You probably think the dining room is the easiest room to furnish. Just a table and matching chairs and you're all done, right? Not so fast...
Well, though the tables and chairs are the main part of your dining room, they are far from everything. It’s crucial to provide for your guests' comfort and for your own convenience as host or hostess. I've found that the biggest challenge that is unique to the dining room is keeping the overall décor warm and inviting - despite all the inevitable wood and or glass that ends up taking center stage. Providing a successful mix of complimenting (not matching) wood dining room pieces, window treatments, the right sized area rug and proper lighting all takes careful consideration and smart planning.
Dining chair choices are far from simple. Massive ones will take up too much space and can overpower a small dining room. Well-proportioned chairs that are comfortable and stylish are an absolute must. Also, it’s a great design idea and can creates wonderful visual interest to mix upholstered slipper chairs with wood chairs. Keep in mind that there are gorgeous fabrics available nowadays that will stand up to those inevitable spills, so you'll be able to relax and enjoy the party!
Naturally, the size and shape of table should fit both the room and your family, and be designed for easy expansion as needed. Break up that expanse of hard surface with a beautiful table runner to coordinate with your window treatments, upholstered chairs, and rug. Round and oval dining room tables provide for easy conversation that many of my clients find very appealing. Also, expandable tables, with drop leaves, built-in extensions, board inserts, and the like are all extremely practical. Today’s designs take up little “closed” space, and can instantly be enlarged when guests are expected. Tip: store your table leaves flat (like under the bed or sofa) - not standing up in a closet where the long-term stress may damage their flat shape.
It’s convenient to have silverware, linens, and serving pieces stored right in the room. A sideboard, chest or armoire will not only give you the storage you require, but can provide a gorgeous decorative element.
Let’s not forget your dining room windows! Consider framing them (NOT covering them) with tall fabric panels to enhance this most important focal point. This will add elegance, height, and both visual and auditory softening. Sheers or shades behind the panels will provide the light control and privacy needed.
Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving for 12, a Sunday brunch for 6, or a midnight snack for 20, versatility and comfort should guide you toward the best furniture and design plan to ensure that you and your guests are dining in style!