What does your choice of dining room decoration say about you?
THE dining room by its very nature is a simple space. Unlike a kitchen or living room, which often have
THE dining room by its very nature is a simple space. Unlike a kitchen or living room, which often have multiple purposes, a dining room is solely about eating and entertaining. Even though you might not use it that frequently, it’s great to have for those big family get-togethers or your child’s over-the-top birthday party. The way you decorate it — the furniture, fixtures, fittings and accessories you choose — will say a lot about your personality, and the style in which you like to entertain.
Because it’s so simple, a dining room is often difficult to decorate and renovate. When designing a dining room from scratch the most important things to consider is, of course, the table and chairs. Changing your dining room furniture is one of the easiest changes you can make.
As the focal point of the room, your dining set should be your biggest investment. Take time to consider what size and style works best for your space, and don’t be afraid to splurge — a good dining table can last you decades.
Consider how big your dining table should be. Think about how often you entertain and how many people usually attend — if all your family lives nearby, a larger dining table would be a worthy investment, but if family doesn’t visit that often, an oversized table might not get much use. If you prefer to have options, purchase one with a table leaf so you can accommodate guests but still have a smaller table for more intimate gatherings. Whatever the size, be sure it fits the space. Measure the table and think about chair movement to ensure that everyone at the table can get in and out without much effort.
To save space in your kitchen, try transitioning some of your formal or seasonal dishes to the dining room. A china cabinet is a great way to store and showcase your dishes, or add a console table and use the countertop space to display food during a party. For your adult drinks, buy a trolley for alcohol bottles and barware, or opt for a more permanent solution by installing a fully-stocked wet bar.
When it comes to decorating, this is one room where you can really add some colour because of the simplicity of the furniture. Try red or blue walls for an elegant look, or go more contemporary with black or grey. Splurge on an oversized, chandelier and include a large mirror to reflect more light throughout the space.
Since this is the most formal room in the house, find some good quality, interesting artwork to showcase as well, but be sure that everything supports your overall theme or style. And finally, don’t forget to decorate the table. A fun, seasonal centrepiece, table runner or table settings can easily liven up the space.
Of course this time of year we will be hoping the weather is good enough to eat outside so an alfresco “dining room” is almost as important as the one inside. And it’s really easy to do because outdoor dining rooms can be created more or less anywhere. Small jam jars tied with a ribbon and filled with cut flowers from the garden or patio really add a summery touch to your table. Another idea is to cut a small sprig of whatever flower is abundant in your garden and lay it over a napkin or serviette on each plate. Don’t forget some citronella candles or burners to ward off the early evening bugs, and think carefully about trailing some fairy lights over a fence, trellis or shed. Whether you have a yard, patio or even a little gazebo, a few simple touches and accessories mean you can throw a fabulous dinner party where everyone can enjoy good food and company on a lovely summer night.