Dining in Style!

The Holidays are approaching, and it’s time to take a good look at your dining room!  You probably think the dining room is the easiest of all rooms to furnish.  Once you have your table and chairs, that’s all there is to it!

And while that’s the biggest part of your overall dining room plan, it’s far from all.  It’s important to provide for the comfort of your guests, and the convenience of you, the host and or hostess.  I have found that there is usually a big problem unique to this room!  Any ideas what that might be?  To me, as a decorator, it’s  keeping the overall décor of this room warm and inviting despite all the inevitable wood that usually ends up taking center stage.   Providing a successful mix of wood dining room pieces, along with window treatments, area rugs and lighting, take careful consideration and planning.

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Chairs alone are not always a simple choice.  Massive ones take up too much space, so you must find well-designed chairs that are comfortable as well.  Upholstered slipper chairs are a wonderful addition and mix well with any wood tones.  They can be mixed with wood chairs to add interest, or used as the host and hostess chairs.

Tables too come in all shapes and sizes.  The size should fit both the room and your family, and, ideally, be designed for easy expansion.  Round and oval dining room tables provide for an ease of conversation that most of my clients find very appealing.  Also, expandable tables, with drop leaves, built-in extensions, board inserts, and the like are all practical.  Today’s designs take up little “closed” space, and can instantly be enlarged when guests are expected.

It’s also extremely easy and convenient to have silverware, linens, and serving pieces stored right in the room.  A sideboard, chest or armoire will give you the storage, and provide another wonderful decorative element.

If your design style tends to lean toward the traditional, then draping your windows in luxurious side panels or even an elegant swag and jabot treatment, will help provide this room with another great focal point.  And since wallcovering is making a comeback, a warm, subtle faux print will complement the fabrics on your windows.  Your favorite artwork, mirror and buffet lamps will be perfectly highlighted against the wallcovering.

I always suggest the size of the area rug be right for the room and not for the few days each year that you extend the table out for a large group.  A beautiful oriental rug would add rich color to the floor.  And don’t forget to call your decorator to help you put it all together!

Submitted by Cheryl Smith, Decorating Den Interiors, 973-701-0550, www.decdens.com/cherylsmith