How to Decorate Your Dining Room in 5 Easy Steps

You’ve just moved in and you need some advice on how to decorate your dining room. Whether you want it to be a small central area for your family to enjoy intimate meals and relax in on the weekends, or a large elaborate entertaining area for dinner parties, your dining room is an important part of your home.

Whats my style?

Are you traditional, modern, or a bit of both? Think about whether you have a taste for dark designer tones such as wenge, the deep comfort of warm oak, or the glamour of pristine white. If you’re starting fresh, matching furniture will always set an instant style. Once you are firm in your designing style, your next step is to find a focal point in the room. A room is always more inviting when you arrange everything around a singular focal point. If your dining room has a fireplace or a beautiful view, that can be the room’s focal point. You can also have a favourite picture or a big flat screen TV you would like the room to focus on. Most dining rooms use the dining table as their focal point. Whatever you decide, make sure your favourite item is your focal point, but also make sure that the focal point you choose is a large one. Once you have chosen your focal point, you can then build the room around it, arranging the furniture around it to enhance the focal point, draw attention to it, and give order to the room itself.

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Table, chairs, and space

Say your table is your chosen focal point for your dining room. You now need to figure out the right size and style to build the room around. The easiest way to find out the table size to fit your room is to lay newspaper on the floor, allowing space between the paper and the walls for the chairs and any other furniture. You’ll need at least 61cm between the table and the wall, or ideally 90cm. At Christmas or for large dinner parties, extra places are always needed, so it’s worthwhile to consider tables with drop-leaf or centre and end leaves. Remember to allow for these when you are measuring the space in the room.

In terms of materials, a solid wood dining table is the most practical choice, because if it gets damaged, it can be sanded and refinished, and a few knocks and scratches often add some charm to its character. Many of these have extensions too to accommodate the extra guests around the holidays and big celebrations. Most dining suites come with perfect chairs to complement your table.

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Element Dining Table, Jeff’s Shed.com.au

 

Choosing a rug

Since the floor is a dominant space in every room, you need to make sure that you choose the right rug for your dining room. One of the first things you notice, if not the first, is the floor, therefore making it very important to have a great rug that flatters the room and makes it look fabulous. First you need to know the functionality of your dining room, and if you want an open area that is good for conversations and large gatherings. If you do, you should choose a large rug, like these traditional rugs, to cover a wide area of your living room. If you want a separate area of your dining room for reading, place a rug under that specific area to create a natural boundary. If you want your living room to be cozy, choose a rug that conveys that impression by selecting materials such as shag or plush.

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Getting the right curtains

For an informal look, keep it simple with roman blinds or shades in a single colour or simple pattern, like vertical stripes. You can also try woven blinds in a light colour to brighten up a small space, or use simple sheer curtain panels for a clean look. If you want a more formal look, have your curtains touch the floor. You can hang the curtains above the window to make the room look taller. Let the end of each panel puddle touch the floor for a romantic, formal look. To add an even more elaborate look to your dining room windows, layer your window treatment by placing a swag of material over a sheer curtain panel, or use curtain panels or drapes over a pair of roman or woven shades.

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Get Creative!

There are a number of ways you can add some extra character to your dining room with a few Do-It-Yourself touches. You can add interest and pattern to your walls with a striped paint treatment, or update it with wallpaper with cool graphics or updated florals. You can modernize your dining room with industrial-style lighting. Add some architectural details to the ceiling, or paint a unique design on it, or do both. Make a style statement by displaying a favourite collection, like dishes or delicate china. Create an elaborate florist-quality flower arrangement like these by selecting a couple different flowers in one main colour and adding in a flower with an accent hue. Or for a simple elegant centerpiece, fill tall glass hurricane vases with pussy willow branches, which can add height to the table.

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Most importantly, have fun while decorating your dining room. It’s your space and you should feel comfortable in it!

