Winter Decorating Changes In The Dining Room

Winter is the perfect time to spruce up your dining room with some easy, stylish updates. See how you can transform your dining room by adding new textiles like curtains or an upholstered settee and a few accessories to make your home warm and cozy.

Winter is the best time to make some much-needed and positive changes in our decor. I recently made a couple of changes to our dining room that brought a little more color and life into this small area.

Join me in the dining room. It’s late afternoon, and the winter sun is steaming in through the sunroom windows, creating long shadows and filling our dining area with winter’s light. I love this time of day and season in this room! I hope you enjoy the images of our winter dining room just before I ran out of light!

It seems when I change one thing in our home, it starts a snowball of ideas and changes. Apparently, snowballs are appropriate for winter and decorating! I’ve been thinking about some changes I want to make in our home. Especially in our more public living spaces. I’ve wanted to add a little more color and interest. I’ve been braver about wanting to add more decor to our home.

dining room with curtains

New Curtains

WINTER CHANGES-long shot of dining room in the winter

I think the most obvious change to our dining room is the new curtains. For the winter, and maybe beyond, I added brown and white buffalo check curtains to the large window in the dining area. These curtains were in our master bedroom, and I thought I might try them in the dining area for a while.

They immediately made a big difference and livened up the space. I would usually suggest that curtains play a supporting role in a room and not be the star, but our dining area is small and the curtains changed its look.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the brown and white buffalo check curtains.

The Settee

curtains in the living room

You might have noticed that I replaced one of the chairs in the dining area with a settee. I LOVE the look of mismatched dining chairs and the use of a banquette or settee in place of a chair around the table.

When I hung the curtains, there was nothing in the room to tie the curtain color to the room as a whole.

Then it dawned on me that the settee in our master bedroom would work in the dining room. The settee came from Soft Surroundings about a decade ago. Sorry, it is no longer in stock.

I arranged the settee so it would face into the living room. This also placed it right in front of the curtains. Although the settee has French styling, I love to mix decorating style styles in our home, and the upholstery is so unique and not very French. And it is very comfortable. Perfect for me and one of my little grandchildren,

Adding the settee became a big decorating win/win/win.

WINTER CHANGES 2024-settee

The settee worked in three ways. First, it created a fresh color palette for the dining room along with the curtains. Second, adding a seating element that was different from the other chairs added lots of interest to the room. And third, it helped create the new look I’m working on for our home’s overall style.

Creating A Centerpiece For A Winter Dining Room Table

1 WINTER CHANGES 2024-orchid centerpiece

One of my favorite ways to decorate is to create vignettes, arrangements, and centerpieces. They enhance any flat surface, creating interest and a mini focal point. Here’s how I created this easy, pretty centerpiece for our dining room table.

Use A Runner

I’ve used the same loosely woven burlap runner 365 days of the year. It works with everything I put on top of it and my dining room as a whole. However, it is getting a bit worse for wear. So, I’m looking for another runner just like it. You don’t change some things when they work so well.

A runner is a very easy way to add a layer of texture and depth to a table.

The Orchids

WINTER CHANGES 2024-orchid centerpiece

I am an orchid lover. Did you know that orchids are the most common flower in the world? I love orchids any time of the year, but especially in the winter. The blooms last for a week, so I treat them as long-lasting cut flowers. They can rebloom, and I’ve had good luck with them, but I can find blooming orchids so inexpensively I often pitch them when all the flowers are gone.

I found these big Phalaenopsis orchids in nice pots, so I picked up a few to decorate the living room and dining room. My initial idea was to plant them en masse, as I most often do after Christmas, but I decided to keep them in their individual pots.

Look for a post about caring for Orchids before the end of the month.

The Mirrored Tray

WINTER decorating-orchid centerpiece

A tray is a nice way to add more presence to a dining room centerpiece. For winter, it’s nice to use a metallic or reflective tray. It get’s dark eary and if you use candles or lanterns a tray with shiny surfaces will reflect some of that beautiful soft light.

I put the pots of orchids on a mirrored tray I often bring up from the basement this time of year. This tray also has wires on the back to hang as a mirror. The mirror tray sparkles when the sun streams through our dining room window. So pretty when it’s wintery outside.

The Candlesticks

winter in the dining room- tortoise shell candlestick

I found these candlesticks at HomeGoods over a decade ago. They have been unused for years, but I could not get rid of them because someday I might use them. Thank goodness I did not give them away. I love the color and complexities of tortoise shells. The blown glass candlesticks show off those beautiful colors.


I’m such a fan of battery-operated candles. I set the times and forget about lighting or blowing them out. They are safe and add a lovely, warm glow to my dining room.

Candles and lanterns are quintessential winter decor. They add a warmth and coziness that nothing else can replicate.



When I decorated for Christmas, we took down our beloved antique shutters and hung brass pillar sconces. I love their warm look! Right now they are on sale and free shipping! They also come in ORB.

