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How to Style a Dining Room

January 30, 2014
How to Style a Dining Room

Styling Your Dining Room

Your dining room should be a place which makes any meal feel special. Choosing the right dining room furniture for your home can make all the difference. Here are five furniture essentials for every dining room:

Dining Room Table

The focal point of the room will, of course, be the dining table. So, let’s start here. When you’re hunting for a table, it is very easy to become overwhelmed with the options. Here again, if you’re decorating with a set interior design scheme in mind your table hunt will be easier and far more efficient. Have a price range in mind, but it’s not a bad idea to have a contingency here for that special table. A beautiful table will be lovely to have and high quality tables that are well treated can retain their value well, giving you a good resale price further down the track. Here’s what to think about when styling a dining room table:

Positioning. Most dining room tables are placed in the centre of the room for good reason. This allows ample space all around for people to walk around. However, if your dining room is small, you may want to build a bench against a wall and have your dining table against the side of the room. On the opposite wall, you could install a wall of storage for your best crockery.

Centrepieces. Having a centerpiece on the dining room table draws the eye to the visual centre of the room and makes the space seem more put together. Centrepieces don’t have to be lavish and you certainly don’t need to spend a lot of money on them. Interior designers love displaying bowls of green apples. A bouquet of hydrangeas works well too!

Place mats and runners. Once you bring a dining room table home, you’re stuck with it for many years to come. However, you can constantly make your dining table feel new by changing up its place mats and runners. We recommend choosing a colour scheme with contrasting colours, and a colour scheme that matches the season. In summer, you may opt for a mix of aqua and sand beige while in winter, you could switch that up for burgundy and gold. Take a look at these creative table decorating ideas!

Extendable Dining Table

If the room has to be adaptable for different dining situations, you will want to approach dining room furniture differently. If your table is going to sit in a multi-use space, like a lounge/dining area or a completely open plan kitchen-lounge-dining, consider getting an adaptable table. These tables have leaves which can be folded out to seat extra people but can then fold away when not in use.

Dining Cabinets and Storage

If you have a interior or exterior second space in which to host more informal or family dinners, you can make your dining room as formal a room as you wish. If you have a second set of cutlery and crockery which is used when entertaining, you’ll want to look at a set of cabinets which will store and display this when it’s not in use. The most common types of dining room storage are buffet hutches and sideboards. Here’s how to pick and style dining room storage:

Crockery or wine? What do you want to store in the dining room? For many, only the best plates are displayed in the dining room. For others, what’s important is easy access to their favourite pinot noir in the dining room. Before you purchase a new dining buffet or cabinet, think about what the storage unit is for and exactly how much you want to store in it.

What goes on top? How you style the top of a dining room buffet says a lot about who you are. Are you a daring artist who simply leans an oversized painting atop the buffet? Or are you a sentimental person who prefers to display photos of the family? What goes on top of dining room storage serves as a talking point at dinner parties and lets your guests know what you are passionate about.

Dining Room Chairs

The chairs that you choose are almost as vital as the table. Again, the right chairs can have very good resale value so choose carefully. Consider changing any tired upholstery to fit in with your colour scheme and your dining room will look very smart and pulled together. Choose the right number of chairs for your table- if you’ve gone for the extendable table option, make sure you can either store the additional chairs when they’re not in use, or consider some high quality folding chairs which can be easily tucked away out of sight. Here are some things to think about when you are selecting dining room chairs:

Will the dining chairs match? Typically, all the dining chairs around a dining table will match because they usually come in a dining room set. However, the latest design trend is for one or two chairs to be different from all the rest. If you’re bold, you could even have each chair be unique. This works best in informal dining rooms. For a formal dining room, we recommend picking a pair of dining room chairs for the two heads of the dining table that are different to the other chairs. This incorporates the mismatch trend into a formal space without being too relaxed.

Are the dining chairs comfortable enough? Dining room chairs should be comfortable but not too comfortable. When dining chairs are too cushioned and too much like an armchair, people slouch in them. When they are too uncomfortable, people don’t feel at home. A good dining chair has just enough cushioning to be comfortable but also an upright back so that people are positioned to sit up straight.

Lighting for the Dining Room

Finish your room by paying attention to the details and don’t forget the lighting! In the dining room it’s absolutely vital to get this right. Pendant lights work well in dining rooms because they don’t take up any surface space and they light the room subtly. Check out the pendant lights in this industrial dining space. Harsh lighting will illuminate your dining room furniture starkly while soft lighting will show it off in a good light. Think about the mood you want to create and how you want your guests to feel when they first sit down at your table.

Looking for more dining room ideas? Get inspiration from Alisa and Lysandra’s Industrial Dining Room.