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  • Writer's pictureholzmaninteriors

How to decorate the Formal Dining Table?

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, many of my clients have contacted me in a hurry about their formal dining space. The fact is, dining sets lost their luster the past two decades as a more relaxed style has moved into the home. But formal sets don’t need to be stuffy and uninspired. Here are a few ways to spice up your dining room in time for this heart-warming holiday.

Don’t be afraid of your glamorous side!  This dining room speaks of luxury, from the velvet chairs to the intricate wallpaper. But what sets this room apart are the hints of modernism with the subtle geometric rug and the simple traditional chandelier. The finished room is refined yet edgy and perfect for a more older thanksgiving crowd.

Along with your turkey trappings, this cozy room has all the trappings of traditional decor such as the blue and white palette, the handsome moldings and the stately trim. But this dining room is also very welcoming and tranquil. I love the drum-style chandelier and hounds-tooth rug, but I believe this room is really pulled off because of the long dark wood dining table and upholstered chairs.

Love this country chic folksy dining room. The pale finish really focuses its attention on the Gustavian dining set which combines traditional pieces with a humble feel. Add classic accents to the room such as the Swedish clock and art deco star by the window. This is great for a younger thanksgiving holiday, perfect for a pot-luck dinner.

Goodness is this room gracefully refined!  Love the polished dining table that doesn’t need much in regards to decor. The room is laden with traditional pieces yet is not stogy or stuffy thanks to the well-chosen furnishings and accents that scream good taste.

Benches are an interesting choice for a formal dining space, but a smart one, especially if you are not exactly sure how many guests may seek refuge at your home on Thanksgiving day.  They create a look thats a little more casual and inviting, plus they make for cozy and versatile seating options.

Another example of bench seating, yet a little more refined…..

This is a project of mine I completed in Connecticut. Spend the time with the layout of your dining room, if it makes more sense to have a circular table then go with your instinct. This table is a Jiun Ho expandable table which actually folds out to squeeze in those last minute turkey guests.


Allow your dining room to exist within an open floor plan. I finished this project last year, it was a NYC condo with lots of space. The clean, modern interior demonstrates a great way to to combine your living space and the dining room. Its very cozy and also gives you the chance to add more tables and chairs for your guests to enjoy an entire day of catching up and enjoying one anthers company.

Another example of how removing a few walls can open up your little living room to the adjacent dining room, and keeps the cozy feeling without the claustrophobia.  A hanging chandelier provides light an elegant atmosphere, which the furnishings add a cozy, homey feel to the home.

Drapery with valance! This intalian inspired dining room is prefect for all your formal dinners, especially for the upcoming holidays. I love the feeling these luxurious window draperies add to the room along with the textured painted ceiling, very traditionally Italian.

Let go of the standard and integrate your dining room in any other area where you have the space, like this library.

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