Dining Room

Five tasteful dining room designs

Whether it happens every day, once a week, or only on special occasions, the family meal is an important event. It follows, then, that the venue for this event – your dining room – should be equally important. Creating a space in which your family can enjoy good food and, more importantly, each other's company will turn even the simplest family meal into a memorable dining experience.

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Dining Room Decorating

Your dining room decor will depend largely on your dining room's location. If it is an alcove or open room off of the kitchen or living room, the design should have similar features to the design in the connecting room or rooms. However, if it is a separate space, then you can select a design based on the main use of the room. Is it for casual daily dining or fancy holiday feasts? Will you mostly need a cozy table for two or banquet seating for ten? Once you know who will be using the room and how often, you can select a decor that provides the proper atmosphere and accessories.

Five Popular Dining Room Designs

A Victorian dining room recalls the opulence and formality of the late 19th century. A mahogany dining room table is the perfect centerpiece to this room, especially when accompanied by chairs with oval or ornately carved backs and upholstered in brightly colored, boldly patterned fabric. Formal dining room furniture such as buffets and sideboards with dark wood finishes and marble tops complete the look.

For a more streamlined, less busy, yet still old-fashioned look, an antique dining room keeps the dark wood of Victorian design without the lavish accents. Antique dining room furniture – usually consisting of an oak dining table, oak chairs and a buffet cabinet complete with buffet hutch – dominates this room. Wall and floor coverings are generally solid, neutral colors so that the wood remains the focal point.

Combine lighter woods with natural stone or brick to create a warm, inviting country dining room. Rustic dining room furniture and antler chandeliers help create that country feel, while soft, subtle hues provide a restful atmosphere. Add handmade (or handmade-looking) accessories such as carved trinkets and woven baskets to accentuate the homey feel.

The modern dining room leaves wood behind in favor of glossy painted surfaces. Black-and-white is the main color palette, accented by punches of bright color or the shine of a metallic finish, such as that of sterling silver flatware. Modern dining room furniture has straight, clean lines, which contrast beautifully with perfectly circular plates, bowls and glasses.

If you don't use your dining room very often, the picture-perfect look of a vintage dining room can make it a decorative focal point of your home. Vintage style allows you to add pieces from many different styles and eras – just as long as they are quality pieces and good examples of that design or period. For example, pair a classic antique dining table with upholstered Victorian dining chairs and center them under a traditional candle chandelier. Done properly, this eclectic mix can put your much-loved but little-used pieces on display.

As a center of family feasting or a decorative display room, your dining room can add both form and function to your home – with the right design, of course!