Open plan living has fast become a way of life for most of us. Long gone are the days of hosting a dinner party within a formal, box-like 'dining only' area.
Modern living embraces light, airy spaces where sight-lines are left open without visual obstructions. This style of living offers design flexibility - it allows spaces to borrow from each other and encourages a great deal more social interaction in the home, perfect for social creatures like us.
So the majority of people are on board with the open-plan living concept, but is everyone confident enough to create individual zones within these larger areas that best utilise the available space, and then execute it with style and finesse?
Unfortunately, the dining area seems to have become one of the most neglected areas in the home. Yes, a dining table and chairs are a great start, but that’s often where it ends! People naturally tend to focus their attention on the Kitchen and Living areas, but defining your dining area is equally important too!
Fortunately, it is possible to create a distinct zone for your dining area without the needs for walls or screens. It’s actually super easy and the fun part is it can be achieved through clever placement of decorative accents and furnishings! No structural changes necessary!
Dress your space with the elements below to create a distinctive and defined dining space.
An area bound rug is great for acoustics and will add warmth, texture and softness underfoot, while helping to delineate the perimeter of the dining area. When selecting a rug look for a flat weave rug that is easy to clean and check that the size is large enough for a dining chair to be pushed back while remaining on top of the rug. This will prevent the legs from overlapping. Generally, a 75cm overlap from the edge of the table will provide enough room to easily pull out and push in a chair while sitting in it.
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If your dining table is adjacent to a wall, introducing a textured, coloured, patterned or graphic printed wall paper is a great way to add visual interest. This will create a focal point in the space and immediately help to define it as a separate zone.
Wall coverings by Pickawall are a fantastic option as they are easy to install and fully removable!
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Mirrors or Artwork
If wall paper isn’t quite you, placing a mirror or art work on an adjacent wall will help to frame the area. – A mirror will help to create an illusion of more space and reflect light to make the area appear brighter, while an artwork will add a pop of colour to draw your eye toward the dining zone.
Click here for more artwork inspo.
Hanging a pendant light fitting above your dining table is an instant win! Locating an object centrally above the table is a powerful tool as it points to a centre. This acts a visual indication of the parameters of the zone — the eye can see how far the pendant is from the wall, and subconsciously assumes that will zone end at the same distance in the other direction.
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Credenza, Buffet or Side Board
If space permits, introducing a side board will add visual weight and help to create balance within the zone. A side board is great a functional piece as it can house spare dinnerware, servingware, glassware and extra bottles of wine and spirits. It also provides a surface to style and create finishing touch ‘wow’factor. If space is of a premium, a floating side board is a good alternative or if space is really tight adding wainscoting to the wall can add interest.
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If the size of your dining area doesn’t allow for a piece as large a buffet, a console table is a nice alternative. As a console has an open base it will appear visually lighter and is easier on the eye than a solid timber buffet or sideboard.
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Here’s what you will need to style your buffet, sideboard or console:
Lamps - Place either one lamp or two lamps (one at each side of the buffet) for a sculptural effect that will offer a soft glow and create a beautiful ambiance.
Mirror or Artwork - When placed above a buffet creates a striking visual effect and as mentioned above will draw the eye toward the dining area, helping to frame it.
Decorative Objects - Décor objects will add interest and provide an opportunity to personalise the area. Objects should be placed on top of your buffet in mini collections such groups of 3 - 5 as not to look cluttered. Odd numbers work best as they are visually stronger than groups of 2 or 4 and are more restful to the eye.
Placing a set of three of objects in the same family at varying heights will create a sense of relief and allow space for objects to breathe.
Botanicals - Breathe life into your dining area with plants and flowers. Flowers look and smell amazing and are great for adding a pop of colour to a room, while plants are an absolute must-have!
Plants help to purify the air and with green being the most restful colour to the eye, place a plant on top of your buffet or on a stand will help to frame the space and create a beautiful, tranquil sanctuary.
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Dress Your Table -
Last but not least be sure to dress your table with gorgeous linen, dinnerware, servingware, candles and create a beautiful center piece.
Click here to learn how to Style your Table Top.
Whatever your style, introduce these simple elements to create a divine dining area that will enhance the rest of the house and create the perfect spot to gather for a weeknight meal or a weekend dinner soirée.
Looking for more inspiration? Shop Dining Room Furniture.
Image Credits: insideout.com.au | techne.com.au | cocolapinedesign.com | notapaperhouse.com | thedesignchaser.com | christopherelliottdesign.com.au