The dining room is such an interesting part of the home. It’s gone through a number of transformations over the years. It first served as a mark of wealth, setting apart families who could afford the extra square footage to dedicate an entire room just to eating. Then, it fell out of favor. As dinnertime because less of a formal affair, many families turned to casual eating areas like breakfast nooks (or even the couch in front of the TV) as the primary spot to dine. Today, all too many dining rooms sit sad and vacant.
It’s time to reclaim this space! Because the dining room isn’t used as much as, say, the kitchen or master bedroom, it’s an exciting design opportunity. You can take some risks and make bold choices. When you do, you turn the space into something visually interesting that might entice your family to make more use of the room.
At Freshome, we love the idea of doing something extra fun with dining rooms. We’ve dreamed up some ways to help you breathe life into yours. Whether you’ve got a large formal dining room or are working with a compact corner of a room, these are the things you need – according to our Freshome team – to create a dining room you’ll love.
Set out seating
A good dining room needs a place where people can dine. If you’ve got the space, set up a table that seats at least eight. Hosting friends and family just got that much easier! We love a large, sturdy dining table – like the 96″ Sydney Dining Table from Wayfair – as a way to establish your dining room. If you’re tighter on space, a smaller table can work just as well.
Extendable dining tables can help you find a middle ground between roominess when the space isn’t in use and functionality when you’ve got a handful of people coming over for dinner. Either way, find a table you love and you can build from there.
Once you have your table picked, it’s time for more fun shopping. Your dining chairs set the tone for the room. Think of your dining table like the sofa in your living room and your dining chairs as the accent pillows. This is a place to have some fun! Maybe you want to go traditional, like the Hayes Tufted Chairs from Pottery Barn, or mod, like the Mid-century Chairs from Target. When it comes to dining chairs, your options are virtually endless. As proof, we’ve rounded up some great dining chair options for you.
Build out your bar cart
If you’re the kind of family that sits down together for dinner every night, your dining room will get more use than most. If, however, you primarily gather around the table when you’re entertaining, you still need a dining space that will meet your needs. Building out a bar cart ensures that you’re set up for whatever the night has in store.
Much like your dining chairs, your bar cart is a design opportunity. Don’t be afraid to choose something fun. We love the Mid-Century Bar Cart from West Elm, but you could also go sleek with an all-chrome cart, find a truly vintage piece at your local antique store or add casters to a small bookcase for a DIY solution. If you’re ready to live that lush life, we’ve got a list of fabulous bar carts – and they’re all under $300.
Once you’ve picked the cart itself, the fun continues. Start gathering glasses, decanters, bottles and the other essentials. Pick up a bouquet of fresh blooms or a scented candle. Adding little touches you love to your bar cart gives your dining room personality and keeps it from feeling stuffy.