Even if you have a good budget in mind when looking for new dining room ideas, it never hurts to stretch your pockets and stretch your hard-earned money. Knowing how to make a dining room look upscale and more expensive than it actually is can free up money to invest in new artwork or designer furniture.
One of the smartest ways to achieve an exclusive look is to focus attention on one key investment piece, then be relatively economical elsewhere. It’s a basic smoke and mirrors method, but it can be very effective.
Interior designer Dara Huang suggests elevating your dining room with a stunning chandelier. “Choose lighting designs that add a touch of extravagance and sophistication,” she adds. “Also incorporate luxurious materials such as marble, velvet or silk for table settings and curtains; such textures never fail to create a luxurious atmosphere.
How to make the dining room look elegant
What makes any home look expensive and elegant often has more to do with subtle and sophisticated choices than spending money, and the dining room is no exception. Aim for a thoughtful, elegant approach and deflect anything too ostentatious. There is a very fine line between high quality and tacky!
1. Choose glossy finishes
It’s no secret that incorporating reflective surfaces will help reflect light around the room and make a small dining room appear larger while using matte finishes that blur the light is a common mistake in a small dining room. But did you know that high-gloss surfaces are also great for creating an air of exclusivity?
Interior designer Roger Higgins is a convert. ‘I love the high-gloss walls in the dining room. The light of the candles and crystal chandeliers reflects beautifully off the glossy walls and makes the space look instantly sophisticated. “Glossy, high-impact focal points—such as a gilded fixture, a sunburst gold mirror, or a colorful piece of art—can elevate a dining room, too.”
Although painting walls with gloss instead of emulsion can take a little longer (gloss paint takes much longer to cure between coats), you’ll benefit from a harder surface that will be easier to clean.
2. Replacing the walls with glass partitions
Granted, this isn’t the quickest win but replacing solid walls with glass can seriously upgrade your dining space into an executive experience. This style of smart room division idea is a smart way to enjoy an intimate dining area without losing the benefits of open plan living.
In this luxury London home, Laila Patel, founder of Interiors by Laila, used smoked glass panels from Poliform, set in stunning glossy black frames. “The dining room was previously a separate room with double walls and doors. The motivation behind removing these was to improve the flow from the dining room to the hallways,” she explained. “At the same time, it was important to retain a sense of separation while allowing light into the previously dark hallway.” . Smoked glass adds a design touch.’
You don’t need to use all-glass partition walls to get similar results; A half wall with interior windows can also work well. Make sure to choose high-quality finishes and frames – for example, Crittall boasts timeless elegance – to achieve an elegant look.
Former architect Laila Patel is based in London and now specializes in residential interior design. Her signature style blends classic and modern Italian pieces with the authenticity of each project and location. She has renovated several residential properties in central London over the past decade.
3. Source designed wall coverings
For dining room wallpaper ideas that scream “chic,” look for specialty wallcoverings infused with a little va va voom. Leaves with textural appeal, such as woven, flock, and seagrass will recreate the calm elegance of a five-star hotel dining room; Hill House Interiors is fully on board.
‘Luxury wallpapers have the power to transform a space. “It lays the foundation for our art of layering and adds a tactile, dimensional quality to walls,” says co-founder Helen Bygraves. ‘Here, we used Elitis metallic embossed vinyl wallpaper, which exudes a captivating metallic luster, capturing and enhancing the light from the chandelier. What makes this wallpaper really special is its multi-colour aesthetic, which blends seamlessly with the textures and colors found throughout the design scheme.’
Celebrating 25 years in the industry, Helen Bygraves and Jenny Weiss are the founders of Hill House Interiors, a leading force in the luxury interior design industry. Today, with a team of over 30 designers and architects, based in studios in the UK and Dubai, their positive energy and enthusiasm for high-end interiors bring their diverse projects to life.
4. Maximum number of mirrors
For a gorgeous touch of glitz and glam, layer with mirrors. Aline Asmar Daman, architect and founder of Culture in Architecture, shows us how it’s done in her Parisian dining room.
