Select Page

Charming and Cheap Decor Ideas: Formal Dining Room

Charming and Cheap Decor Ideas: Formal Dining Room

Decorating your formal dining room doesn’t have to break the bank! Follow these easy money-saving tips to create a dining area that’s big on style.

Save Big at Thrift Shops and Flea Markets

Local and online flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales can yield a treasure trove of high end, budget-friendly buys on furnishings and accessories for your dining room.

Transform Your Furniture Finds with Fabric

Look for solid wood pieces that are well-constructed and functional. Dining chairs can easily be reupholstered with fabric colour-coordinated to match existing or new decor. A brightly coloured floral seat can add new life to a humdrum Queen Anne chair frame. For a more formal look, cover seats in a rich fabric like midnight or cerulean blue velvet, heavily embroidered brocade, or intricately textured tapestry. Train your eyes to see the hidden treasure in pieces that at first glance appear to be lackluster.

Can’t Match It? Choose An Eclectic Mix

A vintage matching dining room set can be difficult to find. Ditch the desire to match and select interesting pieces that create an eclectic mix that’s totally you! Why not use four different styled chairs all painted in the same colour to create a unique dining set? High gloss black enamel chairs will look chic and glamorous–perfect for a formal dinner on a dime.

Bring the Outdoors In

Save big bucks by using less expensive patio furnishings indoors. Transform a rattan patio set by giving the chair and table frames a metallic face lift. Lightly sand rattan frames and apply one or two coats of metallic silver or gold paint for a luxurious look your guests will love. Metallic paint adds an air of formality and one-of-a-kind high end style to otherwise mundane outdoor furnishings.

Wallpaper Makes It Perfect

Charming and Cheap Decor Ideas: Formal Dining Room imageWallpaper is one of the least expensive ways to take your dining room walls from boring to indescribably beautiful! Wallpaper comes in a myriad of textures, colours and designs that bring instant style. Choose paper finishes in sumptuous satin, grosgrain, smooth silk, velvet flocking, stately plaid or a bold floral. 

Focus on Formal Flooring

Use inexpensive paint to design dining room floors to reflect your unique taste. Consider painting a wooden floor in five-inch contrasting stripes in beige and white. Carry the stripes up one accent wall for a dramatic look with lasting appeal. Chairs, table, and a sideboard painted in stark white heighten the drama and up the ante for formality. 

Add Accessories for a Little Bling

Accent your formal dining room with accessories with reflective surfaces that add a little bling. Strategically placed mirrors, lamps, place mats, candle holders, and wall hangings in silver, gold or copper add textural interest and eye appeal to create a formal setting fit for a king or queen. 

Set the Mood with Candles

Nothing creates a formal air like candles. Craft a luminous focal point by grouping one-colour candles of all shapes and sizes and placing them on your fireplace mantle. Imagine the impact of an assortment of white candles of every size and shape illuminating a mantle for a formal dinner by candlelight. Double the visual impact by placing a large mirror behind your candle grouping for a simply exquisite look!

Decorating your formal dining room doesn’t have to be expensive. Flea market finds, re-purposing outdoor furnishings, papering or painting walls and ceilings with custom touches, adding reflective surfaces and a creative use of candles are just some of the ways you can make formal dining an unforgettable delight for your guests. If you enjoyed this post, check out our post on Charming & Cheap Decor Ideas: The Living Room!


Photo credits: flowers on table, dining room

About The Author

Lenka V.

Publishing, graphic design, business and real estate round out my professional career and my two teenage boys keep me on my toes at home.


  1. Charming & Cheap Decor Ideas: The Kitchen - Calgary Living Magazine - […] Check out our next post in this series; Charming and Cheap Decor Ideas: Formal Dining Room. […]

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Tweets