When it comes to designing a dining room, interior designers know that it’s not just about the table. The dining room is a space where both function and style come together to create a warm and comfortable atmosphere for gatherings and meals. So, what else should you consider including in your dining room? We spoke to top designers to find out the 9 essentials that they always include in their designs.
1. Comfortable Chairs: While the table is important, the chairs are equally significant. Upholstered chairs not only add elegance to the room, but they also make those long dinner parties much more comfortable.
2. Storage Cabinets: A cabinet or console is a smart addition to a dining room. It can be used to store extra dishes, sheets, or seasonal items, making it both functional and decorative.
3. Smart Lighting: Good lighting is crucial in any room, and the dining room is no exception. A well-placed chandelier or pendant light can help set the mood and create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
4. Mirrors: Mirrors are not just for the living room or bedroom. Placing a mirror in your dining room can help make the space appear larger and reflect both natural and artificial light, brightening up the room.
5. Benches: If you’re looking for a more casual and relaxed dining experience, consider adding benches to your dining room. They not only save space but also add a touch of charm and versatility to the setting.
6. Decorative Greenery: Bringing in some greenery can instantly liven up your dining room. Whether it’s a small potted plant or a larger statement tree, adding greenery can add a touch of nature and freshness to the space.
7. Glamorous Touches: For those who love a touch of glamor, adding some elegant elements to the dining room can elevate its design. Incorporate luxurious fabrics, gold or silver accents, or even a crystal chandelier to create a sophisticated and glamorous atmosphere.
8. Period Features: For traditional or period dining room designs, consider incorporating period features like antique furniture or vintage artworks. These elements can bring character and charm to the space, reflecting a sense of history and elegance.
9. Advice from the Experts: If you’re uncertain about how to design your dining room, seeking advice from professional designers, such as Amanda Hilditch and Gardens, can be a game-changer. They have the expertise and experience to guide you in making the right decisions for your space.
In conclusion, a dining room is more than just a table. The right mix of furniture, lighting, storage, and decor can transform the room into a space that is both functional and stylish. Whether you prefer a traditional, casual, or glamor-inspired design, incorporating these essentials will help you create a dining room that will not only serve its purpose but also make a statement in your home.
What to put in a dining room besides a table
When it comes to designing a dining room, interior designers always have a few essential items they include to create a functional and stylish space. Whether you have a small dining area or a spacious room, these elements can be incorporated to enhance the overall look and feel of your dining room.
Comfortable and stylish chairs are a must-have for any dining room. Upholstered chairs are often used to add a touch of glamour and luxury to the space. Alternatively, if you’re working with a small dining area, benches can be a great space-saving option.
Display cabinets are a great addition to a dining room as they can be used to showcase your favorite dishes and glassware. They also provide additional storage space for those special occasion dinnerware sets.
The right lighting can create a nice atmosphere in the dining room. Pendant lights or chandeliers are popular choices to add a touch of elegance. Additionally, a mirror can be placed strategically to reflect light and make the room appear larger.
4. Decorative Items
Green plants or floral arrangements can liven up the dining area and add a touch of freshness. Artwork or decorative items can also be hung on the walls to personalize the space and add visual interest.
A sideboard is a versatile piece of furniture that can be used as a serving surface during dinner parties or as extra storage space. It can also be styled with seasonal decor to add a festive touch to the room.
6. Serving Tables
Round or rectangular serving tables can be placed in the dining room to hold extra dishes and drinks during large dinners or parties. They are convenient and functional additions to the space.
7. The Right Shape
The shape of the dining table can greatly impact the overall flow and design of the room. Round tables are ideal for smaller spaces, while rectangular or oval tables can accommodate more people for larger gatherings.
8. Latest Trends
Designers stay up to date with the latest trends in dining room design and can offer advice on the best materials, colors, and styles to incorporate into your space. They can help you achieve a modern or traditional look based on your preferences.
9. Comfortable Seating
Comfort is key when it comes to enjoying meals with family and friends. Consider upholstered chairs or benches with cushions to ensure that everyone feels relaxed and comfortable during long dinners.
