Three designers take on three dining rooms to create a trio of show-stopping looks.


dark living room

Modern Entertainer

A Vancouver couple looking to downsize found a new home in this warm, contemporary loft designed by Jamie Deck of Shift Interiors. Multifunctional lighting and an impressive buffet make it ideal for both entertaining and everyday living.

Get the Look


Find the main point of interest. Choose an item that’s important to you—perhaps a striking table or a unique light fixture—and design the room around it. Deck used one of the homeowners’ favourite paintings as the foundation for this space.

Use harmonizing colours. To make a space feel larger, stick to two or three colours that work well together. If you have more than one colour of wood, consider colour-staining them to match, as Deck did with the table and buffet.

Put your millwork to work. A custom horizontal unit can pull triple duty as a storage space, a buffet and a bar all at once. Perfect for entertaining, it acts as an extension of the kitchen when guests are over.

Modern dining room

Casual Comfort

Designer David Nicolay captured a young family’s casual, relaxed lifestyle in this modern Point Grey home. Neutral colours and classic materials set a solid foundation for the dining area, allowing the homeowners’ personality to shine through in the details.

Get the Look

Light up the room. Choose a light fixture for more than just its decorative possibilities. This semi-translucent Moooi pendant light emits a glow over the whole room, rather than just casting light downward.

Put your personality on display. Add some character to a space by showing off a personal collection, art pieces or platters and dishes on open shelving.

Keep your materials consistent. Create contrast by choosing pieces that are the same type of wood but have different finishes. Here, Nicolay mixed sleek white-oak millwork with a distressed oak table by E15, using neutral concrete flooring to anchor the look.

Bright and airy dining room

Waterfront Whimsy

This Yaletown waterfront condo is a regular getaway spot for an Edmonton-based family. Designer Angela Robinson pulled from Vancouver’s beachy surroundings and blue skyline to bring a West Coast vibe to their home away from home.

Get the Look

Weigh your lighting options. While heavier materials like brass make a space appear more serious, lighter materials—like the thin, twisted wood veneer on this Link suspension light—complement this room’s bright, fresh look.

Get in the right frame of mind. When creating a collage wall, reframe or custom-frame your art and photographs. Different frame styles give off an eclectic vibe, while compatible colours and finishes keep the look from appearing too random.

Use your accent colours strategically. In spaces with neutral finishes, incorporate bright pops of colour in versatile pieces—like chairs, which can be easily changed over time to keep a space looking current.