Wether you have a separate dining room or a small kitchen diner it should be a place that is versatile and can be used for casual gatherings with friends and family but also be dressed up for dinner parties and special occasions. We are currently decluttering our house in a major way and trying to simplify all our living spaces including where we eat and relax each evening.
The most important aspect of comfortable dining, whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner, is having a dining room you enjoy spending time in and is welcoming and warm. This ensures that meals eaten there are eagerly anticipated in a space that is as perfect as you can make it.
Here are some ideas on creating the perfect dining space
Getting the size of your dining table right requires careful consideration of the size of your dining room and how many people will use it. For a family of four, you can use a round or square table to help you save space. However, if you entertain regularly and you have enough room, a rectangular table may be the answer.
Try to leave a minimum of three feet of space between your table and any walls or furniture. People need to be able to pull out chairs easily instead of being forced slide into them because the space is cramped. When you're thinking about table size, consider how many people are regularly going to use the table so diners don't have to tuck their elbows in all the time.
Choose the right chairs
Sitting comfortably is just as important to diners as having enough space. You don't have to go for matching table and chair sets – although they can look great – but you should look out for chairs that enhance each other. You can use a bench if you want a more casual vibe, or go for a more traditional look with upholstered chairs although make sure they are easy to clean in case of spills.
Lighting the room
Most dining rooms don't have a lot of other furnishings, although it does depend on the size of the room. A sideboard for drinks, perhaps, or an occasional table with an attractive floral decoration can add to the ambience of the space. Drop down lamps and explodes bulbs can give a real New York loft feel to your kitchen as well as add a more softer light than harsh spotlights.
Natural light is an attractive way of bringing illumination to a dining room. Instead of using curtains, you could consider installing window shutters in elm hardwood or a range of other woods to give you control over how much or how little light you want to bring in to the dining room. With shutters that can be made to fit any size or shape of window, and with many having adjustable louvers, you can determine exactly how you want the room's ambience to be. Shutters add a clean, stylish look to any room, and they can also block heat and help insulate when the weather turns cold.
Dining room and kitchen layout
If your space is limited, there is a good chance you'll have an open-plan area for the dining room and kitchen. Even if space is not a problem, this can be an attractive way to lay out the spaces. Open plan means the two spaces are easily connected and food can get to the table quickly. Having two separate yet connected spaces sets up where you eat as an attractive room for formal or informal dining that is ideal for entertaining but also for teaching kids how to eat in a space dedicated to that purpose.
Decorating the space
Use candles for ambience, but don't use a centerpiece that prevents people from seeing one another across the table. Attractive placemats and utensils add to the dining experience, whether it’s informal or formal. Also a dining room or kitchen is a great place to display art and prints on the wall, don't be afraid of adding a little bit of colour to your dining space as it should be a place to relax and socialise.
Eating should be an enjoyable experience at all levels, so getting the decor right for your dining room will enhance the experience for everyone who participates in a meal.