In conclusion, a dining room is not just about the table. It’s about creating a space that reflects your style and makes mealtime enjoyable. By incorporating the right furniture, lighting, and decorative items, you can transform your dining room into a beautiful and functional space for entertaining guests and sharing meals with loved ones.
1 Add a console table
When it comes to creating a dining room that is both functional and stylish, interior designers always include a console table. A console table is a versatile piece of furniture that can serve multiple purposes in the dining room.
Console tables come in various sizes and styles, so you can choose one that best fits your space and design aesthetic. They can be used as a surface to display decorative items, such as vases, candles, or artwork. You can also use it as a serving table for food and dishes when you’re hosting a dinner party.
One of the latest trends in interior design is to use console tables with doors or cabinets. These tables provide additional storage space for dining essentials, such as table linens, serving dishes, or wine glasses. The doors or cabinets can also be used to hide away clutter, making the dining room look neat and organized.
A console table can also be a great place to set up a small bar area. You can display your favorite bottles of wine or liquor, along with some glasses and cocktail accessories. This setup creates a casual and inviting atmosphere for entertaining guests.
Console tables are not only functional, but they can also be decorative. You can place a mirror above the console table to create a focal point in the room and make the space feel larger. Mirrors are known for their ability to reflect light and visually expand a room, making it an ideal addition to a dining room.
Another option for decorating a console table is to add some green elements, such as potted plants or fresh flowers. Greenery brings a touch of nature into the dining room and can help create a more inviting and vibrant atmosphere.
Whether you’re working with a small dining room or a large one, a console table can be a smart addition to your space. It provides extra storage and surface area, making it easier to serve food and drinks during mealtime. Additionally, it can be a versatile piece of furniture that can be used in other rooms, such as the living room or hallway.
When choosing a console table, consider the size of your dining room and the style you’re going for. A smaller console table may be more suitable for a compact dining area, while a larger console table can make a statement in a spacious room. Additionally, think about the materials and finishes that will best complement the rest of your dining room furniture and décor.
In conclusion, adding a console table to your dining room is not only a practical choice but also a stylish one. It can serve multiple functions and enhance the overall design of the room. So, take the advice from interior designers and consider incorporating a console table into your dining room design.
2 Fit a cabinet or dresser
In addition to a dining table, one essential item to include in a dining room is a cabinet or dresser. These pieces of furniture not only provide extra storage space, but they also add style and functionality to the room.
When choosing a cabinet or dresser for your dining room, consider the size and layout of the space. Cabinets with open shelves or glass doors can create an open and airy feel, while those with solid doors or drawers can help hide clutter and create a more organized look. Additionally, consider the overall style of your dining room and choose a cabinet or dresser that complements the existing furniture and decor.
There are several options to choose from when it comes to cabinets or dressers for your dining room. You can opt for a traditional wooden cabinet with ornate details and carvings, which adds elegance and a touch of glamor to the room. Alternatively, you can choose a more modern and sleek design, such as a minimalist cabinet with clean lines and a glossy finish, which creates a contemporary and upscale look.
In terms of functionality, cabinets or dressers in the dining room can serve multiple purposes. They can be used to store tableware, serving utensils, and linens, making it easy to access these items when needed. They can also be used as a serving area during meals, providing a convenient surface for placing dishes and serving food. Additionally, cabinets with built-in lighting can create a warm and inviting atmosphere, especially during intimate dinners or special occasions.
When it comes to placement, cabinets or dressers can be positioned in various areas within the dining room. If you have a large dining room, you can place the cabinet against a wall, creating a focal point and adding visual interest to the space. On the other hand, if you have a small dining room, you can choose a compact cabinet that fits nicely in a corner or against a wall, optimizing the available space.
To help you find the best cabinet or dresser for your dining room, here are some tips:
Consider the size:
- Measure the available space in your dining room to ensure the cabinet or dresser fits properly.
