Whether you have a formal dining room in your home often depends on the area of the country where you live and how old your home is. Many newer homes don’t have formal dining rooms. Regardless of whether you do have a dining room or not, there are ways to spruce up your dining area to make it more enjoyable and make having a meal there go from eating to dining. Swing into action now while the holidays are far enough away to get your dining room ready for the holiday meals ahead.
Get a fix
Lighting fixtures quickly date a room. Simply changing the light fixture can make a tremendous difference in how the room looks and make it more in style. For high style, why not add a ceiling medallion over your table? If you have a formal dining table, a ceiling medallion looks wonderful. Paint it to match your woodwork colors or paint it a contrasting color. The medallion in my home was painted to match the fixture. My chandelier has a light bronze finish and I painted the medallion with a coat of dark brown spray paint followed by a burnished gold color. The results were terrific.
And while you’re working on that light fixture, add a dimmer switch for more ambient lighting. If the lighting fixture you have has tiny holes for hanging crystals, order some from your favorite lighting store or online. I purchased my chandelier without crystals for $200 less than if it had crystals. I recently ordered crystals online at www.gallery84.com for $16 for 24 two and a half inch French pendant crystals.
Onward and upward
The ceiling is finally getting the respect it deserves. No longer relegated to white paint, ceilings now receive color and treatment. Besides a ceiling medallion, try adding an ornamental wall hanging in place of a medallion. The effect is gorgeous and unexpected. If you have buff shoulder muscles, try a painting technique on the ceiling or add a treatment of some kind. One option is to tent the ceiling. Draped fabric on the ceiling can create an exotic, cozy look. Paint an inset on the ceiling. Add wood trim on the ceiling and paint inside of it with a contrasting color. Burnished metals are a particularly good-looking option. Lastly, if you don’t have crown moulding in the dining room, add some here for an instant upgrade.
Adding a rug or a carpet beneath the table is another way to transform your dining area and make it quieter, too. Another quick fix is to change the seats by recovering them. Many dining seats simply slip out and only need a stapler to affix some new fabric. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, try your hand at sewing some coordinated table runners to run across the table as placemats. For seating ease, attach furniture slides to the bottom of chair legs. Smooth sliders are good for both hard and carpeted floors and felt ones are good for wood floors. Both help chairs glide across the floors smoothly and noiselessly.
Adding plants and beautiful accessories completes the dining experience. Glamorize the dining room by adding heavy curtains on either side of the opening to the room. Place two large plants on either side of the wall furthest from the entrance. Lastly, get creative with your place settings. Try mixing and matching different china and service pieces. You might be amazed at how wonderful your grandmother’s china looks paired with yours. Put a little time and attention on your dining room and you might find that dining there makes every meal a little more special.
More Dining Room Decorating
Give your dining room a style upgrade. Quick changes can bring big results that make dining at home an event.
Painting techniques. Give your dining room more style with inexpensive paint. For information and techniques for painted finishes, try Behr’s website or check out About.com’s faux finishing page at tinyurl.com/2lr7x9.
Dining room styles from HGTV. Search through pages of dining styles for every home and decorating budget.
Dress up your table with a tablescape. A simple centerpiece has been replaced with tablescaping – a design theme for the entire table. For more tablescape ideas go to Food Network host Sandra Lee’s site at www.semihomemade.com/tablescapes/ or to HGTV’s table web page at tinyurl.com/2rwgn5.