FURNISHING YOUR PERFECT DINING ROOM

CREATING  YOUR PERFECT DINING ROOM- If your dining room is not what you dream it could be here are some easy and sensible tips to transform it.

When was the last time you used your dining room? If it’s not getting a whole lot of use it may be because it’s lost some of its luster and beauty. I think many people furnish their dining room and never update them! Like me, many of us have bought dining room “suites” that cost us a ton and we think it would be almost heresy to change them up! And now they may be looking a little tired.  You don’t have to live with a dining room that  has seen better days! It’s not hard to find your new style in a dining room. It’s all about being creative and letting go and editing and being very careful about what we add. Today let’s talk about creating your perfect dining room.

FURNISHING YOUR PERFECT DINING ROOM- If your dining room is not what you dream it could be here are some easy and sensible tips to transform it. 

A GREAT TABLE THAT FITS THE ROOM

FURNISHING YOUR PERFECT DINING ROOM- If your dining room is not what you dream it could be here are some easy and sensible tips to transform it.

Even more important than finding a style of table you love is finding a dining room table that fits your dining room. Your dining room, no matter the size, should have room for those eating in it to move around.  The beauty of table these days is they come in so many sizes and shapes. Earlier this year I got a new dining room table made out of concrete. I took a gamble on it and just love it! It’s a little more narrow than my big mahogany table it replaced and it gives my guest some extra room!

If you are not in the market for a new table but don’t like your old one why not paint it? A new color can breathe fresh new like into a room!

Take a deep breath and just do it!

COMFORTABLE CHAIRS

FURNISHING YOUR PERFECT DINING ROOM- If your dining room is not what you dream it could be here are some easy and sensible tips to transform it.

I know that comfortable chairs sound like a no-brainer. But it’s not always that easy to find the “just right” chair. Just ask Goldilocks!  Of course, chairs must feel good to sit in but they need to be the right height for your table. 

The average height of a dining room table is about 30 inches and a chair should be about 18 inches from floor to seat. This allows enough lap and leg room for most people.

I love the idea of mixing and matching chairs. Gone are the days when a dining room had to be matchy-matchy! An assortment of great chairs looks so chic and fun in a dining room. One of my very favorite designers, Amy Howard has 6 vintage chairs all different in style and condition around her dining room table. I just loved her willingness to elevate a vintage find! Because of those chairs, her dining room left such an impression on me! She did not paint them or touch them up and they look spectacular! Do you dare? Are you so wonderfully audacious?

I painted the 6 18th century mahogany chairs a couple years ago. And I’m so happy I did! They were in such good shape even though I had them for over 25 years… all they needed was a little updating. Paint and new fabric did the trick. 

Don’t be afraid to upcycle what you have! My favorite things are those that I have given a second life to!

FURNISHING YOUR PERFECT DINING ROOM- If your dining room is not what you dream it could be here are some easy and sensible tips to transform it.

 

A word about benches. About a year ago I got a bench for one side of my dining room table. I thought it would look amazing!!!! I really like how it looks but my family says it is NOT comfortable for long dinners. The bench is perfect for kids, but not adults. So take that into consideration when thinking about a bench. Notice I have not gotten rid of it. YIKES!

A DURABLE RUG 

FURNISHING YOUR PERFECT DINING ROOM- If your dining room is not what you dream it could be here are some easy and sensible tips to transform it.

A rug adds visual weight and frames the dining area. There are so many choices when it comes to a dining room rug. Just make sure it is large enough that when the chairs are pulled out and people are sitting around your table the legs of the chairs stay on the rug.

Another must for a dining room rug is that is it durable! Even though you may not use a formal dining room very often, when you do use it it will get wear and spills and feet shuffling over it. 

A really great idea for a rug is to choose a high end indoor/outdoor rug for your dining room. I found this rug at Ballard Designs.  I’ve had spaghetti and orange soda spilled on it and it wipes right up.

A rug is not necessary but it gives your room a finished, layered feel!

