When considering dining room design in your home, you primarily have the décor and furniture to consider. These factors will largely be influenced by the size of the room, and whether or not you have windows. The room you use primarily for eating in might not in fact be your dining room, since many eat in the kitchen as a family and use the main dining area for guests and dinner parties.
Whichever your practise is, it is nevertheless important that the room is bright and airy, and comfortable to eat in. The decorative accents should be focused on expanding the size of room, and light colors and mirrors can make a room appear significantly larger than it is. This is particularly true if you have mirrors aligned to reflect each other, and also reflect the windows if you have them.
Here are some tips on dining room design, including furniture and decor suitable for the more traditional home and household that wants to impress invited guests.
Dining Room Décor
White or light colored walls will make the room look larger, while if you have a particularly large room, darker colors can make it appear more intimate. Try to cut back on very bright primary colors: it is fine to have one brightly colored wall if the others match with a more muted pastel shade, but too much color is not usually recommended for a dining room.
Windows can seem larger if they have narrow frames and surrounding woodwork, and cutting back on the drapes also tends to help open out a room. As previously mentioned, mirrors can also be used to make a room appear more expansive, but should be avoided with larger rooms if you wish to create an intimate atmosphere.
Dining rooms tend to be the source of a lot of conversation, so wallpaper is better than painted walls for absorbing sound waves. A carpet or rug also absorbs sound better than wood flooring. Without some form of sound absorption, voices will be reverberating from surface to surface, and the conversation will be booming rather than muted.
The Furniture Dimensions
The furniture should fit the room. Many people make the mistake of packing as much furniture in as possible, but all this achieves is a cluttered appearance and your room looking smaller that it really is. If you can only fit a 6- or 8-seater table in your room, then that is all you should have.
The lighter the wood, the less space it seems to take up, although obviously this is only an illusion. You need to leave at least 4 feet space between each side of the dining table and the walls or other furniture, and also a minimum of 24 inches between chairs. That should be enough information to enable you to work out the size of table you can fit in and how many people you can seat. Don’t try to get away with less space, or your guests will feel squashed and uncomfortable.
Only use a broad dining table if you have a need for central space for such items as a centerpiece and candles. Otherwise, 36 inches is more than adequate. If you have only a small space for the table, a circular table is better than a rectangular one, and a pedestal base can seat more than a base with three or four legs.
Thus, a 5 ft diameter table with a pedestal base will seat 6, but with legs will only seat 4, the same number that a 3 ft pedestal table can seat. At the other end of the scale, a 7 ft diameter table with a pedestal base will seat 9, while a 7 ft x 3 ft rectangular table will seat 8: 3 each side plus one at each end.
Dining Room Accessories and Accent Pieces
If your dining room has the space for them, other pieces of furniture such as cocktail cabinets, curio cabinets, sideboards and credenzas add that extra touch of pizzazz to your décor and furnishings. Candelabra, a chandelier and other forms of unique lighting can be used, and table furniture such as bowls, centerpieces and trays of nuts and fruit will add class to any table.
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