The holiday season puts the spotlight on the dining room – the room where everyone gathers to celebrate. Whether it’s a formal family dinner or a potluck feast with friends, you’ll want to deck out your dining room to make the evening memorable.
Here are five things every dining room needs:
1. A table. While it’s a basic addition, choosing the right dining room table is the first step in creating a great meal. It should fit the space as well as accommodate all of your guests. Consider how many people you expect to be dining at once. If you regularly seat four or six, a square or rectangular table should be perfect. If you have larger groups on occasion, look for a table with at least one leaf. And if your dining space allows, consider a round table that will help facilitate conversation. No matter which shape you choose, allow 42” to 48” from the edge of the chair to the wall, giving guests enough room to get up from their seats.
2. Comfortable chairs. If you have visions of leisurely meals, make that happen by choosing comfortable chairs. Upholstered or leather seats, such as Parsons Chairs, are most accommodating but wooden chairs with ergonomic features can be quite comfortable, as well. While you can always go with the chairs that match your table, it’s fun to create a one-of-a-kind look by mixing and matching from our wide selection of options.
3. Good lighting. You’ll want to create the sense of an inclusive gathering and good lighting will help you do that. A chandelier will illuminate the room and add a sense of ambiance. Options are available in contemporary, traditional, casual and rustic styles, and help accent the design of the room. Hang the fixture 33” to 36” above the table, so it will provide direct lighting. Also consider adding task lighting such as buffet lamps, and candles will make the party a more intimate affair.
4. A sideboard. From tablecloths to serving platters, the dining room has its own set of tools that are only used during the holidays. Free up space in your kitchen cabinets by storing these items in a dining room sideboard. Choose a style that matches your dining room table, or make it a showpiece by choosing something a little more dramatic. A sideboard also comes in handy during holiday meals, providing a place where food can be set to free up table space. Or utilize a sideboard to create a more casual buffet dinner. When not in use, a sideboard is a great place to display your favorite silver or crystal pieces.
5. Good conversation. Finally, prepare for the holiday season by thinking of ways to start interesting conversation around your table. You can use place-cards for guests and write an interesting fact about each person on the back. Seat people next to someone they don’t know. Or add an unusual piece of art to the room that might spark conversation all on its own. Remember, the best dinners aren’t just about the food; they’re about the friends and family gathered around the table creating new memories.