5 Essentials for a Stylish & Organized Dining Room
I just love the dining room. Whether my family and I are sharing a meal, playing a board game, doing puzzles, working on homework or just sitting with a cup of coffee after breakfast in the morning, our table sees a lot of action. Having a space for our family to spend time together is so important to me.
I believe that families should make a habit of spending time together, and what better place to do it than around a table that has room for all and is filled with good food and great conversation.
Today I want to walk you through the essentials for a wonderful dining room. Let's get to it and create a space in our home for some love and laughter!
Essential #1: The Table
The dining room table is arguably the most important in the space. You don't need artwork or perfect decor or even great lighting but if you have a table you can set up a family meal anywhere.
My number one essential for a dining table is that it has space for your immediate family around it. Bonus points if others can gather as well, but you want it to be a place where you and your family can spend time together.
Not only should the table fit your family, but it should fit your space as well.
I will be honest, the past 3 moves we have made I was very pushy that the new homes must have a big enough dining room for our long farmhouse table you see above. I love this table and luckily have been able to find spaces where it fits well.
If you have a smaller space, consider built in benches or a round table to save space. The round table can cut down on corners and create a cozy gathering spot for family and friends.
One other thing to consider when looking at tables is the finish. Do you prefer glossy and covered with a table cloth, or do you prefer an unfinished type of wood that will wear with your families use?
Our unfinished farmhouse table has been the best for us. I love that I can see where my children were teething and also don't have to worry about scratches. I am way happier when I know I can encourage my entire family to use a piece of furniture well!
Essential #2: Seating
Now that you have the table, you need somewhere to seat your family! Seating does not need to be fancy but it does need to work for you and your family and the stage you are at.
The main thing to be aware of is comfort. You do not want to invite your family or guests to visit around the table and have them get up to leave as they are not comfortable. This is so important to me when planning a space.
In a smaller space, built in banquette seating can be a complete game changer. Not only will it save room in the space, but it also provides hidden storage as well as extra seating when guests are over.
Don't fall into the trap that all seating must match either! Some of the most beautiful family tables have a mix of different finishes and even chair styles. Making the space your own is what is important.
One other extremely important tip I wish someone had told me 10 years ago (well, to be honest my mom did but I didn't listen - new mom, what can I say) - if you have children, make sure your chairs are wipeable or get them covered for the messy years. We are slowly having to replace the upholstery on our chairs as they are a little bit less beige than they were to begin with.
Think outside the box with seating! This beautiful cathedral bench adds a flair of relaxation and history to this beautiful porch dining space.
Essential #3: Storage
Once you have the table and chairs in place, the next essential is storage. If you live a minimalist lifestyle, you may not need storage right in the dining room but you do need to have it somewhere. For those of us who like having a few items for serving guests, there are many options for storage.
Items like napkins, table cloths and serve ware will need a place to belong. Below are some beautiful ideas for dining room storage!
Think outside the box and use a small cabinet tucked into a corner like this one. Add a beautiful mirror on top to reflect some light and you have stylish storage in your dining room.
A more industrial look for a modern farmhouse feel would help to be completed by this open shelving. A beautiful way to display beloved items while giving the space a laid back feel.
Most of us are familiar with a buffet in the dining room, but when considering a furniture piece, think outside of the box. This dresser turned buffet is perfect in this space, bringing some old fashioned charm to the space.
Other options are to add some built in storage, or use extra cabinetry in your kitchen to keep the dining room streamlined and minimal.
Essential #4: Lighting
Our previous home had this beautiful dining room just full of natural light, but when evening came the chandelier we had above the table cast a beautiful glow in the space. We put this light on a dimmer so we could have fun game nights or romantic dinners.
Lighting can make or break the mood in a space, and the dining room is no different! So many of us use our dining rooms for many different uses, so it's important to have options. Dimmers are a great addition to dining room lighting.
You can use lighting in a dining room to really create a style impact also. A large farmhouse chandlier, a gold modern piece or even a simple understated light fixture. They all lend a sense of you and your family to the space and can create the vibe you are going for, whether laid back or formal.
Essential #5: Your Family's Style
Now that you have taken care of all of the true essentials, it's time for the last essential piece of the puzzle: a glimpse at who you and your family are!
Artwork, photography, plants, wall displays - there are so many different ways you can bring your sense of style and a part of your family's story into your space.
This is where you get to decide if you would like a rug under your table, or if you prefer the bare floor. Do you want a table runner, a centrepiece, maybe some candles? Do you like windows with curtains or some throw pillows on your chairs? Do you have a favourite piece of artwork you collected throughout your travels, or do you have the perfect family photo to put above the buffet.
Putting your sense of style into your space is the cherry on top of a functional and useful family hub.
When you have a space that encourages gathering of family and friends, your home will feel welcoming and enjoyable for all who enter.