The holidays are just around the corner: family time together, cooking, eating and celebrating a special time of the year. For Americans – gathering for great food, family & fellowship is a tradition for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas – and other holidays during the Fall months each year. And certainly, most meals are a social event for most families in these United States – holiday or not. So the design of the dining area is very important to create the atmosphere of sharing, comfort and feeling at ‘home’ that most associate with the tradition of eating together.
Before you plan and begin your dining room interior design, it’s important to consider some aspects of your space: lighting, and focal points.
The lighting in a dining or eating area is paramount.
Guests might want to see what they’re eating (No way!) or maybe it’s a romantic and exclusive dinner for two – where mood rules the atmosphere. Functionality and flexibility is the key when it comes to dining room lighting. Opt for a fancy dimmer switch and lighting arrangement to fit the mood of your event.
It’s also important to explore natural lighting and windows in your space before placing the actual fixtures. If you have great natural light from a large window on one side of the room, then obviously the other side of the room might be able to use a lamp or light source. Before you place – check your space!
Which brings us to focal points in your dining space.
And one more word on lighting – because it’s related to both lighting AND focal points: most interior design plans for dining spaces include a strong light source directly over the table. This is a great opportunity to create a focal point, with both drama and style.
On other focal elements – do you perhaps have an architectural element such as a fireplace, or dramatic window, or a recessed ceiling in your dining room? If so – design opportunity is knocking. Play these up, embellish them and feature them in your design. If you don’t have these assets to your space, then add them with your lighting, fixtures and artwork. The dining room is a very popular place for art.
Furniture = Function.
One thing is certain – American’s don’t gather and eat together STANDING UP. You must have a place to sit and serve.
Choosing a dining room table should first follow your initial style and taste for the room overall – with regard to style and design, but size and placement obviously plays a large role as well. Depending on the size of the space, your table should allow ample room for passage (even with chairs in use – so allow some extra space), and some negative space as well to avoid an overdone, cluttered look.
You want your dining room to be ‘comfortable’, ‘tight and cozy’ and ‘aesthetic’ – but you have to allow for your guests and yourself to MOVE around in the space as well. If you’re unsure of what will work best in your space – you can always call J. Douglas Design for an in-home interior design consultation, or visit our Dallas furniture showroom.
For a smaller and more square dining room – a round table shape and of proper scale works great. For longer, oblong spaces, the traditional rectangular dining room table works well. With both options, there would be easy access to and from and around the table and seating.
Dining room designs are a favorite of J. Douglas Designs. Here’s some design tips from us to you – to make ALL your in-home dining experiences a tradition to endure:
• Create an extra special pizazz and sparkle by including mirrors, mirrored accessories and glass elements. The shine, sparkle and crystal-clear reflections will add a subtle, special effect.
• Plan your table place settings, centerpiece and other accessories to really accent your design and add color, texture and shape. Adding these accessories will help the room not seem ‘overwhelmed’ by the large dining room table, but rather – accent it’s presence.