‘I like to exaggerate the views in the room with mirrors on the walls, and decorative framed mirrors placed above. “The endless depth of repetition complements the space with a theatrical dimension, amplifying the textures while adding a sense of wonder to the eye,” she explains. “In the context of dining and social gatherings, mirrors invite gravity and charm to the table, generating a sense of celebration of glamor and irreverence.”
Consider using antique mirror glass to reduce the visibility of reflections, especially if you don’t want to admire yourself during dinner. And make sure your mirrors are well polished—nothing expensive about a dining room stained with fingerprints.
5. Color coated
Another simple but very effective way to make your dining room look more expensive using paint is to completely drenched the colors on the walls, ceiling, and woodwork. This high-impact approach, known in the trade as full drip, can make a distinctly average dining room look more upscale.
“Using bold, impactful colors not only on walls but also on ceilings and decorations can elevate your interior design and create a stunning visual impact,” agrees interior designer Victoria-Maria Geyer. To add drama, choose dark colors, like this royal blue, which will enhance a glamorous and glamorous atmosphere perfect for an intimate dinner.
Victoria Maria Geyer has been passionate about decor and design since her early childhood. This German interior designer, based in Brussels, founded her agency in 2008. She enjoys combining styles, materials and eras, creating colorful interiors that are a source of endless joy.
6. Embrace energy bars
Electric panels are similar to regular panels but a little extra! We are talking about wall panel decor ideas that turn your dining room walls into works of art. This could be full floor to ceiling Tudor style paneling with a ‘mansion-born’ ambiance and grace or more contemporary ‘recessed’ paneling with an art installation vibe.
In this sophisticated dining room by Tollgard Studio, applying gorgeous hand-painted wallpaper within existing architectural panels elevates it to National Gallery opulence. “Additional layers that make the dining room sing are flowers, decorative accessories, and heavy curtains to help with sound and vision,” adds interior designer Monique Tolgaard, who notes how the thick rug here also helps dampen sound. More rare atmosphere.
7. Add luxury moments
Luxury materials, fixtures and accessories have the power to transform bland spaces, adding a dose of luxury and elegance, says interior designer, Kat Dahl.
“For this project, our brief was to transform a gray, cool and modern kitchen/diner into a glamorous, bold and sophisticated environment,” she recalls. “We used luxurious materials like a marble dining table, custom brass pendant lighting fixtures and organic prints on the wallpaper, then combined with fun, stylish chairs to add color and character to the space.”
If you’re a slave to budget, the good news is that a little can go a long way. Just as a pearl necklace can make a simple black dress look like sophisticated design, it only takes a moment or two of opulence to lift the fortunes of an entire dining room. Think marble fireplace, antique light fixtures, or designer dining chairs.
Born in Copenhagen, Kat currently lives in London where she founded her own design studio specializing in luxury residential projects. With an emphasis on craftsmanship, natural light and playful moments, the studio is known for providing inspiring and thoughtful interior designs.
How can I make my dining room look upscale?
The subdued luxury trend has taken over this year and is a really great style to follow when wanting to make a dining room look luxurious. The relaxed, luxurious interior design trend is all about elegance, sophistication and sophistication, achieved through the use of high-quality materials, fixtures and finishes that are designed to last.
In the dining room, this can translate into high-quality furniture, durable, well-made upholstery, and long-lasting flooring options. Our sophisticated color palettes of timeless neutrals, layered for added comfort and interest, are a natural classic choice with plenty of luxurious appeal. For a touch of glamor, choose warm metallic accents on appliances and lighting fixtures, and choose artisanal tableware and linens for added design uniqueness.
How can I update my dining room?
An outdated dining room can be very disappointing and even embarrassing when entertaining. Updating your décor doesn’t always require a major renovation. Instead, make small tweaks to the design to breathe new life into the space. Swapping out light fixtures, refreshing window treatments, and getting a plush new rug are easy wins that can make your dining room look more modern. If there’s one element, like an unsightly fire surround or dodgy wallpaper, that’s seriously dulling the room, focus your attention (and budget) there. Wall panels can hide a multitude of sins, including any minor non-structural damage, and with a fresh lick of paint, can bring a new space together.