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15 Ways to Bring Rustic Warmth to the Modern Dining Room

Modern dining rooms are increasingly being relegated to a small, designated corner of the kitchen or living area. The age of the expansive and lavish dining room is definitely behind us. Today’s dining rooms seem to place efficiency ahead of flowery aesthetics and it is simplicity that trumps extravagance. The advent of the social kitchen along with a greater urge to turn the open living area into a gathering space for family and friends has seen dining space take a turn towards rustic and natural decorating choices.

Rustic and farmhouse elements ushered into the modern kitchen
Rustic and farmhouse elements ushered into the modern kitchen

From modern farmhouse dining spaces to ones with understated rustic charm and a dash of wooden warmth, homeowners no longer want just a polished, contemporary dining area. It is all about giving the room a distinct character even while allowing it to blend in with the larger theme of the open plan living. With that in mind, here are 15 inspirations that bring home cozy rustic effervescence even while staying true to modern functionality. Some more modern than others, there is something here for everyone!

Fabulous Modern Farmhouse Style!

If there is one style that epitomizes a blend of modernity and inimitable rustic elements along with ageless beauty of wood, then it is modern farmhouse. As the name suggests, you can blend in modern and farmhouse style design elements in here while varying the proportions of each to get a desired look of your choice. If you happen to be someone who loves the classic, farmhouse vibe more, then load up on additions like the wooden hutches, a heavy wooden dining table with weathered finish, chairs clad in plaid and a beautiful chandelier to give the dining room that timeless appeal.

Elegant-kitchen-veers-more-towards-classic-than-modern-design-elements
Elegant kitchen veers more towards classic than modern design elements [Photography: Jonathan Gooch]
Fabulous-farmhouse-dining-room-with-a-cool-hutch
Fabulous farmhouse dining room with a cool credenza [Design: Theresa Fine]

Wall art that depicts rural life, vases bought from the local antique store, vintage wire shelving and a warm, earthen color palette emphasize the farmhouse-centric theme of the dining room. You can easily give this space a more modern aura by replacing some of the rustic features with modern cabinets, credenzas, rugs and drapes. It is all about finding out what works for you best!

Modern-farmhouse-dining-room-in-neutral-hues
Modern farmhouse dining room in neutral hues [From: Historical Concepts / Southern Living]
Dreamy-farmhouse-style-dining-room-with-a-comfy-window-seat
Dreamy farmhouse style with a comfy window seat [Design: Higgins Architects]

Choosing the Right Décor

If you want to give the modern dining room a more nature-centric look, then choosing the right décor is as important as the color scheme. A vintage hutch or credenza in the backdrop can give even the most contemporary of dining rooms a traditional touch. Old wooden cabinets that are repainted in white work well in shabby chic settings, while antique furniture can easily fit into dining rooms with a wide variety of themes, ranging from traditional to vintage-modern.

Wooden-dining-table-with-matching-glass-door-cabinet-for-the-modern-farmhouse-style-dining
Wooden dining table with matching glass door cabinet for the modern farmhouse style dining
Wooden-dining-room-decor-from-Szel-Mob-with-a-weathered-look
Wooden dining room decor from Szel Mob with a weathered look
Dining-chairs-and-pendant-light-add-color-to-the-dining-space
Dining chairs and pendant light add color to the dining space
Dining-room-hutch-provides-both-storage-and-display-space
Dining room hutch provides both storage and display space
Dining-table-with-straight-lines-and-unqiue-dining-chairs-combine-modernity-with-traditional-appeal
Dining table with straight lines and unqiue dining chairs combine modernity with traditional appeal

Refined and Inviting

Maybe you do not really want a modern farmhouse style dining space to disturb the overall appeal of the open plan living area. If you are looking to just add a touch of natural elegance and textural contrast to the modern dining room, then the inspirations below the simplicity with which it can be done. One of the easiest ways is to replace some of those dining chairs with a cool wooden bench that offers more seating space and also ushers in rustic appeal. Throw in a plush blanket or even a few pillows to make it a comfortable experience for everyone.

Small-and-stylish-modern-farmhouse-dining
Small and stylish modern farmhouse dining
Wood-brings-elegance-to-the-modern-dining-room
Wood brings elegance to the modern dining room

The large live-edge wooden table is another striking addition that surely brings something special to the dining room while weathered and repurposed décor adds another layer of visual warmth to the exquisite dining space. It is a change in small details that makes a big impact…

Modern-classic-dining-room-design-from-Rowico
Modern classic dining room design from Rowico
Fabulous-pendant-steals-the-show-in-this-elegant-dining-space
Fabulous pendant steals the show in this elegant dining space
Wooden-bench-can-replace-traditional-dining-chairs-with-ease
Wooden bench can replace traditional dining chairs with ease

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