Decorating Your Dining Room

A Few Tips and Tweaks to Help When it Comes to Your Formal Eating Space

I recently interviewed a client who asked me to come by and see their property. This is always an exciting prospect and a jolt into bewilderment, as I never know what challenges lay before me. In the dining room the client asked me to enlighten her on what approach I would take for what they described as a very significant room, even though it hardly got used. So, I thought, for those of you who are considering redecorating your dining rooms, why not share some of these tips?

If you do have a formal dining room and know that it’s rarely used, this is where you can be creative with color selections and décor. And perhaps, by the time you redecorate the room, it could become a place you occupy more often.

The seating is an excellent place to start. Just by recovering those dining chairs you can make a big difference. And before sending them to the upholsterer, you might consider having them refinished by painting the frames; this could give those old wooden frames a new life. Another idea is to break up the rhythm of wooden chairs around the table by adding two fully upholstered end chairs.

For the windows, you should consider changing the curtains. If your window treatments are in good condition, however, just adding a colorful banding on the leading edges will change the look dramatically.

Changing out your buffet to something more colorful can also spice up the room, and don’t forget to place a large mirror or art above it; these decorative elements can give you a new look without significant expense.

The walls provide another opportunity to use your artistic license and create something unexpected.Try using a dramatic wallpaper or even painting them with horizontal stripes, especially if your room is small. If your dining room is an open space lacking warmth, it could be a challenge to bring character to the room. Consider enhancing the architectural details by using wood paneling or simple wainscoting, or even a large display cabinet as a wall feature. Whether in wood or by paint, the idea is to highlight the room’s architectural details.

Bookcases are another fabulous feature to consider. Even if it’s in a room you don’t intend to use for reading, books and art can be great for stimulating conversation. If your room already has existing built-ins, why not consider painting the interior of the shelves by using a complementary color to the décor? Imagine a deep red or even a Provençal blue; this will give that flat piece of furniture a fantastic facelift.

Lastly, don’t be shy to mix color and add patterns. It’s another chance to be creative, even if it is the least used room of your home. 

Vincenzo Avanzato is the creative force behind Avanzato Design (on Douglas Road), which works on luxury residential projects worldwide, including homes in Cocoplum and Gables Estates