- Take into account the height, width, and depth of the piece to ensure it doesn’t overpower the room or obstruct the flow.
Think about storage needs:
- Assess how much storage space you require for your tableware, linens, and other items.
- Consider the number of shelves, drawers, and compartments in the cabinet or dresser to ensure it can accommodate your belongings.
Consider the style:
- Choose a cabinet or dresser that complements the overall style of your dining room.
- Decide whether you prefer a traditional, modern, or eclectic look based on your personal taste and the existing decor.
Consider the functionality:
- Think about how you plan to use the cabinet or dresser in your dining room.
- If you frequently host large gatherings or dinner parties, consider a cabinet with open shelves or a spacious surface for serving food.
- If you prefer a more casual dining experience, consider a cabinet or dresser with closed storage to hide clutter and maintain a neat appearance.
With the help of a cabinet or dresser, you can create a functional and stylish dining room that fits your storage needs and reflects your personal style. Whether you choose a traditional wooden cabinet for a warm and traditional look or a modern minimalist dresser for a sleek and contemporary feel, incorporating this essential piece of furniture will enhance the overall ambiance of your dining room.
Author: Sarah Hilditch
Source: Interiors magazine
3 Go for upholstered dining chairs
When it comes to selecting seating options for your dining room, upholstered dining chairs are an essential choice. These chairs not only add a touch of sophistication and elegance to the space, but they also provide comfort and support during long dinners and gatherings.
Many interior designers opt for upholstered dining chairs because they work well with a variety of dining table styles. Whether you have a traditional or modern dining table, upholstered chairs can complement the overall aesthetic, creating a cohesive and inviting atmosphere.
One of the latest trends in dining room design is the use of upholstered dining chairs, as they add warmth and coziness to the space. Whether you are looking to create a small intimate setting or a larger dining area, upholstered chairs can be a smart choice.
Upholstered dining chairs also offer practicality in terms of storage. Some chairs come with built-in storage cabinets or drawers, allowing you to store extra tableware, linens, or seasonal dishes right beneath the seat. This not only helps to keep the dining room organized but also provides easy access to essential items when hosting dinners or special occasions.
In addition to their functionality, upholstered dining chairs can also be used as decorative pieces in the dining room. By choosing chairs with unique designs or patterns, you can add visual interest and personality to the space. You can also play with different upholstery fabrics, such as velvet or leather, to create a luxurious and stylish look.
If you have an open-plan living and dining area, upholstered dining chairs can help to create a seamless transition between the two spaces. By using the same upholstery fabric or color palette in both areas, you can make the space feel cohesive and visually appealing.
With upholstered dining chairs, you can also create a versatile dining room that can be used for more than just meals. The soft and comfortable seating allows the dining room to double as a lounge area where you can relax, read a book, or enjoy a cup of coffee. This flexibility is especially useful for those with smaller spaces where every inch counts.
Furthermore, upholstered dining chairs can serve as a display surface for your favorite decor items. You can place decorative items, such as vases, candles, or mirrors, on the chairs when they’re not in use, adding a touch of style to the dining room.
In terms of lighting, upholstered dining chairs can also be paired with pendant lights or wall sconces to create a warm and inviting ambiance. The soft fabric of the chairs diffuses light, creating a cozy atmosphere for intimate dinners.
In conclusion, upholstered dining chairs are an important element in creating a functional and stylish dining room. Whether you prefer a traditional or modern setting, these chairs offer comfort, style, and versatility. So, consider adding upholstered dining chairs to your home and take advantage of their numerous benefits.
4 Try benches for a casual atmosphere
If you want to create a more casual and relaxed atmosphere in your dining room, consider using benches instead of chairs. Benches can add a cozy and inviting feel to the space, making it perfect for gatherings and family meals.
Benches are a popular choice for dining room seating because they offer flexibility in terms of the number of people they can accommodate. They can easily seat multiple individuals, which is especially useful when you have a large family or frequently entertain guests. Benches can also be pushed under the table when not in use, helping you save space in smaller dining areas.
