A dining room makeover isn't too hard, and a few changes can make a world of difference. A little elbow grease and inspiration can work wonders.
For a dining room that is a beautiful and comfortable meeting place for the whole family you can choose furnishings according to the size of your dining room. For a large dining room, a large table will be most attractive, but if your dining room is on the small side then a smaller dining table is a better choice. There are furniture stores that sell small scale furniture that is both attractive and comfortable. Everything in your dining room doesn't have to match. In fact it looks more homey to mix and match. Older timeless pieces of furniture never go out of style.
You can often find old furniture in second hand and thrift stores that is better made than new furniture.
Old furniture was build to last, rather than much of today's furniture that has to be replaced from time to time. You can sand and varnish old furniture or sand and paint to make it look new, or buy old pieces and instead of sprucing up the pieces to make them look better, gouge and scratch them up to make the piece look really old and used. Different strokes for different folks as the saying goes.
If you have high ceilings with nice moldings in your dining room, then highlight the architectural features by drawing the eye upward. An extra large, round light fixture over the dining table and simple, solid colored curtains with a little trim along the edges, should do the trick. For large or small dining rooms, this plan is flattering and works perfectly well.
For table setting, mix and match to create a lovely table. Put different patterns together, solids, with floral, new with old, gold with silver, and give your glass ware the same treatment. Mixing and matching makes your table more interesting. Mix classic Southern staples, white, blue and rattan. You can make a skirt for your dining table or not, whichever you prefer is fine. Collect items that you love over time.
I like hardwood in the dining room, but it you like rugs, go for it. A floral patterned rug is the very thing to camouflage stains. A vintage quilt is a good way to add a one of a kind touch to your table top. If you don't care to use a table covering, wax the top of your table to a high shine and make it easy to care for. Use calming colors and mix old and new, curvy and rigid, shiny with matte, iron with brass. A good mix feels coordinated and not matchy-matchy.