Cozy and Inviting Dining Room: Get the Look
House Beautiful
Cozy and Inviting Dining Room: Get the Look

COZY & INVITING DINING ROOM

We’re doing a fun periodic “mini-series” within our Fall Nesting series this year called Cozy & Inviting! Our first room in this series was here. The purpose of the post is just to let us study a room and observe the details you see or that stand out to you, even if it isn’t your style or favorite room!

In these posts I will share one inspiration room that feels cozy and inviting to me (for a variety of reasons!). Then I’ll quickly brainstorm a list of whatever elements I see that I think help create that mood.

Sometimes I’ll feature rooms that incorporate traditional “fall decorating” items (the pumpkins and plaid pillows, for example!), other times we’ll focus on more general design elements or the mix of textures or accessories that can be incorporated into a room to inspire the mood this season.

Then, I’ll feature some design elements or tips to “get the look” into our home.


I’ve been doing occasional observation posts similar to this on The Inspired Room for over a decade. There are so many reasons I always found this to be a helpful exercise (I used to observe magazine photos long before I even started blogging, just for myself!), but I think it’s more valuable now than ever in light of the fast pace and volume of images and design trends we can be exposed to on social media (particularly Instagram).

I’ll share more of my thoughts on Instagram and design in a future post because I have so many thoughts :).

Here are some of my observations and notes on what stands out to me about this room. At end of this post you’ll find pieces I would consider including in the design if I was styling a similar space!

  • Comfy upholstered chairs make it look like an inviting place to sit and stay awhile! The chairs are timeless in a neutral linen fabric, making it easy to add different accent colors and patterns throughout the room.
  • The rustic wood farm table adds warmth and richness to an otherwise light space.
  • The built-in cabinet is filled with an eclectic mix of collected decor.
  • The iron wall hanging over the doorway adds extra interest and charm to a simple door frame.
  • Two oversized aged copper lanterns are unexpected and make a charming statement (reminds me of my dining room at my old house with the copper lantern!). Read my tips for statement lighting and my favorite places to get lights here.
  • I like the simple white walls in the dining room connected to a wallpapered room with gray trim. It’s an interesting change between the two spaces and the intrigue makes me wish I could walk through the whole house!
  • Crown molding adds a nice finishing touch to the walls.
  • I love the paned windows and the French doors in the adjoining room.
  • The simple centerpiece is a nice welcoming touch that adds life to the space! I like the pop of color with the purple, and the texture of the metal vase.
  • The blue patterned table runner is cozy and again adds color and texture to the room.

Chime in with your own observations, ideas or thoughts in the comments today and on all of the Fall Nesting posts (don’t forget your comments on EVERY POST enter you into a monthly surprise box giveaway both here and on Instagram!).


Get the Look:

Cozy and Inviting Dining Room: Get the Look

Related Posts:

Cozy and Inviting Kitchen: Get the Look

7 Lovely Dining Rooms

5 Designer Secrets: Cozy Dining Room (Fall Takeaways)

Fall Nesting: Make Your Table Pretty

Exterior Lighting: Charming Outdoor Lanterns

32 Comments

  1. Bonnie Stoltzfoos

    What a beautiful room! My first impression is that it feels like a hug! Haha. Like sitting here would feel so comforting. The room feels full but not in a stuffy or crowded way… just established. I love how there are a lot of cozy elements but it doesn’t feel cluttered. Everything is contained and that leaves a lot of nice white space to make it feel calm, too. So lovely. I can’t wait to read your thoughts on design and Instagram. It’s refreshing to slow down and observe like this.

    Reply
  2. Patty

    Loved ‘studying’ this room and just find so much inspiration from one simple shot! That pitcher used for the centerpiece caught my eye as I have one that just might be pulled out and placed on our table now, too. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  3. Melanie Plumb

    I love the lanterns over the table. That little bit of “unexpected” is so charming.

    Reply
  4. Isabel Z

    It truly is an inviting room and one that I would want to spend time in. I love the built ins–it’s decorate so it appeals to the eye but doesn’t look cluttered. The centerpiece caught my eye as well and I like the runner anchoring it. I need to try both on my dining room table which is bare. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Reply
  5. Mary Anne Saunders

    Love that this has so much character. So many rooms look similar these days. I think a home should reflect the homeowners interests/personality, and look as though things were collected over time.

    Reply
  6. Shari

    It amazes me the impact lighting and light fixtures can have on a room. The fixtures here are beautiful and a fun change from the typical chandelier. But I’m also imagining the type of light they would put off and the cozy atmosphere they must create at dinner. It’s an absolutely charming room!

    Reply
  7. jen S

    i am not lucky enough to have a separate dining room. This is not my style, but there are a few elements I do like. I love the copper lanterns, the natural light, and the runner.

    Reply
  8. Paige

    Studying the room is so fun and helpful. It was a great reminder that I could add a wall hanging over a group of windows that I have in my space. I repainted our kitchen dining area a few years ago and took down the curtains, and I think that would add warmth and coziness around the windows.

    Reply
  9. Angela G.

    Decor does speak differently to everyone. This room seems formal to me. The lanterns give me a colonial feel. The upholstered chairs soften the room but the inspiration I receive overall is for a dinner with guests rather than dinner with family.

