Classic Dining Room

Well, most of us do not have a dining room that will support a dinner party with 14 guests the way this one does, but the things that make this room work can be used in a dining room serving eight or even four people. Let’s look at the consistent features that every classic dining room should contain.

Space: Make sure every guest has two to two-and-a-half feet of linear space at the table. This oval table provides an additional advantage – it gives the people at either end extra leg space. Also plan on at least two feet of area rug beyond the edges of the table so that people don’t end up bumping off the edge every time they push their chairs back. Did you notice the padded chairs? Just like our contemporary dining room in Monday’s blog, the comfort of your guests is important if you want people to linger to chat after meals during your dinner parties.

Lighting: A chandelier’s height should be about 30 inches above the dining table’s surface, but you may hang it higher to make sure it lights the whole table. With a table this long, two chandeliers would also work, but the wall sconces and mirrors will help keep the room well-lit. Notice the medallion on the ceiling. This makes the light hold a stronger place in the room and works well with the rich display of crown molding on the edges. A medallion is a simple, inexpensive and effective way to emphasize your chandelier or any light fixture.

Tablescape: The crystal in the center of this table echoes the items in the cabinets along the wall as well as the mirrors and windows, keeping everything integrated. Be sure to keep anything in the center area of your table low enough for people to talk across.

Your dining room may not have the size and majesty of this one, but following the same rules for good dining allow you to make dinner parties at your home just as enjoyable.

Contemporary Dining Room

Contemporary doesn’t mean cold, as this image shows. The colors, furnishings and accessories all combine to create an inviting space for dinner parties and family meals. Let’s take a look at what makes this room work so well.

Color: The dark brown tones, combined with cream and grey, transition well with the stainless steel appliances from the kitchen while creating a warm space for eating. These colors are neutral enough to allow the homeowners to set the table to suit their mood or the season.

Furnishings: The box-like table says contemporary very well, and the wall-mounted buffet and shelf support the clean lines while staying low maintenance. Large rectangular tiles also suit the modern feel. Notice the chairs, however. Although contemporary in style, the padded seats and backs make for comfortable seating, encouraging people to linger after meals for conversation. When choosing dining room chairs, always factor in comfort before style.

Accessories: The choices made are all modern and some are almost sculptural. The bell artwork makes best connecting piece with the bells echoing stainless tones and the background connecting with the dining room tones.

Altogether, this dining room features the best in contemporary design while still remaining warm and welcoming.

A Dining Room that is Functional and Appealing

Some smart decisions help make this dining room work particularly well.

When you have the space, a buffet is always an asset. Depending upon the event, it’s nice to have the top of the buffet available for appetizers or self-help desserts. With a larger party, the chairs can be pulled toward the walls, enabling you to use both the buffet and the table for food presentation.

It’s convenient to have the dining room accessible to the backyard for indoor-outdoor entertaining. Because this dining room, from Fulton Home’s Harmonique model at Ashcreek, has access to the back patio, it can be used during a barbeque as a place to stage cold food. Or you can set it up for people who prefer to eat inside and they will still feel like part of the group.

The dramatic chandelier is hung perfectly – at 30-34 inches above the dining table. Notice that the table, chandelier and lamp on the buffet all have similar metal elements. This helps keep the room in balance given the amount of wood present.

When it comes to draperies, adding a wide border of contrasting or patterned fabric to either the top or bottom of each panel creates a striking look. This drapery length is smart. It provides some of the luxurious feeling of pooling at the floor while staying short enough to make it easy to get in and out of the sliding glass doors. The weight of the fabric is also important. A lighter panel would be difficult to manage on windy days.

Choosing wood rather than carpeting for the flooring is also a smart decision. With people coming in from outside, wood is easier to keep clean. With the right finish, once-over with a dust mop will pick up most dirt quickly.

Altogether, this room was designed for entertaining, whether you’re talking about a formal dinner for eight, or a casual pot-luck supper for several families.