How to Make the Wood in Your Dining Room Come to Life

As a Nashville Interior Decorator and Color Consultant, I often am asked what can be done to “spruce up” a dining room.  The tricky thing about dining rooms is that they are often filled with wood, with little color or fabric going on.



Typically, there are lots of wood furnishings and wood flooring – the main opportunities for color or pattern are chair fabric, window treatments, and wall color.   If the wall color is a neutral, the dining room can really lack personality.  Here’s the “before” state of a recent client’s dining room:

Dining Room Before

My client has lots of lovely antiques that unfortunately don’t have a lot of presence with such a colorless backdrop.  A rich, moody color was prescribed by The Decorologist:

templeton gray

 Dining Room After


Now her wood furnishings look rich and the room pulls you in.  Here’s another view from the entry of the room “before.”

Dining Room Before

New color and furniture rearrangement made all the difference in this dining room.


Dining Room After

We haven’t yet changed the fabric on the chair bottoms, but I’m thinking something like this to update the overall look:


or maybe this:


Don’t be afraid to inject a little color into your dining room.  It might be just the pick-me-up it needs!

If you need help finding the perfect colors for your home, contact The Decorologist to schedule a Color Consultation today:  [email protected]

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16 thoughts on “How to Make the Wood in Your Dining Room Come to Life

  1. joy says:

    yes, the color makes a big difference. You are definitely a fan of this seafoam blue :).
    For the chair fabric you selected, will it be too much blue in the room? maybe a solid one as there are many pieces and patterns in this room already.

    For color on a wall, some people say one can get tired of a bright color on the wall than a neutral color. Is that true?( not in this case, just a general question)

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      As for neutral vs. color, I find neutrals in dining rooms and bedrooms to be boring. Neutrals are great for areas such as entries and living areas where it acts as a backdrop for other textures and colors. Bright or dark colors are best reserved for rooms where you spend less time, such as dining rooms and powder rooms. Those are the best places to go bold, since you don’t spend enough time in there to tire of it easily! Of course, color tolerance is going to depend on the person who lives in the home – the colors I choose for clients is in great part dictated by their tolerance for color and their desire for a certain look or feel.

  2. Holly says:

    Beautiful Kristie! Makes all the difference in the world – it looks refreshed and young again all while mixing in beautiful pieces of furniture. Bravo again!

  3. Maria says:

    Love the transformation and how the beautiful molding stands out now. I vote for fabric #1 for the chairs. It will really complete the look.

  4. Jen says:

    That looks great. I have been tossing the idea of painting our library navy blue—I’ve some 1940s furniture in the library—but that seemed a bit too dramatic even for me. This colour might be better, actually. Good post and thank you!

  5. Cindy says:

    I love Moody Blues–of all types! But would that beautiful blue, or any blue, go cold and gray in a dim, north-facing, one-window room?
    Beautiful job with all that dark, brooding furniture!

  6. Shani says:

    My living room and dining room are painted in Benj Moore Jamestown blue – which looks similar to the color in your picture. It looks amazing with the white trim and my brown chairs. I don’t know how quickly people get tired of a bold color but I have had the color for almost 3 years and we are in our living room and dining room all the time and I still love it.

  7. Denise B. says:

    I love this color. A few months ago I painted my dated burgundy dining room walls a gorgeous gray/green/blue – Benjamin Moore’s Oil Cloth (their new Color Stories colors). What a wonderful complement to my wood dining room table/chairs. I found a gorgeous gray-washed cabinet at Home Goods with a mirrored front to break up the wood and topped it with another Home Goods find – a deep orange lamp with linen shade! It’s a whole new space!!

  8. Judy says:

    This is so incredibly gorgeous and inspirational! I have been stuck as to deciding on a neutral or color for my dining room full of antiques, and this is the answer. Can you give me any advice as to how to achieve the correct moody look without white trim or wainscotting? I have dark trim throughout my home and don’t want to paint it. Floor trim only, no crown or chair rail in this room. I am afraid that this beautiful look won’t translate correctly without white trim. Thank you!

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