14 Stylish Dining Room Decorating Ideas On A Budget

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It’s the shift no one noticed — in a 2019 survey about cooking at home, while 72 percent of respondents grew up eating at a dining room table, only 48 percent of them still do so now.

So, let’s bring everyone back to the table…by having a fabulous dining room!

Want inspiration to spruce up your dining room but you don’t want to spend a lot of money though? Have no fear, because we’ve put together some great decor ideas that will make your dining room look amaze – and all on a budget!

14 Easy Dining Room Decorating Ideas On A Budget

Use A Rug

Rugs are an easy and affordable way to instantly change the look and feel of a room, especially in the dining room. Not only do they help protect your floors from spills, but they can also add texture and depth to any space without breaking the bank. Choose a rug that matches your existing color scheme or opt for something bolder such as a patterned rug to add interest and drama. If you’re looking for something even more budget-friendly, try an outdoor rug or a recycled rag rug made from colorful pieces of fabric.

If you’re worried about keeping it clean, check out our review on the washable Ruggable rugs.

Table Garland or Runner For Texture

overhead view of dining room table with a grey table runner and eucalyptus garland

Using a table runner or garland is a great way to get the look of an expensive dining room on a budget (got the table garland idea from our post about Thanksgiving Centerpieces actually). A simple burlap table runner can instantly transform your space, adding color, texture and style. For added impact, add some place mats in complementary colors and patterns. You can also use garlands to create an eye-catching centerpiece. Whether you opt for artificial foliage or real plants, garlands will instantly bring life to your dining room table and add a unique touch. Best of all, they won’t cost you a fortune and can easily be changed out whenever the mood strikes. So don’t hesitate to break out the scissors and get creative with table runners and garlands—you’ll be amazed at the transformation they can bring to your dining room on a budget!

Accent Pieces From Yard sales and Thrift Stores

Flea Anduze every Sunday morning throughout the year where tourists and locals meet to buy or sell, picture shows two women holding up a vintage dining room light

If you’re looking for something a little more unique, think about incorporating thrift store and garage sale finds into your décor. Thrift stores and yard sales are great sources for one-of-a-kind items and antiques that can be used as part of your new table setting and dining decor. You can find vintage silverware, plates, glasses, and much more at garage sales for a fraction of the cost compared to buying them from regular retailers. 

I love mixing different styles in my interior design (i.e., antique, vintage, boho, modern, gold and silver metals, wood).

Use Paint…For Anything

Big white metal lamps above wooden table with white chairs in lovely dining room interior with blue wall and white furniture

Adding a bold pop of color to your living space has never been easier! Just take one wall, any wall, and splash it with some color. Not feeling quite daring enough? Then opt for a tone-on-tone look that still has personality. Pick up a small container of paint that is right adjacent to the color you already have in the room and do just one wall with it. It will be just enough to give the room some interest while still allowing you to stay within your comfort zone. Paint can be an incredibly transformative tool and incredibly affordable option for making big changes to any living room or bedroom.

Or, paint your dining chairs like in the first picture above! Do the accent pieces you already have in your current decor not match? Paint them too!

Include Art

light and bright dining room with a black accent wall and a wood and white dining room set with a black and white rug underneath it

Having a well-decorated dining room doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. A great way to add some visual interest without breaking the bank is with wall art. Wall art can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like, whether it’s a piece of canvas art, prints in frames of different sizes, or even just interesting-looking decorative plates. You can also use wallpaper and stencils to create a unique look that won’t cost you a fortune. Not only will these pieces add personality to your dining room decor, but they will also help tie the entire space together.

Minimalism To Save Money And Look High End

Empty wall in modern dining room with wooden chairs and dining table.  Minimalist dining room design

If you’re looking to decorate a dining room on a budget, minimalism is the way to go. This style focuses on simplicity and clean lines over extravagance or excess. Instead of cluttering your space with unnecessary items, pick one or two statement pieces that will bring life to your dining room without costing too much.

