BILTRITE Furniture – Leather – Mattresses has many options for your dining room needs. It’s a shame that many of us admit to only using our formal dining room for special occasions, such as the holidays. Why not change that? While it is nice to have a formal place to eat for holidays and dinner parties, it would be better to have a room that is functional and that you can use on a regular basis.
A formal dining room can be a great place to have dinner with the family, entertain friends, or simply have your morning coffee. With a few adjustments, you can transform your formal dining room from stuffy to cozy, and create a space that is a treat to use year-round.
Soften the mood with color.
To keep your formal dining room from feeling too formal, create a more intimate setting with a soft foundation of color. Warm colors tend to stimulate conversation, and shades of reds are a popular choice for dining rooms because the color represents passion and a healthy appetite. If your room is dark or small, use color subtly. It may be more effective to paint or wallpaper one wall red, or simply hang a large, red-based painting. Or, you may want to paint three walls one color and use a complementary color on the fourth wall to create a focal point.
Other colors that foster warmth and intimacy are yellows and oranges — keep them light and soft for an airy feel to the room. Some color experts say that pinks and purples have a sedative affect, so they’re not ideal for dining rooms. But greens and blues are relatively neutral and can look very fresh and inviting, especially when paired with white.
Whatever color you choose, try something that complements your furniture and style — as long as you love it and it makes you feel good, that’s all that matters.
Create a flattering light.
Try to keep your dining room light and airy for use during the day by taking advantage of the natural light in the room. Use pale or sheer curtains over the windows to allow as much light in as possible, and if you also want heavier curtains for deeper color, keep them pulled back to frame the window without hiding the sunlight.
If your room is naturally dark, use several light sources to brighten the space — don’t just rely on the overhead light. Place a couple of lamps on the sideboard or serving hutch, or install a few sconces to distribute light more evenly throughout the room.
Choose furnishings that fit.
If you want the room to be functional, you have to make sure that your furniture properly fits the space you have available. The table should fit comfortably, and there should be room to move the chairs back without banging into another piece of furniture. Ideally, you want to have at least four feet of space around the table to be about to pull out chairs and get around the table comfortably while people are seated.
The right table – centered on a vibrant area rug – will anchor the room. The shape of the table depends on the size/shape of your room, and personal preference, of course.
A round table is popular for more intimate settings and allows for easy conversation — it can soften a boxy room, too. A small square table also does well in tight quarters, while long rectangular tables work best in bigger rooms. You might opt for a smaller table that comes with one or two extension leaves — this will give you more space for everyday use throughout the year, while keeping the option of entertaining more guests when the need arises.
Choose your dining room chairs according to the wear and tear you expect them to have. If you have small children or pets who like to climb/claw, it’s probably not wise to cover your chairs in fabric seats. A good alternative to plain wooden seats is to buy leather chairs — leather is very durable and easy to clean, and it will maintain its looks over many years of use.
Even in a formal dining room, the chairs don’t all have to be the same. If you have a rectangle table with eight chairs, consider getting different chairs for the two end chairs. Or, if you have a round pedestal table with four chairs, you might place two leather armchairs across from each other and two upholstered fabric chairs opposite each other. The result will be a personal reflection of your style with all the function of everyday furniture.
Accessorize to set the mood.
Don’t make your dining room a catch-all for decorations you do not love, family pieces that you have inherited, or gifts you don’t know what to do with. Although you may feel obligated to display decorations like these, you are the one who has to live there — and if you don’t love the room, you’ll avoid it. Decorate with items that you love to look at, and either properly store or even donate items that you really don’t want.
Change up your table decorations so that they don’t seem stale and stuffy. Add some fresh flowers every now and then, or feature collections of the season’s colors. For example, in autumn month, display a collection of fallen leaves, pine cones, sprigs of evergreen, and tiny pumpkins or gourds.
Use mirrors to brighten and open up your room. A large mirror is a nice addition to any wall, but it can really help to make a small space seem larger, and the light it reflects from your light fixture and other lighting will enhance the mood of the room even more.
Alternatively, a large piece of artwork or a tapestry can serve as a great way to bring the colors of your room together and can serve as an interesting conversation piece as well.
Randi K., 4th Generation Family Member