The same old, same old might not cut it in your kitchen. If you’re  tempted to try new recipes and stretch your culinary horizons, you might want to spice up your presentation, as well. Whether you have a formal dining room or an eat-in kitchen, seating arrangements aren’t what they used to be. Feast your eyes on some of the hottest trends.

1. Light and Dark Meet

 Dining room table in an open room with 4 chairs, the table is set and a tan rug is underneath.

When furnishings have rich variations in color (highly distressed wood finishes, for example), they also have the potential to be great mixers since they “talk” to each so easily. Feel free to have a darker finished table with much lighter finished chairs (or vice versa). Together they serve up a whole lot of style.

2. Striking contrasts

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Bring even more flavor to the table with a mix of seating colors and styles. Maybe even incorporate upholstered seating at the head of the table for more indulgence. To keep the look from getting too busy, you might limit the seating to two color schemes.

3. Sidelined on the bench

gorgeous urban styled dining room sets with an eclectic mix of chairs and dining benches

Why settle exclusively for standard side chairs? Create a beautifully balanced, less formal look by bringing a bench to one side of the table. Upholstered benches make it a lot more comfortable to linger over a meal. Come Sunday family dinners and holiday gatherings, you’ll appreciate that benches make it easy to slide in that extra guest.

4.  Changing times

Long rectangular dining table with elegant flair with dining chairs with engravings on them.

Styles from different eras can commingle beautifully at the table. As this example shows, classic Windsor chairs are paired with a mid-century-inspired kitchenette table. The fact that the spindle backs and legs are crafted of metal instead of wood makes for a unique and timely twist.