7 Steps to a Stylish Dining Space

Put the focus on function to dine in style...

1 CONSIDER PRACTICALITIES

It’s tempting to concentrate on just the look when you’re creating a dining room from scratch. However, if you don’t factor in function, you may find that the space doesn’t work for you. ‘Is it a dining area for a couple that often hosts dinner parties? Or is it for a family with kids at different ages? You’ll need to organise the space to meet individual needs,’ says Clotilde Passalacqua, interior design manager at Ikea UK and Ireland.

2 think numbers

The next step is the furniture. To determine the right table size, think about the number of guests you’re likely to have, then allow a minimum width of 60-75cm – which includes wiggle room – for each diner. ‘Remember to allow space behind to slide chairs out,’ advises Wendy Clark, creative director at Houseology.

3 be FLEXIBLE

For seating, consider a bench: ‘They’re ideal if you want to reconfigure the room for a bigger party, offering laid-back seating for many,’ says Victoria Atkin, co-founder of Atkin and Thyme. If you’re more into upholstered dining chairs, look into smart, stain-proofed fabrics to keep them looking pristine.

4 STORAGE ON THE SIDE

The Seventies revival is still going strong, so if you have room for storage, consider a retro sideboard.‘They provide the perfect space for storing serveware as opposed to cramming things into a kitchen cabinet,’ says Sam Greig, lead designer at Swoon. Ideally, the sideboard should be slightly taller than your dining table, for both ease and appearance.

Look here for stattement dining lighting ideas.

5 THE RIGHT FLOORING

Never underestimate the importance of getting your flooring right, points out David Snazel, buyer at Carpetright. ‘Dining rooms usually see a lot of traffic, so it’s best to opt for high-quality, durable flooring that’s low maintenance and will stand the test of time. Darker designs and styles will be more forgiving.’

6 LIGHTEN UP

Lighting is key to setting the tone in your room. Choose a pendant light or chandelier that adds sophistication overhead and mix it with softer light for contrast. ‘Combine side lights with feature lighting positioned to showcase art, a carefully curated bookcase or statement dining table,’ says Lucy St George, co-founder of Rockett St George.

It is best to position pendants 60-70cm from the table. ‘The distance is important because you don’t want to be able to see the bulb inside,’ explains Ikea’s Clotilde Passalacqua.

7 SUBTLE SOUNDS

Good music is a must,’ says Rodrigo Moreno Masey of Moreno Masey architects. ‘It’s not complicated to create a high-quality sound system.’ Sonos is a great brand for this as it’s easy to use, has both Alexa and Google Home built-in, and can link to your phone or record player. ‘Effortless invisible tech is the only tech worth having.

See more dining room ideas.

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