We’ve all missed the ability to leave our homes and celebrate with our loved ones. At the root of it all, what we desire is community and connection. Gone are the days where we can book that party room for 12 at our favourite bistro, or a weekly date night corner table for 2. With no real end in sight, home owners are eager to find ways to bring that same sense of intimacy and occasion into their homes. Catered dinners, private chefs and custom “dine at home” experiences have been carefully crafted by the food industry, and people are taking advantage. This has all led homeowners and designers to place an extra emphasis back on making the dining room shine.
One of the simplest ways to make an immediate impact in the dining room is with lighting. If we think of the table and chairs as the base layers to an outfit, then lighting is the statement necklace that can take everything to the next level. An oversized table can be the perfect setting for a cluster of pendants, while a boring dining hutch can be brought back to life with the addition of a pair of beautiful wall sconces. When selecting lighting for a dining room (or any room for that matter), our mantra at Louis Duncan-He Designs is to go big or go home. A chandelier that’s too small for a table looks like a mistake…but one that is slightly larger can seem dramatic, confident and purposeful. The term going big not only alludes to size, but also texture, color and shape. Using warm metallics can add instant chicness and elegance, while natural and organic elements can serve as the perfect catalyst to transform your space into a rustic bistro.
The dinner table is also a great place to accessorize and craft a story for the night. Swapping mundane dining end chairs with more sculptural pieces can greatly impact the scale and balance of a room, instantly injecting drama. Decorative candles, a set of vases or planters with botanicals are simple and cost-effective ways to bring the table to life while creating a focal point with personality. Drapery is a wonderfully transformative way to bring in richness without adding visual clutter. The more you can incorporate texture and color into a room without adding physical pieces onto the floor, the more polished your space will look without feeling fussy and busy.
Texture and colour are powerful ways to create a soulful and dynamic space. It can be as simple as putting an oversized piece of artwork behind the table, or as intricate as adding color, wallpaper or texture to a ceiling. We once applied flooring to the ceiling of a clients dining room, and although she was hesitant at first, she now can’t imagine the space being any other way. If you’re somewhere between the two, consider a feature wall as a great way to make an impact without overcommitting. Even simply choosing a more dramatic color can completely affect our emotions and the way we feel about a space. Regardless of how far you’re willing to go, remember to have fun with the process.
Hosting a memorable dinner party is so much more than just the food. It’s a combination of the environment, people, along with meal and drink choices. What I remember the most about a fabulous dinner party is what it felt like as opposed to a specific dish or cutlery set. A dining room is often the one space that’s viewed as slightly detached from the rest of the house which allows for more risks and creative leeway. It’s the perfect place to try something new or bring an exaggerated version of an idea into fruition. It’s wondrous just how much more fulfilling the dining experience can be if we all just applied a little more TLC in our dining rooms. That extra bit of attention is the difference between a dining room that falls flat, or one that truly sings.