The dining room is one of the least used rooms in the modern home. This is partially because of a rising preference for multi-use spaces (today’s meals are often eaten in the kitchen or living room instead).
If you’re like most homeowners, your dining room may only play a starring role during holidays and parties. Still, putting a little extra care into its decor will ensure it blends into the rest of your home design.
Keep reading for our favorite dining room wall decor ideas that will leave you wondering how you ever enjoyed a meal surrounded by blank walls!
1. Accent Wall
Some homeowners see accent walls as slightly dated or even a major design faux pas. But chances are if you have a negative view of this decorative element, it’s because you’re only familiar with poor examples.
Adding an accent wall isn’t just about choosing the brightest color and painting a random wall. Executing this trend well means thinking about the space — in this case, your dining room — in its entirety.
Some of the best accent walls don’t use color at all. Instead, these designs play with texture and three-dimensional elements to create a focal point within the room.
Cottage decor is a branch of the rustic design movement that features a soft, romantic aesthetic paired with organic elements. This trend is even more comfortable and welcoming than rustic decor as a whole.
Much of cottage design has an almost storybook-inspired side to it. You can think of quaint holiday decor like wreaths, candles, and figurines as examples. The key difference is that cottage design employs this decor year-round.
Dining room wall decor can include items made from reclaimed wood such as old shutters or floating shelves. Items that have a handmade quality work great as cottage-style decor. Vintage china and serveware also make excellent accents.
The average household may have drifted away from the formal dining room but that doesn’t eliminate the need (or desire!) to have a luxurious space at the ready for entertaining. Wall decor is an excellent tool for creating a dining area that wows without going over the top.
Here’s the secret to making a space feel elegant: Use textured and reflective finishes.
Metallic decor will instantly make your dining room look like it cost a fortune to outfit. Likewise, a large hanging mirror will make the room brighter and create the illusion of more square footage.
Today’s farmhouse dining rooms are a nearly perfect blend of vintage charm and contemporary sleekness. The best farmhouse wall decor is just as functional as it is beautiful.
Mount floating shelves to display your best dinnerware or cast iron hooks for your family’s coffee mugs. Chalkboard paint is popular in farmhouse design. Use a DIY wall hanging as a household calendar or meal plan.
If you want to retain the modern edge seen in many farmhouse-inspired homes, avoid the temptation to add too much decor to your dining room walls. Clutter will erase any hint of contemporary sensibility in the space!
5. Gallery Wall
Can’t decide which photos or artwork to hang on your dining room walls? A curated gallery wall is the perfect backdrop to your dining room table.
Gallery walls were one of the biggest interior design trends of the last decade. Don’t let this deter you from creating your own. While incredibly uniform gallery walls have their time and place, contemporary design is more partial to mismatched layouts.
Choose a variety of wall decorations. You can include different shapes, colors, sizes, and even materials but there should be a common thread shared between all items (such as a general theme or color scheme). Artwork and photographs should be placed in similar — not identical — frames.
We’re used to seeing multimedia wall decor hung in spaces like the living room, bedroom, or bathroom. For some reason, though, homeowners often overlook these items when selecting dining room wall decor.
Tapestries are typically the first wall hangings that come to mind. Wine racks make great wall decor in a formal dining space. Even woven baskets can be repurposed as wall hangings to show off their unique shape and texture.
Hanging planters are the easiest way to add greenery to your dining room without taking up any usable space. These planters come in all different styles, from Bohemian to ultra-contemporary.
7. Metal and Wood Sculptures
Dining room wall art is often confined to items that are as smooth and inoffensive as possible. Rest assured, however, that adding multidimensional sculptures to your dining room will be an upgrade. Not a design misstep!
Animal and botanical effigies are great options for any space. There’s no shortage of avant-garde sculptures for more eclectic homeowners.
Scale is incredibly important when selecting a wall sculpture for any room. You can use metal or wood sculptures as accents or statement pieces. In the latter case, subtle backlighting will make your sculpture really pop.
Despite being so commonplace throughout home design, we tend to think of mirrors as functional first and foremost. That prejudice can lead to overlooking this versatile decoration as an ideal dining room wall accessory.
Yes, you can technically use any mirror to inspect your hair or straighten your tie. But that’s not the main purpose of hanging a mirror in your dining room. Instead, installing a mirror in your dining space is about increasing the brightness and perceived space.
Mirrors come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Unique statement mirrors are perfect for the dining room where they will be a main focal point. Consider hanging several mirrors along one wall for a more dramatic look.
The idea of painting shapes or patterns on an interior wall is often reserved for children’s bedrooms. In the last year, this trend has migrated into the “adult” decor world.
As long as you take the time to achieve a clean, professional finish, nothing is stopping you from bringing this trend into your dining room. Painters’ tape, patience, and a steady hand are the most valuable tools for this project. Think about how your design will frame your dining table and chairs.
Painting a contrasting arch or stripes can be an excellent way to designate an accent wall. Adding splotches of bright colors over a white wall is far less jarring than painting the entire surface.
Many years ago, interior wall paneling was replaced by drywall as the go-to solution. Yet today’s popular home designs feature this vintage trend very heavily.
This trend isn’t only available to homes with existing paneling. It’s quite easy to replicate the look of wood paneling using materials from your local hardware store. Coat everything with a matte or satin paint color for a modernized finish.
Since wall paneling is no longer synonymous with old architecture, you can safely pair this trend with more contemporary decor. There’s no need to worry about your wall panels looking frumpy or dated.
Part of the struggle of decorating a dining room or similar space is having somewhere to actually place your decor. Shelving is a straightforward solution to this common problem.
Floating shelves are the most obvious choice for any highly functional or small space. However, you should take full advantage of any built-in shelving present in your dining room.
Remember that wall-mounted shelves can be decorative or simply fade into the background. If you want to highlight the items on your shelves rather than the shelves themselves, paint everything the same shade as your dining room walls.
Those who love vintage artwork and decor often feel that way because of its lived-in quality. And this quality is ideal for curating a home dining space.
Before starting your dining room makeover, it’s important to decide if your decor will come from a single era or not. There’s nothing wrong with co-opting decor from a wide timespan. But you want to reach this decision before investing in items that don’t fit your chosen aesthetic.
Antique paintings, prints, and photographs make beautiful wall hangings. Battery-powered picture lights will make your wall art look like it came straight from a museum. You can also adorn your walls with vintage mirrors, sconces, and even household goods.
13. Wall Art
No one is arguing the value of using art as wall decor. Yet deciding which artwork to display in your home can be a challenging prospect.
Abstract decor is ideal for the dining room because it is beautiful yet emotionally neutral. If that isn’t your style, consider an artistic rendering of natural elements like animals or plants.
Asking yourself how your dining room is used in day-to-day life can help narrow your choices. If your dining room is used primarily for entertaining, a piece of artwork that is provocative or overly personal likely isn’t the best choice.
Wallpaper’s resurgence has given homeowners access to previously unimaginable patterns and finishes. Often, these products are so visually intriguing that no other wall decor is necessary.
As with paint, wallpaper can be applied to an accent wall of the entire room. Wainscoting will dampen a bright or dramatic wallpaper print used throughout your whole dining room.
While you absolutely can hang decor over wallpaper, it’s not always the best strategy. Mirrors are one exception, as they blend into the wallpaper’s pattern rather than fight against it.