How to add colour to a dining room
The dining room is often one of the less-used rooms in the house nowadays, so if you still have a formal dining room, it’s worth embracing that sense of occasion and being a little more extravagant and daring with its decoration.
Take time to consider the size of the room and also the amount of natural light it receives, as it may take on a more practical use in the daytime, for homework or housekeeping, for example. A room flooded with light can hold its own during the day when decorated with dark colours, which in turn will be the ideal back drop for an intimate setting in the evening. However, a naturally darker room may benefit from a lighter touch of pale shades throughout the day, which can be warmed up with subtle lighting at nightfall.
Strong use of colour is not for the faint hearted, but a great way to create a dramatic dining experience. Be daring with colour on both the walls and floors, or for a more subtle approach, try a bright rug under the table to help define the dining zone, or create focal points with graphic paintings and prints. For an atmospheric dining experience, a range of tones in the same colour will unite the entire space, while a dark painted ceiling will give the room a cosy feel. If you have a dado rail, consider wallpaper above it and a deep colour below for a cocooning effect.
Be aware of the change of seasons — intense wallpaper and fabric-covered chairs may be sumptuous and luxurious when it’s cold outside, but rather more intense in the summer heat. Remember colour doesn’t have to be permanent, so consider more temporary updates to your dining room — a striking runner, chinaware and vases of seasonal blooms will not only inject colour into a neutral scheme, but can be a temporary reflection of summer brights or winter hues.
Yellow dining room (see above)
Mustard yellow makes a dramatic backdrop in this dining room. Positioning a trio of oversized drum shades low over the dining table gives off a spotlight effect, while the shades and furniture are kept in a neutral charcoal colour, creating a pleasing contrast.
Photograph by Holly Jolliffe