Not only is this our observation, but many others also feel this way: in a home’s interior design, the dining area frequently doesn’t get the attention it needs. A dining room is nevertheless a vital component of our living areas even though it may not be as prominent as the living room or bedroom, for example.
There’s always a need for a spot to enjoy a great meal, whether it’s a formal dining room, a quaint breakfast nook, or a few strategically positioned seats by the countertop. This is especially true in smaller homes where a dedicated dining room may not exist. If you do have a dedicated eating area, you should make sure it’s furnished and outfitted well to maximize its use.
We spoke with some of our favorite interior designers to get their advice on the must-have pieces that everyone should immediately add to their dining rooms in order to streamline this procedure. It turns out that you may create a cozy and dreamy retreat in your dining area with just five well-chosen items.
1. Dining Table
It goes without saying that the dining room table should be your first priority when starting from scratch to decorate the dining room. Considering that sharing meals is the main use of your dining area, a reliable and appropriate surface is essential. Dining room tables are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, so it’s important to choose one that complements your everyday needs rather than one that’s only meant for opulent dinner parties.
The Vice President of Style at Modsy noted interior designer Alessandra Wood says it well when she says, “It’s important to bear in mind that the desire for occasional seating of ten doesn’t necessitate a 10-seat table as your daily go-to.” She recommends using extensible tables because they may easily meet your entertainment needs without taking up additional space in your daily living area.
The advantages of a rectangular dining table are emphasized by Roxy Te for both long-lasting aesthetics and functionality. One suggestion from the CEO and founder of Society Social is to go for a square dining table if it fits the dimensions of your space.
Square tables were designed to solve the common problem of rectangular tables not necessarily fostering inclusive discourse, especially for visitors seated at the table’s ends, as she points out, highlighting the design versatility of square tables.
2. Set of Dining Room Chairs
Consuming every meal while on your feet? I think that’s a hard pass for most of us. The essence of gathering around your dining room table depends on having a selection of well-matched dining chairs. But the question remains: What kind of dining chairs ought to you buy? That depends on your taste in aesthetics, I suppose.
The creative director of Laurie Blumenfeld Design, Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo, states that the chairs “depending on your design scheme, can either blend seamlessly with your decor or serve as the ‘wow’ factor.” When it works for the room, mixing and matching chair designs or styles can add personality and visual appeal; they don’t always have to match exactly.”
No matter what style you choose, comfort must always come first. “I’ve attended one too many dinner parties where discomfort set in before the salad plates were even cleared,” as savvy interior designer John McClain suggests. Selecting chairs with plush seats guarantees that your visitors will be able to enjoy the evening to the fullest extent possible.”
3. Area Rug
The thought of putting down a rug in your dining area may first make you cringe, particularly if you’re the type of person who frequently spills wine or eats pasta covered in marinara sauce. But as Jessica Geller and Virginia Toledo so passionately support, a rug is an essential component of any eating space.
The dynamic design team behind Toledo Geller highlights how important it is to use a well-chosen floor covering to anchor the area. “Although the idea might cause some controversy, it’s imperative to include an area rug in a dining room,” they declare.
This becomes even more important if your dining table and floor are made of wood. A stark and uninviting scene may result from the absence of a visually dividing element.
It makes sense to prioritize durability when choosing the perfect carpeting for your dining area. Laurence Carr, an interior designer, gives wise advice: “I usually suggest clients look into indoor/outdoor rugs for their dining rooms, mainly because they are easy to maintain.
Look for carpets that have both GoodWeave and Oeko-Tex certifications, which attest to the rugs’ ethical construction and environmentally friendly manufacturing methods. This guarantees the durability of your rug as well as your peace of mind regarding its effects on the environment and ethics.
4. Sensible Storage Space
If you want to add more storage to your dining room—for example, to hold more wine bottles or protect Grandma’s china—this is a wise decision.
Co-founders of Lawson-Fenning Grant Fenning and Glenn Lawson advise looking for a coordinated storage option, such as a credenza, cabinet, or hutch. With the help of these adaptable pieces, you can store dinnerware neatly and save making frequent excursions to and from the kitchen during meals. Additionally, you can easily retrieve your dishes from the storage container during mealtimes, freeing up table room for more important objects such as, as they humorously recommend, “many, many bottles of wine.”
5. Light Fixture
You’ll be spending a lot of time in your dining room, especially after the sun goes down, so it’s important to choose a lighting fixture that will work well with your design. Kendall Wilkinson, an experienced interior designer, said that “no dining room is truly complete without excellent lighting.” Scale is a crucial consideration when choosing a fixture; make sure it fits the dining table proportionately.
Keeping that in mind, the choice you have left is which kind of lighting will work best for you. The innovative thinkers at Transition State provide some insightful information. From a collective standpoint, they state that “artful sconces and ambient lighting are essential elements in a dining room, especially when the ceiling height is too low to accommodate a chandelier.” They also note that sconces are a particularly good way to provide a cozy, private feel and that they play a big part in setting the perfect mood for any dinner party.