SOMETHING ON THE WALLS

FURNISHING YOUR PERFECT DINING ROOM- If your dining room is not what you dream it could be here are some easy and sensible tips to transform it.

Art, mirrors, open shelves or shutters are such subjective things! It’s all about personal taste! Don’t leave those walls bare! Even a beautifully arranged grouping of dishes can be a fabulous way to lift our eyes up off the table so they can travel around a room.

I love love love big mirrors in a dining room. Especially in the evening when they catch the light of a chandelier!  I chose the best mirror at StoneGable to put in the dining room. It’s gilded and very formal. Standing alone it’s not the perfect fit for this room but I wanted to put it somewhere in the house.  It’s uber formal and very traditional. To offset it I added a pair of chippy, grungy shutters to either side of it and a trio of chamber pot lids next to the shutters. The result was exactly what I was looking for… a rustic luxe mix.

What you put on your walls does not always have to be art. At StoneGable, it usually isn’t. I even have a pair of framed linen dishtowels hanging on one wall in my dining room! 

FURNISHING YOUR PERFECT DINING ROOM- If your dining room is not what you dream it could be here are some easy and sensible tips to transform it.

I think my best advice is to go bigger rather than smaller when it comes to art and mirrors. Edit what you have and if it looks cluttered or busy or too small don’t do it!

A BUFFET

FURNISHING YOUR PERFECT DINING ROOM- If your dining room is not what you dream it could be here are some easy and sensible tips to transform it.

Does your dining room have space to put a buffet, hutch, desk, sofa table, or some horizontal surface? I love the idea of how versatile an additional flat surface in a dining room is! I found my buffet in a vintage shop and painted it! It has storage and a great surface that holds a lamp and a few other decorations. But what I love most about having it in the dining room is it gives me an extra surface to serve from. I can put appetizers or drinks or extra serving dishes or desserts on the buffet. Easy and so accessible! It’s also nice to make this a self-serve area for family and guests. 

If it’s a matter of having room to walk around your table or an extra surface… opt for the room to walk around!

 

OVERHEAD LIGHTING

FURNISHING YOUR PERFECT DINING ROOM- If your dining room is not what you dream it could be here are some easy and sensible tips to transform it.

Notice I did not say chandelier? You should have some sort of lighting above your table. Preferably a pendant or drop type of lighting. If you have 8 foot ceilings a light should hang 30-34 inches from the ceiling. Add 3 inches for every foot higher your ceilings are.

Family and guests need to see what they are eating and need to see each other. 

I am not a fan of overhead lighting! No not one bit! It can be harsh and unbecoming. Just make sure you put any overhead lighting on a dimmer!

OTHER DECOR AND EMBELLISHMENTS

FURNISHING YOUR PERFECT DINING ROOM- If your dining room is not what you dream it could be here are some easy and sensible tips to transform it.

Here’s the part of decorating I love the best! And here is where your personal style can shine! Think about a centerpiece for your table. Candles, dishes, curtains, lamps,  a bar cart, extra seating and all the little touches that make your dining room an expression of who you are!

Again, no crowding or too many little items. I think one of the biggest mistakes we make as home decorators is adding too much to a room! 

Keep surfaces decorated but clean looking! 

Always start with the basics… a great table, comfy chairs, a rug and overhead lighting. Then add what fits into your dining room.

You can have a perfect dining room that is just YOUR style! It just means tweaking and editing and painting and upcycling what you have! 

Head into your dining room and give it a look with a very discerning eye! What simple changes can you make that will start the process of CREATING YOUR PERFECT DINING ROOM?

PIN IT AND SAVE THE INSPIRATION!

You might like to follow me on Pinterest and see what I’m pinning every day HERE.

