Your dining room is where you gather with family and friends to share meals and memories. Unfortunately, dining rooms are often neglected when it comes to decorating. Just by using a little creativity and some budget-friendly tips, you can transform your dining space into a warm, inviting room that brings everyone together. Keep reading for easy and affordable ways to decorate your dining room in style!

1. Set the Table

An elegant or fun table setting goes a long way in making your dining room feel complete. You don’t need expensive china or fancy glassware to create a beautiful tablespace. Try mixing and matching thrifted plates and cups in a color scheme of your choice. Stick to solid colors or patterns like stripes, florals and checks for an eclectic feel. Don’t forget the table linens! An inexpensive tablecloth or placemats in colors that pop add polish. Fold napkins in a simple design and add a vase with fresh or faux flowers as a centerpiece.

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2. Use Wall Décor

Don’t underestimate the power of wall décor to elevate your dining space. Gallery walls featuring art, mirrors, photos and wall shelves make inexpensive yet impactful additions. If you’re willing to put in a little elbow grease, give wood pallets a try. With some paint and imagination, you can use pallets to create a cool accent wall or hang them individually for rustic wall art. For a luxe look, adorn the walls with decorative molding. This classic architectural detail frames the dining space beautifully without costing a fortune.

3. Upgrade the Lighting

Lighting has a big effect on the ambience of a room. Improve the lighting in your dining area with a stunning chandelier or pendant light as the main focal point. Install sconces or wall lanterns for ambient lighting. You can find inexpensive lighting fixtures at home improvement stores, plus there are great deals on pre-owned pieces at thrift stores and online auction sites. Dimmer switches also allow you to control the lighting based on the mood.

4. Include Greenery

Bringing nature indoors instantly livens up any dining room. Fresh cut flowers, potted plants and wreaths are easy ways to accessorize with greenery. Herbs like rosemary, basil and mint can be grown indoors year round, either in planters or in a windowsill garden. Ferns and succulents also make low maintenance houseplants. For dining rooms with little natural light, faux plants are affordable and realistic looking. Place greenery in hanging baskets, on bookshelves and in DIY containers made from tin cans or teacups.

5. Repurpose Furnishings

Give your dining room a fresh look by repurposing furnishings you already have at home or finding used pieces. Turn an old dresser into a buffet server for extra storage. Repaint a side table to match your decor. Chairs and stools from other rooms can be reupholstered in new fabric to match your color scheme. Benches, hutches and curios make great serving stations or displays for your favorite dishware. Keep an eye out for furniture flip projects and marketplace deals. With a little creativity, you can repurpose many pieces for your dining area.

6. Use Area Rugs

Area rugs bring warmth to both hardwoods and wall-to-wall carpeting. They also define the dining space. When choosing a rug, make sure it’s large enough that the front chair legs rest on the rug when pulled away from the table. Affordable rugs are widely available at big box stores, discount home shops like HomeGoods, and online retailers like RugsUSA and Wayfair. You can find quality area rugs at thrift stores for bargain prices too. Just be sure to have them professionally cleaned first.

7. Add Dining Bench or Window Seating

Benches and window seats expand your dining area comfortably and affordably. Dining benches are space savers that allow you to squeeze in extra seating. For a customized look, repurpose or upholster a bench to match your decor. If your dining room has a window, add a window seat with storage below for books, blankets and other dining room essentials. Include a cushion on top for comfy seating. Add some throw pillows in coordinating colors and patterns for an inviting look.

8. Install Chair Rail Molding

An easy DIY project that makes a major impact is installing chair rail molding. Running horizontally along the walls at approximately chair height, chair rail molding offers elegance while protecting walls from chair backs. Paint the upper and lower sections of your wall in contrasting colors to really highlight this architectural detail. Chair rail molding is relatively inexpensive and can be installed directly into drywall using nails, liquid nails or moulding adhesive.

9. Accessorize with Baskets

Incorporate baskets throughout your dining space for an organized feel. Use white washed baskets to hold rolled silverware at each place setting. Hang woven baskets from the walls to store napkins and dinnerware. Under-cabinet hanging baskets are perfect for spices, while large floor baskets can hold extra seating. For serving, arrange baked goods in baskets lined with napkins. Natural rattan, wood and wire baskets have a timeless appeal while also being budget friendly.

10. Showcase Collections

Turn your treasured pieces into dining room decor. Display your vintage china in a hutch or on wall-mounted shelving. A sentimental tablecloth can be framed or sewn into pillows. For kids’ rooms, use favorite toys, books or trophies as decor. Collections of leaves, shells, flowers and more from your travels can be arranged in baskets or bowls. Your collections make great conversation starters while giving your dining room a personal touch.

11. Use Full Length Mirrors

Mirrors magnify light and visually expand smaller dining rooms. Large statement mirrors instantly brighten up any blank wall space. For a unique display, hang a collection of mirrors in different shapes and sizes. A buffet server with an antiqued mirror above it will make your dishes really sparkle. And adding a mirror to the back of a china cabinet doubles your displayed dishware. Mirrors add the illusion of space, light and glamour to your dining area in an affordable way.

That’s It!

Try to use imagination and resourcefulness, so you can stylishly decorate your dining room without breaking the bank. Use accent pieces you already have, shop discount home stores, upcycle furniture, and look for inexpensive fixtures. Employing these budget-friendly ideas will have you loving your beautiful new dining space. Enjoy hosting friends and family in your warm, welcoming and elegantly decorated dining room.