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A dining room for entertaining family and friends

More than just a place to have family meals, dining rooms are also spaces to entertain, have fun and get together with friends and family.


Combining contemporary seating with a transitional table, a traditional rug and a modern chandelier allows this room to feel modern but still warm and sophisticated.

An easy and inexpensive centrepiece that will last and last is planting succulents (cactus) in square glass vases and placing down the centre of the table. Water once a week and they can last for years.

Move to other parts of the house or even outside when you’re tired of them on the table. When entertaining, add splashes of bold colour with small arrangements.

Exposed concrete and an open plan give this dining room a loft feel. The shape and size of a dining room generally dictate the shape and size of the furniture.

Rectangle rooms that are not too long look best with square or rectangle tables, although these should not have the same proportions as the room; square rooms look best with tables that are circular, oval or square.

Symmetry is always attractive in a dining room, and seating should either have no armrests or arms that fit beneath the table top, leaving sufficient space for guests to move around and walk behind the chairs when they are pulled out. Dining room chairs must be able to fit underneath the table to at least half way. Rich draperies frame the large window overlooking the golf course in this traditional dining room.

Classic-style dining chairs are upholstered in a fabric to complement the space.

Floral arrangements and centrepieces are dramatic and overflow with colour.

Subdued fabrics were chosen to complement the strong architectural lines found in the dining table and chairs.

Design Tips:

A monochromatic colour scheme works well in any dining room and can be injected with two or three accent colours to add pizzazz.

Fabrics such as stripes, plaids, floral or checks can be used as single or mix-and-match according to your preference. Contrasts of mid-scale and small-scale prints work well - large prints on draperies or rugs and smaller prints on table linen. However, don't go overboard with too much print - solid wall colours and neutrals combine well with patterns and will ensure that the room does not look too busy. Stick to a minimum of three colours in a small room and keep your decorating muted for serenity.

In a formal decorating scheme, tall vertical pieces, drapes hung from ceiling to floor and vertical stripes add to the height and drama of a room.

Smooth, glossy and plush are the key words to elegance, be it highly polished wooden furniture or luxurious carpeting.

In casual decorating, use horizontal lines with low furniture. Display your collectibles on wall mounted shelves with groupings of different sized pictures on walls for a more informal look.


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