How to Re-Design Your Dining Rooms


Unless you have a large home with a few rooms to spare or enjoy formal enter­taining, there is no need to have a separate dining room. Often a more relaxed atmosphere is achieved by eat­ing with friends in the kitchen and the chef will not be excluded from half the conversation as he or she rushes to get the next course.

The dining room tends to double as a study or playroom or be a part of the kitchen or living room. But if you want a separate dining room you should desig­nate a room that is near, and preferably next to, the kitchen so that you do not have too far to walk backwards and forwards with plates and dishes.

Redesign Dining Rooms

Creating the right atmosphere

Your dining room should be a warm, relaxed room with a stimulating at­mosphere. The chairs should be com­fortable, the table should preferably be circular to encourage group convers­ation and there should be enough room round it for guests not to feel cramped. To seat six people a round table should ideally be about 4 1/2 ft (1.35 m) in diame­ter for comfort and convenience.

The lighting should be soft, with the table as the focal point, and cutlery, crockery, linen and glassware should be simple, clean and beautifully presented. Candles are good for creating a cosy atmosphere for evening meals.

Suiting your lifestyle

Once you have chosen the room you wish to eat in and are about to redesign, think about your lifestyle. When will you be using the room and with whom? Will you be eating in the dining room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with your family – including small children? Or will it be used mainly for entertain­ing: formal parties at night or casual Sunday lunches? How many people do you enjoy cooking for? What else do you plan the room to be used for?

Sunday lunches

A dining room used mainly for break­fasts, lunches and summer tea parties would ideally be almost an extension of the garden. It might double as a conservatory, where your green fingers could be displayed, or it might be painted white and green and have vases of flowers scattered liberally around. However you plan it, the atmosphere should be casual, sunny and open.

Dinner parties

A room used mainly in the evening should act as a womb-like space, enve­loping guests in a cosy cocoon which stops them worrying about the world outside. A view is not important; what is important is the table in front of them and the atmosphere in the room.

Dining room and…

If the dining room is sharing a function, for example becoming a playroom or study area by day, it must have enough storage space for traces of its other life to be quickly removed. Toys could be swept behind a curtain across a par­tition. Typewriters and telephones should be able to be lifted up and shut away in a cupboard where they will not get dusty. Books and pictures or prints, whether children’s or grown-ups’, never go amiss in a dining room and may make an interesting feature.

Conversely, you may wish to make the dining room disappear during the day. Think about buying a table which can be folded up or an expanding table, with wings or leaves. Chairs could either be folded and hung on the wall or be used around the house, some in the bedroom, some in the corridor and some in the hall.

Redesign Dining Rooms

Informal dining rooms

The informal dining room is light and cheery. The atmosphere is casual and friendly; food is rough and ready, but tasty. Cheerful plastic tablecloths and paper napkins protect the table and the guests, the china is harmonious without necessarily matching, the water comes in a pitcher and not in a bottle. Colours are bright, sunny, spacious; patterns loud and bold – guests relaxed.

Formal dining rooms

In a formal dining room there should be a feeling of opulence – possibly even decadence. The wooden French pol­ished table should shine, the crystal should sparkle, the candles should glow, the mirrors should reflect, the silver should glisten and the linen should be starched. Everything should he perfect and there should even be an element of excess: too many courses, too many decanters, too many cigars, too much conversation, too many guests and too much washing-up afterwards!

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About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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