5 O’clock family dinners were a daily event in my family. We sat down every night, without interruption (except from each other, of course). We have continued this tradition in our family. It is a great time to catch up on every one’s day and take the time to talk about what’s happening in our daily lives.

Interior Designer & Author, Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, has shared some design inspiration with us for our dining room decor. Learn how to arrange your dining room so that it works as a comfortable and inviting space for your family.

Creating a Gathering Place

No matter how many people are at the table, how simple the meal, or how small the space, you’ll want your dining room to be inviting all year round. Choosing furniture that suits your family and arranging it in a way that works for you are the keys to pleasant dining. The table can be against one wall, rather than centered, if the space demands it, and shelves can take the place of a sideboard.

Choose the furniture for comfort and arrange it for ease of movement, allowing enough space at the table for each person and enough room around it to serve family and guests gracefully.



A rectangular table is traditional, but a round one puts everyone on equal footing. Comfortable chairs are a must no matter what you serve, whether it’s a quick bite or a multi-course dinner.


Rather than the traditional sideboard or credenza, think about open shelving, a rolling cart, or a bookshelf approach. A shelf mounted at table height or a bookcase that separates the dining area from the living area can provide a surface for serving dishes.


You’ll want a light fixture over the table that illuminates the room without creating glare and that compliments both diners and place settings. You’ll need to coordinate the size and placement of the light fixtures with the size of your table.


Give the room a personal touch by keeping something on the table when no one is dining; it makes the room look more inviting. Also think about displaying a collection of family china on shelves or favorite artwork on the walls.

How did you create an inviting atmosphere in your dining room decor?

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About the Author: Patricia Davis Brown

Patricia, like her blog, is not a one-dimensional designer, which is evident in her accolades of 17 national design awards. Over a 38-year career in the industry, she has carved a niche in several areas of design. Licensed in interior design and certified in kitchen and bath design, she offers a full menu of design services ranging from whole house interior design, kitchen and bath design, lighting design, full remodels, commercial design and universal (ADA) design. Patricia is a sought-after speaker in the industry and has been published in many publications as seen on her interior design firm’s website, https://www.patriciadavisbrowndesigns.com/. She writes for such publications as QuinStreetinc, Relaxed Remodeler, and eHow.com talent offering design tips.