Creating a Photogenic Dining Room


Before kitchen tables and breakfast nooks, there was once a room where we all sat for meals and conversation at the end of the day. While the days of “formal dining” on a daily basis is less common, the dining room is still an important fixture in most homes.

How you design a dining room can really make a big difference in attracting potential buyers and upping your selling cost. Here are some things to remember when preparing a dining room for photos. 

Whether we’re photographing a mid-century or newly built home, we believe that every good dining room has three things: elegance, personality, and great lighting.

Elegance

The dining room has always been (and can still be) one place where a family can come together without distraction, and a room that reveals the true character of the home. When designing or staging a dining room, Mediamax photographer John Koliopoulos suggests examining the style of the whole house. He says, “The dining room should reflect the character of the house, and should stick to the continuous theme that runs through the home”. That starts with the architecture of the house.

We recommend staying true to the home’s original time period. If it has original crown molding or a tray ceiling for example, you want to find ways to honor that natural architecture and build around it.  For a home built in 1938, try choosing classic sconces and a candle-style chandelier rather than recessed or canned lighting.

Photo by Nate Koerner

Personality

Once you’ve honored the originality of your home, don’t be afraid to add a little personality (and take a few risks). You can do this by adding the right furniture and accents, including artwork that matches your theme. Take a look at this one below.

 

Photo by Ben Nelson

Great Lighting

When it comes to lighting choices, the world (or Home Depot) really is your oyster. If you have a little more time, browsing a site like Etsy.com might help you find the one-of-a-kind chandelier you’ve been searching for. While you may fall in love with the style of a fixture, you also want to remember that the quality of light is just as important in creating a perfect dining room. John says, “The goal really is to make the space as inviting as possible to as many people as you can. A combination of natural and ambient light will help you do that.” 

Photo by John Koliopoulos

There are a few things to remember when approaching a dining room. “First,” John says, “keep it simple. Less is always more, so the space is inviting but gives potential buyers a chance to imagine their own furniture in the room.” Second, if you have a stager, always follow their lead. They are up to date on the colors and trends that are leading the market. Third, you want to make sure everything goes together. No matter how much you like your antique table, if it doesn’t match the room, find another one. If you’re debating which rooms to stage, we feel the dining room should be at the top of your priority list. Creating an inviting space will beat an empty room every time. See our comparison below.

Photos by David Cramer and Andy Gould

To see photos of some of the stunning, creative (and eccentric) dining rooms we’ve photographed, click here.