    Reply
  10. Debbie Keith

    Those lights and that runner!! Just so inviting, which is exactly what a dining room should be. All the patina on the lights and texture on the runner make this room perfect for fall. Once again,thank you for the inspiration and for all the wonderful “get the look” links. I’m enjoying this series so very much. Happy nesting! :)

    Reply
  11. Leslie W

    I love the idea of finding a room that I like and just observing the details that make it special. It’s a fun way to find ideas I can bring into my own home.

    Reply
  12. Helene

    The lanterns immediately caught my attention….the patina and just the one electric candlelight in each….love, love, love them! But alas, I don’t think I’ll be changing out my chandelier anytime soon. But I also love the pitcher on the table with the purple flowers….and that is such an affordable element I could add!

    Reply
  13. Rachel

    I like the simplistic white collection on top of the cabinet that balances the eclectic collection inside the cabinet. Way back in the 90s when my sister saved a magazine page she’d write on it the things she liked about it. I adopted this pattern and learned to study the photos. Now on Pinterest I add why I saved a photo. It helps me focus my style.

    Reply
  14. Pam

    A well loved and used room is often more inviting and comfortable because it allows people to be themselves and feel part of the family. The distressed table looks old and well used as well as the lanterns above and runners on the table. People feel at home and don’t worry they will mess up a pristine room.

    Reply
  15. Mercedes

    I like most things in this room and while I like the cabinet I’m not fond of what’s inside it? It seems sort of wishy-washy . Being a total dishware addict I would have dishes that create a mood in there. The other thing that really caught my eye was the item over the door. I’m not sure if it’s a Scandinavian thing, a Scottish thing or a Russian thing but it’s definitely in my heritage to put something over doorways. Usually pressed metal or garlands but can be as simple as a woven hearts of straw. Nothing big or too heavy or dark . It is interesting to me to see this here .

    Reply
  16. Pam Rychener

    I need some beautiful chairs like that around my table.

    Reply
  17. sandyc

    This exercise is so great. It sounds as though some of us have been doing a version of this for a while and others are getting interested. One of the best things about it is that one doesn’t have to completely like or dislike a room to gain from the exercise. In my case, duplicating the room would not be my thing but there are elements that I like and could and would reinterpret in my house. And it’s regular education in design that’s fun and real. Best thing about today maybe is that, Melissa, you said you wished you could walk through the house. Your wish is my command. If you click on to House Beautiful under the photo, it will take you to an article “15 Lighting Ideas That Will Totally Transform Your Dining Room”; #7 of 15 is Get Lit with Lanterns; of you click on “English street lanterns” in red, it will take you to an article “A New Nashville House With an Old Soul” and there’s your tour. Clicking on the source under a photo doesn’t always get results but sometime, like today, it does. Enjoy the tour! I did!

    Reply
  18. Mary Stewart

    Another beautiful room. I love it and loved the comments about the room even more. Your followers always offer thoughtful insights and suggestions on your posts. I have hesitated to add crown molding but I think I’m going to go ahead and bite the bullet. Thanks for sharing. Have a BLESSED day!

    Reply
    • Brittany Romero

      I love that table! We’re waiting to get a new one till the kids get older, for now i’m daydreaming about the perfect table!

      Reply
  19. Christine

    The chairs in the picture look really comfortable and I like them. But I don’t like that narrow table. If you look at it, you can’t fit two plates on the table with people sitting directly opposite one another. It makes no sense. Why would there be such a narrow table?? And their knees would be touching, too. It needs to be realistic.

    Reply
  20. Lynn

    Such a beautiful, cozy room with so much to look at, but it’s not too busy. Love the table runner and flower centerpiece.

    Reply
  21. Susan

    Love the rustic looking dining table and built-ins. Very inviting.

    Reply
  22. Caroline

    Lovely room. It has the level of texture and variety in color and form that appeals to me. But I don’t understand how people can have these kinds of chairs at their dining tables, even if it is in a more formal dining room. They would just not survive in our family (and we don’t have any young kids anymore). How do people do it?

    Reply
  23. Beth

    Your observations made me go back and look at the picture with more eye for details. I think it is interesting that the hutch, being in a dining room, has no dishes in it. My favorite detail is the transom window.

    Reply
  24. Christine

    I love the whole room and like the storage cupboard. Everything looks so pretty through the glass doors. And those lights!

    Reply
  25. Lola

    For some reason the first thing that caught my eye was the table runner! I like the look of this room and it seems like there is a good bit of natural light. Cody is the word I’d use to describe the feel

    Reply
  26. Laurie

    That table runner! It looks so sumptuous, yet rustic at the same time.

    Reply
  27. Carolyn

    I love the timeless elements in the room and how the mood can be changed just by swapping out the table runner!

    Reply
  28. Kelly

    The lanterns make it.

    Reply
  29. Amanda

    I feel like the drawers in that hutch tie in nicely with the french door window squares. Which is handy to mentally file away, as I have some french doors that are my favorite thing in our house.

    Reply
  30. Leigh

    I love the oversized pendant lamps, they bring in an outside warmth to me. And the grey hutch seems like a warm grey and gives the room a great large statement piece.

    Reply
  31. Cassidy

    I do wish chairs had comfiness ratings. I hate to pull the trigger online for something I’ve never sat in, especially if no one mentions it in reviews. What helps you to know if something will be comfortable?

    Reply

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