Intimate spaces and fresh, contemporary designs don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Nikki Hunt, principal of Design Intervention, discusses the elements that can make your dining room both chic and cosy
Let’s face it—most of us oft en have breakfast on the go, lunch at our desks and take dinner on a tray in front of the TV. So meals that we share with family and friends should be treasured. Whether it is for Christmas, a reunion dinner or a birthday celebration, it is oft en the times spent seated with loved ones around a dining table that form our most cherished memories. As the setting for so many special moments, the design of the dining room is key to an optimal social environment. The dining room is an area of the home where the designer can afford to be bolder and explore a touch of drama. A well-designed dining room has the power to affect our mood, by infusing the space with an atmosphere that can influence the way we feel—to embolden, inspire us to become more animated, and to encourage lively conversation.
TAKE A SEAT
Many of our clients consider the dining table as a major investment piece but quite frankly, it’s often hidden behind a ring of chairs. It’s the rear of the chairs that become the dominant feature of a dining space. Luckily, adding detail or pattern on your upholstered seats is easy to achieve and can have a greater impact on the room then splashing out on a designer table. Hig h-back dining chairs will also envelop your guests with comfort, encouraging them to linger and enjoy the evening. Your choice of colours, patterns and textures matter. A dark silk wallcovering can create a moody, intimate vibe, while the injection of bold colours like chartreuse green can lift and brighten a room. Black and white lines on the walls can form a crisp backdrop for an evening of glamorous entertaining. And a jubilant rug design can bring a freshness to an elegant scheme while adding energy to the space, to create a perfect backdrop for an evening of sparkling conversation.
Another design element that is often overlooked is the importance of wellconsidered lighting. Lighting can be the most powerful tool we have to affect our mood. Using multiple layers of light on different switches or simply putting the key light fixture on a dimmer, allows the hosts to finesse whatever mood they wish. A pendant light arrangement can also invoke a sense of flickering candlelight to create a warm and intimate mood. Often, it is the little things and details that makes guests feel special. A pretty bouquet of fresh flowers, or beautifully coordinated table settings will show that thought has gone into preparing this feast and will make your guests feel welcome and appreciated.