Dining room color schemes – from neutrals to navys, find the best shades for your space

With at home-entertaining on the cards for a while yet, it’s time to revamp your space - these are our shades to use

Dining room color schemes blue
Photography/Brent Darby
(Image credit: Future)

Dining room color schemes define the atmosphere that you'll be providing for your guests and, as that's the purpose of a dining room, its color should be given extra consideration.

The dining room is a unique space in most homes, in that it's often not used frequently, but when it is, it's for entertaining and joyous occasions.

There are few hard and fast rules for choosing your dining room color scheme - it's more about your own personality. Are you talkative and the life and soul of a party? A demure host? Laid back and casual? Selecting a color which represents who you are will help your evenings to be uniquely you.

Read on for our top colorways for dining rooms, and take a look at our dining room ideas page for inspiration for the rest of the space.

1. Go bold with red 

Dining room color schemes Crown

(Image credit: Crown)

Red may not be the first color to come to mind for a dining room, but it's actually an inspired choice.

Difficult to work in many rooms of the home, shades of red are bold and make a dramatic statement. . According to color theory, red also actively encourages conversation, making it the perfect background to convivial dinner parties

'Deeper shades work particularly well in a dining room to add a cosy and luxurious feel that complements both traditional and modern styles,' adds Judy Smith, Crown color consultant.

'Pair burgundy with dark furniture to give the space a comforting, period-inspired look, while add touches of dusky pink to create a more contemporary and unexpected feel.'

2. Add energy with terracotta

Dining room color schemes terracotta

Photography/Simon Bevan

(Image credit: Future)

Essentially a toned down version of red, shades of orange with bring excitement and energy into a space.

For a grown up approach, choose a mellow terracotta or spice shade, which will still provide the right energy for entertaining, but without the dramatic statement of red.

Tonal terracottas also suggest a place of harmonious comfort, so you can expect your guests to sit comfortably and hunker down for the evening.

3. Have a play with pink

Dining room color schemes Dulux

(Image credit: Dulux)

Long gone are the days of pinks rooms being relegated to the confines of a girl's bedroom - over the past couple of years, pink has been encroaching more and more into the main areas of the home.

'Pink paint is proving it deserves a place in every room of your home,' notes Marianne Shillingford, creative director of Dulux. 'With the right shade of blush pink paint or dusky pink paint you can design a stylish, sophisticated space.'

Pink walls nod at trendy brunch spots, so you can expect a fun and lively atmosphere in this chic space. Since it's most definitely playful, it's an ideal color to explore zoning with paint - perfect if you live in an open plan home and wish to delineate the dining area.

'When it comes to entertaining, atmosphere is important, so it helps to have a stylish dining space,' says Marianne. 'Zoning with colour to highlight your "area of expertise" is the easiest way to create a focal point. All you need to do is paint a block of colour on the wall directly behind your table, then continue along the ceiling until you cover the area above it.'

4. Lighten up with yellow

Dining room color schemes Benjamin Moore

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

The optimistic tones of yellow are more commonly seen in kitchens and loving rooms than dining spaces as it's traditionally seen as more of a daytime color.

That said, we'd never get anywhere if we didn't find ways of stylishly breaking the rules.

'Refresh your dining room in a sunny yellow hue that will help the space feel light and bright,' suggests Helen Shaw, director at Benjamin Moore. 'Uplifting and friendly, yellow tones help to create a welcoming feel that is essential for space made for entertaining.'

'Depending on the mood you're looking to create, consider deep tones of yellow such as ochre or honey tones which look warm and cosy when ambiently lit. Whereas softer hues can feel optimistic which are great used in more informal dining areas that are used from breakfast through to dinner.'

Crown's Judy Smith adds, 'whether used as a bold colour block or a playful accent shade, yellow provides an energetic backdrop for conviviality, radiating fun and positivity into the room.'

5. Use green to ground

Dining room color schemes green

Photography/Chis Everard

(Image credit: Future)

Color theory tells us that shades of green are trustworthy and grounding - perhaps this is the tone for getting deep into conversation at a dinner party.

On the whole, green is a great choice for softening modern features and furniture as it harkens back to nature, providing a pleasing sense of balance.

Also great for dining rooms in that it suggests a sense of freshness, and who wouldn't want that around when presenting a meal?

See more: How to dress a dining table – with linens, ceramics, flowers and more

6. Go deep with navy blue

Dining room color schemes Annie Sloan

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Navy blues are a having a bit of a moment, and work beautifully in dining rooms, not least because of how wonderful candlelight looks flickering on deep walls.

'A dining space is a wonderful place to be bold or experimental; this is a room where you want conversation to spark,' says color and paint expert Annie Sloan

'A rich highly-pigmented blue is a brilliant starting point; bring in joyful exclamatory splashes of clashing orange to harness the best qualities of both shades and make a real design statement.'

7. Embrace drama with black

Dining room color schemes Paint and Paper

(Image credit: Paint and Paper Library)

Black dining walls are often kept to high end restaurants, though they are slowly but surely trickling into the domestic sphere.

Deep, dark walls are often associated with older, grand homes, and while they certainly look wonderful, blacks, like this shade from Paint and Paper Library, and even the darkest greens are ideal for thoroughly modern homes.

The contrast of the blackest walls with contemporary furniture, blonde woods and natural textures is, quite simply, cool. Stop the color from overwhelming by including splashes of lighter tones, perhaps a tonal dado rail and a crisp, white ceiling.  

8. Choose simplicity with a neutral

Dining room color schemes John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis and Partners)

For smaller properties, make your dinky dining room seem bigger than it is by painting the walls with neutrals.

A cooler neutral will have a more refined feeling, but the warmer tones are more suited to a dining space as they are more welcoming to your guests. 

If you choose a neutral scheme, go full out and take these tones throughout the room for a truly calming feel.

See more: Modern dining room ideas – 12 contemporary ways to decorate your dining space