When it comes to having a ‘social’ space in your home, the dining room is as important as the living room, isn’t it? It’s where you have those daily conversations, eat together with family and friends and revisit old tales with ones you love. So, other than making a style statement, your dining room must also be super comfortable. Take a look at some common questions we face when setting up the dining room and how to deal with them.
How much flexibility do I need? Consider how many people you need to seat for dinner every day and how many would you like to be able to squeeze in occasionally. If you need to adjust to different-size crowds frequently, it’s important to look for furniture that can stand up to the task. Think of dining tables with extension leaves and benches that can tuck against the wall until needed.
If you serve a big crowd only once or twice a year, you might prefer to go with a smaller table for everyday use — just pull out a few folding card tables for holiday gatherings as needed.
How do I envision using my space? A formal dining room that gets little use could be reimagined to combine features of a spacious home office, library or craft center. On the other hand, maybe you want to entertain more — in that case, try adding a well-stocked bar cart or a buffet, adjustable lighting and comfy seats.
Tip: Put that wall space around your dining table to work! If you need extra seating, tuck a bench beneath a console. If craft space is what you desire, tuck a cabinet against the wall and fill it with pretty baskets of craft supplies. Or, if a library effect is what you are after, pile up books on the buffet or line one wall with bookcases.
What level of formality do I crave? This does not necessarily depend on how or how often you use the room — it’s more about personal style. You can have a dining room used for special dinner parties that still manages to feel relaxed and casual…or a fancy room the whole family uses constantly.
If you have your heart set on a formal dining room but don’t want to constantly be worried about damage, don’t despair. You can hang a fancy chandelier, put wallpaper above the chair rail and hang artwork, and none will be within reach of little ones or furry friends.
With symmetrically arranged lamps and chandeliers, a grid of artwork and a set of classy chairs, the dining room is a wonderful example of how to work formal details into a livable space.
Make a few concessions to practicality with a table that won’t show every scratch and fabrics that can stand up to a little abuse — washable natural fibers, stain-resistant fabrics and outdoor fabrics would all hold up exceptionally well.
Should I have my dining inside the kitchen?
Family and friends naturally gather in the kitchen so what could be more convenient than eating right next to where you cook? Eat-in kitchens give cooks and diners the chance to chat, simplify cleanup and keep the vibe carefree and casual. Plus, if space is a constraint for you, you can always have a eat-in dining room within your kitchen. Open kitchens are a trend that’s catching up with the millennial and having the dining table within the same space is a welcome sign.
Which colors captivate me? Are you drawn to bright, clear colors? Deep, glossy and glamorous ones? Soothing neutrals? Color transcends styles, so you may find you prefer traditional furniture mixed with bold colors and patterns.
Budget tip: Find ways to work with what you have. Is there anything you have that can be revamped and used in your new scheme? Or keep as a placeholder until you can get what you have your heart set on? Consider painting furniture, swapping out hardware, making slipcovers for chairs or even spray painting a light fixture.
So, tell us how do you envision for your dining room? We’d love to get your ideas! The more the merrier!