When it comes to makeovers, the dining room can be a tricky one. It doesn’t see the use that a living room or kitchen does and doesn’t have the requirements of a bedroom. Sometimes the lack of restrictions can actually make the project more difficult – you have all these great ideas and aren’t quite sure which to focus on. So here are some ideas to plan your dining room makeover.
Casual or formal?
One of the best places to start the process is to consider what style of dining room you like and whether you are a casual diner or like to have formal meals.
For the casual dining room, you can often go for a mixture of styles. You can have a wood flooring with a big rug in it and quality reclaimed wood dining table and chairs. You can add furniture to it that you like but that doesn’t always exactly match – you can even do the mismatched table and chairs look. Throw cushions, big flower arrangements and plenty of colour work well for this kind of décor.
On the other hand, if you prefer a more formal dining room then you want to consider the overall room theme and colour palette. Your table and chairs will be perfectly coordinated and will be the centrepiece of the room. All extra furniture will tone with the wood of the table and any metallic accessories will coordinating with each other. Your room will be practical and stylish with plenty of convenient storage for those dining essentials.
Choosing the table and chairs
Once you have an idea about your overall style of dining room, you can start with the main consideration – the table and chairs.
The first thing to look at is the amount of room that you have. Most interior decorators recommend a table at the is at least 36 inches wide in order to have room for plates and place settings. Ideally, each diner should have around two feet of space, so this helps decide how many chairs are suitable for the table if you are uncertain.
Also, it is recommended to have around 40-50 inches between the table and the walls – this leaves room for the chairs and for people to move them out to sit down without banging against the wall.
Round tables are popular for smaller dining rooms. There are no sharp corners to knock yourself on and this also means you can fit more people around it. Pedestal tables are ideal for similar reasons – there’s just the one big leg in the centre rather than four legs at intervals on the outer edge.
Rectangular tables are great for longer and narrower rooms. A four foot long table will comfortably seat four people while a six foot table is great for six people. Square tables make for a more intimate dining experience as everyone is an equal distance apart and work well in square rooms.
Dining room chairs
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your table and chairs need to be an exact match. The combinations you make are a great way to personalise your room. You might opt for furniture from reclaimed wood for the table and sideboard in the room then add all fabric chairs to it. Do lots of shopping around with specialists such as hfruk.co.uk to get some ideas of the different styles of chairs available. And remember you can add a further feature to the chairs with cushions and throws.
Dining room storage
Once you have chosen your table and chairs, you will then have an idea if you have room for other elements in the room. Storage is a popular option because you can store a lot of stuff in the room that you use there and not have to carry as much around with you. The right storage also stops the room seeming cluttered and untidy.
The sideboard is a classic dining room storage option and there are some stunning versions alongside the Welsh dresser styles. There are also other options such as a larder style cupboard that is nearly from the floor to head height. Choose a tonal colour that matches in with the other elements in the room or go for a glass-fronted one if you want to show off your nice glassware.
If the dining room doubles as a work room, homework space for the kids or place to relax, then additional seating is often an option. You can go for seating that doubles as storage by going for benches with drawers or baskets under. Add plenty of cushions and they will be just as comfortable as a sofa.
If the room has odd alcoves or shapes, these can easily be turned into storage. Whether it means adding shelves, a shelving unit or even putting a door onto it to make it into a cupboard, make use of the natural contours of the room.
Using colour in the dining room
Dining room colour (or lack of it) is very much a personal preference. Some people love to use colour in their rooms while others like only a touch. And some feel most comfortable with a palette of neutral shades.
If you want to use some colour, consider the room itself. Does it get sunshine in the daylight? Is it naturally a warm or cold room? What are the best ways to bring the colour into the space?
For example, if it is a dark room that doesn’t get natural sunlight much, then lighter colours with bright shades for accents can work well. But in a sunlight drenched room, this might be a bit overpowering, so you can bring in dark shades. Warm rooms can withstand any colour, but a cold room might do well with a warmer colour palette as this gives the perception of making it cosier.
How much you use the dining room as a place for meals is a big part of choosing how you makeover the space. Getting the right furniture is key and understanding the room itself can help with decisions about colour.
*This is a collaborative post