Details per Space Series

Details per Space - Dining Room.jpg

8 tips for a more believable dining room rendering

A dining room is, well, a place where you dine. But it can be much, much more than that to the point that it actually ends up being everything but a place where you dine.

Activity items

A nice dining room, a minimalist decoration on the wall, and a table with nothing on it. This is what you'll often see in renderings, and this is why these renderings will oftentime feel lifeless. Whatever kind of clients you're working for, they will all agree that a dining room is a place where many activities can take place, and rendering it without nothing happening in it will just feel odd.

Below are gathered some simple ideas that won't clutter your image, while still creating that background storytelling you should always be looking for when creating an image. We're not selling a nicely designed space with a table, we're selling family time around a table, coffee time in the morning with a newspaper, quiet time smoking and reading.

Interestingly, I would recommend not rendering feasts and huge dinner (except if it really does make sense for your image) for two simple reasons :

  • Composition wise, if your table is packed, it'll draw all the attention
  • Modeling and texturing wise, except if you're a pro, this feast will just look fake since food is among the hardest object to achieve realisticly in cgi.

When doing rendering of usually lively spaces (living room, dining room, etc.), we're expecting to get a glimpse at a realistic scene of our daily life.

Image credits : Alvhem, Cocolapinedesign, Cocolapinedesign, Copenhagenboconcept, Dezeen, Entrance Makleri, Fredrikrisvik, Freshome, Ikea, Kvartleret Makleri, Kvartleret Makleri, Sara Medina Lind


There are several ways to play around with cloth items in your image. A plaid on the back of a chair where someone was reading, some cushion on the seats, or a semitranslucent tablecloth that catches the direct light through the window. Is it perfectly folded, ironed, messy and crinkled? These are many small details you can play with to create contrast with materials in your image.

Image credits : Bjurfors, Bosthlm, Cocolapinedesign, Cocolapinedesign, Idealhome, Jonas Berg

Fashion items

Fashion items are less likely to be seen in a dining room. Still, they can find a place in your rendering. A sweater on the back of a chair, a freshly delivered white shirt still half in its packaging, bags hanging or on the ground. You can create tons of variations from these simple ideas and create a simple story behind your image, with simple details.

Image credits : Frederikrisvik, Frederikrisvik, Joao Morgado, Frederikrisvik

Design items

On the other hand, finding sculptures, elaborate decorations in the dining room is more customary. A set of paintings or photographs on the wall, old or contemporary sculptures.

Having photographs on the wall, with their glassed frames, is an interesting way to add some subtle reflections in your image and suggest a window nearby.

Image credits: Alvhem, Cocolapinedesign, Cocolapinedesign, Dwell, Entrance Makleri, Kronfoto


Just like design items, foliage is a customary part of what we envision when thinking about a dining room. It can be small perennial plants, more colorful bouquet, or simple branches decorating the table.

Directly on the table, or on the ground serving as a backdrop for the scene, or framing the table. There are many ways to use these items, just think of them as actual element of composition and balance of your image and not just filling.

Image credits : Alen Cordic, Bjurfors, Cocolapinedesign, Cocolapinedesign, Fredrikrisvik, Theverygirl


The dining area can feel very different depending on the lighting. By simply adding some candles you can turn it into a cosy and intimate place for a dinner. Soft and warm artificial lighting can help in setting up the mood of your rendering. Be careful to organize the table accordingly. An empty dining table with a sophisticated lighting will just feel weird. Throw around some glasses of wines, or a nice dinner, a nice tablecloth, or just a book and a pair of reading glasses. Point is, you don't turn on the light if you're not doing anything in the room.

Image credits : Bocadolobo, Fastighestbyran, Fastighetsbyran, Inrichting-huis

Misc furnishings

You usually won't have many misc tech-related details to add in a dining room beside your usual light switches, radiators and some wires.

Image credits : Cocolapinedesign, Cocolapinedesign, Freshome, Josefin Haag


Although the dining room can be a simple closed room in itself worth depicting, it can be interesting to add glimpse of the direct context. An open door to the adjacent room, or a door to the outside deck. A door handle in the foreground, or a mirror that reflects an off-camera area. If the dining area boasts a nice view, it can be interesting to make it the background of your image with a frontal view looking at the window.

Image credits : Alvhem, Cocolapinedesign, Entrance Makleri, Extrastudio, Freshome, Janne Olander, Jonas Berg, Sara Landstedt

That's it for the dinner room which as we've seen is not only for dinner. These 8 categories are of course non-exhaustive and I'm sure you'll find many others. The idea here, and in the rest of the series, is to show you a quite large range of the amount of storytelling you can make by just adding simple objects in your scene.

Hopefuly these tips will find a way in your workflow and help you in taking your image to the next level storytellingwise! Don't forget to comment and share your tips on how you manage to make your dining room homely!

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