Friday, April 2, 2010

Dining Spaces-A gourmet affair or leisurely fare?

Does your dining space reflect your personality and lifestyle? Are your meals a gourmet affair, or a simple family meal before everyone scatters? No matter who's at the table, or whats on the menu you deserve a space that is inviting, comfortable and attractive!
Troy Beasley
When designing a dining room you must put together a plan. Determine what your dining personality is. Don't design a room for proper dining with fine china, crystal and silver if your idea of a gourmet meal is chinese take out, and flip flops. If you are a jeans and t-shirt kinda person then it is safe to say so is your dining lifestyle. Define the space accordingly. Determine if this space should be formal or casual. 

Once you have developed a plan the design principles can begin. Most dining rooms today are leaning towards the casual side. But that does not mean we forgo all formality. It means that todays formality has a modern twist. We have tweaked it to accommodate our busy lifestyles. What does this mean for you when designing your dining space? It means you have flexibility in building your designing space and it can reflect exactly who you are and how your live~Voila, Lifestyle!
Maybe you like to sit and dine with friends for hours, but you want to do it in your jeans. Great, lets use a sofa as seating, (like the photo below.) There are few rules, so think outside of the box.
While there are few rules in designing any room, there are a few tips on designing a dining space that creates atmosphere for great dining pleasure. Use symmetry. Symmetry is easy on the eyes and makes digestion better. When you are comfortable and relaxed the meal is more enjoyable. Add mirrors. They reflect all light in the room (including candle light) which adds sparkle and creates a wonderful and enjoyable mood. Nowadays dining rooms are easy, and pleasant so forgo the fussiness. People are more casual today and fussiness is awkward and uncomfortable. Make it easy on your guests and allow them to feel comfortable and at home. Use durable, but textured fabrics that are easy to clean. You want the meal to be tactile as much as it is comfortable and delightful. Dining is an experience. Let your guests see, smell, taste and touch the experience so that the occasion is engaging, comfortable and satisfying. 
It does not matter how you dine. It does not matter that the occasion is informal or formal. What matters is the personality of the space in context to the host. A dining space can be a room or nook in your home. The most important factor is the food, family and friends, conversation, and most importantly the experience you endow on your guests. Make it memorable and enjoyable so that it feels right. 

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  1. Oh to have a magic wand and to be able to have both when needed in the same small space.

    The first set is stunning

  2. Great post, Amanda! Especially since I'll actually be using my dining room on Sunday {one of the three times a year I think I actually use it}.

  3. I love that Lori Dennis room you showed!
    We use our (only) dining table every day, so it definitely leans more toward casual. Formal entertaining stresses me out and I don't think the guests enjoy themselves when I get in a stew, either...
    I'm having a Design Your Own Giveaway and would love to have you enter!

  4. Hi Amanda, do you have any tips on how to make a traditional dining room a little hipper? I just bought my dining room set about 4 years ago and went very traditional to fit my victorian home in Tulsa. Now that I have moved to a French modern house, it is looking a little too dark.

  5. Darling, your blog is just getting better and better! Great post! x maria

  6. i love to cook. i love to have friends in for dinner. love to style the dining table.
    great post.

  7. Nice diningroom inspiration. I'm just getting my own finished...finally! I was thinking about posting some pictures of it tomorrow.

    Happy Easter

  8. Beautiful :)

    Happy Easter!!

  9. I love this post, and it comes in good timing, I am in the process of getting a dinning room table right now (I can't wait!) and I am trying to plan the rest of the room (chairs, accessories, etc). I'll post pics of the table once I get it, thanks for the inspirational photos!!

  10. I love that top dining picture with the over-sized lampshades over the table! I love formal dining and entertaining but also casual so it is great to have both areas! Beautiful blog - I am going to follow! Thank-you so much for visiting my blog and your lovely comment! Happy Easter.

  11. I put mirrors everywhere, they definitely enlarge rooms, and in the dining room when I light candles they reflect so beautifully. Unfortunately, the husband and I eat many a meal on the sofa, though we do it in style with our acacia trays and china, but this reminds me we need to make better use of our dining room. Thanks for the ideas!

  12. SO true! And that top pic is so fab!

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