The Key Characteristics of a Traditional English Dining Room

Traditional English Dining Room

Like any other room in a home, the choice of décor for a dining room should reflect the homeowner’s individual tastes and the style or period of the property. There are many sources of inspiration that people use to help them choose the best style of interior décor, including styles associated with different periods or locations. One option that you might consider for your dining room is the traditional English interior design style. Here are the characteristics of a traditional English dining room.

What is a Traditional English Dining Room?

A traditional English dining room is a dining room that is in keeping with the traditional English interior design style. This interior design style is influenced by English country homes in the 17th and 18th century. It is often a combination of the refinement and elegance of the country homes and the rustic comfort of English country farmhouses. Many people use elements of both of these interpretations of the style. House & Garden describes this style as using a ‘more is more’ philosophy, so it is not a style that will suit everybody. People who want a modern take on the look that has a more minimalist approach will often select just a few key elements of the English interior design style when designing their rooms.


All the materials that are used in traditional English design are natural as the style reflects a period before modern manmade materials were available. Therefore, when designing a traditional English dining room, you should only use natural materials. The main material that is used is wood, so this should be the predominant material in your dining room. Another natural material that is used is stone, and this material is often used for floors and feature walls.


It is possible to use almost any color to create a traditional English interior design style. Neutrals, pastel shades, and bold blocks of color are all used wit this style. For smaller dining rooms, lighter colors, such as neutrals and pastels, work best as they create an illusion of space. If you have a large dining room, then you may wish to adopt a bolder approach to your color choice and make a statement with deep reds and dark greens.

Architectural Features

There are several features in a traditional English dining room that you should retain. If you do not have them already, try to recreate the theme by adding these architectural features. Some examples include picture and dado rails, elaborate cornices, bay windows, fireplaces, and ceiling beams.


In country farmhouses of the traditional English style, the floors were usually either wood, stone flags, or mosaic tiles. If you have an open kitchen-dining room, then these types of floor are a practical option. To add color, warmth, and detail, you can add a large rug over the flooring. On the other hand, carpeting features in many traditional English homes. This was usually the case for wealthier families. These were typically patterned or in bold colors. You may prefer to add carpet if you have a separate, formal dining room.


Your choice of furniture for a traditional English dining room depends on whether you have followed the elegant Georgian interpretation of this them or gone down the rustic farmhouse route. However, you should always choose wood furniture regardless of which theme you are using. Etons of Bath says that both Georgian and Regency style furniture can work well in a modern and elegant dining room that is inspired by traditional English interior design. These are often dark wood pieces of furniture that may have intricate inlays and carved legs. An oval or rectangular table with high backed chairs in these styles would be the centerpiece of a Georgian dining room. For comfort, opt for chairs that have padded, fabric-covered seats that complement your color scheme. If you have a bay window, then you may also wish to have a chaise lounge with wooden legs and covered in a plain fabric that matches your color scheme or a fabric with a pretty floral design. Oak furniture is a good option if you have leaned more towards the country farmhouse look.


Accessories are an important part of traditional English interior design style. Potted plants, books, ceramics, and glassware are all accessories that you would see in a traditional English home, says Architectural Digest . You can incorporate each of these accessories into your traditional English dining room in a variety of ways. For example, you can add potted plants to the windowsill, the top of the fireplace, or on the dining table. If you have an alcove, you can create a wall of bookshelves, or you can simply add a shelf for books on any wall in the room. One way of displaying ceramics and glassware is to display interesting pieces along a picture rail shelf. You can also wall mount them or use your dining table as a way of displaying them. Paintings and mirrors are other accessories that you can add. These both create interesting focal points on the walls, and a mirror will also give a sense of space and light.

Traditional English Dining Rooms – The Final Verdict

A traditional English dining room is one that is inspired by the design ideas of those living in English country houses in times gone by. There are several interpretations of this theme, from the rustic farmhouse look to the elegance of the aristocracy. This style gives you the freedom to use any color as the more important characteristics of a dining room in this theme is the use of wood furniture and an abundance of accessories. If you have a home built in the Georgian period or you live in a country farmhouse, then this look is easy to recreate. However, you may face challenges if you try to create this look in a modern property.

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