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.
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.
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.
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!