Decorating Ideas - Dining Room Decorating Ideas on a Budget

For many families, the formal dining room has lost ground to a more preferred lived-in space. However, most families still favor eat-in kitchen areas or even family rooms as gathering places. When special dinners or holidays come around, most families feel most at home in the dining room. And when entertaining guests in style, a dining room is a must-have.

The best dining rooms are ones that you look forward to sitting in, that are either whimsical or elegant and make you feel welcome and ready to be well fed. Imagination is the key to decorating your dining room on a budget.  Below are some dining room decorating ideas, followed by several inspiring images.

If you’re shopping for furniture pieces for your dining room and authentic period pieces are too expensive, look to reproduction pieces like chairs or chests.

Use coverlets or rugs as table coverings for a traditional look.  Did you know that people considered rugs too valuable to put them on the floor in the early nineteenth century?  That’s right – they often draped them on tabletops or beds.

Reduce the cost of having seasonal arrangements on your table by mixing silk or dried flowers with fresh ones; by mixing the two, it makes it hard to tell the difference between them.

Tablecloths are not necessary; maintain a light, natural feel with a soft, colorful table runner instead.

To brighten up simple painted chairs, use Velcro to attach coordinating seat covers.  The Velcro allows for easy removal for clean up. 

If you’re looking for pieces such as an armoire or sideboard or buffet table, find inexpensive unassembled kits that you can put together yourself and then give it a custom paint job to enhance the color scheme of the room.

This can be done in any room of the house: A rustic screen door placed against a wall becomes a surprising, witty – and affordable – piece of art.

Think outside of the box. Don’t be scared to mismatch. Creative repurposing is the key. For example, using different styles of chairs around you table in a simple color palette adds interest and character, or use a potting bench in place of a buffet for serving.

Use your wall colors to determine your accent colors for table linens and window treatments; this will help to establish a coherent look to the room.

Simple, inexpensive changes like new shades for a chandelier or a new floral centerpiece arrangement can go a long way to giving your dining room a fresh look, especially for the changing seasons.

Here are a few suggestions for budget table setting touches:

  • Use a small bud vase with a trio of tulips and a simple ribbon tied around the vase at each place setting.  Mark each with a small tag with each guest’s initial for a personal touch.
  • For an elegant, yet inexpensive place setting, invert a wine glass and place a single rose bud underneath/inside the “bell.”
  • Candlesticks can become favors when a small bunch (three is good) is wrapped with a pretty ribbon that matches the rest of the setting.
  • Find mixed flatware, assorted dishes and quirky linens at your local thrift shop or flea market.
  • Use a flowerpot to serve flatware or rolled napkins.
  • A small flower pot that is pre-seeded and marked with each guest’s name is a great table setting decoration and a lovely favor for your guests to take home.
  • I hope these ideas have inspired you to make little, inexpensive changes to your space that’ll bring a smile to your face. 

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Nice bouquet of silk and fresh flowers.White table runner echoes the crisp white of the cabinetry in the adjoining room.Different chair styles and colors add character.Rustic potting bench as buffet table also adds character.This colorful dining room was decorated on a budget, yet looks just lovely.Example of table settings picking up color cues from wall color.  Also, create different moods with chandelier - change or remove shades for a different look.The stenciled walls in this relaxed, yet formal dining room add a nice touch and is easy and inexpensive to do.Small bud vase with tulips place setting favor.Candles as favor and part of place setting.Pre-seeded mini flower pot as place setting and favor.
Nice bouquet of silk and fresh flowers.
Nice bouquet of silk and fresh flowers.
White table runner echoes the crisp white of the cabinetry in the adjoining room.
White table runner echoes the crisp white of the cabinetry in the adjoining room.
Different chair styles and colors add character.
Different chair styles and colors add character.
Rustic potting bench as buffet table also adds character.
Rustic potting bench as buffet table also adds character.
This colorful dining room was decorated on a budget, yet looks just lovely.
This colorful dining room was decorated on a budget, yet looks just lovely.
Example of table settings picking up color cues from wall color.  Also, create different moods with chandelier - change or remove shades for a different look.
Example of table settings picking up color cues from wall color. Also, create different moods with chandelier - change or remove shades for a different look.
The stenciled walls in this relaxed, yet formal dining room add a nice touch and is easy and inexpensive to do.
The stenciled walls in this relaxed, yet formal dining room add a nice touch and is easy and inexpensive to do.
Small bud vase with tulips place setting favor.
Small bud vase with tulips place setting favor.
Candles as favor and part of place setting.
Candles as favor and part of place setting.
Pre-seeded mini flower pot as place setting and favor.
Pre-seeded mini flower pot as place setting and favor.

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4 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Great suggestions. Thank you very much


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Great ideas! Your girls are gorgeous!


Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 6 years ago from East Coast Author

Thanks for visiting Hello, hello & Holle!


eyeforstyle profile image

eyeforstyle 4 years ago from Manlius, New York, USA

Lovely photos :)

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