Lead photo from Villalobos and Desio 

Dining rooms present a unique design opportunity. You’re likely not using the space on the regular, so you can take decor risks that you wouldn’t in a more heavily-used room. Dramatic forms, fine materials, and statement pieces can be incorporated in ways that make an unforgettable impression. If you’re in the mood for a makeover, consider these key pieces that bring maximum impact.

1. Increase your storage options with a buffet.


Drexel Furniture Vintage Cherry Sideboard, Soren Rose Modern Oak Reflect Sideboard, Raul Carrasco Chateau Credenza

Whether you call it a “sideboard,” “credenza,” “cabinet,” or “buffet,” this piece gives you plenty of bang for the buck. You can use it for serving or for storage.

2. Look for an expandable table.

Dining Tables

Design Within Reach Cross Extension Table, Antique 19th Century Dining Table, Antique Biedermeier Birch Table

Through the use of leaves, these tables can grow to accommodate guests — or to accommodate future homes.

3. Opt for a bench seat.


Duralee Pierce Settee, Authentic Cowhide Bench, Fragments French Linen Upholstered Bench

This unexpected seating option gives an otherwise formal dining room a certain unfussy quality. For ease of movement, opt for a bench or settee without arms.

4. Brighten the room with a chandelier.


Donghia Stellare Glass Chandelier, Holly Hunt Custom Traditional Chandelier, Custom Copper Sputnik Chandelier

A larger chandelier balances the proportion of a large dining table, while making the room appear brighter. Plus, swapping out a light fixture (especially if it’s one of those ceiling flush-mounted ones) is a relatively easy way to completely change the style of a room.

5. Create a focal point with accessories.


Vintage Temple Jar With Floral Motif, Antique Decorative Floral Motif Tureen and Underplate, Antique Floral Patterned Brass Brazier

Instead of always using flowers, use the table as a display space for interesting antiques. Think broadly: jars, sculptural vases, bowls, tureens, or an interesting vintage item can work in surprising ways.

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