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Maintaining a home

Renovating and styling your dining room on a budget

28 January 2021

Lucy Glade Wright

By Lucy Glade-Wright

Lucy is Designer and Director of Hunting for George, an online publication that is your go-to inspiration for all things home, design and lifestyle.

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Dining rooms can vary from home to home, sometimes they are small, large or non-existent. Regardless, we’ve put together these home styling ideas that can apply to any room in your home to get you thinking about how you can update your interiors on a budget. We break down our top tips on how you can make change for less when renovating and styling your dining room.

1. Save on furniture

Furniture in the dining room can add significant costs depending on the table size and number of dining chairs you might need. We decided to bring in a new dining table and chairs, however previously we found our dining chairs at an opportunity shop and they only cost $120 for 8. Second-hand furniture stores are a great place to look, often you may need to give pieces a little TLC but it’s worth it for the low price tag. We upcycled our dining chairs by sanding and sealing them with a clear coat finish.

Another way to save money on your dining setting is to use what you’ve got and mix around different styles of chairs. You don’t have to perfectly match your setting and often mismatched chairs bring a fun eclectic energy to interiors. Benches are also another option to add more seating for less.

2. Let there be light

Think about creative ways you can improve your lighting without having to do a lot of work. Improving the light in your dining room is as effective as a fresh coat of paint! Switch out old pendant lights for new for an instant transformation. And don’t forget about natural lighting, this means paying attention to your windows. Update with window furnishings that allow a good amount of light whilst also updating your interiors. Mirrors are always a great addition as they help to reflect light around the room, enhancing the overall scale of your dining space.

3. Choose everlasting

I love styling with flowers but they can be expensive and you need to continue to buy them if you want your room always looking fresh. Instead of fresh flowers, think about integrating everlasting florals into your interiors such as dried flowers, branches, cottons and grasses. You only need to buy them once, they will last forever and always look great.

Dining Table Styling Tip

How do you style a dining table when it’s not being used? There are some styling golden rules you can follow.

  • Stick to an odd number of items either 1, 3 or 5. Depending on how big your dining table is I’d recommend stopping at 5 items, my favourite sweet spot is three.
  • Add practical items, choosing functional pieces like bowls or jugs mean they will not appear ‘empty’ when they are not in use, therefore will always look good.
  • Pop of green, styling low maintenance indoor plant clippings is a great way to bring energy to your table. I love Devils Ivy, it’s very hardy. Simply pop it into a small vase with water and it will live happily on your table with minimal fuss.

Whether you're carrying out large-scale or simple renovations, Suncorp Bank offers a range of financing options and helpful tools to help with project planning and budgeting.

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Images by: Hunting for George
Art Direction & Styling: Lucy Glade-Wright
Photography: Jonno Rodd

Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product.

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