Food is the most basic of human desires, which is exactly why such ceremony has been attached to eating throughout the world. In cultures across the globe, eating requires specific rituals, like ordered courses, formal etiquette, and a designated room to contain it all.
The dining room is the heart and stomach of most Western homes, but too many families avoid using their dining rooms due to outdated and dysfunctional design. Today, you can reinvent this room by revolutionizing its style from the ground up.
For functionality, most dining rooms contain tile or wood floors which are much more forgiving of food and beverage spills. However, these hard floors can be rough on dining room chairs, which will make harsh, grating sounds whenever they are shifted.
The addition of an area rug beneath the dining room table adds warmth and style to the room. Different rugs will emphasize different aspects of the room:
- A bold print will become the focal point.
- A small pattern will make the room feel bigger and more airy.
- A contrasting color to the furniture’s stain will make the furniture stand out.
The rug should be large enough so that chairs never fall off the sides; if you add about two and a half feet to both dimensions of your dining table, you should have the right measurements. Still, there is no need to cover up what may be particularly beautiful wood or tile work, so if this creates a rug that takes up an entire room, you may need to find a smaller dining room table, which brings us to our next section:
As they represent the purpose of the room, the table and chairs may be the most important design decisions you make for your dining room. So much of dining room design hinges on the size and style of the table and chairs — from the shape of the rug to the number of lights — that choosing your dining room set may be one of the first steps in creating a personal and stylish space.
However, though they will certainly guide the rest of the room’s style, it isn’t necessarily best to buy a table and chairs without considering the present and future of your dining room. You may want to ask yourself the following questions before laying down a deposit on a set of any size or style.
How big is your home? A robust, antique table that seats eight won’t fit comfortably in a one or two bedroom house, guaranteed. Consider both the size of the dining space and the size of your family (as in, the number of people who may use the table at one time) before making a final decision.
- What is your home’s theme? Just as the wood or tile in the dining room should flow with the flooring in the rest of the house, the furniture of the dining room should reflect a home’s overall style. A minimalist, modern room in what is otherwise a rustic house will stand out, in a bad way.
- Will you redecorate other rooms? If your dining room is the first in a long future of home renovation, you may be have more license to experiment with fun, different design.
The dining room is the most versatile room for lovers of light because the drama and grandeur of the space often allows for all different types of stunning lighting options. Chandeliers, pendant lights, sconces, and more are absolutely gorgeous in dining rooms — but only if they are used correctly.
Generally, designers have a set of guidelines to ensure dining rooms have an appropriate amount of light; the size of the room (broadly) and the size of the table (specifically) have a great impact on what kind of lighting will work in the space. Consider these when deciding on lighting:
- The lighting should reflect the style of the table more than the overall theme of the room. For example, round chandeliers look best with round tables, while linear lighting like a row of pendant lights looks best with rectangular tables.
- The lighting should be at least a foot smaller than the table in all directions. A four-foot-wide table should have a two-foot-wide light above it; in this way, lighting is the opposite of rugs.
- The lighting should be suspended in proportion with the length of the table. At least one-third to two-thirds of the length of the table should be covered with lights. Additionally, lights should be no more or less than 30 inches above the table. This is particularly important for thin pendant lights, but chandeliers must follow this rule as well.
Because chandeliers are spectacular for design but poor as functional lights, you may consider layering lighting options in your dining room. Dim chandeliers and pendant lights mix well with recessed lights and wall sconces; be sure to think both vertically and horizontally when layering lighting in any room.