The dining room can be a space that adds drama to your home. It should be a welcoming and utilitarian space, but also exciting and a place that you are proud to invite guests into.
Most homes have more than one space dedicated to eating and the formal dining room is often just that; formal. By keeping a few design principals in mind, you can create a space that has dramatic flare for entertaining friends, but is also family friendly and usable day to day. Here are some of my best tips for creating a special space for family and friends:
1. Employ user friendly materials
There are so many fabrics now that are both beautiful and user friendly. You no longer have to use plastic-y seat covers or un-upholstered dining chairs in order to have furniture that can stand up to the occasional spill. Sunbrella has a great range of fabrics that are extremely hard wearing, sun proof (great if you have a lot of natural light and need to chairs that can stand up to the sunlight) and stain-resistant. Make sure you are buying furniture of sufficient quality to make you want to use it. Wobbly chairs will last forever, because you will never want to sit in them. Throw an easy care table cloth on the table if small children might damage your table top.
2. Take a risk!
If you are going to take a design risk, a space that you don't use all the time is a great place to do it. Want to use a dramatic colour? A room that may only be used a few hours a week is a perfect place to try it out. I am betting you will love it and that it will embolden you to try it in other rooms too. Who doesn't love to host a dinner party and have the dining room be one of the things that wows guests? Creating a special space for guests is something I pride myself on. It is a way to honour those who I am hosting, be they friends or family.
3. As always, find your inspiration and run with it
A favourite feature for me, in a dining space, is the light fixture. You can have a gorgeous light fixture that adds some glamour to your dining space even if you have a busy family. Put a dimm
er on it and you can have the room bright for family dinner or subdued for a candle light supper with guests or your significan other. A stunning fixture over the dining room table can create a sense of occasion and define the room. It can be the jumping off point for the rest of the design. It is elegant and sparkling or rustic and welcoming? Find the light fixture that speaks to you and build the rest of the room around it.
4. Keep it comfortable
It's nice to be able to relax. If a chair looks great but is hard to sit in, it just doesn't make the cut. If you have small children, spills will be the order of the day for the next few years. Don't bother placing an expensive rug under the table until they are older, and when you do, make sure it is large enough that chairs don't come over the edge when they are pulled out for people to be seated. If the functional elements of the room are attended to, even the most refined space can feel user friendly enough to inspire day to day use.
I can help you to create the beautiful, user friendly dining room that your family and guests will love. Contact me here