Design Ideas For The Dining Room – Brought To You By John Lewis
It’s actually, really, definitely Spring at last, isn’t it?
The heating is now OFF, the hawthorn is finally in blossom, and the windows are open most days. Marvellous.
So naturally, now’s the time we all start to look around our winter dens, and feel like it’s time for a spruce up (it’s no accident that the easter Bank holiday is the biggest DIY weekend of the year y’know). So when John Lewis got in touch and asked how I felt about writing about dining room design it wasn’t quite as random as I first thought.
For me, it’s definitely time to hit my dining room (not actually with my fist y’understand. That would be foolish. And hurty. No, hit it with my ideas…). When we built our lovely extension, our then-lounge became the much-longed-for separate dining room of our dreams. Only by the time the extension was finished, our pot of funds was empty. So we had a swish new dining table and chairs… but the rest of the renovation was restricted to a lick of paint on the walls, we laid some new laminate flooring ourselves, my sister whizzed us up some curtains and we put up a picture or two. Of course we were going to come back and do the thing properly… and ten years later we’re finally getting around to it!
Dining Room’s are tricky things. They’re not used often enough, so it’s easy to ignore them (for ten years…), and just presume that a table and chairs are enough to make a dining room. But what you really want is a room that’s nice to linger in. One that works as a pleasant and inviting family space for your meals, but also as a grown up entertaining space too.
There are lots of great Room Planner tools online which are a fab way to start (not just for your dining room but any space) to plot out your space. There’s nothing worse than a lovely big table in an itty bitty living space, meaning everyone has to “breathe in!” when someone wants to squeeze past. If you’re starting from scratch I’d use a room planner to plot your room, so that you know what size dining table you can get away with.
Next is the task of picking the right dining furniture for your home – a dining room is hardly ever going to be just that; it’s likely to be part kitchen, part office, or part family room. So, mix the decor up and add lots of practical storage too. But that’s no reason to not make it a really nice place to be.
I love what was done with this open plan dining area that is featured on Houzz, for example, to really create an elegant dining room feel in the corner of a large space.
Here’s a few things to consider when you’re planning your dining space:
- Do you need a big table? If there’s only 3 or 4 of you in the house, and you only need a big table once or twice a year, then go smaller and make more room! A large temporary table top can be created easily from MDF or plywood, and stored in the shed for most of the year.
- Do you have adequate storage? Keep the tableware and cutlery in there to make laying the table convenient – you’ll find you start using it far more if setting the table isn’t a back-and-forth faff.
- If you think a room is too small as a dining room, reconsider. Bedside cabinets make great space-saving storage, and fold away chairs and drop leaf tables are great. There’s loads of old fashioned dark wood drop-leaf tables to be found in second hand shops and on Ebay which could get a whole new lease of life with a coat of chalk paint!
- If a computer work station and office filing needs to be stored in a dining area, consider investing in fold away storage that closes to look like a standard cupboard or drawer unit. If you are unable to alter the workstation itself, consider screening it with a concertina style screen or partial curtaining
- Toy collections could be pared down or packed away in rotation. Those in use could be stored in an ottoman or baskets – some laundry storage units can look stylish in a dining room.
And now for the polishing touches… This is where you let loose your inner Interior Stylist! Channel 4’s Design & Decorate site has a page of totally genius ideas on how to Add The Wow Factor to your Dining room On A Budget‘.