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Dining Rooms

Decorating, renovating, and updating advice from Maryann Fisher

This time of year, we tend to bring attention to our dining rooms. Regardless of its size, you can still make it a showpiece in your home.  

The featured dining room is 11 feet square and had outdated décor. The existing table was rectangular and created a traffic challenge going from the kitchen to the dining room.   

My client agreed with my recommendation that the table be symmetrical to the room and chose a 48-inch square table with four upholstered chairs (two shown in photo). Choosing custom options, we were able to coordinate this room to the adjoining library. The finish on the table base is a weathered gray with a solid black top. The chairs have the same weathered gray bases with off-white upholstery.

Above the table a chandelier proportioned to the size of the table will provide light for their guests. The “drum” shaped shade is full of texture.

A black and off-white, large scale, simple pattern area rug was placed below the table. It softens the sounds that can echo in a room that has hard wood or tile flooring, especially when it is small. It also adds visual appeal by repeating the round shape under the square table. The area rug is large enough to accommodate the chairs when they are pulled out.

We surrounded the room with upscale wallpaper. The client has a love of red and wanted something that would make the small room say “WOW!”  This choice has plenty of interest so no wall art was wanted or needed.  

Dining Room Tips

1. Decide how many seats you need either for a regular dinner or special occasion according to your lifestyle. Dining benches can be used to add seating when needed, especially for young guests.

2. Lighting over a table should be 30 to 36 inches above the table.

3. Area rugs: the size and shape should be determined by the table’s size and shape. If the table is rectangular or oval, you want to use the same shape for the area rug. If the table is square or round, choose the same or opposite shape as shown in the featured photo.  Remember to make it large enough so when the chairs are pulled out they don’t “fall off” the area rug.