Sure, dining rooms are useful on a daily basis. But they really come alive when filled with the laughter of guests. Hosting a get-together is a great excuse to dust off your finest dishes, polish your silver and play with centerpieces until you find the perfect combination to pull the room together.
Entertaining is one of the most rewarding parts of owning a home – if you have the right setup to pull off flawless parties, potlucks and wine nights! In addition to thinking about the staples (like your table and chairs), you’ll have to consider what kind of ambiance you hope to achieve. Cozy and romantic? Airy and country-inspired? Clean and contemporary? Your dining room will inevitably set the tone for the entire evening, so it’s important to give it some serious consideration.
Let’s talk about how to create a dining room perfect for entertaining your loved ones, no matter your personal style.
Guests naturally gravitate toward the table in any room, but especially the dining room. And it holds the appetizers, so can you blame them? That’s why it’s so important to make sure you make the right table the focal point of your room.
Some rooms do well with a traditional rectangular table, while others work with a round tabletop reminiscent of a banquet hall. It depends on the size and shape of your room. No matter what you choose, it’s smart to leave 42 to 48 inches of space between the edge of your table and the edge of anything else, whether it be the wall or another piece of furniture.
And though a traditional, rectangular dining table made from heavy wood often springs to mind at first thought, don’t forget how many options exist nowadays. There are no hard and fast rules; only guidelines plus your personal tastes. If we’ve learned anything from iconic contemporary furniture brands, it’s a wide variety of materials, shapes, and colors that can freshen up otherwise traditional spaces.
So, get creative! You’re sure to host the most legendary parties if your dining room evokes passion and camaraderie.
Add a set of chairs
And of course, a table is only as nice as its chairs. Not only do you want a stylish set, but you want them to remain comfortable through every course you serve. From formal, upholstered chairs with high backs to unassuming refurbished wooden farmhouse dining chairs, there’s no end to the mood you can set.
Most homeowners opt for a matching set of four, six or eight chairs. But some people like to boldly go where few have gone before and create an eclectic collection! Just make sure they share either a color, a shape or a general design principle to achieve some continuity in your dining room.
Your table and chairs are holding down the fort at floor-level, but you need something truly special hanging above to tie the room together. There’s a reason that chandeliers have persisted throughout the ages (something about the way the crystals twinkle gently in the light), but homeowners are increasingly turning toward contemporary chandeliers or even dual chandeliers to make a statement.
The key here is the balance. You want your lighting fixtures—however grand or understated they may be—to balance the rest of the room. If your centerpieces tower in the air, you may want to tone down the ceiling-mounted lighting. But if you like your dining room a little over the top, just like your parties, then this is truly an area to shine.
Deciding on your table, chairs and light fixtures is the hardest part of creating the inviting dining room of your dreams. Once you have that out of the way, it’s time to add the fun frills: centerpieces, accessories and a rug. This is your chance to let your esteemed guests see a little bit of your heart and soul in the form of your decor, so don’t be afraid to go all out.