Dramatic dining room decorating doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Beauty lies in the creative use of tried-and-true ideas. Learn how to create the illusion of paneled walls, wall murals, roman columns, and much, much more. Even a small dining room can be made to look elegant with a giant bamboo wall mirror you can make yourself. So click on that creative light bulb in your head with these 10 dramatic dining room decorating ideas for affordable sophistication.

Dramatic Dining Room Decorating: #1. WALL DECORATING

Add dramatic effect to your dining room decorating with wall highlights. Nail base molding at the center of the wall, all around the room, to create an affordable chair rail. Remember to cut the corners at 45 degree angles. Then extend vertical strips of molding, two feet apart, between the floor molding and chair rail molding. Your dining room decorating will acquire the sophistication of paneled walls. And for an even easier and cheaper way to implement this idea, use 2×4’s instead of molding, and cut them at straight angles in corners to simplify your calculations. Be sure to paint the molding or 2×4’s in an accent color to add even more dramatic beauty to your dining room decorating.

Dramatic Dining Room Decorating: #2. CHAIR DECORATING

Add dramatic beauty to your dining room decorating with store-bought chair slipcovers. Make sure to measure your chairs along the back and front for accurate size. Slipcovers are sold for every type of chair, so begin by visiting an online store and finding a picture that represents your chairs. Remember the style name, so as to find a slipcover that’s perfect for your dining room chair. Choose a color that blends with the rest of the dining room decor, adding shabby chic sophistication to the color palette of the room.

Dramatic Dining Room Decorating: #3. ART DECORATING

Add dramatic sophistication to your dining room decorating with unique art. Use salvage or garage sale windows to create unique picture frames. Old mirror frames are also perfect for dining room decorating. Remove any old glass from the frames. Next, collect leaves from the park or your garden. Wrap them in a paper towel and place inside a book to dry for a month. Better yet, collect leaves in the fall and these can be used as is. You can also dry roses by hanging them upside down in a dark place for a month, then use them to create your dining room decor. On a sheet of rice paper, glue the leaves or roses, then adhere the paper to the back of the old frames. You can add a piece of white cardboard behind for protection. Hang this rural art in close clusters to add dramatic elegance to your dining room decorating.

Dramatic Dining Room Decorating: #4. FAUX HUTCH DECORATING

Add dramatic beauty to your dining room by creating the illusion of a display hutch even if you have none. At your home improvement store buy a radiator grill or several depending on the hutch size you desire. Spray paint the grill in an earth tone and hang on the wall of your dining room. Then suspend chine on the grill using pegboard hooks (again from your home improvement store). Be sure to spray paint the pegs to blend them into the radiator grill. Finally, create a frame around the grill using base molding.

Dramatic Dining Room Decorating: #5. FLOOR DECORATING

Add drama to your dining room decorating by selecting a contrast rug for the floor. The rug will define the dining room area, setting it apart from an open floor plan, or adding elegance to its scheme in the case of closed rooms. If the dining room decor is bland in tones, choose striking crimsons or violets for your dining room rug. For a shabby chic, Victorian look choose a pale carpet. For a verdant, nature look choose a rug with floral motifs. While for a modern dining room, decorate with a rug in a dark, riverbank shade.

Dramatic Dining Room Decorating: #6. CHANDELIER DECORATING

Add dramatic charm to your dining room decorating by adding clip on lamp shades to your existing chandelier. You can further decorate lamp shades with strings of glass or plastic tassels from your local craft or fabric store. Or festoon strings of glass beads from your chandelier for added sparkle. To give your dining room decorating an elegant spread of illumination, be sure to hand the chandelier no lower than 30 inches over your dining room table. And for soft dining room lighting use a drum shade over your existing chandelier. (Discover how to create a Victorian Chandelier yourself.)

Dramatic Dining Room Decorating: #7. FAUX MANTLE DECORATING

Add dramatic elegance to your dining room decorating with a faux hearth. Create your mantle by buying a finish mantle shelf from your home improvement store, and supporting it against the wall with two 4×4 slabs of wood. Be sure to paint the parts of the mantle in a uniform accent color to add sophistication to your dining room decorating. Use the mantle to display a series of cast-iron mirrors, glass bottles or old-fashioned china.

Dramatic Dining Room Decorating: #8. ROMAN COLUMN DECORATING

Add timeless elegance to your dining room decorating with roman columns. Custom order wood roman columns or Plexiglas columns to set on either side of your dining room entrance or in its four corners. Or visit your home improvement store and buy a cluster of round poles that fit your ceiling height. Then tie the rods together in a cluster using a tasseled curtain tie-back at the top, bottom and middle. You may choose to increase the elegance of your dining room decorating even further by painting the poles white to increase the illusion of a uniform structure harkening back to the days of the Romans.

Dramatic Dining Room Decorating: #9. WALL MURALS

Add artistic chic to your dining room decorating with a faux wall mural made of canvas. Choose a Tuscan landscape or Chinese garden (discover wall mural ideas). Alternatively, create tapestries from throws depicting garden images. Buy two round poles at your home improvement store, to fit the length measurements of the throw. Use glue to roll the top and bottom ends of the throw backwards over the polls, then hang from the wall.

Dramatic Dining Room Decorating: #10. MIRROR DECORATING

Add drama and size to your dining room decorating with a custom lattice mirror you make yourself. Buy six frameless dressing mirrors (which are very cheap). Glue them to your dining room wall, laying them on their side to form a huge elongated rectangle. Then glue base molding or bamboo sticks in a grid across the mirror to hide the lines where the mirrors meet. Finally create a frame around the mirror from the same materials.