Sconces are a stylish way to add a layer of light and interest to a room.

More Change Coming Soon

Once I start changing things, there are always more changes to come. Here are some things we are working on right now.

  • Finding a new chandelier. I’m thinking about one with lampshades.
  • A new table runner, however I want to find one as close as I can to the one I have right now.
  • Large footed planter for spring arrangements.
  • Brown and white transferware dishes, platters, and lids for the walls.

Winter is the best time for planning, decorating, and changing things in your home. I hope this has inspired you!

FAQs About Winter Decorating

Winter decorating is all about feeling cozy and warm. Use textural pillows, chunky decorative throws, lots of candles, metallic and mirrored trays, birch logs, and anything that makes you feel comfy and snug.

It’s important to incorporate any new colors with your current ones. Adding white, brown, and off-white to your home will mimic what nature looks like in the winter and easily works with most home color stories. Other colors that are nice to use in the winter are blue, silver, muted copper, and gray.

Orchids are beautiful flowers to decorate with in the winter. They bring life and organic beauty to a winter home. Get them just blooming, and they can last until early spring.

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  1. I love the change! It needed more color! Definitely a keeper!

    1. Thanks, Marsha. I am a neutral girl, but I don’t think I strayed too far off. I’m glad you like the new color in the dining room.

      1. Love the addition of the drapes,they brighten up the space and adds more interest.I’m a lover of anything buffalo plaid.Liking the settee tying the colors together.

  2. The switches you made are spot on! I love the refreshed look. I can’t wait for your post on orchids. I was gifted one and hope to keep it alive. Thank you for your daily inspiration.

  3. I really like the addition of the settee to coordinate with the check draperies. It hits the spot! Although I am certainly not a minimalist by any means, I have been curating items in every area of our home. This year I have been doing my own pantry challenge of sorts. I don’t go without grocery shopping, but I have been doing a pantry inventory and using items that have been sitting to create an out of the ordinary meal. I have decided to do the same with my decor items. I have switched things up by repurposing items. One item I am working on now is changing up the items that I use to decorate the top of a large armoire in our family room. I am arranging a selection of antique baskets on the top. Some baskets I already owned, but for the first time on a whim we shopped at Goodwill and bought several really great baskets. It’s fun, and it gives us a change of pace, and doesn’t cost much. I just told our daughter this morning that I don’t knit, sew, whatever, but our home is my hobby.

  4. I love the curtains, they give life to the room and the settee is a winner, good job

  5. I love the changes you made! I’m a neutral girl myself and am trying to add small touches of color. The curtains add more depth to an already beautiful dining room! Those candle stick holders are lovely! You are an inspiration!

  6. I love the drapes! What a great idea, using something from another room. I know you do that often. My question is this. Do you have any other window coverings on your dining room windows? I’ve been thinking of drapes for my dining room for years, need to replace the wood blinds. But it’s a southern exposure. And as much as I love the warmth of the sun this time of the year, in late spring and all summer, it is uncomfortably hot. I need to keep the sun out! As always, the changes in this room are inspiring me!

  7. Gorgeous! The curtains and settee made such a big change. I love it. I’m a huge fan of Buffalo check. Blessings to you.

  8. What beautiful choices for a new look! We have a 60inch round dining table in our “formal” dining area, and I’ve been on the lookout for new chairs to replace the 6 large Bergere-type arm chairs. I never would’ve even considered a settee at a round table, but now that I’ve seen yours, I absolutely love it! I may have to copy you – AGAIN! 😊 Keep us posted when you find a replacement for your burlap runner

  9. Susan McKim says:

    Love the new changes in the dining room, especially those curtains.

  10. Yvonne, I love the fact that you used what you have and changed the look of a room. It’s not only sustainable but money saving too! I am envious of the candle sticks though…they’d look great in my dining room. Not sure if you have Aldi’s in that part of PA, prior to Valentine’s Day they have orchids at a great price. I like adding 1 or 2 to my collection then. Happy Winter! Hugs, Carol

  11. Oooh This is pretty! I love that you added browns to your dining room. The room just came alive!
    I’ve always loved that settee. And, now you can see it throughout the day as you transit through your dining room.
    Can’t wait to see what you pick for your chandelier. I’ve never been a fan of the wicker ones. They seem a bit too casual.

  12. Christine says:

    I enjoyed see your updated dining room with the new additions. I have had a burlap runner on my table for years. I agree, it works year round. I bought the yardage at a fabric store, measured for the length I wanted and then fringed it. Top stitch where the fringe stops to prevent unraveling or sew a hem instead.

  13. Love the changes, esp the curtains. I never thought of moving drapes from one room to another. Genius! Enjoying the little tweaks that keep a house fresh. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!

  14. Bravo, Yvonne!! Your dining room is even more beautiful than before! The brown buffalo check curtains complement the settee fabric to create a uniquely beautiful room! What an inspirational room!

