The dining room, be that a separate space or an open-plan kitchen-diner situation, is the central hub for gathering and socializing. From mid-week dinners to epic weekend feasts, the dining table is a place for family meetings, making new friends, or celebrating old ones. So it's only right that it the special attention it deserves.
To inspire a shake-up in your dining room decor, we're witnessing a harmonious blend of aesthetics, functionality, and family coming together in dining room furniture trends that work for all homes. From warming woods to tactile textures, there's a fresh emphasis on comfort and togetherness in 2024.
We've consulted leading experts to provide you with all the insights on the 5 dining room furniture trends to keep on your radar for this year, and beyond.
5 Dining Room Furniture Trends to try in 2024
Your dining room is one of the most used areas in the home and, typically, the only space where you can fit the entire family around one table with ease. Once confined to the formal, traditional dining room ideas, it has since evolved into a multi-use space for eating, socializing and even working. With such dynamic demands, it's only right that 2024 has ushered in a need to redefine dining room furniture trends for a blend of function and a collective desire to create something visually stunning.
'In the world of interior design, there is an increasing emphasis on incorporating contrasting finishes and textures,' explains Brooklyn Burdon, chief design officer at Nathan James. 'People want to make houses cozy, inviting, and livable as we now spend more time at home than ever before.'
The key is to create a dining space that not only reflects your personal style but also caters to the evolving needs of modern living. In our quest to find the dining room trends that will shape our homes in the coming year, there was one defining notion: separate dining rooms are set to make a comeback.
'We love a formal dining room and are big believers that the formal dining room is coming back and that we're veering away from open concept, but in a way that doesn't feel stuffy,' says Alexandra Azat, founder of interior design firm Plaster & Patina. 'The smaller details are becoming more important to people. There's a concentration on the finer details, like a custom upholstered chair or fine, detailed drapes.'
Feeling suitably inspired? Here are the five dining room furniture trends to get excited about in 2024, according to the experts.
1. A dark wood revival
It seems that the popularity of Scandinavian decor has run its course, with a return to darker, more traditional woods, including teak, walnut, and mahogany recently falling back into fashion. Adding a sense of richness and warmth to your space, dark wood furniture instantly invites a more welcoming ambiance.
'Out are the faux finishes and white-washed details and in are walnut slabs and unlacquered brass details,' explains Plaster & Patina's Alexandra Azat, who designed the cozy dining space above. 'We're also seeing a lean to mid-century detailing, which has been around for a while but we think it is coming back stronger right now,' she adds.
Emily Brown, founder of Emily Lauren Interiors agrees. 'Embrace a dark wood dining table paired with plush upholstered chairs for the perfect blend of drama and comfort. The juxtaposition creates an elevated aesthetic that is both inviting and warm,' she explains. 'If you prefer lighter color tones, go for a travertine table paired with dark dining chairs with a timeless silhouette.'
'A pro tip: mix round or oval dining tables with rounded back chairs for a cohesive look, and opt for cleaner, straighter chairs for rectangle or square tables,' adds Emily.
Known for her attention to detail and sophisticated aesthetic, Alex possesses a keen ability to deeply understand her clients style along with their hopes and dreams and cares to always surpass them. Her designs, although creative and unique, are always rooted in an old-world and timeless overall feel.
2. Freestanding furniture for entertaining
'We see a continuing focus on home life creating comfortable, pleasurable spaces for cooking, living, and eating,' says Merlin Wright, design director at Plain English Design. 'Incorporate freestanding pieces of furniture, such as a Dutch Larder which features a bespoke interior designed entirely for drinks, all close to hand in a dining space.'
Essentially, we're talking about taking the pantry out of the kitchen and into the dining room. This is not for food though, but a space to level-up your hosting like an at-home bar or coffee nook.
'Similar cupboards can incorporate a coffee machine, toaster, and crockery with an integrated fridge next to it, perfect for breakfast, with everything hidden neatly behind doors during the day,' adds Merlin.
Designer Tom Rutt has found a statement sideboard or display cabinet can really lift a space and add instant character. 'We like to source from vintage markets or antique dealers,' he explains. 'These pieces can double up as storage for dinnerware and glassware as well as a characterful addition to the home. Glass-fronted cabinets are also a stunning way to display plates and serving platters that might not otherwise find space in the kitchen.'
Plain English was started in 1992 by Katie Fontana and Tony Niblock, and Merlin Wright joined their team almost 20 years ago after someone at a party suggested he might be interested in a job at Plain English. He is currently presiding as the Design Director.
3. Softer furnishings and tactile textures
The concept of formal dining is evolving, and with it, a demand for seating options that are not only comfortable but also multifunctional.
