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Journal

January 18th

Decorating Your Dining Room for Guests — and You!

Twin chandeliers offer an unexpected lighting twist, and differing chair upholstery adds style.

We’ve become a society of “great rooms” and “open concept” spaces but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful dining room too, whether it’s part of that larger area or a completely separate space. When you eat mostly at your breakfast nook or on bar stools at the kitchen island (or in front of the TV!), it can be a nice escape to bring a meal into your dining room, especially when you have guests. Here’s how to make your dining room a special place for hosting and relaxing.

First of all, think about what makes a room feel like you want to spend time there. McDonald’s, for example, uses obnoxiously bright colors and plastic booths to send a certain message: enjoy your meal, but don’t linger. Starbucks, on the other hand, uses mood lighting, upholstered furniture and appealing music to encourage us to hang around and buy another gourmet coffee.

Chandeliers have gone creative, like this one with its “candles” perched above the dining table.

A good initial step in warming up your dining room is wallpaper. A large-patterned paper also acts as artwork. Just hang a few wall sconces — hard-wired to offer uplight or downlight to the wallpaper — and you’re done!

If you already have a dining room table you like, consider simply reupholstering the chairs. I like to use a different fabric for the head chairs, sometimes covering the head chairs in a printed fabric and the side chairs in leather. But if having all the chairs the same is your preference, that’s fine too.

Even a more casual dining space as part of a larger great room gains charm with colorful chairs and accessories.

A dining room that has wood or tile flooring benefits from a rug. Not only does it provide a nice place for people to place their feet as they eat, it gives the room more texture and color. Use a rug that is at least large enough for the chairs’ front legs to sit on it.

Chandeliers have gotten really fun in the last few years. While a single, centered chandelier is absolutely acceptable, I like to use two smaller chandeliers spaced evenly over a large table. Plus you can find a huge range of styles, from contemporary, orbital models to faux candles to the traditional crystal chandelier.

Finally, don’t forget to decorate the table itself for when it’s not in use. This is a great opportunity to use those vases or decorative lanterns you’ve stored away! Place one large vase or perhaps several smaller vases on the table with fresh or silk flowers in them, or place a lantern with a candle there, to tie together your color scheme. You’ll probably want to remove this centerpiece when using the table since it might take up too much space or block diners’ views of each other, but meanwhile it will give your dining room a polished look.

Need some help refreshing your dining room or another space in your home? Please contact us for a complimentary consultation!