    Thanks for sharing.

  15. Hello again, Yvonne!

    I meant to ask you about your dining room chairs. Did you do anything to protect the fabric after you bought them? I feel that my room begs for light colored chairs, but I fear that one spaghetti dinner with red wine will ruin the whole look!

    Thank you for any help you can give. Rhonda

    1. Hi Rhonda, the number one thing to do when you buy light colored chairs is to make sure the upholstery is a performance fabric. This insures you can clean up spills an stains.

  16. Love what you did to your dining area! So soft…yet lively and inviting. The settee and drapes are perfect. I’d love to pop over from AU to have a cozy cup of coffee with you in that space.

  17. I have always admired that setee in your home. I think the Buffalo check curtains look great with it. Can’t wait to see all the upcoming changes. I’m in the market for a different light for over my dinette table, so I would welcome some inspiration!

    1. When we hang a new chandelier in our dining area, I’ll have more suggestions for you.

  18. Love the changes you’ve made in the dining area.

  19. Love, love, love the new color in the diningroom…the curtains look so nice and add warmth!

  20. Linda Maria says:

    Like, very much, what you’ve done ….. quite in line with my style as well as subtle colour preference 👏
    The ONLY thing that sort of “threw” me was the checkered drapes… I liken checks to kitchen/dinette area……
    IMO, I think vertical stripes(same colour scheme) would say dining room…..but then, that’s just me😉…

  21. Mary Anne Russo says:

    It all looks so pretty! I love the settee and the fabric! I also enjoy orchids in my home but they don’t last long. I’m looking forward to your post on the care of orchids.

    1. Hi Mary Ann, Thank you for your very kind comment. I’m working on the orchid post now. It’s coming soon.

  22. The curtains, settee and sconces are the perfect additions/changes….looks so good with your wood floors too! That must make you happy! The brown transferware will be the icing on the cake!

    1. You read my mind Diana. I’ve been searching for some pretty plates and soup tureens.

  23. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA) says:

    Yvonne, I love your new curtains and your settee — so pretty! The orchids are so beautiful. I love orchids, too. I have had trouble trying to keep a real one alive. I found a beautiful faux orchid in a blue chinoiserie pot and I just love it! I am looking forward to seeing your new light fixture. I know it will be lovely. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous dining room with us! I always enjoy seeing the decor changes you make, Yvonne.

  24. I moved into my apartment in 2020 and am sooo finished decorating. I say that because I have been to estate sales and purchased FOUR curios and have installed my last chandelier, a Christmas present to myself. There is NO MORE ROOM for anything else….which is kind of a good thing. My apartment is 1200 square feet, having moved from a 4500 square foot house. My home is French Country Cottage and I couldn’t be happier with it. I was given two chandeliers and purchased the three others and among them and the dozen plus battery operated candles and angels and candlesticks, my apartment just glows. It’s such a pleasure to flip a switch and turn on all the chandeliers and all the candles are on timers. My apartment complex doesn’t allow real candles, which is just fine with me. I have many items which looks a little busy, but I don’t care. I am super organized and it looks a bit like a store, but I’m downsizing and selling on etsy, a consignment store and have regular garage sales in the good months. I call it “releasing” items as I “shop” my home and decide what to let go. It’s a slow, but methodical process, one that works for me. In the meantime, I enjoy all my treasures. I love to decorate and set the dining room table on a monthly basis with all my china. I have china, napkins, candles, napkin rings, placemats, tablecloths,etc so it’s so much fun to set up different place settings, depending on the time of year. My friends enjoy it and I have an annual holiday party which is always fun.

  25. Yvonne,
    Love the color palette. I especially like the settee. What a nice addition. I also am a fan of curtains. I change mine quite often. I’m looking for some for my small dining area too. I’m a thrifter and love to look at the thrift store for curtains.

  26. I love the new look, the curtains are beautiful in there and the settee too looks very nice.

  27. The changes to the dinning room look great. I love the drapes framing your window.
    A request – sometime ago you shared you favorite sheet set by Better Homes and Gardens. I ordered a set and the fabric is smooth and wrinkle free after laundering. I have sheets that I have paid a great deal more for that are wrinkled from the dryer. Please share the link again as I would like to order another set. Stacy

    1. Hi Stacy, I think those sheets were on one of the Weekly Wednesday Wishlist posts. I did not post those, I think Ann from On Sutton Place did.

  28. Brenda Austin-Martinez says:

    I love your ideas! I just started following you a few months ago. You and I have the exact same buffet! I do some design work myself. I’m in the process of of updating my kitchen and pantry and will redesign my laundry/mud room later this year. I might have to steal your settee idea. I’d love to start my own blog/site and make money so I can buy more things to use for my blog. The hard part is convincing my husband why I need to buy the things I need. lol