The term “dining room” conjures up images of fancy chandeliers, butlers and Downton Abbey for some people. It does not have to be super fancy to be a legitimate dining room, though. You do want the table to be the focus of the room—the point of this space is gathering together and having meals. A central light fixture, like a chandelier, is a traditional way to pull the room together and emphasize the table. You can make this room fun, funky, sophisticated or eclectic—the world is your oyster and it’s your choice!
Take a look at these five design ideas for the dining room and see what gets you inspired.
If you want your guests to sit back and relax, don’t feel like you need to go for hard backed chairs, a formal look and dramatic lighting. There are plenty of comfy dining rooms that stray from the traditional look but still work. You can have banquets instead of chairs—your guests will love you, especially after a long Thanksgiving meal. Lots of fabrics, natural light, flowers and soft colors bring this type of room together.
If cozy country style is your thing, you might want to try a cottage style dining area. Soft colored walls, like whites to pale blues, work great. You can have a country cottage style hutch in the room and display some pretty plates and glassware. You can go a little more casual with this look, have a cute country style chandelier and some simple-yet-pretty curtains.
Ok, say you do want to go Downton Abbey style and have mahogany furniture and eighteenth century light fixtures—good for you! You can go for warm tones, antique pieces, heavy drapes and a classic chandelier. Remember that the chandelier brings the room together and puts the focus on the real centerpiece of the room—the table. To mix it up you could have two wing chairs at the ends of the table to differentiate between the hosts and the guests. Still lifes and other traditional art can bring everything together.
2 Space Saver
If your space is small, don’t throw up your hands and give up. You can have a non-cramped, cozy dining room even in a pretty limited space. Built-ins can work wonders in small rooms—maybe your shelves for dishes and glasses are in the wall, rather than needing to cram in a cabinet or hutch. You can also add decorative trim work to make the room feel a little fancier and give it some character and style. Choosing lighter colors on the walls and for the furniture and curtains will open the room up, and adding mirrors will create the illusion of more space. And if the food is delicious and the company is fun, your guests will not be analyzing the square footage of the room.
This ain’t your great grandmother’s dining room. Don’t feel like you have to stick to the old-fashioned rules and regulations when it comes to decorating. You can use color and style to personalize your space. If you want to mix and match eclectic pieces of furniture and artwork, make sure you unify the room through your color choices. Try and have one unifying theme and you can make it work. Say your palate is deep red and white. Find mix and match, unique furniture, fabric, lighting, and artwork within that color scheme and it will look like a cohesive, harmonious room. Look around for examples so you can get some inspiration.