Everyone loves eating out in their favorite restaurant. The glamour, the special occasion, the delicious food and beautiful presentation – there are all these elements that make the night feel unique. 

Well, it’s still a little rough going out to restaurants right now due to the pandemic and I’m sure you miss it. So today I’ll be walking you through dining room ideas that will make this room feel like a fancy night out. A “dining room restaurant, if you will!

This involves a combination of good lighting, decoration, and presentation, but none of it requires remodeling or anything too dramatic. These are steps you can take during any special occasion without the need to do anything complicated or expensive, or make them permanent pieces to your dining room.

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you." – Walt Whitman

Warm lights

First, let’s talk about lighting. Restaurants often have some sort of unique lighting setup, but in our homes we just stick with the basics. To make our dining room lighting a bit more attractive, here’s what we can do:

Use warm lights. Led lights and light fixtures can emit warm light – that is, tones less white or blue and more orange or yellow. This creates a cozy atmosphere that resembles a fancy restaurant!

Use sunlight. Natural sunlight is abundant, free, and also warm. In combination with your usual lighting, it makes for a very natural environment that is effortlessly rustic.

Use wood and earthy tones. Warm lights go really well with natural wood, green, and earthy tones. Put all of these elements together and your dining room will look a lot fancier!

Intimate coffee table

Not everyone’s favorite place is a fancy restaurant, sometimes it’s an intimate coffee place. But can you transport that feeling into your home? Absolutely!

The idea is to use a small circular or square table that allows for everyone to sit while facing each other, making it so you can have a comfortable conversation while sipping coffee and snacking.

The tips to make this intimate setting even better are as follows:

Take it easy on the centerpiece. The space on a small table is limited and a tall centerpiece will always be blocking someone’s view. Keep it simple and contained to allow for more breathing room on the table.

Light from above. If you have light coming from behind any of the chairs, one person (or more) will always be casting a shadow on the table, which is quite uncomfortable. Naturally this isn’t a big problem during daytime, but at night it’s always better to have a light source directly above so that the entire table is evenly lit.

Tablecloth. A fancy tablecloth that matches your overall decoration can really elevate the entire concept!

Light fixture

Unique dining room light fixtures do wonders for making your dining room look special. Not only is it great in a practical sense for the light it provides from above, making the entire table lit evenly for everyone, but it also adds a great deal of visual interest.

Besides, there are many options when it comes to light fixtures. You will surely be able to find one that fits the mood and style you’re going for! And as always, you can rely on light fixture installation services if your current ones are too old or badly placed.

Natural greenery

Something that appeals to a lot of people is the idea of staying closer to nature. Especially in big cities, that can be a bit difficult, but many coffee places and restaurants try to remedy that by decorating with a lot of earthy tones and greenery.

A way to get the same effect in your dining room is by adding houseplants. Obviously though, they aren’t just a good idea for improving the look of the space. They also improve your indoor air quality, not to mention the more subtle benefits they have to your mental health.

If your dining room needs a bit more nature, consider bringing in some houseplants, potted plants, succulents, and decorating to your heart's contempt!


This is probably the most important part if you want your dining room to feel like a restaurant. The thing is, most of us never put any flair or finesse when presenting dinner because… well, we usually don’t have the time! It’s not realistic to expect every dinner to look like a work of art.

But we can get some elements in place for special occasions so that we can impress with a presentation when the time calls for it. Maybe it’s a birthday, a special date, a celebration, anything goes. Even just a relaxing saturday night! 

These are some elements you can use to make your dining room feel like a restaurant:

  • Plates and cutlery saved for special occasions;
  • Unique tablecloth;
  • Candles for special lighting;
  • Succulents, which create a nice decoration without any effort;
  • Special glassware;

With these in mind, you can always turn your dining room into a restaurant without much effort. Just bring these out and the space will immediately feel and look different for any special occasion!

Need help with your dining room decor? Get free quotes from professional decorators and designers in your area today and make some changes!


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