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Dining In - Trends in Dining Room Décor

by Amy West

Dining rooms are evolving to keep pace with changing lifestyles. The current trend that can only gain in momentum is the return to scaled-back, simplified living. The demand for smallerscale furniture is growing, driven by younger consumers as well as baby boomers and second homeowners.

Comfort is the primary motivation behind the move towards greater simplicity. Other key factors include an emphasis on function and on taking up less room. Consumers today want to make the most of the space they have available.

People are leaning towards basic styles with cleaner
lines. This direction lends itself perfectly to an eclectic
combination of contemporary, traditional, and even
country designs.

People living in condos, second homes, and apartments
tend to have less formal dining spaces. Fortunately,
casual dining pieces are available in smaller sizes or with features that make better use of these limited spaces.

But that's not to say that formal has fallen out of favour. According to Anita Pastor of Decorium, the traditional formal dining room is still a hot seller in certain markets.

"Formal dining rooms are still very much in style," she says. "I believe with the emphasis being brought back into the home where people are doing much more entertaining, they still seek formal dining rooms. There are also many very large and opulent homes that require you to fill large-sized dining areas."

But homes without a large square footage can indulge in elegant dining rooms, too.

"Even if you live in an open-concept home, you can still make a separate and intimate dining area by painting one wall with an accent colour to give the feeling of a separate room," says Sharon Grech of Benjamin Moore & Co. Ltd. "You can also use different luxurious fabrics on the chairs."

According to Grech, colour choices can make or
break a dining room. "Reds are still very hot this year,"
she says. "Shades like Autumn Leaf create a warm,
inviting atmosphere while Raspberry Truffle adds an
element of fun to the room."

Reds look elegant by candlelight and create a great backdrop for your crystal. "It's a hard colour to live with for a long time, so it's good to use in a room that isn't always occupied."

Other colours in vogue this season are the sophisticated taupe and brown shades. "People are using their silverware and china again, so you want to make sure to choose a wall colour that will complement it," says Grech.

If your dining room is a separate space, Grech suggests painting the ceiling a golden shade that will reflect warmly on the room.

As people continue to combine their living spaces with their work spaces, they want greater functionality from their furniture and furniture that expresses their
personal style. As a result, they are demanding furnishings that fit both the living spaces and their changing needs. New options in dual-purpose furniture for the
dining room are turning up on many showroom floors.

According to Pastor, furniture designers are creating smaller sets for condominium owners and large sets for the luxury homes.

"What we are seeing in terms of trends is that dining sets are very strong in their statements," says Pastor. "They can be very luxurious with combined woods and finishes, sleek contemporary, or elegantly finished yet simple, allowing the set to serve more than one function."

Tips for choosing dining room furniture

  • Keep the shape of your space in mind. Is the room rectangular or is it square? Its outline can help you determine the shape you want for your table.
  • To make sure that the furniture will fit, try plotting out the dimensions of the piece you're considering in the room before you buy it. You can do this by laying masking tape on the floor to help you visualize the actual space your dining piece will occupy. You will need to allow an extra 18 to 24 inches behind your dining chairs to make sure they can be pulled out from the table and to ensure that your guests will have room to sit comfortably.
  • For extra flexibility, choose a dining room table with one or two leaves that you can add or remove as needed. This will allow you to expand your dining room table when you're entertaining.
  • If space is limited, you can create the illusion of roominess by adding surfaces that reflect light. A mirror-back hutch
    with built-in lighting will expand a space visually.
  • Open-display pieces, such as baker's racks, will highlight your personal design style and allow you to take full advantage of vertical storage space.
  • Case pieces that stand on legs up off the floor can also help create the illusion of more space.


Read More Articles in Home Décor.