Find easy decorating tips for how to divide a living room and dining room combo with floor, wall, and furniture ideas.
*This post contains gifted products and affiliate links to brands that I know and trust.
Have you ever tried multiple room ideas before getting it just right? I’ve been struggling with our dining space for the two years we’ve been in this house but finally, have a room to be proud of! Today, I’m sharing how to divide a living room and dining room combo to really define the spaces and make it beautiful.
How to Divide a Living Room and Dining Room Combo
We live in a single-story ranch style home that was renovated to create an open layout before we moved in. The space that we use for the dining room sits between the kitchen and living area. I think it was traditionally used as the breakfast area. I have a piano studio in the front of the living room where I assume the dining room was. Now our dining room feels like a dining room! Here’s what I did to get there.
Tips for Dividing an Open Layout
- Try different layouts and slowly switch out furniture as budget and time allow. Let your space evolve.
I used our large wood dining set and buffet when we moved in but it was too heavy for the space. My grandfather offered a thrifted Romeo Rega table with a glass top which worked much better.
I tried it as a dining nook and then found a bigger glass top we could seat six around. I sold the china buffet and tried a bookcase, cabinet, and fireplace mantel to divide the two spaces before I threw in the towel and decided to start over.
This summer I took all of the extra time at home to focus on the space. A fresh coat of Sherwin Williams Alabaster white paint on the grey walls was the perfect blank canvas I needed. I searched for dining chairs that were a more appropriate size for the Romeo Rega table. I found some beautiful dark blue linen and wood chairs on Amazon of all places for a steal and LOVE them!
We ended up placing the table in the middle of the space even though the walkthrough on the left is a heavy traffic area for us. After testing it a couple of weeks, we found that it was much easier to get around the table and room!
- Divide the living and dining combo with a tall piece of furniture.
Next, I wanted to add hidden storage as I had removed everything else from the room. After researching and finding inspiration I decided on cane furniture. All of my favorite choices were out of my price range so I did an easy DIY update to an IKEA cabinet that you can find in this post. I made sure to choose a tall white cabinet to flow with the fresh white walls and it worked like a charm!
- Use wall decor and other alternatives for a focal wall.
Since I had removed the other furniture we were left with a blank white wall and then a small window and more wall space on the other side of the dining room. The blank wall was the perfect spot to try a mural!
I hand-painted an impressionist style French countryside inspired mural for a feature wall. You can find all of my DIY tips on this fun and creative DIY on my Instagram account under the “wall mural” highlight. It was actually pretty easy to do!
- Use a large area rug to define the space, especially if you want to go bigger than the natural layout.
The final major change was finding a large area rug to really anchor the space. Not only did we place the table in the middle but also pulled it away from the “nook” to utilize more space. So don’t let a small wall define the space for you! Placing a large area rug made the room feel intentional and was always meant to be a dining room.
I found this beautiful polyester hand-loomed rug from Mohawk Home. It features a vintage blush-colored pattern on a neutral background. I chose it to bring in some of the warmer colors of the house! The rug is constructed with a blend of premium nylon and polypropylene yarn to make it moisture, fade, and stain-resistant which is perfect for the dining room.
Mohawk Home always recommends a slip-resistant rug pad under your rug to protect your floor from wear and tear. I love their double-sided rug pad for carpet or hard floor.
They also gifted me with an additional rug from their Scott Living Collection. It looks beautiful in our foyer and brings in some of the blues from the dining room chairs and mural. It’s a lovely balance of color in our open layout.
- Center a chandelier over the dining room and add additional decor.
The last bit was to move our beautiful chandelier over the middle of the table.
With these basic decorating ideas; using furniture as a room divider, a large area rug to define the space, and adding a feature focal wall, you can create a beautiful dining space in an open layout!
Don’t miss the recent Redfin article we were featured in: “Decorating a Living Room: 17 Tips for Tricky Spaces”
Every home has its own design challenges, whether it’s too much wall space that’s impossible to fill or an odd-shaped living room that leaves you questioning where to place the sofa. If you’ve tried every possible arrangement to make your space feel more like home but it still doesn’t feel complete, you’re not alone.
Tricky spaces require clever design solutions. Whether you’re living in a home in Charlotte, NC that has a living room with tall, blank walls, or a condo in downtown Toronto, CA with a long and narrow living room, these 17 solutions for decorating a living room will have you embracing that empty corner, the awkward-placed pillar, or the empty walls.
Do you have space in your open layout floor plan that you struggle with? Leave me a comment and let’s chat.
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