Classic Dining Room

Well, most of us do not have a dining room that will support a dinner party with 14 guests the way this one does, but the things that make this room work can be used in a dining room serving eight or even four people. Let’s look at the consistent features that every classic dining room should contain.

Space: Make sure every guest has two to two-and-a-half feet of linear space at the table. This oval table provides an additional advantage – it gives the people at either end extra leg space. Also plan on at least two feet of area rug beyond the edges of the table so that people don’t end up bumping off the edge every time they push their chairs back. Did you notice the padded chairs? Just like our contemporary dining room in Monday’s blog, the comfort of your guests is important if you want people to linger to chat after meals during your dinner parties.

Lighting: A chandelier’s height should be about 30 inches above the dining table’s surface, but you may hang it higher to make sure it lights the whole table. With a table this long, two chandeliers would also work, but the wall sconces and mirrors will help keep the room well-lit. Notice the medallion on the ceiling. This makes the light hold a stronger place in the room and works well with the rich display of crown molding on the edges. A medallion is a simple, inexpensive and effective way to emphasize your chandelier or any light fixture.

Tablescape: The crystal in the center of this table echoes the items in the cabinets along the wall as well as the mirrors and windows, keeping everything integrated. Be sure to keep anything in the center area of your table low enough for people to talk across.

Your dining room may not have the size and majesty of this one, but following the same rules for good dining allow you to make dinner parties at your home just as enjoyable.

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.