The Soho - Feature Light Fixture

The Fall And Rise Of The Formal Dining Room

Back in the day, the formal dining room was a huge part of the Australian home. Whether it was used every night or for those special occasions (birthdays, or the Christmas lunch), the dining room was the perfect place for the family to come together and share memories over delicious food.

The advent of open plan living areas saw the demand for the formal dining room fall steadily over the past few decades. However, there are signs the formal dining room is coming back into fashion, as the popular “foodie” culture continues to grow.

After all, when you spend ages crafting the perfect menu, you want to be able to show it off – and a formal dining room is the place to do it. It allows you to leave the mess of kitchen preparations behind, and step into a cosy space where you can savour both the meal and company.

But, first things first. How do you create a formal space that still feels welcoming to family and friends? We’ll help you find out!

Get the lighting right

Let there be (the right) light! No formal dining room is complete without it. And, with the huge array of lighting options available, finding the right fit for your dining space should be pretty simple. Forget anything too harsh – go for soft lighting that adds a luxury feel to the room. Why not consider chandelier or low-hanging statement lighting, such as this fixture from our new display home The Soho?

The Soho - Feature Light Fixture
The Soho – Feature Light Fixture

Choose the perfect furniture

When it comes to choosing the furniture for your formal dining space, size definitely does matter. Before you settle on a dining table, consider how many people you’re planning to seat around it, and how often. Make sure you take the size of the room into consideration, too – you don’t want the space to feel cluttered.

Once you’ve got the right dining table and chairs, it’s time to add the finishing touches. If you have the room, add a server, buffet or sideboard so you have a place to store cutlery, napkins, plates and glasses. Alternatively, a built-in scullery allows you to arrange these items out of sight, such as in our The Alto or The Monterosso V2 Display Homes.


Once you’ve chosen a colour scheme for your space, bring it to life with accessories. Candlesticks, bowls, vases, throw rugs, floor rugs – the list is endless and can really help to add that finishing touch to your formal dining room. Don’t forget the walls, too – a statement artwork piece or painted feature wall can work wonders.

The Edge V2 - Feature Artwork
The Edge V2 – Feature Artwork

Consider a bar cart

Stylish and practical, the bar cart is the perfect companion to your formal dining room. Keep it stocked with those oh-so-important items: wine cooler, ice bucket and tongs, various spirits and mixers, glasses and anything else that you think you’ll need. By having a handy drink station, your guests can also keep their drinks topped up through the evening, giving you one less thing to worry about.

Enjoy a little design inspiration

Looking for ways to dress up your formal dining space? Make sure to view our range of Display Homes for some inspiration! And hey, you might just find your dream home while you’re at it…