Much of Dianella was subdivided in the 1880s by the Intercolonial Investment Company of Sydney but the sandy soil continued to hamper growth. By 1919, the only development in Dianella was along Walter Road, which was then a track leading to dairy farms in the Morley area.
At this time, Dianella consisted of four localities known as North Inglewood, East Yokine, Morley Park and Bedford Park, which were amalgamated to form Dianella in 1958—and a growth boom occurred soon after. Early settlers such as Birkett, Drummond and Drake are honoured in Dianella's street names.
Dianella's development progressed rapidly during the boom years of the 1960s with housing construction first occurring north from Walter Road and Grand Promenade. St Andrews and Dress Circle Estates were the last major areas to be developed.
The character of housing varies considerably and ranges from modest post-war homes to large, modern 2-storey dwellings. Most houses are single-detached and of brick construction but there are a significant number of duplexes and villas, as well as some older flats in the southern part of Dianella.
Dianella has two community open space, 65 small parks and one large regional open space in the heart of the suburb provides a central focus for the community and is an important landmark, providing a significant landscape feature for the suburb.
Regionally Significant Natural Areas and bush forever areas include;
- Cottonwood Crescent Nature Reserve
- Dianella Regional Open Space
Located at the junction of Alexander and Morley Drives, Dianella Regional Open Space offers opportunities for many kinds of recreation and includes a community recreation centre, soccer field and tennis courts.
The suburb's main shopping centre is Dianella Plaza, although several smaller stores also cater for local needs.
Education is provided by a number of primary schools and Dianella Secondary College, and the suburb also has a senior citizens centre and public library.
Dianella is also home to the three commercial television stations operating in Perth, and their studios and associated infrastructure have had a marked impact on the suburb.