Inspiration Station - Dining Room

Contemporary dining room inspiration: How to create a modern space

Contemporary dining room inspiration

Memories are made in the dining room, whether it’s over routine weekday lasagne, big dinner parties, or a romantic meal for two. Encourage laughter, stories, and enjoy family time around the table in style by creating a contemporary space that looks sophisticated while offering a welcoming feel.

These expert tips will help you choose modern dining room furniture and accessories that suit the layout of your home and match your room design, so you can create a space you’ll love entertaining in for years to come.


Modern dining table materials: Glass or wood?

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Dining room furniture is available in a variety of materials – wood, metal, plastic, glass, or a mix – and the design you choose will help to dictate the atmosphere of your space. Luckily, contemporary tables and chairs come in all styles, making it easy to create a look you love.

A glass dining table is an irresistibly modern option, certain to give your space a clean, minimal feel. The transparent top will trick the eye, as it encourages light to move freely throughout the room and creating an uncluttered, fresh-looking atmosphere.

Wooden dining tables can also anchor a contemporary look, offering a subtle yet timeless quality that will blend seamlessly into any scheme. Choose a table that has a modern design, with clean lines and minimal detailing. The Alto dining table and 6 chairs has a simple look that offers an understated appeal, while the chunky quality of the Mantis Light table will help to create an eye-catching focal point.

Check out our guide on choosing dining tables for more expert advice.

Choosing contemporary chairs: Leather, fabric, or wood?

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Just as they should be comfortable, your dining chairs should reflect the mood you want to create for family and friends in your dining room – as well as suit your style. Leather dining chairs in a modern shape are perhaps the most contemporary option and will add a sense of sophistication, especially in black or brown.

Fabric dining chairs tend to have a more casual feel, and choosing a grey, charcoal, or cream design can bring an instant Scandi-chic appeal to your dining room, especially when paired with a simple, wooden table.

Alternatively, you can get the best of both worlds by choosing oak dining chairs with leather or fabric seats. For a unique contemporary spin, look for chairs that get playful with shapes – the Fret dining chair in natural oak has a funky square and rectangular design on the back, reminiscent of modern art.

Smart and stylish storage: Dressers and display cabinets

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Dressers and display cabinets are essential for adding organisation to any dining room, but they can make or break the contemporary feel in your space. To maintain an open and airy feel, look for pieces that have a simple, stripped-back design, so they’ll sit comfortably with the rest of your layout.

The Alto dresser has a neat, streamlined shape and wide glass panels, so you can show off your favourite crockery and accessories without overwhelming the room. If you have a large area to play with, the Oakdale dresser is a modern option, with subtle geometric detailing and bold, clean lines, which will add a contemporary edge to your storage.

For small dining spaces, choose a funky shelf unit where you can stack your essentials while staying true to the modern design scheme. The Mantis Light mango display unit will draw the eye, with its chunky yet simplistic design, which is perfect for stacking spare plates and bowls or showing off a few treasured photos and accessories.

Accessorising right: The perfect finishing touches

When guests step into your dining room, they should instantly be swept into the mood of the occasion and the personality of their host (that’s you!). Decorating your space with the right accessories will help you get the exact reaction you want.

Typically, contemporary rooms are decidedly stripped-back, with a few choice accessories and decorations that can stand out against the understated backdrop. A bold light fixture hung over the table is a great place to start – get an urban dining look with an oversized pendant design or keep it minimal with a series of vintage bulbs in wire cases.

Table mats and runners are also a good way to express your personality – think geometric shapes, bold colours, or artistic patterns. Dress up your walls with one or two statement pieces, like a favourite print or an oversized clock, and add ambience to late-night meals with a contemporary lamp (like the copper and black Helsinki lamp).


By mixing and matching suitable materials, choosing sleek furniture, and adding personality in the right places, you can design a contemporary dining room where you can host enjoyable meals for years to come. For more dining room-related reading, take a look at our handy resources guide.


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