The dining room is often the heart of the home. Today, we are going to share tips to consider when decorating your dining room to help make it warm and inviting for every occasion.
The dining room has been used as an eating area since ancient times. In fact, many homes were built before there was even such thing as electricity or indoor plumbing so it stands to reason this would have always been where food preparation took place. While we may not eat our meals while seated around any more, this tradition still carries over into today's houses.
The dining room is often reserved for special occasions like holidays and family get togethers. This makes it one of the best rooms in your house to make use of when you're looking to add some extra flair to your next event.
In order to create a great atmosphere for entertaining guests, let's explore what elements must be considered when decorating your dining room.
Your lighting needs will vary depending upon whether your dinner party is taking place during daylight hours or after dark. During daytime events you'll want to keep things subdued and soft with warm colors and natural light sources. For nighttime affairs, you'll want to choose brighter tones and accent pieces that stand out against the darker background. You could also consider using dimmer switches if needed.
For example, I recently hired someone to help me redecorate my living space. We worked from photos she sent me and did everything live via Skype. One of her suggestions was to switch up my lighting fixtures. At night, I went bright and bold with white wall art and white furniture. My friend said these choices made my apartment feel larger than it actually was. By contrast, during the day I wanted something lighter and softer which meant adding lots of plants and curtains. She told me this gave off the impression of having plenty of space without feeling cluttered.
When choosing your color scheme try to avoid too much repetition. Instead mix it up between different tones. A good rule of thumb is to stick with three main hues - two colors plus black or white. These colors don't necessarily need to come from only one shade. If you've got a blue-green palette then combine shades of yellow, green and purple for your other two colors. Or you might go with a deep red, orange, and gold combination instead.
A fun way to think about picking colors is to pick a "theme" first (like rustic) and work backwards from there. You can even combine rustic and modern elements to make a dining room to match your personal style.
Once you decide on a primary hue then select secondary colors that coordinate well with it. So say you chose rustic themes because of all the wooden accents you'd like to incorporate into your design. Then pick complementary colors based on those accents like blue/rust or lavender/pink. It will give your project structure and direction.
Another option is to choose neutral palettes. They tend to provide less drama and allow each piece to shine on its own. But again, balance them with strong accents and a splash of color here and there.
While it doesn't matter if you prefer to sit down to dine facing forward or backward, it does affect the placement of the chairs. Since you typically spend time sitting in this room anyway, it's important to find comfortable seating arrangements. Look for furnishings that offer both comfort and function. Chairs that swivel 360 degrees are ideal for easy access to kitchen counters or serving trays. And armless tables allow you to move items around freely without needing to worry about knocking anything over.
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Also pay attention to the height of your ceiling. Most people aren't accustomed to standing upright straight across so tall ceilings can quickly become uncomfortable. Taller folks may want to opt for shorter chair heights.
If you find yourself drawn toward oversized furniture pieces, remember that smaller ones won't seem lost in comparison. Also consider the size of your group. Larger groups can easily overwhelm smaller spaces so it's usually better to err on the side of caution and scale back.
Since your dining room probably already holds ample amounts of dishes, silverware and glassware, don't forget to include additional storage options.
Cabinets are perfect for keeping plates and platters away from view yet within reach. Another idea is to install shelves along the walls. Just make sure you leave enough open floor space so that everyone can see what's going on. Shelves are especially helpful when trying to display unique knickknacks or collectibles.
Table Top Area
Keep in mind that most diners are rectangular shaped. So plan accordingly. Ideally you'll want to locate your table near the center of the room. That means placing it either beside or slightly behind the focal point.
You can also strategically arrange your dining set to maximize available real estate. Place taller objects close to the front door and eye level. Next highest items should be placed higher up but closer to the sides. Keep lower profile objects further back or towards the corners.
This allows your eyes to flow uninterrupted through the entire length of the room. Plus you'll have more freedom to maneuver around any obstacles that may obstruct traffic patterns.
Most dining sets require approximately 12 inches of clearance on all four sides. However, if you want to save money or increase the amount of usable floor space, you can opt for longer legs that extend beyond the perimeter of the frame. This gives you leeway to pull out chairs without worrying about stepping on anyone else's feet.
It goes without saying that your décor shouldn't compete with the rest of your home. Unless you want your guest complimenting their hostess on the incredible artwork hanging above their heads, keep this factor in mind. Wall decorations should complement the existing interior rather than overshadow it. Think simple and subtle. As mentioned earlier, you can introduce variety with accent pieces, artwork and framed prints. Or, simply fill empty nooks with decorative pillows. Pillow covers can also serve as nice touches.
Artwork and Window Coverings
Don't go overboard. Stick to one type of pattern per wall. Don't overload your windows with blinds or treatments.
Be mindful of potential distractions like pictures frames and window coverings. Avoid heavy fabrics unless you really know what you're doing. Fabric selections that hang below eye level are generally best left to draperies.
Decorate With Style!
Whether you're planning a casual meal or a formal affair, proper décor is key. Take your cues from these tips and guidelines and you'll soon discover how beautiful your dining room can truly be.
Additional Tips for Your Dinning Room Décor
Below are some bonus tips for adding additional flare to your dining room decor.
Don't forget the little things. Candle holders, centerpieces and other small accents can make a big difference in the overall look and feel of your dining room.
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When hanging artwork or curtains, be sure to leave enough space between the bottom of the frame and the top of the table. This will prevent your guests from having to crane their necks every time they want to take a bite.
Avoid using harsh chemicals when cleaning your dining room. Not only are they bad for the environment, but they can also damage delicate surfaces like wood and upholstery.
Finally, don't forget to enjoy yourself! The whole point of décor is to make your dining room a more pleasant and inviting place to be. Relax, take your time and have fun with it!
There you have it! These are just a few tips to consider when decorating your dining room. With a little imagination and effort, you can transform this space into the beautiful, functional room of your dreams.