Dining rooms are supposed to be the opposite of multi-functional rooms like kitchens and ideally they should be kept for only hosting lavish dinner parties and family meals, however this is rarely the case in family homes where the often serve double duty as home offices, workstations for everything from home-work to crafting.
Understanding that in most circumstances people can’t set aside a room just for formal dining, the humble dining room can be a bit of a hub where function is worth considering when deciding how to redecorate and plan the room.
When perusing dining room ideas, consider what kind of furniture and decorative accents will transform the space into an entertaining mecca.
Making the room into what you want can be quite tricky due to the lack of options and changes that are often on offer especially when you have legacy or heirloom large pieces of furniture as the focal point of the dining room.
If you want to you could even change the room from a pure dining room to a mixed used family space by replacing the large table with a smaller dining table and simpler chairs or even benches to allow more of the space to be used for other aspects of living.
If you want to keep the dining room traditional but just want to update the look then one of the easiest changes you can make is swapping out your furniture.
As the focal point of the room, your table should be your biggest investment and will probably take up the most space in the room so choose it carefully.. Take time to consider various furniture pieces and what works best for your needs. Don’t be afraid to splurge — a good table can last you decades, and can be passed down to future generations too.
Once you have this cornerstone piece figured out, you can then focus on implementing your favourite dining room decorating ideas and storage options.
How to choose the right furniture
Ask yourself a few basic questions and perhaps get around a table with others in your family or household and ask for their input.
What is your dining room layout? How is the room shaped? Are there high ceilings, where does the enter the room? These can all have bearing on the type of furniture you invest in.
How often do you entertain? How many people usually attend? What kind of events do you like organising – big dinners or intimate gatherings? What kind of dining rooms are you personally drawn to at other homes? If lack of adequate dining room furniture has prevented you from hosting parties in the past then thinking about what you have enjoyed at other homes you have visited, or even browsing sites like Pinterest can help you identify what you are looking for before you head out in search of the ultimate dinning room furniture.
To allow more options in terms of space saving, consider buying a table with which can be expanded using a leaf system to accommodate a varying number of place settings.
In terms of shapes, round tables are optimal for achieving some of the smaller dining room design ideas you might see. They fit into tight areas and have no sharp corners to bump into when you’re serving a hot casserole or pouring a glass of water. Round pedestal tables are also useful alternatives – they offer more legroom than conventional designs. For a larger space, a square table works well, and a rectangular table is ideal for a long, narrow room.
No matter shape, size or material, make sure you measure table-to-wall clearance. To do this, measure the space around the room to allow enough space between your table and the walls so diners can sit down and get up easily from their chairs. If there is furniture in the dining space like side boards or seating around the edge of the dining room area remember to allow extra space for people to get past the diners if there are also people sitting while others are at the table.