When it comes to the design of the benches, there are various options to choose from. Upholstered benches provide added comfort and can be a great option if you want to create a warm and cozy dining space. Alternatively, you can opt for benches with a wooden or metal frame for a more contemporary and minimalistic look.
Benches can be used in both formal and casual dining settings. For a more formal look, consider pairing them with a long rectangular table and matching chairs. This creates a cohesive and elegant look that is perfect for special occasions. On the other hand, if you want a more casual and relaxed atmosphere, mix and match different benches with different shapes and sizes. This creates a more eclectic and unique look that is perfect for everyday dining.
When it comes to decorating the bench, you can add cushions or throw pillows to make it more comfortable and visually appealing. You can also place candles or small vases with fresh flowers on the bench to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to the space. Additionally, benches can also double as storage, so you can use them to store extra dishes or seasonal decor.
To help you find the perfect benches for your dining room, look for inspiration from interior designers like Amanda Hilditch. Their designs often incorporate benches to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Take cues from their work to find ideas for benches that will work well in your space.
Overall, using benches in your dining room is a wonderful way to create a casual and inviting atmosphere. They offer flexibility in terms of seating options, and their versatility allows you to easily switch up the look of your dining space. Whether you want a more formal or relaxed setting, benches can help you achieve the desired ambiance.
5 Think about lighting
When it comes to creating an elegant and inviting dining room, lighting is a key factor to consider. Good lighting can set the mood and enhance the atmosphere of the room, making it more enjoyable for both formal dinners and casual meals with family and friends.
Interior designers always include different types of lighting in dining rooms to create the right ambiance. Here are some lighting options to consider:
- Ceiling lights: A chandelier or pendant light can add a touch of sophistication and style to the dining room. Choose a design that complements the overall theme and size of the room.
- Wall sconces: These lights can be a nice addition to the dining room, especially if the walls are painted in a dark color. They can create a warm and inviting atmosphere and provide additional lighting to complement the ceiling lights.
- Table lamps: If you have a console or cabinet in the dining room, placing a table lamp on it can add a cozy and intimate feel. This can be especially useful for creating a more relaxed atmosphere during casual meals.
- Candles: Candles are a classic choice for creating a romantic and cozy atmosphere in the dining room. You can use candlesticks on the table or opt for candle sconces on the walls. Just be sure to follow safety guidelines when using candles.
- Dimmer switches: Installing dimmer switches for the main ceiling lights can give you flexibility in terms of adjusting the lighting levels according to the occasion. This way, you can create a bright and lively atmosphere for a lively dinner party or a softer, more intimate ambiance for a romantic dinner.
When choosing lighting fixtures for your dining room, consider the size and shape of the room, the height of the ceilings, and the style of the furniture and decor. The lighting should complement the overall design and create a cohesive look.
If you’re unsure about what type of lighting fixtures to choose or how to arrange them, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional interior designer. They can provide expert advice and help you create the perfect lighting scheme for your dining room.
6 Add a bar
Adding a bar to your dining room can be a great way to create a more versatile and functional space. It can also add a touch of elegance and sophistication to the room. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply enjoying a casual meal, a bar can be a wonderful addition to your dining room.
Having a bar in your dining room allows you to serve drinks and snacks without having to leave the room. It provides a nice atmosphere for guests and makes it easier for you to entertain. You can set up a bar area with a small table and a few chairs, or you can go all out with a full bar complete with a designer bar counter and stools.
When it comes to the design of your bar, you have plenty of options. You can go for a traditional look with dark wood and ornate details, or you can opt for a more modern and sleek design. Consider the overall style of your dining room and choose a bar design that complements it.
In terms of storage, a bar can be a smart addition to your dining room. It provides a designated space for storing bottles, glasses, and other barware. You can also use the bar as a display area for your collection of fine spirits or seasonal decorations.
When adding a bar to your dining room, lighting is important. Make sure to incorporate proper lighting fixtures above the bar area to create a warm and inviting glow. You can use pendant lights, chandeliers, or wall sconces to enhance the ambiance of the room.
