Having a sense of how to style your dining room will instantly elevate your entertaining, meal times, and special occasions. The dining room is the epicentre of entertainment, the centre point for all celebrations and, above all else, a space to convene with friends and family for everyday meals. It’s an underrated room and it symbolises far more than just a place to dine!
The ’90’s gave dining rooms their moment in the sun; though, the concept of a kitchen/dining room with a more open plan soon took over. Living spaces became smaller and meal times shifted to kitchen islands, breakfast bars, and more compact tables. As we progressed into the noughties, the concept of takeaway food exacerbated this trend. However, since 2019 we’ve seen a return to the entertainment areas of the home, and the dining place takes front and centre.
It’s safe to say that when it comes to a dining room, the dining table is the most important piece of furniture to invest in. Dining tables come in array of sizes, styles, and materials. It’s important to pick one that supports the everyday functionality of the room, not just your upscale dinner parties! Rectangular dining tables tend to work best for everyday dining but an oval or round dining table will be preferable if you plan to entertain regularly as it allows your guests to easily see one another without anyone getting left out!
If you have a smaller space, a glass topped dining table is an effective way to make the room feel more spacious.
There’s little point investing in a statement dining table without the chairs to match. Start with a standout dining table, then select chairs that enhance it. A more contemporary dining table requires a sleeker and neater chair, for example. They don’t need to be matchy-matchy! The right design will allow you to mix and match the chair design or style while complementing the aesthetic of the dining room.
It is, however, important to choose chairs that are comfortable to sit on and won’t have your guests squirming through dinner.
Lighting is an important component to a dining room as it sets the tone and ambience. Statement lights are popular to hang over the table – but make sure they work with the aesthetic of the table and chairs. Scale is an important consideration as well. The size and shape of the lighting fixture should work well against the table. A dimmer switch is a fantastic addition, especially in a dining space as it allows you to reflect the feel of sunset (which is when the room will inevitably be used most). As well as chandeliers, sconces are a much needed addition to a dining room as they’re a great way to create a sense of intimacy for a dinner party.
There’s nothing worse than having a cluttered dining table during a meal. Introducing a console or sideboard will help by providing a place to pop down dishes or store surplus wine. When not in use, they can be tastefully styled with flowers. Having a console table is a great finishing touch to the room and useful for hiding away china. If you’re short on space, drinks trolleys or side tables make great alternatives.
Flowers and plants are great finishing touches to a dining room. Displaying fresh flowers on a side table or console elevates the room. For added effect, populate corners of the room with luscious green plants, bringing life to the interior.
While room decor takes the lead, how you set the table will establish a sense of ambiance. Embrace placemats and coasters, as well as heavy linen napkins and rings to keep them neat. Introducing a bit of candlelight traversing the length of the table evokes an intimate, warm sense of occasion. Your choice of glassware should be carefully considered as well (we love Richard Brendon as our go-to for glassware). The centre of the table should be adorned with flowers (see above) and charger plates for the dishes you’re serving up.