Casual Dining Room

A casual dining room is not about table shape or size or whether chairs are padded or not. It’s the style of table and chairs, lighting and accessories that define a dining room as casual or more formal.

Take a look at the two dining rooms to the left. Both circular tables seat six comfortably. The dining chairs are padded and both have a chandelier hanging overhead. Let’s compare the two rooms to define casual dining spaces.

Table style: The formal table has a wood top and legs, with a top that needs to be protected from heat and water. The casual table allows both warm foods and wet glasses on it without damage. Notice that the chairs are also wipe-off in the casual room.

Lighting: Both of these rooms have plenty of natural light. The formal dining room has its chandelier hanging lower, making for a more intimate dining experience. The sconces on the back wall provide additional lighting if needed when you use the buffet. The style is also dressy, with a graceful and involved shape and candle-shaped light bulbs. Take a look at the casual chandelier. It is set higher to brighten the entire room rather than just the table and the little shades create a more casual feeling. Its lines are also much simpler.

Accessories: The large mirror, floor-to-ceiling curtains and the items on the windowsill all add to the formality and style of the dining room. In the casual room, accessories are much more limited. This may be because of the position of the room as part of the traffic pattern of the home, and a casual dining space may be used in many ways such as a place to pay bills or do homework. This makes it inconvenient to deal with too many accessories.

When deciding whether to have a formal or casual dining space, make plans based on the type and amount of use it will have, and then decorate it to suit your functional requirements. And remember, with a few candles and fresh flowers, you can make even the most casual dining room something special.

Design Inspiration – Chandelier

This chandelier provides a great inspiration point for a formal dining room. This last blog on using different inspirations when decorating focuses on creating a mood.

First, notice that the chandelier below is not an exact match with the one in the dining room. The photo shows an antique chandelier that was quite beyond the budget of the couple whose room is shown below.

Instead of trying to reproduce the specific chandelier, the goal was to reproduce the feeling the piece invokes. This photo combines drama, sparkle and old-style elegance, and the dining room below captures the same feelings.

Let’s look at the style of this dining room. The classic chairs and table immediately recreate that old-world look. Notice how shiny the table top is, allowing the crystals to reflect on its surface.

The colors chosen for the room are in the champagne family, echoing the rich shades established by the bowl of crystals at the bottom of the light in the photo.

Extra touches such as the curtains pillowing on the floor and the faded but lovely Oriental rug echo the old-fashioned luxury represented by the original chandelier photo.

Although the chandelier in the room is different from the photo, it has the same circle of candles, additional crystals at the bottom, and the same basic shape. The large gilded mirror and the small ornamental shelves also fit the mood and message this dining room demonstrates.

Perhaps you prefer a dining room that is more simple or contemporary. But no matter what style you want, a light fixture provides a perfect starting point for your design plan.