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What color should dining room be?

What color should dining room be?

When choosing a color for your dining room, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. The color you select should complement your existing decor, match the mood you want to create, and allow the space to function well for dining and entertaining. With so many paint color options available, deciding on just one dining room color can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to guide you in selecting the perfect shade for your dining space.

Consider the Purpose of the Space

First, think about how you want to use your dining room. Is it strictly a place for family meals day to day? Or will you also use the dining room for entertaining larger groups during holidays and dinner parties? If the dining room gets constant everyday use, you may want to choose a versatile neutral paint color that doesn’t feel too dramatic. Neutral dining room colors like beige, gray, and tan can provide a calming backdrop that complements any style of furniture or decor.

For dining rooms used frequently for entertaining, consider choosing a deeper, bolder dining room color that makes a statement. Rich shades of blue, green, purple, or red can feel luxurious and inviting for guests. Just keep in mind darker colors may make a small dining space feel more cramped. Lighter tints of these bold colors can provide the same inviting mood with a sense of greater space.

Coordinate with Existing Decor

The color scheme and style of your existing dining room furniture and decor should factor heavily in choosing a wall color. Is your dining set made of dark wood? Then a lighter dining room color will provide balance while allowing the beautiful grain of the wood to stand out. For a dining set with light wood, medium to darker paint colors will complement it beautifully. If your dining room contains colorful artwork or patterned fabrics, select a dining room wall color that ties into one or two of those accent colors to pull the whole room together.

You’ll also want to consider the color palette used in any adjoining rooms. For an open concept home, choose a dining room color that works seamlessly with the color scheme of the kitchen, living room, or other nearby spaces.

Set the Right Mood

The color you choose for your dining space can influence the mood you feel when spending time there. Here are some examples of popular dining room colors and the types of moods they evoke:

Dining Room Color Mood Created
Soft greens or blues Tranquil, relaxed, airy
Browns or tans Warm, welcoming, casual
Grays Sleek, sophisticated, elegant
Yellows Cheery, energizing, upbeat
Reds Dramatic, intimate, luxurious

Consider the ambiance you want to achieve in the space when narrowed down to two or three potential dining room paint colors.

Factor in the Lighting

The amount and type of natural and artificial lighting in your dining room can affect how paint colors appear. If the space lacks sufficient lighting, darker colors may make it feel overly gloomy. North facing rooms with limited natural light benefit from lighter, brighter color choices. South or west facing dining rooms with ample sunlight can more easily get away with deeper, bolder paint colors.

You’ll also want to examine how the dining room looks at different times of day and night. Paint large swatches of your top color contenders on the wall and observe how they look in morning light versus evening lamplight. This will give you a more accurate idea of how the finished room will feel.

Consider Maintenance and Durability

Since the dining room often contains a busy family table and gets plenty of wear and tear, you’ll want to choose a durable dining room paint color that will hold up and hide scuffs over time. Darker colors like deep reds, browns, and charcoal grays may require more frequent touch-ups to hide nicks and dirt. Lighter neutrals like pale grays, tans, and off-whites are easier to keep looking crisp and clean long-term.

Opt for interior paints with a scrubbable, washable matte finish for dining rooms. This will allow you to easily wipe away food splatters and smudges from little hands. Flat paints may stain more easily. An eggshell finish provides a classic look that’s somewhat washable.

Consider choosing a dining room paint color a few shades darker or lighter than your original preference. Darker colors help hide scuffs and stains, while lighter versions feel brighter and less high-maintenance.

Test Colors with Paint Swatches

Once you’ve narrowed down your dining room color options, purchase sample size paint swatches and test them out on the wall. Paint 2- to 3-foot squares of each color you’re considering to get a feel for how they’ll look in the full space. Live with the color swatches for a few days, examining at different times of day. This allows you to make an informed decision about which dining room paint color is the perfect fit.

Create an Accent Wall

If you’re torn choosing between two dining room paint colors, consider using one shade on the main walls and the other as an accent wall. For example, you might paint three walls a light neutral beige and use a bold navy blue on the remaining accent wall. This allows you to experiment with bolder colors without overwhelming the space.

The most popular wall for a dining room accent is the one behind or as a backdrop to the dining set.accent walls attract the eye and provide visual interest while dining.

Use Two-Tone Colors

Another option is to paint your dining room using two different colors in a two-tone scheme. Pair a lighter neutral shade on upper walls with a bolder color on the lower half of the walls. Or opt for one color on the walls and a second, contrasting color on the dining room trim and moldings. This can provide a customizable look that’s both visually appealing and unique.

Add Bright Accents

Incorporating pops of brighter accent colors is a great way to inject personality into your dining space. If you choose neutral dining room wall colors, bring in color through your window treatments, rug, flowers, art, and accessories. Boldly colored dining chairs or a patterned accent wallpaper also add eye-catching style.


Choosing the ideal dining room paint color may take some thoughtful consideration but is worth the effort to create a space your family and guests will enjoy. Assess the room’s lighting, your existing decor, how the space will be used, and the ambiance you want to achieve. Test paint swatches of your top color choices before making a decision. Incorporate beautiful accent colors in your decor, furniture, and artwork. With the right dining room color and decorative touches, your space can be inviting, stylish, and uniquely you.