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Dining room ideas

For many of us, our dining room is often combined in an open-plan setting with a kitchen or living area, which can make it difficult to define the space with it's own unique style or design. Those people who are lucky enough to have a separate dining room are often faced with the opposite and can overlook the space because it is used fairly infrequently. However, if you can make your dining room or dining room area an inviting but practical place to eat with friends and family, you’ll have no excuse but to make the most of it and become the perfect host.

Your choice of dining table and chairs is a good place to start, as you need to ensure they don't dominate the space. Think about the number of people you expect to seat regularly  — the perfect size for a dining table allows an intimate meal without feeling crowded. A round table is a great choice as it is very sociable and leaves plenty of room for serving food, but a rectangular table is more flexible for seating extra guests at either end. If you’re after versatility, drop leaf or extendable dining tables are the most convenient option. To add a contemporary, informal feel, a selection of mismatched chairs in different materials such as plastic and metal is a great option, or for a relaxed dining experience, you could even opt for a full length bench.

A neutral colour scheme is the safest option for smaller dining rooms, creating a calm environment. Pattern can be a great choice to create drama, but in order to not overwhelm your guests you might want to restrict this to a feature wallpaper, curtains or chair covers. If you are lucky enough to have a large formal dining room then you could consider bold, opulent shades to create a grander feel. Your tableware should then be chosen to coordinate with your decor, but if all else fails keep it simple with crisp white.

Dining room with bureau

When combining a dining room with other uses such as a home office, a large bureau will provide space to work as well as storage. Doors will allow you to keep files and papers tidied away.

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