The dining room is one of the most important areas of a home - after all, this is where we eat everyday, meet up with friends and family, laugh, enjoy and spend our time together. It is the nerve centre of our home.
A dining room should be conducive to enjoyable, long chats, lively discussions, time spent together with loved ones and for lingering long after mealtimes.
The dining table
Generally speaking, the dining table is the focal point of a home and is therefore of outsize importance. It should be chosen after careful consideration. One of the major factors in choosing a dining table is its shape - round, oval or rectangular, robust and massive or even dominant perhaps? Your personal taste is of course important, but just as important are the dimensions and properties of the room it will be placed in. It also needs to be large enough for all kinds of activities - family meals, meals with guests and perhaps also the children's homework.
The material is yet another factor that plays an important role. Whether you choose to go for rustic wood, metal and glass or even stone - it's all a matter of taste and the interior decor style. Should you go for a table with one central support or legs at the edges? Is a round table better so that no one has to sit at a corner?
Ideally, you want chairs that invite the diner to linger. They could be upholstered chairs with armrests or chairs made of wood with a seat cushion - either way, they should be comfortable.
Also take into account that these chairs will have to withstand a lot. A little drop of red wine or a bit of rich tomato sauce can cause ugly stains on upholstery or cushions. When getting upholstered chairs, always ensure that they can be easily cleaned without too much fuss.
Rug under the dining table?
A carefully chosen rug can do wonders to a a dining room and make it look festive and inviting. On the other hand, over time, it could start to look rather worn out especially if there are young children in the household. Consider carefully whether a rug is a good idea because it does entail more maintenance and cleaning.
Depending on how often you intend to entertain guests and the size of the room, you should also think about getting a couple of other pieces of furniture. A sideboard or china cabinet can make life a lot easier. You will have plenty of space to put away your fine china, napkins, silverware, candlesticks, flower vases and the like.
By all means go ahead and use the sideboard and other decor to unleash your creative instincts. Choosing a sideboard that contrasts with - rather than matches - the style of the rest of the room can lend an incredibly charming character to the dining room.
Choose discreet, muted colours for the walls. The simple reason for this is that very often there are various objects on the table - pretty flowers, a fruit bowl or a newspaper, say. The table is therefore, usually the centrepiece of the room and it is best if the walls offer a calming backdrop. Hang up a painting or a mirror in a pretty frame if you'd like.
Many overhead or hanging lamps meant for dining rooms focus light on the table, i.e., downwards. A dining room of larger dimensions might therefore benefit from multiple sources of light so that not only the table, but the entire room is well-lit. Perhaps a floor lamp might be the solution. A well-chosen floor lamp lends cosiness to a room and adds to an inviting effect overall.
The bottom line
The dining room is a place for coming together with family and friends and cosy, memorable meals. That's reason enough for each facet of this room to be inviting and comfortable. Above all, bear in mind that it is your home after all, and that the style and decor of your dining room should please you and your family first and foremost! It will bring you joy for many years to come.