Published on January 22, 2019

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Though a seemingly simple concept, minimalism has seen multiple iterations in the design world over the last few decades. Once a ubiquitous concept, presented in the most literal sense of the word—think an all-white space furnished with just a handful of the staples—it has since been reimagined in bold colorways and intricately detailed surfaces.

The dining room has not been immune to the evolution of this trend, resulting in a dynamic space that is serene yet captivating in detail and finish. A commonly overlooked area of the home, it’s one that often comes with relatively few pieces of furniture and decor as is, earmarking it as the ideal starting point for a pared-down scheme. 

Don’t confuse a minimalist aesthetic with a lack of interest, though. Allow the dining rooms ahead to prove the staying power of the celebrated aesthetic and its timeless take on effortless cool.

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Courtesy of Muuto

The allure of polished concrete surfaces shows no signs of halting, and this quintessentially Nordic scene is all the proof we need. Muuto’s 70/70 table is a prime example of the trending aesthetic, with its streamlined build seamlessly integrated into the subdued composition of the room.

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Courtesy of Jotun

Decorating with neutrals shouldn’t necessarily equate to a lackluster finish. With a clever pairing of contrasting hues, you can invite plenty of interest to even the most modestly furnished spaces. This Scandi-chic dining room may comprise a nearly monochromatic scheme, but the influence of the cool grays elevates the tonal base established by the light wood furnishings and complementary accent wall.

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Jason Frank Rothenberg

Craving minimalism with a hint of whimsy? Allow singer and artist Lourdes Hernandez’s vibrant dining room to provide you with all the inspiration you’ll need. Vividly detailed upholstery and a boldly saturated landing pad invite depth and dimension to an otherwise starkly decked space.

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Courtesy of Livet Hemma

It’s no secret that plants are a minimalist’s best friend. After all, the high contrast between an exclusively white backdrop and the saturated depth of the greens make for a truly inspirational combination. Best when emulated within a light-filled setting, the power pairing calls for the addition of natural textures (think a jute rug or rattan pieces) and contemporary touches (a matte black pendant or sleek dining chairs) to round out the look.

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Courtesy of Fantastic Frank

Contrary to popular belief, minimalism is not all about the ultra-modern and all-white monochrome. This extravagant palazzo we spotted on Fantastic Frank proves the versatility of the trend where a traditional, ornate dining table comes paired with a handful of structural decor accents, resulting in a finish that’s simple yet defined.

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Dark wooden furnishings are a surefire way to invite drama to an otherwise subdued palette. Take note from this stunning San Francisco home, where the dining room’s furnishings were cleverly brought in to match the dark wood partition of the room. Paired against a white backdrop and complemented with a hint of cool blues, it’s the thoughtful addition of the room’s accessories that take this spot to the next level.

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Courtesy of IKEA

Consider this color-blocked setup a symbol of the new wave of Scandinavian design. We’re all for retiring the practice of matching your dining chairs to the table in favor of a more playful approach. A design choice as simple as boldly colorful accents chairs can instantly elevate a neutral scheme, imbuing the space with flair and effortless cool.

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Photography by Jeff Mindell

Decorating with a reserved palette calls for the integration of an unexpected design moment. An eclectic array of seating options around the dining table comes top of mind. Re-create the dynamic finish of this Cali home where a design-forward trio—a sleek bench, cane-detailed chairs, and a pair of modern wood seats—invite a bold dose of personality to the white-on-black palette of the room.