DINE IN STYLE
It’s the centre of attention in the home so maybe it’s time to give your dining room some TLC
With the evenings drawing in and the mercury dropping, autumn is the ideal season to turn your attention to the dining room.
After all, with temperatures forcing entertaining indoors, whether it be an afterschool playdate, a Halloween party, a grown-up supper club or a simple family dinner, your dining room is going to be at the centre of the action. Perfect excuse for some retail therapy.
THE CORE INGREDIENTS
Whether yours comes in the form of a modern open-plan kitchen diner, a regal room or simply a corner of the living area, there are just two base ingredients every dining room needs: a table and some chairs.
If you’re looking to replace your current dining suite, there are two key constraints: budget and space.
But alongside these two very practical considerations, get creative. If you are tight on space but often host dinner parties, choose a dining table that will expand accordingly. And if you’re a fan of the industrial look, search second hand shops and salvage yards for the perfect pre-loved table.
Don’t be afraid of mixing styles either. There are no hard and fast rules that say you must buy matching dining table and chairs – curate your own look for a truly personal finish.
With the essentials taken care of, it’s time to turn our attention to the added extras.
Lighting is really important in the dining area, and if possible, a pendant – or an uber-stylish row of three – hanging low over the table is the ideal illumination. However, if you don’t fancy having the room rewired, a row of tall candles along a rectangular dining table or in the centre of a round table will create a similar effect.
Mood lighting created by floor lamps and dimmable light switches will also help create a beautiful ambience.
The dining room is one of the areas most likely to suffer from spills – so flooring that will wipe clean, such as low-maintenance tiles or wooden floors – are ideal.
However, one simple design hack currently sweeping the interiors world is sure to not only protect your flooring from nasty spillages, but will pack a punch in the style stakes too. Add a rug.
Placing a rug underneath your dining table and chairs will anchor your room and frame your dining suite. In a standalone dining room it will add instant interest, and in shared spaces it will help define the dining area.
Choose a dark patterned rug for maximum protection against spills or a bright, contrasting pattern to add interest in a dark room.
The dining area is one of my favourite places to go full-on seasonal chic; from festive additions at Christmas and autumnal colours in well, autumn, to fresh flowers in spring.
One of my current favourite trends, and one I would encourage those with the space to embrace, is a vintageinspired drinks trolley.
As well as displaying your favourite glassware and tipples, it’s a great place to stow tableware if cupboard space is at a premium.
And they are more reasonable than you may first think. A lot of big high street retailers have unveiled their own collections but you can also pick up second-hand trolleys from salvage yards, reclamation shops and even online auction sites.
Add your own finishing touches in keeping with the rest of the room and voila, the perfect practical addition.
Lesley Taylor is the author of 10 interior design books and has appeared on a range of network TV shows, including This Morning, giving inspirational advice on home styling. She lives in Wales where she is the founder and design director of luxury interiors lifestyle store Taylors Etc.
Use a rug to define the dining area in open plan rooms
Mix and match furniture styles for a unique look; here mid-century modern chairs complement an oak table
Low-hung lighting will illuminate the dining table
Use a drinks trolley to display glassware