 

25 Comments

  1. Love your blog I look forward to it everyday. You have inspired me to take time out and enjoy my home and feel good about doing what makes me happy instead of worrying about the latest trends. love the farmhouse style have been in the process of updating for the last seven years and just coming to an end with our last bathroom being gutted. Thanks for all the time you take to inspire a lot of people

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas, inspiration and faith! You have helped me to see that things don’t have to be perfect, love what you have and find new ways to use old treasures. Most important though is to keep our eyes fixed on our Heavenly Father where our true treasure lies!
    One quick decor question…Where did you get the upholstered chairs on the ends of your table? I am looking for ones like it to add to my dining room!
    Blessings, Debbie

  3. Your dining room is gorgeous! And that rug…I’ve been eye balling it in the Ballard catalog for a long time now. Your concrete table top is beautiful! We may DIY our kitchen counters to concrete but, I am a little afraid of the DIY part. Great idea on framing the dishtowels, I’ll have to try that! Thanks for posting!!!

  4. My first thought when I see benches at a table is always that I wouldn’t want to be the person who has to sit there, so I agree with your family. Beautiful room, as always, though. I have framed dish towels that my aunt embroidered with sun bonnet sue type girls doing washing on Mondays, ironing on Tues. etc. they hang in my kitchen. I love them and think of her when I see them

  5. Yvonne, I love your buffet in your dining room with the large mirror hung above it. It is nice to have the extra serving surface when having company. I have a buffet area between my kitchen and dining room that is built in. I would not change it for anything as it is truly a great serving area for when we have family dinners. Again thanks for todays post and have a great weekend.

  6. Beautiful dining room! I loved your rug so much I ordered 2 runners in that same pattern from Ballards. One is in my kitchen and the other one is between my kitchen and dining room. I love them! Look so forward to reading your blog 🙂

  7. I LOVE every part of your dinning room. And, I still keep my eye out for that missing nob for your chest!

  8. Yvonne,

    When hosting rather large family dinners of more than 20 people I run into the question of where to serve the meal. Serving from the main dinning room table seems awkward to me and I don’t have room for a long buffet. I do have the Ethan Allen backers rack but it lacks enough serving space. I have additional seating in the living room with 2 or 3 tables. My tables are beautiful…draped with long table clothes to floor, cloth napkins, centerpieces on each table Lenox china and sterling silver. In our former home I served from a table in the family room. It was close to the kitchen. Looking at your home…I was wondering if you had this same problem. Where do you put the food during a large gathering?

  9. Amazing room! Perfection! Do you know the name of the color and the brand of paint that was used on the upper wall of the room. The off-white color? Thanks so much!

  10. hi Yvonne!

    i just realized you have the same fabric on the bench and your chairs– the texture is just jazzy! would you share the source? i have been searching for something similar for pillows without success.

    thank you so much for inspiring my design choices. i look forward to reading your posts every day.

  11. When we down-sized, I lost my formal dining room that had held my grandmother’s 1920s Swiss Baroque dining suite. I have managed to repurpose/restage to credenza into the great room and the china cabinet into the entry. Thanks for the encouragement to grab that paintbrush!

  12. Think I could read about your dining room and your kitchen over and over again. I love the look of your dining room, so inviting and warm. Love your table, buffet and that amazing rug. Thinking about covering my chairs, thank you for the ideas and inspiration. Is you table new? or did you update it?
    Your blog is my fav!

  13. Love those dish towels framed – stunnig! Where did you find them? Love all your ideas and your elegant taste. Thanks so much for sharing them.

  14. what great information Yvonne! your dining room is stunning! I’m in the process of change and loving it! thank you!

  15. Always enjoy reading your pages. But I was taken back a bit when you hung chamber pot lids in your dining room, ewww. I will say they are very pretty pieces but considering their prior use makes hanging them in the dining room a little gross to me. Sorry, Yvonne I just can’t embrace that use for pretty lids. But I will continue to enjoy your other wonderful ideas.

  16. I love everything you decorate, but I wish you could tell us where you purchased all your furniture and décor. Your dining room is beautiful, but I was wondering where you got the grey urn with tulips in it!

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