Before throwing a dinner party, you should always make sure your dining room is decorated beautifully. People like to be surrounded by beauty… traditional, rustic, eclectic, bohemian – it doesn’t matter as long as it is beautiful.
People like to be inspired. And the dining room should be the second most important inspiration at a dinner party, the first being the receiving room.
Below, we’ve collected 10 tips to help you decorate your dining room beautifully, with function in mind.
1.. Do not decorate your dining room too darkly. Dark color schemes have a tendency to lower people’s energy, making them moody and critical. This doesn’t mean your furniture cannot be dark. What’s a formal dining room without dark wood furniture? But what it does mean is you should choose wall paper, paint colors, and curtains in a lighter and cheerful shade to brighten dark furniture.
2.. Do not put a TV in your dining room. You don’t want any of your guests to be distracted by what’s happening on TV. You should do everything possible to make sure your guests’ attention is on their food and the topics discussed at the table.
3.. Furnish your dining room with chairs that are comfortable. Formal dinners with multiple courses require for guests to sit in one place for over an hour. If the chairs are not comfortable, you will be torturing your guests for over an hour. And as we all know, torture does not beget genuine smiles and laughter.
Also avoid overly large chairs. They are too heavy for ladies to move easily. They also can be unbecoming behind certain body types. A small person would be dwarfed while sitting in one. You should decorate your dining room with chairs that will help your guests look elegant.
Make sure your chairs are in good condition. Their legs should be strong. And they should not tilt. You don’t want any of your guests to have to balance themselves throughout the dinner.
Also make sure your chairs are clean. When guests pull out their chair, they will be looking to see if there is any dirt, food, or stain on their chair before sitting. The ladies especially will want to make sure they do not dirty their clothes.
4.. Do not furnish your dining room with an extra wide dining table. Wide tables prevent conversation from flowing easily. Having to scream at someone across the table can quickly become a bore. Also don’t buy a table that is too thin. You don’t want people sitting opposite of each other playing footsies, or worse, foot wars underneath the table.
Avoid using round tables. Although modern, they make for an uncomfortable seating arrangement. It is best to purchase one that is rectangular shaped and that can be extended to seat at least 8 people. This will also give you more seating options in the future.
Please do not invite guests to sit at a table that is wobbly or tilting. These types of tables make guests apprehensive and can cause embarrassing situations.
5.. Make sure you buy furniture that fit the size of your dining room. Don’t try to cram a lot of furniture or too big a dining table into a small room. Think of your guests… It is highly uncomfortable to be squished into a room for over an hour.
If you have a large dining room, you shouldn’t decorate it sparsely. Your furniture should match the size of the dining room, otherwise your dining room will look poorly decorated. So, if you have a large dining room, your dining room table should be longer. You should also have long tables and extra chairs against the wall. If you have room for more than one table, one table can be a buffet and the others can display lamps and artifacts.
6.. Match the style of your furniture to your chandelier. For example, don’t pair a modern styled table with a rustic antler chandelier. Don’t pair a rustic table with a grand crystal chandelier. A rustic table should be paired with a rustic chandelier. A modern table should be paired with a modern chandelier. Yes, there are exceptions, for example if you are intending an eclectic decor. But be careful. If you are not a born decorator, you may be unable to tie everything together.
7.. Match the style of your table to the style of your chairs and any other tables in the room. For example, don’t pair a modern table with traditional chairs. Don’t pair a white wood table with mahogany wood chairs. Don’t pair a gray metal table with dark cherry wood chairs. Please know, there are exceptions to this rule too. If you are on a budget, you can bypass this tip by always covering your table with a table cloth.
8.. If you like rugs and are not allergic to them, place one underneath your dining table and chairs. Please make sure the rug is big enough for both the table and chairs. Your guests should be able to move their chairs backwards without passing the edge of the rug. Also, make sure the colors and style of the rug tie in with the rest of the decor.
9.. Place a matching buffet or sideboard table against a wall. These tables are used in the dining room for serving food as well as for displaying and storing tableware and serving dishes.
During dinner, you can take serving dishes off the dining table and place them on the buffet table in order to make more room. If you host a buffet style dinner, you can place your serving dishes or food warmer trays on a buffet table instead of asking guests to go to the kitchen to serve themselves.
As a substitute, you can also place a table against the wall. Make sure its style and color match the dining table and chairs. Also, make sure it is thin in width, but long in length. You don’t want it to stick out too much and block traffic. But you do want it long enough to hold serving dishes.
10.. Add enough light fixtures to brighten the room. No one should have to eat their food in the shadows.
Always take into consideration the size of your dining table and room. In general, one chandelier hanging from the ceiling in the center of the room and a few wall sconces should do the trick.
If you have a long dining table, seating 12 or more, you should consider having 2 chandeliers. You want to make sure that everyone at the table, even those at the far end, have enough light.