Make sure your dining space works for family and friends, special occasions and everyday life. These ideas will make it smart, comfortable and practical.
1 Sit longer in comfort
Serving three courses? If you find guests are getting restless long before you’ve brought the dessert to the table, look to your dining chairs and opt for upholstered versions to keep everyone at ease. You could swap in those that offer support in the seat and back, like these upholstered dining chairs (above) – they’ll create an impactful block of colour or pattern that gives depth to your room scheme. Like the idea of maximising the airy feeling of an open-plan space? A dining chair with an upholstered seat but a more open back offers comfort and preserves views through the room.
2 Avoid the to and fro
Save time when it comes to setting the table whether it’s for the family’s dinner, or a get-together. A pretty trug (above) makes carrying cutlery and table linens from drawer or cupboard to tabletop a one-trip job and means you don’t have to clutch a handful of knives and forks. You can choose the paint finish of this design so it complements your room scheme and looks good on show.
3 Make the table a focal point
Dressing the dining table beautifully will make it the star of the show. A floor length round tablecloth like this one (above) looks elegant for special occasions. We chose a beautiful textural finish that draws the eye – but you can select any of the fabrics from our collection for your tablecloth, or send us your own fabric to use, if you prefer. And why not team it with a cotton bump undercloth that’ll create a fuller effect? And for everyday dining? Try a tablecloth with a smaller diameter that’s practical for family sit-downs.
4 Let walls do double duty
The floor area of your dining space might be limited, but if a wall is free, there’s room for extra storage. A decorative kitchen shelf (above) is ideal for stashing mugs, glasses and more right where they’re needed, and they can make an attractive display, too. To make the most of yours, try working with a limited number of colours – like the green and yellow here – combined with neutrals. Think about the lighting in your dining area as well. Accent lighting can make a selection of glassware sparkle in the evenings.
5 Fit in more guests
Positioning extra chairs round the table when you’re feeding a crowd can be tricky, so consider using space-efficient benches down the long sides of a rectangular kitchen table (this is our oak kitchen table, above). Kids and grown-ups alike will be at home on this Tuvan long bench – especially if you finish it with an upholstered seat pad. Or, if it’s a little more luxury and support that’s called for, check out the upholstered bench we’ve positioned on the opposite side of the table. With back support, it’ll keep guests happy.
6 Boost storage in small rooms
A sideboard is a classic piece of dining room furniture – and so useful for tableware, cutlery, linens and more. But if yours is a compact room, you don’t need to miss out. With its space-saving footprint, this French cupboard is a great alternative for small spaces. It offers extra height so it packs in plenty of storage, making the handsome design perfectly scaled for a small room. It leaves display space on top for elegant accessories, too.
7 Smarten up table settings
For a beautifully dressed table setting, fabric napkins (above) are a must-have. They have timeless style and look as good teamed with wood tabletops as they do with an elegantly draped tablecloth. Choose a shade that complements the remainder of the table setting and the room scheme for your napkins. This soft green suits an interior inspired by hues taken from nature and the napkins look good against an oak tabletop, but you can select from any of our plain or patterned fabrics for bespoke style.
8 Choose sophisticated window treatments
Dining spaces feature plenty of hard surfaces, so pay attention to the soft furnishings that add contrasting texture and gentler lines. Curtains (above) will softly frame a window – and the view beyond. And if the outlook’s not up to much? Pattern or colour in your choice of fabric will draw the eye to your window treatment choice rather than the disappointing vista. For a separate dining area, curtains with a drop that allows fabric to break on the floor boost the opulence of the scheme. For kitchen-diners, you might prefer a Roman blind. It’ll fit the window neatly but still offers soft pleats of fabric when it’s pulled up.
9 Update the dresser
Decorating a dining space with china arranged on a dresser is traditional, but if you’re looking for a modern twist on a classic feature, check out this New Hampshire double modular storage (above). Because it’s modular, the final design of your storage is up to you, but there’s the option to include open shelving that lets you display tableware as well as include drawers and cupboards to conceal the items you don’t want on show. Try mixing single pieces and small stacks of plates or bowls for interest. We stayed neutral with our display, but it’s such an easy way to add accents of colour, if you prefer.
10 Take a seat
Want to maximise the luxury of your dining area? Introduce an occasional chair and you can offer diners a place to linger for their after-dinner coffee. This chic spoonback chair (above) is designed for comfort, but its compact lines make it easy to fit into even a smaller dining space. And if you want your chair to make a statement, choose colour that’ll contrast with paint or wallpaper on the wall beyond.