As we head into the holiday season it may be time to update the most important to be enjoyed by your family – the dining room. Whether it’s a small gathering or a feast for the extended family, we have some tips for you to make that all important meal feel prepared, elegant and ready to be celebrated!
For more ideas, visit Pinterest.ca/AlexBorondy and check out our Winter Decorating Board!
Set the Mood
Time to start thinking about the mood and vibe you want to evoke among your guests. Bright colours and natural light are a great backdrop for brunches or luncheons. For a more formal feel, opt for rich dark colours and soft lighting. Don’t worry – you don’t have to repaint your room! Instead, think about swapping out your wall art for a mirror to reflect the light or change up your curtains for a more dramatic statement. Small changes can be made using cloth napkins, centrepiece flowers and candles, plate chargers and adding cushions or covers to your chairs will create a completely different look.
Create a Functional Layout
A table full of people can easily fill up a room, making maneuvering around the table tricky if your furniture isn’t properly sized for the room. A good rule of thumb is to keep a minimum of 36 inches between the edge of the table and the wall to ensure the chairs (and people) have enough to slide in and out with ease.
When extra guests are invited to the table we often have to go on a scavenger hunt throughout the house for additional seats to accommodate. Instead of grabbing those terrible folding plastic chairs, keep style in mind and opt for seating that is both functional and beautiful. Benches are great for kids and can seat more people in a smaller space. You can dress up a bench easily with furry throws and cozy blankets!
Size Does Matter
The size of your table is very important and something you should keep in mind even after the holidays. You want a table that will accommodate your table setting and guests, but not too wide so that conversation is still encouraged across the table without shouting! Never go smaller than 36 inches wide but 42-48 inches wide are the most common. A round table can be great to encourage conversation with more people however if you try to sit more than 8 people at a round table the same rule applies where you’ll be too far away from those across from you. We’ve built many long Christmas dining tables over the years and covered them with a tablecloth to hide the MDF board underneath!
Light It Up
If you are rushing to get your dining room complete before the holidays and are finally going to hang that chandelier, make sure it is not lower than 29 inches above the table. You don’t want your guests bumping their heads while passing the turkey. In dim lit spaces it’s pretty and practical to add lots of candles to the table scape and add lamps to either side of the buffet. Adding a dimmer to your chandelier is a quick and cost-effective way to change up the feel of your existing lighting.
If you had to remove your chunky sideboard or china to make room for more seating, try to bring in some smaller pieces that can fit in the corners and hold items that you’ll need throughout the meal. A bar cart is a great place to keep wine, water, serving utensils and condiments instead of adding more things to the crowded table! If serving family style with plates passed around, ensure you have some side tables to keep the extra food close by for seconds but off the main table so as to not ruin your tablescape.