1. DECORATING A DINING ROOM FOR ADULTS? GO GREY.
In this California family home by San Francisco's Katie Martinez Design, Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe grey creates a sophisticated dining room for adults, offering contrast to the home’s more frequently used (and notedly kid-friendly) breakfast table. “The homeowners planned to use this room for special occasions and daily adult use, mostly at night,” explains Katie Martinez of the mature vibe.
2. ADD GREY LIMEWASH FOR A TOUCH OF DRAMA
Grey paint may seem hyper-modern and clean, but limewash, made from crushed limestone thinned with water, has made grey walls a staple since ancient times. If you're wondering how to design a dining room, the effect of this hand-applied finish brings texture, if not a sense of wonder.
3. THE RIGHT SHADE LETS TRUE COLORS SHINE
Think of grey like your furniture’s biggest fan: as a natural shade, it doesn’t hog the spotlight, allowing the colors that go with grey and textures to pop throughout the space. “Grey is a naturally calming colour, and less stark than white,” explains Edo Mapelli Mozzi, founder of the UK’s Banda who chose Farrow & Ball’s Ammonite grey for the panelled walls in a recent townhouse design.
4. CONSIDER WALLPAPER FOR VISIBLE TEXTURE
Dining room wallpaper ideas are a tried-and-true method to add visual interest through texture. In Vancouver, Gillian Segal Design used a Phillip Jeffries Manila Hemp graphite wallpaper to bring sophistication and comfort to a recent apartment’s dining area. “When choosing a grey wallpaper I look for depth and warmth over a flat cool tone,” says Segal.
5. WHEN GREY MEETS PINK, THEY COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER
For a modern classic, the combination of pink and grey is a no-brainer— in fact, grey is one of the best colors to go with pink, so long as there’s balance. In this California home, the interior designers at Newport Beach’s Pure Salt Interiors used a very dusky pink paint on the walls, anchoring the room with soft grey Shaker-style chairs.
6. EMBRACE THE DARK SIDE OF GREY
In this delightfully dark dining space, Brooklyn’s Re-a.d created a moody atmosphere in this Harlem penthouse with limewash by Resource Paints. In fact, dining room lighting ideas often revolve around adding a sparkle to grey. "Greys in dining spaces act as breathing moments,” says Re-a.d’s Côme Ménage. “The dark grey palette we used acts as the quiet background and allows for the dining experience in front of it to pop out."
7. JUST THE TRIM, A RICH HISTORY
Maybe you’re not ready to go all grey, and that’s all good - not all dining table ideas have to be all out. Especially in historic homes, there’s a long history of contrasting trim tones—a modern grey trim can balance out the old-school charm of traditional white walls.
8. LIGHTING IS KEY TO GREY SPACES
Just like in grey weather, a little bit of light can go a long way. In their recent project for star chef Jason Atherton, London’s Rosendale Design chose an earthy grey tone for the textured wallpaper of this decadent dining space. But it was their choice lighting that truly creates a warming atmosphere, one that chimes with stained timber details and striking art.
9. WHEN IN DOUBT, DOWN PIPE WILL DO
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe works in nearly every room. That’s no different for the intimate London dining room above. “Because Down Pipe has a subtle green element there is a surprising warmth through it which makes it wonderfully versatile, even for north facing spaces with limited natural light,” explains Patrick O’Donnell, Farrow & Ball’s brand ambassador.
10. DOUBLE UP WITH WALL-TO-CEILING GREY
If light is plentiful, double-down with an extra dark coat. In this Los Angeles home, natural light pours into the dining room from every angle—this allowed the team at Amber Interiors Design Studio to use a dark and moody Amherst Grey by Benjamin Moore on both the walls and the ceiling. “By carrying the paint color up the ceiling, it allowed the space to feel cohesive and cozy,”explains founder Amber Lewis.