It’s the cen­tre of at­ten­tion in the home so maybe it’s time to give your din­ing room some TLC

Star Courier (Surrey & Hants) - - FRONT PAGE -

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. 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.

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