In today’s world people rarely have a separate formal dining room anymore and one of the main reasons for this is because the kitchen island has now replaced the dining table. With the hectic pace of family and work life through the last couple decades, the kitchen island has become the go-to place where you can sit down, have a quick meal, toss the dishes into the dishwasher, and be off to the next hockey practice. It has evolved into the common eating area and it seems to have become a rare occasion these days to have everyone home at once during dinner time.
I believe people are getting back to recognizing the importance of sitting down as a family for dinner. Part of creating this quality time includes creating a comfortable, relaxing and beautiful space that invites you to sit down and settle in. We want a dining space that the family will enjoy spending time in and that will stand up to the wear and tear of everyday use. Meet the modern dining room!
The key to creating a beautiful and functional dining area is figuring out how to make the most of your space. I say “go as big on the table as your space will allow”. I encourage my clients to choose a table with extra leaves or extensions if their space can handle it. You will never regret having those extra few inches or feet when you are entertaining a larger group. It allows people to sit comfortably and for you to have enough space to set a beautiful table. When it comes to choosing chairs, don’t be afraid to mix and match. Comfort is also important. Quite often when the meal is done we stay around the table to enjoy a glass of wine and conversation or even to play games — so comfort is key. Consider using living room type chairs at the heads of the table. Not only is this a regal look, the chairs can serve multi purposes by being pulled into a sitting room after dinner to continue the evening in comfort. Benches are really hot and can save you a few dollars too. They sometimes allow for a few extra butts as well. Benches work great if you are tight on space or up against a window as they won’t block your view like chair backs will. In addition, the bench can also be pulled into the sitting room during large gatherings for extra seating. When selecting finishes, solid wood is always best if it fits into the budget as it will withstand the test of time. For fabric upholstery, look for fabrics that are durable and clean up well. That red wine sure can be a pain to remove when you find the stain the next day.
Rarely do we have expensive china sets and crystal glassware that we want to display anymore, so why not finish off the dining area with a sideboard or server. It serves as a storage space for dinnerware but also as a server for those larger dinner parties where you have extra serving dishes that need a place to rest. The sideboard is also a great bar top for you to serve wine and cocktails from. Add a personal touch by displaying a beautiful piece of artwork above the sideboard that will reflect who you and your family are. Or if your space is smaller, hang a mirror above the sideboard. It’s such an easy way to open up a space and make it feel bigger.
So let’s get together and create a dining space that your friends and family can gather around to share stories and make memories in comfort and style.
All my best, Sonica