Both of these photos are of formal dining rooms. One works better than the other and for several reasons. Find out how to pull off a formal dining room that works by being inviting and timeless.
Image #1 is similar to the look of formal dining rooms over centuries. This look has become a standard in formal and feels can feel rigid. Unfortunately, there is simply too much going on in this space for a modern home.
By having a large table with many seats, the look is made complicated by using ornate dining furniture. The entire space looks and feels busy, which is amplified by the mirrored panels on the wall. Mirrored panels can be a successful tool in a small, tight space, but should not be used in a large, open room. Mirrors make the room feel even larger than it is and amplifies the appearance of the elaborate table settings.
The formal look of image #1 uninviting and overwhelming. The drapery is heavy as well. Simple floor to ceiling panels with a classic pleat at the top would be a much better selection.
Ornate furniture, lighting and millwork are making the room in image #1 look too busy. The space is so large that smaller scaled ornate pieces look out of place. Such a long dining table really needs two chandeliers or two to three pendant lights hanging over it.
Image #2 works as a formal dining room because it feels more balanced. The furniture size fits perfectly in the size of the room. The clean lines of the furniture have a classic look without all of the fuss. The architectural details can be noticed because the space is not busy or over whelming. Balance is the key to this room’s success. Anyone would feel comfortable having dinner at this table; which makes for exceptional dinner parties!