8 Deadly Sins of Bad Dining Rooms, According to Professionals3 maja 2019
If the kitchen is the heart of your home (it is), then your dining room is the pulmonary artery. The kitchens get most of the attention, though; dining rooms are fairly low on most people’s list of priorities within the home. Sure, you really just need a table and a few chairs, but you can do better to make the space more aesthetically pleasing (and comfortable!) for happier meals with your family.
These pros point out the most common design flaws — and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Matchy-matchy dining sets
Okay, so I get the temptation of these collections — you can get all your decorating done in one go, and probably at a great price. However, these can look “cheap and unoriginal” says Erin Gates, interior designer and author of Elements of Family Style. Don’t be afraid to mix materials and styles for a more unique look.
The farmhouse-style bench might be all the rage right now, but you may want to reconsider your choice of seating. “Find chairs that you actually want to sit in for longer periods of time,” says, Alessandra Wood, Modsy‘s vice president of style. Upholstered seating is ideal, and if you’re concerned about maintenance, just know that there are cleanable and stain-resistant fabrics out there! (Suggestion: Crypton.)
3. Ceiling fixtures that are way too small (or big)
Niki McNeill, owner and lead designer of SingleBubblePop, suggests choosing a fixture that’s about a third of the size of the table. “I also see lights hung too high or low,” she adds. Aim for about 30 inches of space between the tabletop and the bottom of the chandelier.
“I often see an inappropriately sized or shaped table for the space,” says Brady Burke, an interior designer with Havenly. Rectangular tables may work best in rectangular rooms, whereas a circular table may be a nice choice for a square room. However, if you’re big on entertaining a larger crowd, opt for an oval table with a single base. “This way you can fit more chairs when company comes over,” says McNeill.
5. Too much furniture crammed in
Dining rooms are like black holes for chunky pieces — they get sucked in and remain there for eternity. The point: Get rid of that china cabinet! Burke says, “Few people have a formal china service or silver worth displaying, and large pieces are often so big that they overwhelm a space. Instead, you could have a slim sideboard and hang interesting art, which is a better use of space.” If you can’t remove a corner china cabinet, Gates recommends modernizing it by wallpapering the interior or painting it and removing the doors so it’s an open shelving unit. And McNeill adds a tip that may be controversial for some: Move the bar cart to another room. “I love seeing them styled, but it can be such a waste of valuable space in a dining room!”
Instead of going for plain, go for bold! Because this is a space you’re not in all the time, this is a chance to use a funky wallpaper for some personality. Plus, because the dining room is so often used for celebrations, it’s nice to have a place that feels really special and fun.
7. A rug that’s not quite right
Constantly pulling chairs in and out on a rug that’s too small is the epitome of annoying. McNeill suggests picking a rug for the room, not for the furniture — so choose one that leaves about a foot of space off the wall. A larger rug means chairs will slide out smoothly, and will give the room a more luxe feel. Additionally, an indoor-outdoor polyester rug is the best choice in an area where food is served, because it’s easier to clean than a natural-fiber rug like wool. “A patterned rug with multi-colors will mask most spills and stains,” says Wood.
A large, empty surface area (aka your table) is basically an invitation for piles of paperwork and junk mail. This is usually the result of a lack of storage space. Look into adding some in the adjoining rooms, like a large, closed credenza, Wood advises. “Also, if you actually eat at your table daily, it’s harder for things to pile up,” she says.
Got anything else to add? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
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