If space is a concern, consider adding a bar cart instead. A bar cart is a portable and compact option that can be moved around the room as needed. It can be used as a serving station during parties and can also serve as a decorative piece when not in use.
In addition to serving drinks, a bar can also serve as a work space. You can use it as a place to set up a laptop or do some paperwork. It can also be a great spot for kids to do homework or for you to work on crafting projects.
Overall, adding a bar to your dining room can be a great way to enhance the functionality and elegance of the space. Whether you go for a small and casual setup or a large and glamorously designed bar, it will surely be a focal point of the room and a gathering spot for family and friends.
7 Bring glamor with a mirror
When it comes to designing your dining room, adding a mirror can bring a touch of elegance and glamor to the space. Mirrors not only serve a functional purpose, but they also have the ability to enhance the overall atmosphere and style of your dining area.
Elegant interiors designer Sarah advises, “Having a mirror in the dining room can make the space feel larger and more open. It reflects light and creates a sense of depth, making the room appear brighter and more spacious.” This advice from an experienced designer is something you should definitely consider when designing your dining room.
Choosing the right mirror for your dining room is important. Consider both the size and the shape of the mirror to ensure it complements the rest of your decor. A large, rectangular mirror can work well in a traditional dining room, while a smaller, round mirror can add a stylish touch to a more contemporary space.
There are many different ways to incorporate a mirror into your dining room. One popular trend is to hang a mirror above a sideboard or console table. This not only adds a glamorous touch but also provides a functional surface to display dishes or store extra table linens.
If you have a small dining room, a mirror can also help create the illusion of more space. Consider placing a mirror on one of the walls to visually expand the room.
Alternatively, you can use a mirror as a decorative accent on a cabinet or wall. This can add a touch of glamor and sophistication to your dining area.
When it comes to lighting, a mirror can play a crucial role. Placing a mirror in a strategic location can help reflect and distribute natural or artificial light throughout the room, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
In terms of practicality, a mirror in the dining room can also be helpful during meals. It allows guests to discreetly check their appearance without having to leave the table. This can be particularly useful when hosting formal or special occasions.
Adding a mirror to your dining room is a flexible and versatile design choice. It can work well in both large and small spaces, and it can be adapted to suit a variety of interior styles. Whether you’re looking to create a glamorous and sophisticated dining area or simply want to make your space feel larger and brighter, a mirror is a wonderful addition to any dining room.
8 Style the table with flowers or a seasonal display
When it comes to styling a dining table, one essential element that interior designers always include is a beautiful centerpiece. Whether it’s fresh flowers, a seasonal display, or a combination of both, adding some green and vibrant colors can instantly elevate the look and feel of your dining room.
There are various options to choose from when it comes to floral arrangements or seasonal displays. You can opt for a simple vase with a bouquet of fresh flowers, or you can get creative and use a combination of different elements for a more unique and eye-catching display.
A popular trend among interior designers is to use a mix of fresh flowers, dried branches, pinecones, or other natural elements to create a seasonal display. This allows you to change the look of your dining table according to the time of year, whether it’s a spring arrangement with blooming flowers or a winter display with cozy candles and pine branches.
When choosing flowers or seasonal elements for your dining table, consider the size and shape of your table as well as the overall style of your interiors. If you have a large dining table, you can go for a grand floral arrangement that serves as the centerpiece. On the other hand, if you have a small round table or a console table used for serving dishes, a smaller and more compact display might be more suitable.
Interior designers like Sarah and Amanda from Hilditch & Key advised that the choice of flowers or seasonal elements should also reflect your personal style and the overall theme of your dining room. Whether you prefer a traditional, elegant look or a more casual and contemporary decor, you can find floral arrangements or seasonal displays that match your preferences.
Another idea suggested by these designers is to use mirrors as part of the table styling. Mirrors can not only add a touch of glamor to your dining room but also create an illusion of larger space. You can place a mirror as a backdrop for your centerpiece or on the wall behind the dining table to enhance the visual appeal.
