6 TIPS FOR CREATING A MORE INVITING SPACE:
All too often I hear from our clients that they only use their dining rooms once or twice a year. Since this can often be one of the more costly rooms in the house to furnish, why not create a space that you can enjoy throughout the year. It seems that our busy, on-the-go lifestyles have kept us from using this area for that which it was originally intended. This is a room that is meant to be shared, to spend time, to enjoy a meal, play games or visit with family and friends. It shouldn’t be reserved only for large gatherings or formal occasions.
The idea is to create an atmosphere that is inviting and warm. It can still be stylish or formal if that is your preference, but it should be a space that beckons you in. It can also be used for family projects or games if carefully planned to allow some flexibility of use without becoming a “catch all” area.
Here are some things to consider in planning your dining room:
– Comfortable seating! Nothing will encourage you and your guests to sit back and relax more than a good comfortable chair. If you have inherited a family set, consider replacing a few antique pieces with some newer items. There is no substitute for a good quality upholstered chair!
– An eclectic mix of pieces. Gone are the days of a matching dining room suite! What is more popular today is a mixture of pieces that give the look of being carefully selected and collected over time (even if they are purchased at the same time). If you have an existing dining room suite, consider swapping out the matching arm chairs for a pair of upholstered host and hostess chairs to break up the look and add some comfortable pieces up to date pieces. Or replacing an unused china cabinet with a more stylish credenza or chest.
– A glass table top. If your dining room is smaller in scale, consider replacing a heavy looking wood table with a glass top on decorative pedestals. This will really open up the space visually and give you more of a chance to show off beautiful chairs or a unique area rug. Not to mention, glass is very durable and cleanable.
– A great area rug. This will help to anchor the space, absorb sound, and create an inviting atmosphere. This is not an area to skimp. It is worth purchasing a good quality wool rug that will last for years to come.
– Appropriate lighting. In addition to a great chandelier, consider some accent lamps on the buffet or a floor lamp for one of the corners. This is a great way to add some soft, mood lighting to the room. You may also want to add a dimmer switch for the overhead lighting to adjust as needed. Stay tuned for more on this in my upcoming guide to lighting. I also love to add an unusual floor lamp in a corner to create an intimate feeling.
– A table pad. If you have a good quality wooden table and are concerned about scratches, order a custom fitted table pad designed to fit your specific table. Many of these have such a life-like wood appearance that they can fool the casual observer. It will also prevent you from being afraid of using the room, knowing that your furniture is protected.
These are just a few ideas to help create a dining room that you love and are comfortable using on a regular basis. Let me know when you are hosting your next dinner party! I will bring the wine 🙂
Love Where YOU Live!