Monday, December 9, 2013

designing the dining room for entertaining

The dining room plays host to the finer things in life. It offers a place for friends and family to dine and divulge in complete comfort. With the holiday season upon us, we turn our attention to designing the ideal formal dining room to toast family and friends.

Because a dining room is typically not an everyday space, make it stand out from the crowd. A dining room should feel special. It shouldn't feel the same as the place you have cereal in the morning. Here are some tips for creating distinctive dining room decor.

no. 1 Put up some pattern
Apply patterned wall paper. It works well in a dining room because it's interesting and stimulates conversation.

no. 2 Add some sparkle
Add a little bling (something that sparkles), like a crystal chandelier.

no. 3  Design in some breathing room

Scale chairs to fit the table so you and your guests can eat comfortably.

no. 4 Don't skimp on the rug size

Select a dining table that is 30 inches high and a rug that's wide enough to fit under the chairs. 

no. 5 Add a mirror

Hang an appropriately sized mirror. When a mirror catches the reflection of a chandelier, the entire room feels special. 

Do's and Don't's for formal dining room design

no. 1 Light it up
If there is one room in the house that needs lighting options, it's the dining room. Sometimes you need the room to be brightly lit so you can set the table or prep the food. Other times, you need it to be dimmed down.  Mix sconces, chandeliers, buffet lamps, and recessed lights to suit your needs.

no. 2 Dial it down
If a formal dining room is too stuffy or serious, it may go unused. Make the room feel welcoming by mixing rustic pieces with refined wood and glass, and case goods with upholstered finishes. An eclectic look makes the room feel more accessible and less like a showroom.
no. 3 Leave some elbow room
Don't make your guests feel like canned sardines. Leave ample space for chairs, tables, and traffic paths. 
no. 4 Soften the edges
Few rooms contain more hard surfaces and edges than a dining room. When possible use window treatments, and upholstered dining chairs to add softness.
Tips for making room at the table this holiday season

Ensure that your friends and family can enjoy an entire evening by providing a foundation of well-appointed dining room seating.

When selecting seating for your dining room, consider how the chairs fit in your room, how they fit with your table, and how comfortable they are. Then, assess your style. Select a set of traditional Queen Anne, Windsor, or Ladderback chairs, or mix and match for a collected look. Modernize these styles by painting them a neutral color like, white, black, or gray. Alternatively, opt for ultra-modern acrylic chairs and add some pillows for comfort.

If you have a rectangular table, you can breakup the monotony of a matching set by adding a bench or featuring host and hostess chairs at either end of the table; wingback chairs work well and are nicely complemented by low profile Louis-style chairs.

Decide whether you want arm or armless chairs. If you opt for upholstered seating, select a durable material with subtle pattern so it will hide stains. If you already have chairs and just need an update, simply recover the seat fabric or add cushions for a quick and colorful revamp.

Until next time,

bon noel et joyeux fetes