Not everyone is lucky enough to have space for a formal dining room (shoutout to you, apartment-dwellers!). But if you are #blessed enough to find yourself with one, you might start to feel like that blessing is...well, more of a curse. Dining rooms tend to stay un-decorated for longer than other areas of the home, since they’re not in use as much as, say, the kitchen or living room (unless you’re a champion hostess putting the rest of us to shame).
If you’re stuck when trying to style your mid-century dining room, you’re not alone—and since simply plopping down some vintage furniture finds and calling it a day isn’t enough, we’ve rounded up some of the most inspiring mid-century dining spaces on Instagram to help you elevate your dining area instantly. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be hosting a mid-century dinner party of your own pretty soon.
We’ll be honest, we’ve never seen dark beadboard look as beautiful as this. An on-trend shade of moody grey-green makes these mid-century built-ins pop in the most unique way—and happens to cover all multitude of sins if you live in an older house with less-than-spotless walls.
Try Handpainted Wallpaper
Even true MCM purists can get behind the slightly offbeat appeal of handpainted wallpaper—or, for DIY mavens, handpainted pattern murals—in the dining room. Just stick with a muted palette to keep things cohesive with the less-is-more look of fine-lined furniture.
Make Room for Mirrors
We all know the old trick about mirrors making rooms feel bigger, but in a dining room, they do so much more—from elevating the vibe of your next soirée to dramatically reflecting candlelight from your tablescape.
Try topping off double doors with a set of mirrors to amplify the elegant effect.
Paint It Black
Since light wood tones are common to the era’s furniture, one way to make them really “pop” is to create tons of contrast. Even in this seemingly simple dining room, every piece stands out against glossy black floors (with a light fixture to match).
Get Into Art
One of the easiest mid-century finds to snap up? Vintage art. Whether you opt for the kitschy-cool paint-by-numbers pieces that populate most thrift stores nowadays, or choose something a little more subtle (block-print giraffes a la Pete Campbell’s apartment, perhaps?), coordinating with art from the era can lend a more authentic vibe to your dining area.
Add Traditional Elements
These glass-front built-ins are a showstopper—but if you look closely, they’re not the only traditional aspect in the space. Clean-lined, shaker-style chairs and other similar styles can coexist peacefully with mid-century pieces that share a geometric bent. Add a markedly MCM light fixture to complete the balance, like these crafty homeowners have.
Many mid-century designers were inspired by traditional Japanese craftsmanship, so it only makes sense that decorating along a similar vein would have a great effect. Textural tassel art and a wabi-sabi centerpiece make this dining area much more than the sum of its parts.