The dining room is an area of sociability, togetherness and enjoyment, best furnished with a substantial dining table; but of course, this begs the question - what else do you put in a dining room beside a dining table?
While many dining areas pose the potential for various uses, curating your perfect dining room grants you and your household a dedicated place to eat, connect and enjoy family life. Here are some suggestions to spark your imagination and help you make the most out of your dining room.
The purpose of your dining room will determine your decoration choices. Reserving it solely for sophisticated dinner parties and special occasions will warrant an altogether luxurious atmosphere. In contrast, a well-used family area should be fuss-free and functional, although not without character. If space permits, you could include extra functions, such as a reading nook, additional seating or a bar.
A coherent colour scheme is far from requisite; however, it may help to tie your design choices together, culminating in a balanced room. On the other hand, you may enjoy the concept of maximalism, finding joy in clashing colours, patterns and textures. Again, think of the function of your room - an environment rich with clutter could be overwhelming and difficult to relax in, whereas others find it impossible to unwind in a pristine minimalist show home. Either way, choose your colour scheme wisely and consider how different colours elicit different emotions.
Lighting in any room of the house is crucial. Harsh overhead lighting may be functional, but it doesn’t make for an exceptionally cosy and relaxing environment. Fluorescent lighting can also trigger headaches and eyestrain - not something you want for your peaceful dining area. Instead, opt for multiple soft pools of light that gently illuminate your space, creating a cosy atmosphere. For more information on lighting, explore the Danish concept of Hygge, in which lighting is a crucial factor.
A feature wall is an excellent way to add a focal point to a room without overcrowding it. Bold wallpaper and eye-catching artwork across all four walls can make a room appear busy and smaller than it actually is. To maximise space and establish personality, add a pop of colour, texture or decoration on one wall while keeping the others relatively plain - this could be in the form of statement wallpaper, panelling or a collection of photographs/artwork.
Select your dining chairs with comfort and durability in mind. Whether you opt for cushioned fabric stools or sleek painted dining chairs to match your decor, remember that these items of furniture will need to stand the test of time. If you’re buying your table and chairs separately, ensure there will be plenty of space between table settings by measuring everything thoroughly, and if purchasing in person, feel free to try before you buy.
Greenery is an excellent addition to any room. Fresh flowers and houseplants have mood-boosting, stress-relieving properties, ideal for a soothing environment. If you’re a houseplant novice, opt for low-maintenance varieties such as aloe vera, spider plants and succulents. It is also vital to choose your plants wisely if there are pets in the house; for example, lilies are highly toxic to cats and dogs. For a striking indoor plant addition, choose a money tree or parlour palm - both varieties that won’t harm your furry friends.
Although a dining table centrepiece isn’t necessary, including one will undoubtedly make your table appear vibrant and inviting. Take the traditional approach with a polished brass candelabra, lean into the country cottage aesthetic with a vase of vibrant sunflowers or express your individuality with a contemporary art piece.
A display cabinet or Welsh dresser offers a place to store and display your crockery and glassware, particularly if you own fine china, only to be used on special occasions. That said, you don’t have to use a display cabinet solely for dining paraphernalia. You can use your cabinet or cupboard to house ornaments, books, framed photographs, plants, candles and whatever else you please.