particular: Floating shelves are one of the easiest ways you can squeeze extra storage into a room. They take up less square footage than a standing cabinet, yet offer plenty of surface area for decorative displays or, in the case of this dining room, practical storage.
10. Set up built-in seating area
While built-in cabinets aren’t necessary dining room wall decor per say, they are a great way to make a space feel more intimate and custom — especially when you’re not working with a ton of square footage. Bench seating gives this dining corner an intimate, casual feel. A single, framed and matted piece of art completes the cozy design.
11. Pick a photograph that pops
A gallery wall can be a great way to add interest to a wall that’s less-than-exciting, but here’s proof that you don’t have to be a maximalist to step up your design game. A single, dynamic photograph — in an unassuming frame that blends into its surroundings — looks even more refined when it stands alone.
12. Show off vintage finds
Create a timeless look with a vintage find. We’re partial to portraits, landscapes, and even botanical prints. A little insider trick: consider reframing a vintage print in a more modern frame. It’s the best of both worlds.
13. Install stylish sconces
We believe lighting is one of those wonderful form-meets-function decor elements, and certainly is a great way to dress up your blank walls. For the dining room, consider sconces. Whether a more classic and understated style, or something a bit more funky and dramatic, it adds a sculptural detail to your walls and also helps create an ambiance (dimmers approved). Either flank a central piece of art, mirror, or windows, or space evenly around your walls.
14. Curate an old fashioned look
Shiplap walls don’t have to scream “modern farmhouse” — instead, they can bring some welcome texture to a space, giving it just a touch of rusticism. It’s all about balance, though: A vintage-inspired print in a gilded frame adds a bit of sophistication to the cottage-inspired walls.
15. Think outside the frame
There are so many different forms of wall decor beyond artwork itself. Wall baskets, large plates, woven objects or tapestries add depth and dimension while simultaneously making for a beautiful wall feature. This works especially well for more boho and global-inspired dining rooms.
16. Add texture with drapes
When you dining room already has showstopping windows, there’s little else you can do in the realm of wall art — unless you decide to go the route of drapery. In this sophisticated space, floor-to-ceiling cream drapes, hung on a black rod that echos the windows’ framing, create a positively sumptuous effect.
17. Go big on greenery
There’s no shortcut to making a space feel more vibrant and refreshing quite like bringing in a large plant. When a small tree is set against a backdrop of a deep blue wall, it tones down the formality of the rest of the interior, making the spac emore relaxed altogether.
18. Go off-kilter
Sometimes the most unexpected styling is the best. In the case of this room, it might feel like the natural choice to place a large framed work of art right above the fireplace — so hanging it to the side for a bit of asymmetry offers a fresh alternative. Plus, the a blank space above the mantel means the dramatic pendant light doesn’t need to compete with any artwork.
19. Pair paneling with wallpaper
When you want to make a room feel more layered and interesting, wallpaper is a natural choice — but there are ways to take it to the next level. Consider this room’s styling, which pairs a gray, cloud-printed wallpaper with black wainscoting. A pair of gold-framed prints, arranged at the midpoint of the wall, give the space a refined yet playful twist.
20. Arrange artful storage
A tall display cabinet is a practical addition to a dining room, offering plenty of room to display dishes, glassware, and more. But it can double as a piece of wall art when it’s deliberately styled — a mix of art books and decorative objects make it feel more intentional and artful.
Dine out on even more great styling ideas when you match with your own personal interior designer.