This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.
Congratulations! Your order qualifies for free shipping You are $95 away from free shipping for Canadian + US orders.
Tips for Designing Open Concept Dining Rooms with Moffatt Grace Design

Tips for Designing Open Concept Dining Rooms with Moffatt Grace Design

Moffatt Grace Design (MGD) and Bluum Maison recently joined forces for a design collaboration. In a beautiful, high-end condo with an expansive open concept dining room that was staged by MGD, Stephanie created a spectacular tablescape to showcase the space and create a stunning backdrop for a recent photo shoot.

Moffatt Grace Design is a high-end, boutique interior design firm in London, Ontario, serving clients all over Southwestern Ontario.

Victoria Grace, Owner and Principal Designer sat down to answer some questions about what goes into designing an open concept dining room.

When you work with a client do they typically have a vision in mind of what they want or do you come to it together?

Some clients come with a vision of what they want and others come to us specifically because they have seen our work. One of the steps we follow in our carefully crafted process is an inspiration review where the client shows us images of what they like. This helps us get a sense of their style.



How would you describe the Moffatt Grace Design style?

Our style is traditional meets modern. We want the spaces we create to evoke a sense of liveable elegance for our clients. We want their spaces to be something they are happy to come home to, that they are proud to show their friends and family and are built for family life. With a toddler and two dogs at home, I know what a tricky balance that can be. 

What are some considerations when designing an open concept dining room that integrates with the other living spaces?

When designing open concept spaces it's important to have cohesive colours throughout the individual areas so they visually tie together. If you are using black accents and gold fixtures, it’s important to carry them through each space. If there is a detail you can carry through such as white oak cabinetry on the living room built-ins and throughout the kitchen, it will help to connect the spaces visually. 


How can one maintain a cohesive design throughout an open concept floor plan while still distinguishing between different areas?

Dining rooms that float between the living room and kitchen (like in the space we styled with Stephanie) can be tricky if you don’t visually define them. Having a dining room light fixture helps to define the space. Rugs also help. Adding furniture pieces such as a buffet or console, or built-in cabinetry also defines the space. The scale of your furniture is important. In this room, because the space is so large, we used an oversize dining table and large upholstered chairs to ground the dining room without looking overly heavy, this helped to visually define the space. 

What are some creative ways to optimize space and functionality in an open concept dining room?

Adding a buffet or console can help define the space and improve functionality. They act as additional storage and something you can style. For a more permanent option, custom millwork is great. I love adding a wet bar with built-in wine fridges and cabinetry for storage and display of my client’s favorite items in a dining room space. 

Depending on the space you have, a built-in banquette along one wall for seating can be a great trick to define a dining space in an open concept room and it provides the opportunity for tons of storage under the benches. 


What lighting techniques work best to enhance the ambiance and functionality of an open concept dining area?

If you are renovating or building, the more natural light you can bring into a space, the better. Having multiple lighting sources adds to the ambiance of any room. There is a shift in the design world away from pot lights right now. Many of my clients still want them for functionality purposes, but I always encourage a layered approach to lighting. 

In a dining room, I always advocate for an overhead dining light fixture on a dimmer (so important!), and building in sconces along the wall or into the custom millwork. 

Lamps on a console also add to the layered lighting look if sconces aren’t an option. There are also many great sconce options available today that don’t need to be hardwired in if that's not in your budget. I am a huge proponent of candles for special occasions in the dining room. There is nothing quite like candlelight to set the mood. 

How can furniture arrangement and selection contribute to the flow and visual appeal of an open concept dining room?

Furniture arrangement can help define the space. It’s important to select furniture that is properly scaled to the space that also flows with the adjoining rooms. Using the same accents and colours helps adjoining spaces flow seamlessly into one another. 

What color schemes and materials are most suitable for creating a harmonious atmosphere in an open concept dining room?

It's important that the colours and tones flow seamlessly throughout an open concept space and to carry the same accents and shades throughout. Sometimes I will use wallpaper that picks up a similar accent colour in the surrounding rooms, or add special wall paneling or moldings to a space to define it. 


Photography by @salemefayad_photography 

What role does artwork, rugs, and curtains play in defining and enhancing the visual appeal of an open concept dining room?

All of these items are important for an elevated, finished look to a space. Clients often ask why professionally designed rooms seem more finished than their spaces and usually the answer is custom drapery and a cohesive colour palette. Custom drapery adds a level of elegance and finish to a space that can’t be undervalued. Properly scaled furniture, art and rugs are also incredibly important for an elevated, finished look. 

What are some common pitfalls to avoid when designing an open concept dining room, and what strategies can be used?

Oftentimes we see clients trying to define open concept spaces with colours or furniture that doesn’t match the surrounding areas in an effort to make them stand out and define the space. When you do that, the area will look disjointed and like it doesn’t belong. The key is to use furniture that is properly scaled to the space and items like rugs and light fixtures to define the area. 

What Bluum Maison products are you loving right now?

Bluum Maison has so many amazing table accessories to make your table feel special. I love the warm glowy light the Prism ribbed candle holders give off (Prism Ribbed Glass Tealight Holders – Bluum Maison) and the beautiful gold colour of the golden light tapered candle holders (Golden Light Taper Candle Holder – Bluum Maison). I love playing with different heights of candles and holders on a table and tapered candles come in every colour imaginable so you can change them out by season or occasion and your table always looks fresh. For Spring, Bluum Maison has six different pastel shades of tapered candles for all of your event needs (Pastel Taper Candles | Set of 2 – Bluum Maison).


How can people get a hold of you if they want to enquire about working with you?

The best way for people to get a hold of me is via email, phone or website.

Victoria Grace | | 416-316-3496 |


Photography by @carmabyc

Leave a comment


Congratulations! Your order qualifies for free shipping You are $95 away from free shipping.
No more products available for purchase