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Dining Room Makeover (July 23, 2009)
There are those who would trade anything to have a separate dining room, others pooh-pooh the one they have as a wasted bit of space and shut the door.
The first group has nothing to envy since there are myriad ways to forge comfortable, part-time dining areas in other rooms. The naysayers can take heart, too. With some adjustments, their forlorn rooms can be made as satisfying as mom¡¯s home cooking.
This article provides decorating ideas to suit your taste as well as the size and style of your dining room:
Glamorous Dining Spaces
Traditional and Formal
Romance and Color
Any room with a few square feet to spare such as family rooms and dens ¡ª particularly those lined with books or French doors ¡ª make spectacular mealtime settings. Position a table to one side of the room, figuring about 8 square feet for a table for 4, plus around 36 inches for the chair pull-out. Or hire a carpenter to build a stationary bench flush against the wall. Place a skinny pine table in front and ladder-back chairs opposite.
Tuck a drop-leaf table that¡¯s ready to do double duty in a spacious entry hall. One moment it¡¯s a hall table, the next it seats special guests. The round table beside the family room sofa? A romantic oasis. Cover the table with a colored cloth, pull up some seats, and light the fire.
Diverse chair styles add drama: wing chairs, love seats, and even ottomans (as long as they roll). Flexible dining should be as easy as pie. Collect benches that slide or feather-light wicker chairs to nestle up to a salvaged garden table.
Storage? In addition to cabinetry, consider plate racks, wall shelves, and corner china cupboards. All these use little space while providing handy inches.
Reinvent forlorn dining rooms with suitable furnishings, paint, and fabric. The right table ¡ª set on a bright area rug or centered on a window ¡ª can be your anchor. A round table, the favorite for conversation, softens a boxy room; a small square table does well in tight quarters; long farmhouse-type tables work best in rectangular rooms. And for ambience find a stunning electric or candle-holding chandelier.
Warm colors stimulate conversation. Paint walls a soft red, or cover them with a richly textured or patterned wallcovering. Soft contemporary hues like hydrangea-purple and pistachio-green teamed with crisp white moldings will imbue the room with a Monet-garden air. Slipcover dining chairs, or add simple seat cushions in a contrasting color or a pleasing floral pattern.
Whether you dream of a glamorous, modern, traditional, or romantic look for your dining room, this article has the decorating tips to help you achieve your goal. On the next page, learn how to make your dining room gleam with glamor.