Creating your dream dining room can be a nightmare of a process if you are not sure where to begin, or even, what you want to create. Before you begin selecting your furniture, take some time to consider your:
- how often you use the room and for how many people
- background materials
- style preferences
Whether you have decided to work with an interior designer or you are going about it on your own, this article will help you focus more on how to define your space and create the dining room of your dreams.
What style is your dream dining room?
Deciding on your desired style and overall look will help decide what direction to follow regarding the details of the room like drapery, furniture, and color scheme. If you are working on a larger renovation consisting of architectural detailing, applied millwork etc, finding your style first will narrarate the direction in which you or your designer can select these details.
A good way to begin finding your style is by selecting images from magazines of rooms and details that you like. Use these as a guideline to begin seeing the similarities in what you are being drawn to. Showing this to your designer will help clarify for them what you are looking for as well, since describing space with words can leave too much open for interpretation. (link to home decor through fashion, and working with an interior designer)
What colors do you image in this space?
Color is a very important decorative tool that can instantly change the look and feel of a space. You may already have a color in mind, however the world of paint colors is a vast one and saying ‘green’ to your designer or local hardware store may not cut it. (link to paint colors article)
A good first step when beginning to select your colors is to go to your local hardware or home decor shop and immerse yourself in their paint color samples. Most paint companies and stores that carry them offer free small samples of their colors on a paper or a chip. Bring them home and try to narrow down the color direction. Choosing three or four colors that are next to or near each other in the color chart is a good way to specify wall, ceiling, and trim colors. Some companies, like Benjamin Moore, offer small jars of selected colors that you can test on your walls before you invest in a larger amount of paint.
How can you add details to make your regular dining room into your dream dining room? The details are what will make your dining room special. Some areas to focus on details are:
- Moldings: Using crown, base or chair-rail moldings that compliment your rooms style will add an extra layer of richness to the room. For example, if your room is in a traditional style, a more traditional molding like an egg and dart or dental molding may work nicely. On the other hand, if your dining room is a more on the contemporary or minimal side, you may want to consider a simple straight molding just to cap off where the wall meets the ceiling or floor.
- Ceilings: Ceilings are often ignored because people aren’t sure what to do with them, if anything. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a simple, painted ceiling, however if your style calls for it, there are interesting details you can add to enhance your dining room. Try adding an ornamental medallion above your chandelier in the center of the room. You can paint it a contrasting color in order to stand out, or use it more subtly as a texture and paint it the same color as the ceiling. This is a nice look for a soft, sophisticated traditional style dining room.
For a more rustic home, try using hewn timbers across the ceiling from wall to wall. They can be finished in a variety of stain colors from dark to white washed. This can also be used to warm up and add interest to a more contemporary look, making it a bit more eclectic.
- Walls: There is a lot of advancement in the world of wallpaper, bringing this category back to the world of decorating. These materials vary from vinyl’s, to 100% papers to linens and more. There are some great, bold graphics for contemporary spaces, beautiful soft cabbage rose prints for traditional interiors, and artistic representations of faux finishes that have greatly improved. If you like the idea of wallpaper, but do not want it to take over the entire room, try wallpapering only above or below your chair rail molding (link to glossary).
What should I do with my windows?
Window treatments can really warm up a room and tie in colors. Make sure you decide what treatment will be most functional for your dining room. If you have pets and a lot of guests, you may not want to have drapery that puddles on the floor. Instead, try a roman shade or wooden blinds. Light, soft sheers that just brush the floor can be a nice touch as well to add a subtle layer of softness and color to a space.
- Spending some time on your overall style preferences and background materials will help define your dining room in a much more personalized way. Once you have decided on these concepts, selecting furnishings and accessories will fall in to place. Remember to focus on the details, since that is what makes you and your home unique.
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