The dining room is an important hub in any home. It’s where families gather, where friends linger late into the evening after a dinner party, where holiday meals take place and school projects are constructed. The dining room is the space where eating, drinking, and communal living happen, and its décor should reflect both the comfort and significance of connection.
These seven dining rooms range from eclectic and contemporary to classic and sophisticated, each serving as an inspirational space no matter the occasion. Find the room that speaks to you, and bask in the glow of this integral home gathering point.
A Dash of Whimsy in London, England
Tucked down a tree-lined avenue in London’s St. John’s Wood district, this colonial-style home has been decorated to suit contemporary tastes. With patterned armchairs, pops of saturated color, glass and metal details, and unconventional shapes, the home pairs traditional grandeur and lighthearted modernity. The dining space follows this design scheme: a glossy black table and speckled chairs anchor the room, while the dynamic light sculpture, turquoise curtains, and patterned rug make the environs feel playful and irreverent. It’s easy to imagine that any dinner party taking place here will be of the memorable variety.
Awash in Blue in Houston, Texas
From its wallpapers to its workspaces, this stately home in Houston, Texas isn’t afraid to embrace pattern and vibrancy. This vivacity extends to the home’s formal dining room, where the glossy blue ceiling reflects the glow from a pair of driftwood-and-seashell chandeliers. The room offers guests the option of taking one of two velvet wingbacks by the windows without losing track of the conversation, and with pride of place near the front entry, the room stands ready to receive company at a moment’s notice.
A Touch of Velvet in Nantes, France
This historical French villa inspires with its long drive, tall French windows, and architectural details held intact from an earlier time. The vestiges of the past can be seen in the dining room’s decorative moldings and fireplace, and have been augmented with nods to the current. Oversized mirrors have been installed to reflect the room’s natural light, and a candle chandelier illuminates the space in the after hours. Luxe details like aubergine floor-length velvet curtains and mustard-yellow chairs add texture: the result is a space that feels very much in step with the property’s history while still exuding up-to-date glamour.
Refined Dining in San Francisco, California
This spacious and light-filled dining room in this Pacific Heights home is truly one-of-a-kind. An intricately detailed ceiling draws the eye upward, where a circular Swarovski crystal chandelier casts iridescent charm over the dining table. The wood-paneled walls are balanced by the white plaster fireplace and contemporary dining set—a contrast that keeps the space from becoming overly formal. Pared down furnishings and a muted color palette allow the architectural beauty of the space to take center stage.
An Open Air Atrium in Black River, Mauritius
The island nation of Mauritius is known for its pristine beaches, and this contemporary home is set just steps from its turquoise waters. The mild tropical climate allows indoor-outdoor living, a benefit this dining room takes full advantage of. The retractable wall allows for the indoor dining space to be opened up to the outer verandah, while lofted ceilings and an abstract light sculpture emphasize the space’s height and airiness. Details like stone-gray upholstered chairs and oversized brass pillar candle holders lend warmth to this free-flowing space.
A Dining Retreat in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Exposed-beam ceilings, arched doorways, and lustrous plaster are just a few of the design cues tying together this stately Sante Fe manor. In the home’s formal dining room, hues of gray and taupe are used with linen slipcovers and a long wooden table to bring a grounded, intimate feel to the space, while the small fireplace features German craftsmanship and is one of 13 on the property. Pendant lights and a wall tapestry finish off a room that is equally suited to contemplative moments and household soirées.
Grand Moments in Montréal, Québec
It’s not all the time that a dining room invokes a sense of awe, but the space in this 1913-built mansion in Montréal does just that. With the spirit of a library or study, the dining room features original, wood-paneled ceilings, each section intricately detailed. In keeping with the home’s classical bones, the furnishings have the air of heirlooms—beautiful, traditional pieces that have withstood the test of time. Candelabras, a focal chandelier, and a Persian rug complete the space, anchoring it both in history and the present moment.
The right dining room can help set the tone for any gathering. Each of these dining rooms is inspirational in its own way as the locus for shared meals, long conversations, and evenings spent amidst candlelight.
Article originally appeared in the Extraordinary Living Blog, Sotheby’s International Realty.