Design Dilemma: Creating an Inviting Dining Room
This time of year we spend a great deal of time lingering in the dining room with family and friends. Holiday parties, cozy winter dinners and weekend brunches demand a welcoming space that encourages unhurried conversation and second helpings. With shortened days and cold winter nights, there’s no better place to be.
We’ve run across some beautiful spaces lately. For instance, take a look at these fab dining rooms:
In the dining space above, a colorful kilim and sisal rug bring an ethnic touch and some texture to mid-century Modern Eames chairs. And below, a quirky light fixtures and large eyecatching painting paired with an ornate wooden bench add character:
In this dining room, dramatic pendant lamps steal the show:
In the ethereal dining room below, a crystal chandelier, white chairs and pale walls bestow a feeling of airyness:
So what’s the key to creating a dining space with character? We’ve noticed that most of these dining spaces have a few things in common:
1) Dramatic lighting. The dining room is one space where good lighting is absolutely key. Not only do you need a chandelier or pendant light that can provide just the right soft lighting to fit every entertaining occasion but you need lights that can make an impact in style, even when the lights are off. In each of the dining rooms above, chandeliers or an interesting pendant lamp play a critical role. Go quirky, glam, sophisticated, but don’t be boring!
2) Art. In most of the rooms above, a large painting ups the drama factor by creating an instant mood. Your work of art may feel funky, serene, elegant or traditional, likewise setting the mood for your space and parties.
3) No matching sets. Matching dining room tables and chairs look stale and staid. Lend dynamism to your dining space by mixing it up. Mix up chairs, for example, combining different looks or the same chair but in different colors. Choose your table independently of the seating for an eclectic look.
4) Color! In the first photo of this post, a teal blue and lime green wall are paired with a pink couch and colorful chairs to create a space that feels welcoming and fun. What a great space for morning brunch! In the picture above, the same chair in various colors helps loosen up the look of an otherwise plain white dining room with white table. Choosing to use no color at all can also be a statement, as in photo number 5 which suggests peace, serenity and elegance.
5) Comfort. Sure, it’s great to have stylish furniture to set the mood but don’t forget that a dining room should be comfortable as well. Chairs should be comfortable enough to linger in for hours. Lighting should be adjustable so that you have bright overhead light when needed in addition to mood lighting for intimate dinners. If you use a rug, be sure it’s large enough to allow dining room chairs to be pulled out and remain on the the carpet.
Images: houseandhome.com; via apartmenttherapy.com; vokdesigngroup.com; diychichome.com; emmasblog.se; la maisondannaG.blogspot.com