In my home, the dining room is adjacent to the kitchen and is pretty much the hub of the home. We have a large fireplace here and a table that can seat the whole family and then some. The dining room has to adapt, from chic dinner parties to relaxed family meals, this is the place where we want to sit comfortably, and have plenty of space to savor a meal and enjoy the company.
Lighting is important, bright enough to see what is in your plate but never too bright. I always opt for soft chandelier lighting above the table as well as lamps around the room.