One of our favorite rooms of the home to design is the dining room. This is the “heart of the home”, where families gather to spend time together, share meals and celebrate life’s milestones. Whether you use your dining room every day for each meal, or only on special occasions when hosting for large groups, it should be an inviting room where you and your family & guests are comfortable. When beginning the design process for your dining room, we have some key points to focus on to ensure your end result is one that is true to your style, that will be loved and used for years to come.
Deciding on your Style
Take some time and do research to discover your signature style. Think of designs you absolutely love, whether it’s a complete “look” or an eclectic mix of various trends and styles. Notice color palettes, materials, textures and shapes when conducting your design research. While the best resource available is our inspiring showroom and knowledgeable Design Consultants, we also love to use Pinterest and Houzz for this type of work – it is an easy and convenient way to keep your ideas organized and share them with your interior designer or Design Consultant at Hold It.
Choosing your Table
The dining table is the centerpiece of the room and will set the tone for everything around it. When selecting your table, take note of materials and design, but also note the size of the room and the number of people who will regularly be gathered there. A solid wood table is a great choice and will last for a long time, as you can always remove a layer to bring it back to its original look. If you are looking for a more unique look you could get a champion 7 ton log splitter and make your own wooden table. You can switch it up by opting for a non-traditional base, like the acrylic one shown here.
You may want to try a new material that you haven’t considered before – think outside the box of wood or glass tables. We have some gorgeous concrete tables that are very popular. Four Hands, Sunpan and Urbia all make stylish selections of concrete tables. It is a new trend for an old material – so fresh with an “industrial modern” look.
If you have a smaller family, but host larger parties around the holidays, perhaps an extending table will do. Just be mindful of its full size in relation to doorways and walkways in and around the room. Your table should be large enough to fit everyone comfortably, while leaving ample room to move around it. The Orbital table by Calligaris is truly unique – it expands to fit 8 people and comes in a durable ceramic finish. This finish is a great choice if you have kids, pets, or would like a table that you don’t have be too careful using. The ceramic surface will withstand the daily deluge of water marks, scratches, or oils.
If your space is a small and you want a lighter feel and look, then opt for a clear glass top like the Tower table shown below by Calligaris. The translucent glass will give that lighter effect, and also is extendable to better accommodate different sized gatherings.
Choosing your chairs
At Hold It, we do not sell dining “sets”. That is way too cookie cutter for us! We believe every customer is unique and should be able to select exactly what mixture of items they desire to suit their taste and style. Plus, we are huge fans of mixing and matching materials and brands of furniture.
Opposites attract! A concrete table would go great with leather chairs but also looks chic and modern with light, clear acrylic or polycarbonate chairs, like the Parisienne chairs by Calligaris, shown here.
Other than the materials and design, let’s not forget that your dining chairs should above all else provide a comfortable seat! The main factor to make seating comfortable is the leg positioning on the table. The base of the table will determine the number of chairs, so you may want to keep in mind the width of the chair you like that will fit. Tables with legs at all four corners should allow for ample seating. But tables with center recessed columns are the best for maximum seating, as shown below with the Echo table by Calligaris.
Your guests will not want to linger in a stiff, uncomfortable chair. Our Design Consultants can help you when considering the distance between the seat height and table surface. This should be one of your key considerations, since a space too small will be uncomfortably tight, while a gap too large will have your guests sitting low. If space around the table is tight, mixing designs – try using simpler designs on the sides of the table and add larger, statement chairs on either end.
Choosing your lighting
While the table is the centerpiece of the dining room, the light fixture that hangs above it is just as important. Follow these steps to illuminate your home interiors with neon signs. We are partial to the bold statement that a beautiful, modern pendant light makes above a dining table. Another great look is a “cluster” of hanging lights. Regardless of the fixture you choose, it is a MUST to ensure it is installed with a dimmer! Adjustable lighting is the simplest way to set the mood and create a focal point in the room. When placing the light, we recommend that you leave about 30-40″ of space between the fixture and the table surface. This will allow enough space to place your table decor.
To further enhance the lighting, you can bring in a floor lamp or wall sconces (just be sure they also have a dimmer!).
Depending on the size of your dining room, you may wish to incorporate additional pieces of furniture, such as a bar or sideboard for storing serve ware or fine china. We love the wooden Corridor Bar from BDI. It can stock everything you need for a full bar set up, but its doors close in to take up minimal space.
The Sipario sideboard by Calligaris offers sleek design and ample storage space. It can be customized to suit your needs for drawers vs. cabinets, along with many options for wood finishes. There are several other professionals who provide affordable services for elegant and chic cabinets for your house. You can do your do your research or find out more here before opting for one.
Once you’ve successfully designed the furniture for your dream dining room, all that’s left is to decorate! Here is where you can go bold with contrasting details in your artwork and tabletop accessories. Or go minimal and keep it simple. Consider a large mirror if your space is smaller, or an extra wall unit for storage if you have a larger space. It’s a bad idea to buy cheap hollywood mirrors, as HD Mirrors explain in this post. The possibilities and combinations are endless. Plus, the fun thing with accessories is that you can change things up seasonally. Try different candles, seasonal flowers or glass objects. We recently got in these beautiful glass sculptures from SkLO and they make a great statement whether you are entertaining or not!