Dust Off Your Dining Room: Contemporary Trends for a More Modern Style

What do you think of when you hear the phrase ‘dining room?’ An unexplored, shadowy place you only air out for Thanksgiving? The good china you only dust off for company? There is just something about dark wood and stylized, throne-like chairs that can make a dining room awkward to use. Luckily, the times they are a-changin’, and formal no longer has to mean austere or vintage. Investing in a contemporary dining table is a chic, fresh way to update your style.

No One Hit Wonders 

Tell me seriously: when was the last time you used your dining table? When I was a kid, ours was a big Gothic confection of carved chairs and solid legs. Fun for an eight-year-old to build a fort under, sure, but a huge pain to move and clean. To the modern mind, certain styles are just irrevocably tied up with formality and special occasions. There’s no real reason that we shouldn’t make a habit of using our dining rooms on the regular– whether it’s for Sunday brunch, family dinners, or just a change in scenery. Contemporary styles lighten up the decor, which can lighten up the mood.

Linear Thinking 

Bentley Dining Table in Walnut Veneer CB-8108 from Casabianca Home
Bentley Dining Table in Walnut Veneer CB-8108 from Casabianca Home

The contemporary influences of art deco, bauhaus and formalism have imbued modern decor with a love of clean lines, sleek surfaces, and unusual shapes. A table with solid, neutral colors fits right into a modern theme. Contemporary tables tend to be narrower and lighter (in terms of weight) than their vintage counterparts. That makes them a more practical choice in regards to maneuverability as well.

Keeping It Clear 

Vortex Clear Glass And Stainless Steel Table CB-2070 by Casabianca Home
Vortex Clear Glass And Stainless Steel Dining Table CB-2070 by Casabianca Home

Remember what I said about unusual shapes? Once you throw away the idea that a table has to be made of wood and stand on four legs, all bets are off. The contemporary dining room has embraced modern materials–metal, plastic, glass. Glass surfaces can be especially great if the table has an interesting shape. or a unique base Keep in mind, though, that a glass table means you’ll be staring at your knees while you eat, and smudgy fingerprints will be hard to hide!

Nights at the Round Table 

Round dining tables are trendy and space-saving. (By Mahoney Architects and Interiors)
Round dining tables are trendy and space-saving. (By Mahoney Architects and Interiors)

Not just for King Arthur and his knights, round tables are a slick and trendy way to save space and set an informal tone in your dining room. Because they’re more compact than their rectangular counterparts, round dining tables can be a great choice if your dining room is small or oddly-shaped. According to myth, King Arthur chose a round table for his knights so no one would be sitting in a higher place of honor than anyone else. This worry is probably not foremost in your mind, but a round table does make conversation easier.

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Hidden in Plain View 

Not ready to go full modern and give up the carved chairs and cabriole legs? You don’t have to! Awesome things can happen when you take a style that is usually associated with a certain period or trend, but change an element of it just enough to make it fit your theme. Like in the above photo–the solid, matte-black finish takes a gaudy baroque dining table and changes it up. Austere becomes funky and unusual. Polart has a habit of updating traditional pieces in some fresh and creative ways.

By toning down the formality of your dining room, you can motivate yourself to make the most of it. These are just a couple examples to get you thinking newer, trendier, and less complicated.

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