Country Dining Room Design Ideas

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Design Concept

Country dining rooms combine rich, earthy tones to create a comfortable environment with a strong connection to nature. Relying on a combination of bright and neutral shades, this theme is ideal for both formal and casual spaces. Include your favorite antiques, or combine inexpensive items to create a dining room that is practical, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.

Rely on classic designs that emphasize the rustic appeal of wood and natural light, but also take the opportunity to personalize and reinvent themes so that they make sense in your home. Draw attention to your wooden floors and furniture by experimenting with rich and bright tones, and also feel free to experiment with contrasting tones: balance rich tones with light tones, and balance bright shades with neutrals. Along similar lines, include both linear and organic shapes to add a subtle modern touch through your artwork, flowers, and even your everyday dinnerware.

No matter your design strategy, remember that a country dining room is all about maximizing comfort. Use light, seat cushions, calming colors, and cushions to create a dining area that is comforting to the eyes, mind, and body. A dining room should be a place for enjoying meals, relaxing, and spending time with friends and family, so make sure that you design a room that is conducive to these objectives. Create a space that reminds you of your favorite cabin or cottage, and enjoy it every day in your own home - no vacation necessary.

Symmetry

The idea of symmetry is inherent to any dining room, regardless of theme or style choices. Think about it: when you arrange your chairs around the table, you arrange them symmetrically - there is always one chair that faces another. When you set up your plates, napkins, and silverware, you arrange them so that they are mirror images of one another.

Country Dining Room Lighting Country Dining Room Symmetry

To some extent, even decorative elements should be symmetrical. If you have artwork such as a painting or sculpture, use two similar pieces to create a sense of balance. Keep them across from or next to each other to streamline your space's design.

Take opportunities to add some nuance to your dining room's symmetrical space. Especially in a country dining room, you should strive for comfort above perfection. Make your space appear more natural by embracing the odds and ends to disrupt perfectly symmetric patterns. Add some flowers in a vase, or buy some freestanding cabinets or items of furniture if you have the space.

Floors

Hardwood floors are ideal for country dining rooms because they overemphasize the natural elements that are characteristic of this theme. You can choose materials for your hardwood floors in materials such as pine, oak, and more.

Country Dining Room FloorsCountry Dining Room Floors

Choose a color that complements your furniture and walls. If you are remodeling your room, you could even consider installing wood panels for your walls.Use your floors and walls to orient the level of formality in your country kitchen. Make is a casual space, or make it an elegant one. Your design options are flexible.

Wood Types

When selecting furniture, you will need to choose a wood that allows you to create the look and feel that you desire. You may want to paint over your wood in a color such as white, cream, or dull pink, or you may want to leave it as-is. Choose a wood that complements your design objectives.

If you are working within a budget, pine is likely the least expensive option. The color ranges from light to medium brown with visible knots in the texture. If you are planning to paint your furniture, pine might be an ideal option. Keep in mind that pine is relatively less durable compared to other types of wood, so you may end up with scratches or breaks.

Oak is a more expensive option that is significantly more durable. Like pine, this type of wood is available in shades of light and medium brown. Compared to other types of wood, oak has a significant number of knots and may appear more granular, creating an effect that is rustic and natural.

Cherry wood is a rich color in mahogany-red, and it is relatively more expensive than other types of wood. With cherry wood, knots and grainy details are minimal; instead, surfaces appear smooth.

Maple wood has subtle grain patterns that are more prominent than cherry wood yet less visible than oak. You can find maple wood furniture in a range of colors from light to dark brown.

Furniture

Both geometric and organic shapes are ideal for a country dining room. If you choose a long, rectangular table, you can opt for one with rounded edges, or you can select chairs that are rounder in order to overemphasize organic shapes.

Use furniture to make your country dining room appear cozy. Don't clutter your space with more than you can fit, but try to fit just enough so that your dining room is comfortable.

Country Dining Room Furniture Country Dining Room Furniture

If you have enough space, include a curio cabinet to showcase your rustic-themed dinnerware. Treat your everyday items as artwork, and put them on display for your family and guests to admire. Choose patterns and colors that exemplify your dining room's country theme.

Color

Country dining rooms should embrace natural tones such as brown, green, cream, pastel yellow, pale red, light blue, and pink. Choose a few brighter shades to balance with neutral tones. Choose three or four colors to decorate your space. With too few colors, the dining area may appear bland, but with too many colors, elements in the room may clash or look chaotic.

Let the floors, table, chairs, and other wooden furniture guide your dining room's color scheme. Mix and match light and dark shades, or stick to one or the other. You may be able to get away with using another color besides brown for furniture such as a white or cream color, but in general, you will probably want to use brown shades. Whatever colors you choose, be sure to emphasize natural and earthy tones.

When selecting décor for your country dining room, avoid geometric shapes and strong patterns. Instead, opt for soft colors that create a calming effect. As a general design approach, focus on texture and color as opposed to patterns and shapes.

Lighting

Create a balance between the different types of light in your room. A country dining room should be bright and vibrant for morning and early afternoon meals, but it should also be dim for to create a comfortable environment for supper, dinner, and late night events.

Country Dining Room Lighting Country Dining Room Lighting

Use natural lighting to enhance the brightness of a country dining room. Large windows and skylights are two ways to add natural light. Candles and fireplaces are additional options that are well-suited for a dining room. If you want to control the light that comes in through the windows or skylights, you can install shudders or curtains. Choose curtains that have a translucent color to allow for effects in the lighting.

Include additional lighting structures such as chandeliers, overhead lamps, sconces, floor lamps, and table lamps. Use different types of light to create a layered look and feel. Try to choose lights such as halogen bulbs that create a warm glow. Experiment with bulbs in different colors to mix your light.

Last Updated: November 13, 2012
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About Ritika Puri Based in California, Ritika Puri has worn a number of professional hats ranging from blogger to quantitative researcher, martial arts instructor, and cartographer. No matter what she does, she loves to write and specializes in topics related to home improvement, personal finance, and business. She writes regularly for Investopedia.com's Financial Edge section, and her work has appeared on SF Gate, Yahoo! Finance, and The Chicago Sun Times Online. She holds a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and an M.A. in Demographic and Social Analysis from the University of California at Irvine.  

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