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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.



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.



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.


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.


How to Accessorise your Backyard for the Perfect Outdoor Party



Having a party in your own backyard is always fun, easy, intimate, and CONVENIENT. Here’s how to choose the right outdoor decor to make the party a success.

Choosing a Table:

Decorate the space with chairs, tables, and fun lights to give you and your guests a place to eat, relax, socialize, and maybe even squeeze in a boogie or two. Choose a dining table with a seasonal, summery feel. It doesn’t have to be restricted to meal time use, so be creative when shopping for one. A recycled teak table  or a rustic dining table can give your space an organic, natural attitude, or even an outdoor wicker table can bring a resort, luxury-living feel to your backyard. If you plan on using an umbrella, many tables include a central opening to accommodate one.


Solid Wood Dining Table

Under the Umbrella:

An essential, yet often overlooked outdoor accessory that will help you stay cool is a patio umbrella. An umbrella won’t only provide shading, but the wide variety of options can make them gorgeous accents for any outdoor space. When thinking about the size, you should first consider the area that you need the umbrella to provide shade over, and then make sure that the patio umbrella is about 5’ larger than the spot that needs to be shaded. Next you need to decide on frame material – metal or wooden. When choosing the fabric, keep in mind that most outdoor umbrellas come prepped with weather-mildew and UV-resistant fabric. You might prefer a breathable fabric though, which is actually waterproof but allows water vapor to pass through. In this way, breathable fabric umbrellas are perfect for keeping you cool under the shade on really hot summer days.


Octagonal 270cm umbrella

Check out the Chairs:

When thinking about outdoor chairs, it’s important to first figure out often you will be rearranging the setup to prepare for a lot more parties or whether everything will live in the same space throughout the season. Aluminum or plastic chairs are lightweight, relatively inexpensive, and require little weather training. You can also wash them easily with a little soap and water. They are usually stackable or foldable, leaving you with more freedom to use the space for other furniture if you are in the mood to rearrange. On the other hand, a lavish loveseat will be sturdy and will feel more like the kind of furniture you’re used to indoors. It will require some maintenance though, and can be a big job to move depending on the size. Loveseats in wicker or wood can look nice and natural in the outdoors.


Teak Daybed


Scale it to Size:

It’s important to keep in mind your lifestyle and the sort of parties you hope to have. For those who love privacy, a small table and a few cozy armchairs can be more than enough. The best way to maximize a small space for outdoor entertaining is to keep furniture around the perimeter. If you enjoy a lot of company and like to arrange large outdoor feasts you’ll need a whole dining suite or two. You will have to organise a green outdoor dining area not too far from the house, so it won’t be a long way to carry that pitcher of sangria.

Rustic Dining Table

Rustic Dining Table

Consider Colour: 

Adding two or three new colours to your furniture and outdoor decor can completely change the look of your backyard. I have 4 personal winning combinations that are sure to perk up the party. Golden yellow balanced by black can complete any outdoor space that needs brightening or is really begging for the spotlight. The courageous combo is fierce, like these vibrant Malibu chairs. Purple and orange is a delicious duo, creating an accent that invokes a lush, luxurious look in your outdoor room. Blue and rusty orange will instantaneously whisk you away to an exotic, laid-back vacation. You can even mix heated reds with cool blues for a powerful tropical feel. Most importantly, your outdoor space is a reflection of your home, and an extension of your indoor space, so always make sure that they complement each other. For a wide selection of outdoor furniture, visit Jeff’s Shed in Melbourne.

Multi Coloured 3-piece Cafe Set

Multi Coloured 3-piece Cafe Set

How to protect and maintain your teak outdoor furniture

Teak, highly valued for its durability, density and water resistance, is a popular choice for outdoor furniture. Native to rainforests, it is saturated with natural oils that lend it resistance to rot and insects. However, any wood will succumb in time to the elements without proper care, and your outdoor teak furniture is no exception. Protecting teak is easier than protecting other woods, but it does require a bit of maintenance.

Kos Teak - From

Kos Teak – From

Preventative care

The first line of defense for is preventative care. Do not let water pool around its legs or on table tops and seats. Simply wiping down your teak furniture after a rain and moving it to an area without pooled water is the first step toward protecting it. A better idea is to extend the life of your teak by moving it indoors when it is not being used, though this is not mandatory. Leaving your furniture outdoors will result in the inevitable accumulation of dirt, and your furniture will require more periodic maintenance as a result.

Cleaning teak

When your teak furniture is only slightly dirty, rinsing it with an outdoor hose is sufficient. If your furniture is very dirty, create a mild solution of soap and water and cleanse it with either a soft sponge or a very soft brush. Clean it only when it is very wet. After a night’s rain is the best time to clean teak furniture, while direct sunlight on a hot day is the worst. It is important to keep the furniture as wet as possible throughout the cleaning process.

One of the most appealing features of teak is the grey-silver color it turns with exposure to the sun. This greying process is caused by the sun’s breaking down of tannins in the wood (where the color is contained.) Left to its own devices, your teak furniture will take roughly 12 months to complete this process. Rotate your furniture, or move it around a bit, for a more even weathering process.

If you prefer the golden tone of new teak, a hard brush will remove the grey, but not evenly; so apply a sealer as soon as possible and continue to re-apply it once a year or so. If you must use oil, do so only occasionally, remembering that if you do plan to polish your furniture after cleaning it, be certain to allow it to fully dry first. Applying oil is only recommended for indoor teak furniture, as it does not extend the life of the wood, but does cause uneven greying and obligate you to an arduous routine of maintenance.

Dealing with stains

Stains on outdoor furniture are all but inevitable. If mild soap and water are not sufficient to remove your stain, the next best solution is to sand it out with a fine sandpaper. If you must sand, do so in the direction of the grain. I’ve you’ve chosen to apply teak oil immediately after sanding is a good time to do so.

Should I prevent stains with a cover?

While many people do use covers on their teak outdoor furniture, it is best not to. If you must; use only a breathable one and never a vinyl or plastic one. Moisture often becomes trapped beneath the covers of outdoor furniture, creating the optimum conditions for mould growth. Rather than using a cover, clean your furniture regularly. Otherwise, that foreign substances accumulate thereon will invite mould.

Teak furniture maintenance

As soon as you’ve bought your teak furniture, check its screws and tighten fittings. Do this twice a year or so. This prevents the frame from working loose, which can result in cracks in the timber. Pay special attention to extendable tables. Grime will accumulate on the runners, requiring regular removal with a brush.

After cleaning and after extended rainy periods, the swelling of the timber may make your extension leaves difficult to open. This is normal and as your table dries, they will move freely again. If you have the space, leave your extensions open when your table is not in use. This is especially important when your furniture is new. This will ensure an even weathering process.

Open and close your extensions every month or so, lubricating their hinges if they fail to move freely.

Teak outdoor furniture is popular because teak is a hardy and resilient wood. It is a bit more expensive than other popular choices such as cedar, oak or redwood, but it requires much less maintenance. This means that with only a minimum of care, your teak outdoor furniture will remain both functional and beautiful for generations.