6 Tips to Choosing your Curtains Carefully

You’ve heard your decorator say it many times before: curtains make a room, but only when chosen correctly. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed, between the choices for colour, fabric, length and lining, and so on. We’ve narrowed down the options for you to help you select the right curtains for your new room or new home.

Colour:

You first need to decide whether you want the curtains to blend with the decor or to pop. For blending, a curtain in the same tone as the wall but a few shades darker can work nicely. For curtains that pop, keep in mind that in a space where the sun shines through unlined curtains, the colour will infuse the room. It’s also important to remember that sunlight can fade fabrics over time. If the room gets a lot of light, it’s smart to avoid bright colours since they tend to fade faster. If you want a safe bet, it’s a good idea to go with neutral colours, as they are less likely to fade and more likely to blend into a room’s decor. However, if you are the type of homeowner to change out your rooms often, you might be less concerned with fading and have more freedom to choose from a wide range of colours. It can be fun to rotate curtains with the seasons. Since coordinating curtains with a room can be tricky, color coordinating guides can be a big help. Lastly, if you want full sunlight in the daytime but full privacy at night, another option to consider are blinds, which when pulled down completely cover the window giving great blockout and heat retention. If you do decide to go down the blinds route, consider custom-made ones such as these Roman blinds.

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Prints and Patterns:

Here is a rule of thumb that goes for every curtain shopper: If you have patterned furniture or bedding, stick with solid curtains. But, if you have solid furniture or bedding, you should consider patterned curtains. For something bold but brilliant, think about a large, graphic print in a colour that relates to the existing decor. For something a little more subtle, consider a small, neutral print, like dots or paisley, which can look like texture from a distance.

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Fabric:

For a formal space, there’s heavy silk or velvet, or for a more practical option, cotton sateen and silky rayon blends. For a casual setting, there is billowy linen or crinkly crushed velvet. Even cotton blends work with any type of decor and bring a fresh, crisp feel. The fabric of your curtains will dictate how well your curtains function and hold up over time. If they’re heavy, they might not fold well when drawn, and if they’re too light they might not fall well. Always hold fabrics up to a window, even in a fabric showroom – you want to get the closest idea of how they will look once they are in your home. Some fabrics can even help keep out the cold. You’ll notice that a lot of hotels use suede, tapestry, velvet, or tweed since their weight helps block light and keep heat in. However, linen, silk, faux silk, and velvet are the best choices since they hang the best – faux silk tends to be the most durable. It’s also important to mention interlining, which is a piece of fabric slipped between the lining and the lace fabric. Interlining can help prolong the life of the curtains, and are what give curtains their body and fullness. If you choose curtains which require an additional layer of privacy underneath, it would be ideal to get custom made sheers fitted between the window and the curtains.

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Length:

Before measuring anything, decide how high above the window you’d like the curtains to begin. Something to keep in mind is that hanging panels higher than the window will give a greater sense of height to the room. Always measure from the top of the window to the floor. For a modern look, have the panel fall to the floor. For a more traditional look, say if you want the curtain slightly puddled on the floor, you may even want to add another two or three inches to your length.

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Width:

When you measure the width of your window, make sure to add four to eight inches on both sides and double the total number so as to ensure curtain fullness. This is so you won’t block a lot of window glass when the curtains are open, and they won’t get in the way. Also, if you are planning to use the curtain to shut out the sun, the extra inches around the perimeter of the window frame will also help block out any excess light.

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Custom vs. Off-The-Shelf:

There are many benefits to custom window treatments. Custom panels come in various design options, from material to header style. You can also customise the dimensions to your window size and create a tailored look. It’s important to remember, though, that these options have a considerably higher price tag than off-the-shelf curtain panels. If your budget doesn’t allow for custom curtains, the best thing to do is spend a little more money on high-quality retail window treatments. Have a look at Impact Blinds and Curtains in Melbourne for some great custom as well as off-the-shelf options. With a little conceptualising and searching, your curtains can become the perfect compliment to any room in your home.

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