Last weekend, I attended a formal seated lunch for mother’s day where the hostess had created a beautiful table arrangement with fresh flowers for the occasion. That reminded me of my childhood Sunday lunches in France at my grandmother house where the entire family gathered.
I find it interesting how the dining room used to be the star of special occasions and a place to shine when friends and family came together. Nowadays, it is overlooked in favor of spacious eat-in-kitchens and casual dining.
Does that mean homeowners are giving up on their dining room in favor of big kitchens and extra elbowroom?
Not quite yet, a survey from Centex Homes indicates that high-end buyers still like their formal dining spot. On the other end, first time homebuyers and those in the lower end of the home-price scale are opting out of the formal dining room floor plan.
Regardless of what area you designate as your home dining room, here are some design ideas for thoughts:
1. CREATE FLOW AND CONSIDER FUNCTION:
For holidays, big meals and other large gatherings, you will be shuffling back and forth between the eating area and the kitchen – frequently with dishes in hand. Make sure that the flow between the two rooms is comfortable and spacious. It sounds simple, but also make sure the space can adequately accommodate the table and chairs. You don’t want dinner guests to fill squeezed.
2. CREATE VISUAL APPEAL:
Because the primary function of eating spaces in a home is well defined, designing comes as a secondary thought and dining rooms often get the short end of the design stick.
Paint the walls with an attractive color and design so people look at something while they chew. Personalize the room with favorite family photos, vase of fresh flowers and other decorations that mesh with your style. A livable dining room used on a daily basis is a place where the interior is beautiful but has a practical and comfortable approach by use of fabric and finishes and unusual decorative details.
3. THINK ABOUT LIGHTING:
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of lighting in the dining room and throughout the home in general. But to go back to the eating space and appropriate lighting, you need to be able to see first and foremost what you are consuming. Consider using a dimmer in case you want to achieve romantic lighting or a certain level of ambience in the future. And, be sure to pick fixtures that are easy to clean. Having a cobweb-filled, dusty light fixture hanging above your plate is unappealing.
4. MAKE YOUR DINING ROOM CONVENIENT:
Consider surfaces that are easy to clean and don’t stain, such as hardwood floors. Red wine spills and food spots are hard to remove from carpeting. If you want to soften the room, use throw rugs, and place them in areas that are less likely to spills.
Does your family enjoy buffet-style dining? If so, consider having a purposefully placed sidebar or serving table. Think about left-handed diners, and be sure there are seats at the table to guarantee they won’t be constantly be bumping elbows with their neighbor.
Be conscious about the layout, design and decoration of your dining room. After all, you will be building memories around the table, no matter where in the home it is located.