How to create a stylish dining area: 10 designers share their secrets

Article by Homes to Love

Whether you have open plan living or a specific dining room, these creative ideas from the best in the interior-business are sure to add a stylish spin to your space

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How to create a stylish dining area: 10 designers share their secrets

Team cool outdoor chairs with an indoor table 
Designer secret:  Remember to consider your table width

“When choosing the size of your dining table, proportion is key in relation to your dining area and table length. Ample room for platters and decorations, and room for people to move creates easy conversation and a meal to remember.” – Jeremy Willoughby, Corso De’ Fiori.

2. Use a patterned rug to lift a simple scheme
Designer secret: It’s all about defining the space

“Rug size is so important; more than colour and design. the right size will define the space and make your furniture look better. it will pull everything together, making the space inviting – somewhere you’ll want to spend time.” – Annie Loveridge, The Ivy House.

3. Keep your kitchen island clutter free to create a social space
Designer secret:  Create laidback spaces

“The benefit of island seating is the social interaction, encouraging conversation between the busy cook and the casual observer or family member awaiting their meal.” – Toni Roberts, Kitchen Architect.


4. Get an outdoor table on wheels
Designer secret:  A table on wheels allows you to customise your furniture arrangement

“Outdoor tables are a part of our lives but the reality is we can’t always be outdoors. To give your outdoor area flexibility add lockable wheels to your table or add then to your inside table so it can be wheeled outside.”– Tomi Williams, Indigo Design.

5. Mix and match your chairs
Designer secret: Consider height when choosing your chairs

Choose chairs in a similar colour or material for a resolved look. “Choose a plain table with matching wooden chairs. Then let each family member Paint a chair in the colour of their choice.” – Karen Warman, Resene.

6. Mix designer chairs with a rustic wooden table
Design secret: Style can be perfectly mismatched

“Dining chairs can help connect your kitchen with your living area if they are of a style that references both so consider this when you’re buying. Just as a colour palette should have continuity throughout a home so should your furniture.” – Vanessa Nouwens, Stylist.

7. Accent a neutral dining setting with a bright pendant light
Design secret: Good lighting is essential

“A statement light over the dining table adds a focal point and balance by creating interest in the upper half of the room. it helps pull the space together and create a sense of occasion. be brave and choose a statement piece you love.” – Shelley Ferguson, Your Home & Garden Editorial Director.


8. Use art to create interest
Designer secret: A fabulous artwork is a great conversation starter at dinner parties

“A dining room is more than a place to host a dinner; It’s a place to do homework and catch up with friends. It needs personality to reflect this and art is an easy way to do this. try oversized art or a group of prints to draw your eye to a sunny corner.” – Alex Fulton, Alex Fulton Design.

9. Hang garlands and tassels for year-round fun
Design secret:  Choose warm colours and big textures

“Mixing and matching different shapes, styles, colours and textures ON your dining room furniture creates a fun and interesting look. Change them when you’re ready for a new look.” – Vic Bibby, Bibby + Brady.

10. Revamp an old timber dining table with a marble top – Timeless!
Design secret: It’s all about textural finishes

“The risk with white-on-white kitchens is that they can look sterile. add layers of texture – mixing gloss, matte and satin finishes, and using whites with subtle patterns or grains. pick one standout accessory with high design impact, such as a tap, lighting or splashback.” – Nicky Duggan, Evolution of Surfaces

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