These days, the formal dining room is something of an endangered species. Very few people have the time for a big sit down meal and often the room that might once have been a dining room, if one exists at all, is converted into something more useful in 21st century life like a home office or a study for the kids.
This has lead to a huge increase in the number of homes that have a dining area in the kitchen or in the living room. This tends to allow families the chance to eat at a table together rather than in front of the television but has none of the stuffiness of a formal dining room. When it comes time to sell your home these spaces can actually be a rather good selling point as ease and function are right at the top of every buyer’s home shopping list.
To become a talking point and a true asset though, these spaces need to be more than just a table and chairs stuck in the corner of a room almost as an afterthought. Even if you only have a small space to work with there are some great ways that you can take a simple dining arrangement and turn into something very special.
Define the Space
If you have a dining area in the living room or kitchen you still need to find a way to define the space and separate it from the rest of the area. That does not mean building a full wall as open plan living is very much the rage and doing so would take a lot of the fun informality out of the space anyway.
For the kitchen, buying or building a dining nook can be a great way to do this. These usually consist of both chairs and bench seating – rather like the booths at a diner – and can be a very effective way to create a place to eat that is very definitely separate from the rest of the kitchen.
If your dining space is in the living room something as simple as a great rug that is larger than the area that the table and chairs takes up is an easy and yet very effective way to define the area. In the living room the dining table and chairs should complement the other furnishings but they don’t have to match them and choosing a slightly different style to the rest of the room can be a great way to give your dining room is own special style as well.
Add a Dramatic Light
Another way to make your dining space special as well as to define it from the rest of the room is to choose a fabulous ceiling mounted light fixture that hangs down over the table. Modern chandeliers are a great look, as are elegant pendant lamps and even the Tiffany style lights you often see in fine dining restaurants.
If your dining table and chairs are set in alcove, or even if there is just one wall near it you can tie the look together by adding complimentary wall sconces as well. This will give the space an even more defined look and will also provide some softer, ambient lighting for romantic dinners for two versus whole family sit downs and wouldn’t that be a nice scenario to present to potential home buyers?
Add a Bench
A simple bench seat, one that is separate from the table but still complementary in style, can be a great way to discourage people from getting up from the area and leaving to sit in the living room, or to go and do the dishes and to stick around for some great conversation as well.
Define the Space with Art
You can also use artwork to help define your dining space and give it more of a ‘wow’ factor as well. If you have a very simple, contemporary style dining table one large, colorful statement piece on an adjacent wall can really be a great finishing touch to the space. If on the other hand the look is more traditional a great grouping of smaller pieces may be a better look instead. Just remember to keep the artwork basic and non-controversial so that it will appeal to buyers instead of possibly offend them!