With holiday entertaining just around the corner and money being tighter than it used to be, we're all looking for affordable decorating ideas for dining rooms that are big on style. Further down, I'll also share several ideas for re-purposing what you already have, and at the end of this page you'll see who gets my fabulously frugal award.
Buy used. My mom bought a top brand, fine dining room set from a newspaper ad that was only 3 years old, and got it at 75% less than retail.
Consignment shops are my favorite place to pick up cheap decorating ideas and you don’t have to drive all over town. There can be thousands of items all in one place, like: cheap dining room chairs and tables, chandeliers, fine china, vases, crystal, glassware, silver, flatware, linens, centerpieces, art and more. Some even get new furniture from liquidators, and unique pieces from estate sales, but most are at a fraction of their original cost. Plus, it's an easy way to sell your old stuff if you don't mind giving up half in commission.
Flea markets are another great source. Invite family and friends and make a fun day of it. You may come home with some great finds, or find nothing at all, either way, it's a cheap date.
Mix and match table settings. Pair colored water glasses with crystal wine glasses, solids with patterns in fine china, or different table chargers, antique linens, silver, etc. Retailers are always looking for cheap decorating ideas to mass produce and it all ends up looking the same, while anything that looks like it once belonged to nana is fetching a premium.
Create you own table centerpiece. Heck, now you can afford to have two for long rectangular tables! Pick up inexpensive flowers at the market and arrange with greenery from your yard, or combine with colorful seasonal fruits, citrus, candles, holiday decorations, etc.
Slip covers for dining room chairs are a fabulously frugal way to change your decor. If your chairs are an odd size or you prefer a custom fabric, find someone to make them for you or sew them yourself. (Mc Calls pattern ~ Chair Cover Essentials)
Dining room chair cushions are another way to add some pizzazz. To dress up plain wood or metal dining room chairs, look for cushions with a flap that hangs down (kind of a mini chair cover) and add beaded trim with washable fabric glue for a more feminine touch. Recovering old cushions is a great way to save money and get a custom look.
Mix and match chairs. It makes it much easier to blend old and new as well as give you a more eclectic look.
Selling your old dining room furniture is a great way to make cash to buy what you really want, but before you go there, think about ways to recycle and re-use or re-purpose what you already have.
Makeover Dining Room Tables. Can your table be stripped and re-stained, pickled, or painted to change the look? Solid wood tables can be expensive so refinishing these is worth the time. Maple is so hard that it doesn’t take stain very well but it looks great painted, distressed or antiqued. Or, purchase unfinished dining room furniture and have it done your way.
Paint accent furniture to update your look. My mom painted the base of her pedestal table (but not the top) and an old hutch in a black pearl color when she got new hardwood floors. Now it looks like she bought new furniture too!
Make a larger table top for company. There's a great example below of a family who did just that. It can be a permanent solution or just for guests to extend seating, whatever works best for the size and scale of the room.
Dining room rugs can add color and style, plus create better acoustics. Less clinking and clanking and more great conversation. I've found great rugs under $300. at Home Goods and Tuesday Morning stores.
Layering window treatments can give you more privacy as well as update your dining room decor. Woven wood shades are a fabulously frugal option and they pair nicely with drapes. For custom window coverings, you'll find the best deals online.
This family gets the fabulously frugal award for coming up with one of the most practical and cheap decorating ideas for dining rooms.
They had an open floor plan with with two story ceilings and formal living and dining rooms occupying this space. They also had a baby grand piano that needed a place of it’s own, so they opted to put it where the formal dining room would have been.
Now the great room off the kitchen is the sole dining area, but their rectangular table took up too much valuable floor space. With the leaves in, the french door to the garden was blocked, so they came up with one a most ingenious dining room decorating ideas. (photo below)
By moving a small, round pedestal table they already had into the space, and then having a custom wood top made, it increases the seating from four to eight when entertaining. The new top stores easily under a bed or in the garage when not in use and they still use their old chairs. (This idea could also be used for small square dining tables)
Thank you for visiting cheap decorating ideas for dining rooms. You'll find more dining room decorating ideas and fabulous photos in the links below, plus here's a link to my buffet table decorating ideas.