How to design contemporary dining room like a pro in 10 steps

You bought your first flat or dream house. Now it is time to design the interiors. And while you don’t want to lose the quality and professionalism, you are eager to design it/them by yourself. So, before get confused with all the info-data everywhere, I am here to explain step by step how to design contemporary dining room like a pro.

There are many ways to design your dining room in a contemporary look – or in any style, you are a fan. There are lots of inspirations, blogs and Pinterest images that bombarded to you. However, if you follow my 10 steps in order, you will not get overwhelmed as happens to most of the people and you will manage to get a good design at the end.  

These are all helpful tips/steps to get success and not give up in the middle of the work. However, you still have to work hard and if you are short of time, please ask the advice of a local designer close to you.


Here come the 10 steps for How to design your contemporary dining room:

Step 1

Find the floor plan from your estate agent, home report or surveyor

Today, every estate agent prepares and put the floor plans of houses that are on sale. So download this plan from their website.

If there is not a service of this kind, then check the width and length of your dining room (or dining area) with a simple tape measure. Then, prepare a very simple hand sketch floor plan. Here you should be consistent with the width and length of the room and draw it in scale. This will help in choosing the furniture that I will explain in the following steps.

Step 2

Brainstorm and prepare your brief

Now you know the dimensions of the dining room or dining area, if it is in the living room, open-plan room.

Now it is time to do some brainstorming. Search furniture online shops. Then do a very quick search on Pinterest.

At this stage, I don’t advice to spend a lot of time on airy-fairy dream homes photos and pins on Pinterest, if you want to take solid action.

Then prepare your design brief by answering the following questions:

  • Which style?

Modern/contemporary in our case but you can design in any style such as traditional, Scandinavian etc.

  • Which items and furniture you need?

Table, 6 or 8 chairs, table lamp, wall lamp, floor lamp, side table, artwork or poster.

  • What is your budget?

What is your time/schedule to finish the design?

Step 3

Visit furniture suppliers’ showroom

I advise after doing a simple search on the internet, visit the available local showrooms close to you to see the actual size and style in 3dimension.

If you have the chance to see any furniture in sore that you liked online, start to see them first. Chat with the shop assistant for further details and more ideas and inspirations.

You even can take photos with your phone.

Step 4

Search inspirations from Pinterest

Now it is more time to spend on Pinterest. You know the area and dimensions of your dining room, you see how a dining table will look like in 3 dimensional- not 2d photo.

Now, you can guess which dining room pins work for your space.

Step 5

Narrow down your search

After you searched a lot on Pinterest, do more in-depth and real furniture search to you are thinking to buy. Consider your real budget. Sometimes people are looking at items that are above their budget, and sometimes the opposite. Especially men may sometimes over-cautious about the overall budget and go with the too cheap options for their total sum.

Besides the budget, you should carefully look for the terms of conditions on the delivery, made to order or ready to sell, return policy- in case of a faulty product or wrong delivery.

Believe me, big brands can send even big furniture such as a sofa or armchair wrong. In one of my office decoration project- the furniture company- which I will not mention their name here but I stopped working with them, delivered three-seater sofa instead of an armchair.

When I contacted them to correct my order, they delivered an armchair but this time it was a wrong model. At that moment the company has gone lost all the credit and I stopped working with them.

Step 6

Make a mood board of your room inspirations

Create a collage on Keynote/PowerPoint/Word/Google Docs (any software programme that you are using) if you gathered your images online. 

Alternatively- you can buy a 50x70cm whiteboard and glue all the paper copies of your images.

You should eliminate the least likely ones. But don’t delete and keep it to look back during the flow of the project. Sometimes you may get lost with all the alternatives, design styles and furniture. To remember what you don’t like is important.

how to design contemporary dining room

Step 7

Make a Mood board of your design

Think as a whole- place existing furniture or the ones you are going to buy but be together at the same place.

how to design contemporary dining room


Advanced options:

The following ones are for design enthusiast and more professional type people

Step 8

Draw- an almost- scale to fit furniture layout plan

The next thing you have to do is wrap up everything on a scale to fit the plan. If you like to see everything all together, you can include this plan to your mood board.

Sketch-up, hand drawing, apple free applications.


how to design contemporary dining room

Step 9

Create your 3d room visualization

Use a programme like photoshop or similar free cloud-based ones, or even games like ‘Decormatters’ work for you.

And don’t forget to create alternatives;

Step 10

Challenge yourself with advanced 3d interiors

You may prefer or challenge yourself with more professional 3d alternatives and looks.


These steps for good design are important. I design my projects in these steps and if you follow my advice you will create your dining room like an interior design professional. 
All images © Dr Hatice Ozhisar, HaticeXInterior

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