A couple of weeks ago, I talked about family room basics so I thought we could tackle the dining room this week. The cold weather is back so let's get back to nesting.
For some, the dining room is a workhorse where all the meals happen. For others it's a dinosaur - never used and feels ancient. Either way, here are 10 ideas on how to jazz things up in your dining room.
If you use your dining room on a regular basis, here are tips on how to refresh things.
1. Add more function
In my house, we eat most meals at the dining room table, but it's also a place where my kids do their homework, so I've added some storage so we always have school supplies on hand. It also has amazing light so I have lots of plants growing by the double windows. It's my version of a green house (and a plant hospital)!
To figure out how else you could use your dining room, think about your house and what you might be missing. Maybe you need storage, so make sure you maximize your server. Maybe you need a place where your kids can play, why not also make it an arts and crafts room? There are NO RULES here folks!!! It's your house!
2. Mix things up
I'm talking about seating here. You don't have to have your dining chairs match your table. In fact, it's more interesting if they're not part of a set. You also don't have to have the head chairs match the side chairs. Although, I do prefer if the head chairs match and the side chairs match. But not each other. Do you know what I mean? In my dining room, I have very sleek chrome and white leather side chairs and antique Windsor chairs at either end. I have to add that I have farm table. For some reason, I feel that when you have a farm table, most kinds of chair styles will work.
3. Add another layer of lighting
Okay if you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I really dislike relying on only overhead lighting. That also goes for the dining room too. It casts shadows on your face (which makes us all look at least ten years older), so key here is a table lamp or sconces.
On my server, I have a pair of lamps that offset my chandelier shadows so nicely. Of course, I have my lamps on a dimmer (more on dimmers here).
4. Change out your rug
Dining room rugs take a beating, so you could ditch the rug altogether (easy breezy clean up!) or use an indoor/outdoor rug. These rugs have come a long way. They're soft on your feet, super stylish and are really easy to clean. Not all indoor/outdoor rugs are soft though so be sure to read the description if you're buying online. I recently bought a rug like the one below for my dining room. My dog ate the fringe off a really nice rug so I gave up and bought an indoor outdoor one instead. I couldn't be happier!
5. Rethink your chandelier
If you have a dated chandelier, most times you can spray paint it. Do a fun color or a cool metallic.
Or you could jazz it up by adding shades to the bulbs or some other type of embellishment. I have a chandelier that has a family history so I don't want to let go of it, but I was looking to freshen things up so I took some beads (that kind of fell apart from an old necklace) and made a bead garland to hang on my chandelier. Over the holidays, I add strings of mercury glass beads.
6. Add a bar
An easy way to add some fun to your dining room is to add a BAR, of course! Even if it's not fully stocked, just a tray, some decanters and cool glasses give a great look. If you have space, you could add a bar cart.
For those of you who rarely use your dining room, here are some other ways you can use it.
7. Office/Work Room
Your dining room table could easily do double duty as a large work surface. Your server could hold your printer, files and supplies. When you have company, clear off your table and you're ready to entertain!
Take your office a step further and line your dining room with bookshelves. It instantly cozies up the space and will give your dining room a very scholarly, yet personal feel. Very European, right?
9. Game Room/Den
How about a round pedestal table for your dining table, surrounded by four comfortable dining chairs? It could serve as a game/puzzle area or a dining space when needed. If you get a pedestal table with a leaf, you could easily go from a table that seats four to one that seats 6 or 8.
Or you could use an armless sofa that could also serve as a banquette. The possibilities are endless!
10. Billiards Room
When I saw this dining room/pool table, I nearly fell over. So cool! And really pricey at almost $8000!
Let's say you don't have $8000 to spend - you could still put a pool table in your dining room and if you have company and need a space to dine, use a pool table cover. They're sold specifically for this purpose!
Have you made any changes to your dining room recently? I'd love to hear about them!
Until next time!
I'm all about sharing ideas in home design, gardening and living so we can love our homes. I'm joined by my dog, Boomer, who is always by my side.