Living Etc

Words of wisdom from our party-loving experts


‘For flooring, it’s always good to have a hard-wearing surface that can be easily cleaned. As guests will be pulling chairs in and out you want something that is not going to scratch or mark; wood, vinyl or tiles are good options. Assess the usage of the table. If it’s more of an everyday dining table, then wood is a great material; it’s natural, hygienic and warm to touch. If you love marble, be warned, as this can be marked with acidic products, such as wine or lemon juice.’ Hayley Robson, creative director, Day True

‘Colour changes our mood, lifts us, inspires us. For this dining room (above), I love the sense of peace and grounding the deep green of the walls creates. The bottle chandelier and the velvet dining chairs complement the walls, while the deep-magenta velvet curtains provide perfect contrast. The painting completes this feast of colour.’ Ana Engelhorn, founder, Ana Engelhorn Interior Design

‘Flexible and layered lighting is transforma­tive when entertaini­ng. Chandelier­s and pendants are a natural choice but also mix vintage wall sconces with table and floor lamps for maximum effect. Another key addition is a rug; not only will it add texture and colour but it can dramatical­ly improve acoustics, which is important in a dining space.’ Suzy Hoodless, founder, Suzy Hoodless

‘The walls of a dining room are often a feature in themselves (think panelling, chinoiseri­e wallpaper and fabric walling); or large-scale art or a series of artwork will be a talking point. We like to use directiona­l spotlights to highlight the wall finishes and discreet picture lights to bring the artwork to life. The key is to ensure the lights are proportion­ate in size to the artwork – a 30cm picture light will not work well with a 1m-wide painting; scale is key.’ Irene Gunter, director, Gunter & Co

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