'We’re seeing an increase in popularity in the use of textiles in the dining room, specifically patterned fabric upholstered dining chairs,' says Camilla D Fischbacher, creative director of textile firm Fischbacher 1819 'Using patterned textiles on the rear of the chair, the seat pad or the whole chair, creates interest and a focal point for your dining area, and also provides comfort and tactility over leather or timber seating options,' she adds.
For years many homeowners and designers have shied away from upholstery for practical reasons, particularly if they have kids or pets. But thanks to clever fabrics and chairs with removable, washable covers, upholstery is making a major comeback.
'The resurgence of warm, rich tones will create dining spaces that are moody yet cozy and welcoming,' adds Emily Brown. 'For more formal dining spaces, we'll see sculptural dining chairs upholstered in luxurious mohair velvet. We're also predicting more patterned upholstery to make headway even in minimal and modern design!'
To double down on warmth, texture can be added to the room with a tactile layering of fabrics – consider upholstered chairs, benches, rugs, and window treatments.
'An aspect we like to incorporate is sourcing vintage rugs in dining rooms,' says Shannon Wollack of Studio LIFE/STYLE. 'They are thin and conducive for pulling out chairs easily and with intricate patterns and can be quite forgiving when it comes to staining and heavy traffic.'
STUDIO LIFE/STYLE is a multifaceted commercial and residential design firm located in Los Angeles, CA. Together Shannon and Brittany have created beautifully curated spaces ranging in size and style to meet specific needs of each client. The talented design team at STUDIO LIFE/STYLE excels at creating contemporary luxury through their refined aesthetic, perfectly balanced with welcoming comfort and functionality.
4. Curved lines
'Sue Jones, OKA's creative director and co-founder, agrees. 'We saw curved furniture increase in popularity in 2023 and I don’t think the trend is going away any time soon,' says Sue. 'We’re really leaning into warm, cozy interiors and curved lines are great for creating that soft and inviting look that can be hard to achieve in a dining room.'
'It’s no secret that curved dining chairs are having their time in the spotlight, and not only do they look alluring, especially in natural rattan, but their cocooning shape embraces that cozy aesthetic and feels extra comfortable too,' adds Sue.
By embracing curved lines and organic, sculptural shapes your space can effortlessly accommodate the fluidity of modern life. In order to cater to the evolving needs of a family, social gatherings, or even remote workers, curved and rounded furnishings allow you to adapt the space to extra guests and their different needs.
'A trend we've been noticing lately is a dining table that has a double head, so two people can sit side-by-side at the head of the table,' adds Shannon Wollack. 'Clients love the possibility of entertaining more people and having the space to do so.' A rounded table allows you to add extra places around the table without anybody having to sit awkwardly on a corner.
5. Bench or banquette seating
Families are looking to forgo formal seating arrangements and instead embrace flexible seating. Banquette seating or bench seating, traditionally seen in kitchens or dining nooks, are crossing the threshold into the dining room.
Jennifer Robin, who designed the comfortable space above, says: 'I love mixing in benches around the dining room table to avoid the clutter of too many chairs. It provides the opportunity to add another style, finish, and texture into the mix, thus a more interesting design ensues,' says Jennifer. 'It's also great for squeezing in more people when needed.'
Interior designer Mindy Laven has found 'we are moving away from the overly formal dining rooms and most people are entertaining more casually today,' she explains. 'I love a dining room that feels comfortable and not too austere. We are seeing fabric-covered chairs mixed with wooden alongside benches,' adds Mindy.
Not only does a bench seat provide more space for more bottoms, but they're much comfier, can include hidden storage if built-in, and allow you to introduce an extra element of decor with colors and fabrics to your dining room.
Jennifer Robin is the founder and owner of Jennifer Robin Interiors, a full-service interior design firm based in Northern California. Known for her re-imagination of luxury living, her designs blend traditional elements, modern lines, and organic materials to create beautifully curated interiors full of warmth and elegance.
From the allure of comfy fabric seating to the softness of curved lines and the versatility of bench seating options, 2024's dining room furniture trends are a testament to the ever-evolving nature of design and modern living.
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Charlotte is content editor at Homes and Gardens, having joined the team the week before Christmas 2023. Following a 5 year career in Fashion, she found herself working at many women's glossy magazines including: Grazia, Stylist and Hello and most recently working as Interiors Editor for British heritage department store Liberty. Her role at H&G fuses her love of style with Charlotte's passion for interior design, and she is currently undergoing her second home renovation in Surrey - you can follow her journey over on @olbyhome
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