Overall, styling your dining table with flowers or a seasonal display is a flexible and versatile way to add a pop of color and freshness to your dining room. Whether you’re working with a large formal dining area or a smaller casual lounge, the right choice of centerpiece can help create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for both everyday meals and special occasions.
9 Add lounge seating
When it comes to dining rooms, it’s not just about the table and chairs. Many interior designers recommend adding lounge seating to create a more inviting and comfortable space. Lounge seating can serve multiple purposes and will enhance the overall decor of your dining room.
If you have a large dining room, you will find that adding lounge seating can help fill up the empty space and make the room feel less empty. However, even in smaller dining rooms, lounge seating can be a great addition, as it allows for more casual and relaxed gatherings.
There are many different options when it comes to choosing lounge seating for your dining room. Some designers prefer round ottomans or poufs, while others like upholstered chairs or benches. The choice ultimately depends on your personal preference and the overall style of your dining room.
One popular trend in dining room designs is incorporating lounge seating with storage. Cabinets or shelving units can be added to the seating area, allowing you to store dishes, linens, or other dining room essentials. This not only provides additional functionality but also adds elegance to your dining room.
Another aspect to consider when adding lounge seating is lighting. A well-placed lighting fixture or a decorative floor lamp can help create a warm and inviting atmosphere in your dining room. It’s important to choose lighting that complements the lounge seating and enhances the overall ambiance of the room.
If you’re looking for some design ideas, there are plenty of options to explore. You can create an open concept dining room with lounge seating, or opt for a more traditional setting with separate dining and lounge areas. Mirrors can also be a wonderful addition to lounge seating, as they can make the room appear larger and more styled.
Ultimately, the addition of lounge seating to your dining room can help create a more versatile and welcoming space. Whether you prefer a more formal or casual atmosphere, adding lounge seating will allow you to entertain guests in style and comfort.
Which dining table shape is best
When it comes to choosing a dining table shape, there are several factors to consider. The shape of your dining table can greatly impact the overall look and functionality of your dining room, so it’s important to choose the best shape for your space and needs.
Rectangular dining tables
Rectangular dining tables are the most common and popular choice for dining rooms. They are versatile and can accommodate a large number of guests. Rectangular tables are also great for hosting dinner parties or family gatherings, as they provide ample space for food, dishes, and decorations in the center of the table.
Rectangular tables are particularly well-suited for larger dining rooms, as they can help fill the room and create a more balanced look. They can also be paired with longer benches or multiple chairs on each side, creating a more casual and relaxed atmosphere.
Round dining tables
Round dining tables are a smart choice for smaller dining rooms or open-plan living spaces. They provide a cozy and intimate seating arrangement, allowing everyone at the table to see and interact with each other.
Round tables also create a sense of equality among guests, as there is no head of the table. With no corners, they also allow for easy movement around the table and prevent any seating hierarchies. They can be paired with upholstered chairs or benches for added comfort and a touch of elegance.
Square dining tables
Square dining tables offer a more modern and contemporary look to your dining room. They are a great choice for smaller spaces or when you’re looking to create a more intimate dining experience. Square tables can also add a touch of elegance to your dining area, especially when paired with stylish chairs and decor.
Square tables are also a popular choice for outdoor dining areas or gardens. Their symmetrical shape fits well in outdoor spaces and allows for easy conversation and interaction between guests.
Oval dining tables
Oval dining tables offer a unique and sophisticated alternative to rectangular tables. They are a great choice for both larger and smaller dining rooms, as their elongated shape creates a more flexible seating arrangement.
Oval tables can give your dining room a more fluid and organic look, and they can be paired with a variety of chair styles. They also work well in open-plan living spaces, as their smooth shape allows for easy movement and flow between different areas.
In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to which dining table shape is best. It ultimately depends on the size of your dining room, the style you’re aiming for, and how you plan to use the table. Whether you choose a rectangular, round, square, or oval table, the key is to select a shape that fits your space and creates a warm and inviting atmosphere for your dining experience.