Use Plants To Bring Life To The Dining Area

Plants on shelves and rug in white apartment interior with chairs at dining table under lamp, boho dining room decor with lots of texture

Using plants is another great way to create a beautiful and inviting dining room without breaking the bank. From lush potted plants to low-maintenance succulents, there are plenty of options that will bring life into your space. Strategically placing plants around the room can even make it appear larger and brighter–not to mention bringing in oxygen and purifying the air. Plus, plants can be used to bring in color and texture that will tie your room together. Whether you opt for a statement piece or several smaller plants, they are sure to add an extra layer of charm to any dining room on a budget

Use A Buffet Table or Sideboard

Using a buffet table or sideboard is an excellent way to decorate your dining room on a budget. You may think they are only for formal dining rooms, but that’s definitely not the case. Not only do they provide extra storage space and can act as focal point in the room, but they also offer plenty of opportunities for creative expression. For instance, you can display decorative items such as vases, artwork, and books on top, or store dishes and linens in the drawers. You can also use a sideboard to display flowers or showcase a collection of your favorite things.

Better Yet…Transform A Dresser Into A DIY Buffet Table or Bar Cart

woman painting dining room buffet table dark green, diy buffet table, dining room set

Transforming a dresser into a buffet table can be an excellent way to decorate your dining room while also staying on budget. All you need is some paint, maybe new handles and knobs. You can even customize it by adding a stencil design or using different colors for each shelf.

You can also use it to store bottles of alcohol, creating a chic and inviting atmosphere for your guests. Hey, it could be a DIY bar cart!

Unique Light Fixtures

unique chandelier above dining room table, dining room set, dining room decor ideas on a budget

Incorporating unique lighting into your dining room space is a great way to add style and personality without breaking the bank. Whether you’re looking for pendant lights, chandeliers, wall sconces, or even floor lamps, there are a variety of affordable yet stylish options available for any budget. With the right lighting, you can instantly add warmth and atmosphere to the room, while also helping to create a relaxing atmosphere.

Hang A Large Mirror

Lovely dining room layout with contemporary chandelier, large mirror on the wall, and bright colored table settings

If you want to make your dining room look bigger and brighter without having to do any renovations, then hanging a large mirror is the way to go. Not only will this make the space look more inviting, but it will also create an illuminated atmosphere that you can enjoy during dinner parties or family gatherings. It’s a fun and quirky way to add some subtle illumination and depth – plus, it’s something that most of your guests won’t expect as they enter the room. So go on and give it a shot – after all, your dining room deserves a little bit of sparkle!

Use candles to create ambiance, especially during dinner parties

close up view with a dining room table that has a table runner, tall tapered candles sticks in gold antique holders

Candles provide a cheap and easy way to create perfect dining room table decor! So the next time you’re throwing a dinner party, why not use them to your advantage and create an unforgettable ambiance? From romantic and dimly-lit to simply warm and inviting, arrangements of subtly scented candles will make any gathering du jour. With a little creativity, you can set the perfect mood for even the most mundane of conversations. Whether your go-to is candlesticks or tea lights, take it from us: there’s no better way to light up a room.

Mix and Match Dining Room Sets

Colorful chairs at dining room table in cottage grey dining room interior with lamps and posters. Real photo

Mixing and matching dining room sets is a great way to get a cool eclectic vibe while also staying on budget. If you’re not sure where to start, picking out a few items of one style or color can help create a cohesive look. You can then add different chairs, tables, and accents in other colors that will give your dining room a unique and dynamic feel. Don’t be afraid to mix different materials, textures, and patterns for added flair. By taking the time to find just the right pieces, you can create a stylish dining space that looks great but won’t cost you a ton.

Best of all, when it comes time for a change, you can easily swap out pieces to keep your dining space looking fresh and up-to-date. In my dining room, I used a bench for seating on one side of the table and chairs on the other! So don’t be afraid to get creative and see what kind of look you can come up with on a budget!

Use Flowers or Fruit

Woman arranges spring flower bouquet in a vase

Adding a vase full of fresh flowers or a decorative bowl of fruit to your home decor adds more than just a pop of color – it’s also an easy way to show off your unique personality! Whether you opt for the subtle elegance of orchids or vibrant fruit in a basket, you endless options to fit whatever home decor style you want.


Whether you’re eating a simple dinner for two or throwing an extravagant dinner party, transforming your dining room into a show-stopping space is easy to do on a budget.

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