An interior design blog with furniture reviews, interior decorating tips, DIY projects, and home furniture guides.

Posts Tagged ‘dining room interior design’

Mix and Match or Mishmash? – Eclectic Style Dining Room

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Eclectic style is appealing to many people because it isn’t just one style, but rather a pleasant mix and match of a number of different elements and influences. And because it’s the one style that is unashamedly not bound by rules, it is a good place to start if you’re consciously decorating a room or living space for the first time. While there may not be prescribed rules for eclectic style, when planning a dining room interior design, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind so that everything works together and even though different elements are involved, the overall effect ends up harmonious.


A dining room can often end up naturally eclectic. When furnishing a dining room, of course the most important piece of furniture is the dining set. You chose contemporary style for your dining area because the lines were casual and relaxed, and you could easily blend it with the kitchen which had been already decorated. Once the dining table and matching chairs have been bought and used for awhile, you might want to repurpose a dresser as a sideboard or add an armoire or china cabinet that was given to you by a favorite aunt. The styles don’t match, but that’s okay. It’s eclectic. The first trick to eclectic style decorating is balance – balance the contemporary dining table with your aunt’s traditional china cabinet; the oversized traditional cabinet with a transitional sideboard; the bold wall color with earth-toned or neutral upholstered dining chairs.


Furniture for an eclectic dining room should include a variety of profiles, lines and finishes. But again, keep balance in mind. While you want to mix and match more contemporary furnishings with traditional reproduction pieces, you will want to do so in moderation. Yes, there are no rules, but for eclectic style to really work, moderation and even restraint can save your dining room interior design from becoming too busy or even making the space feel claustrophobic.

Finishing Off

Eclectic style allows you to create the exact mood that you want for your dining room – it can be formal in the traditional sense; chic with a causal vibe; laid-back or dramatically sophisticated. Layering is important: a clever blend of textures, colors and finishes give an eclectic style dining room meaning and depth. When accessorizing, don’t forget to pair a collectible pottery jug with an antique-style porcelain piece; window treatments, rugs and furniture fabrics are a mix of materials like silk and wool; and a variety of finishes like distressed wood finishes matched with wrought iron and brass lamp bases.

Country Living Cottage Style – Cottage Style Dining Room Ideas

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Today in the last part of this 3-part mini series “Country Living Cottage Style,” we’re focusing on the dining room. A cottage style dining room reflects lazy days spent by the lake or a place to come back to after a long trek through the woods or down a winding  lane in farm country. It’s comfortable, cozy and completely charming. If done “right,” it will give you the impression that time is not so important and this wonderful evening with family and friends is not going to end any time soon. Cottage style is eclectic and can be as casual (taking its cues from country) or as sophisticated (incorporating more traditional influences) as you want it to be.

When choosing a color palette for you cottage style dining room, pick earth tones, preferably more intense shades than lighter – the yellows and golds of autumn leaves; the greens found in moss, forests and grasses; and the browns and reds of the earth itself.

Another option is to start with antique white or soft cream. Then add a bold accent color or paper one wall with classic floral wallpaper in a bright hue. This will provide an ideal background for a two-tone dining table like the one that is part of the Cottage style furniture is typically made of wood, but as demonstrated by the Stanley Furniture Portofino Ivory Wood and Metal Table, iron is a natural element to throw into the mix. The metal base of the dining table includes traditional scrollwork that looks great when paired with wood. Popular woods used in the construction of cottage style dining furniture are pine, oak and ceder. Common finishes include pine, antique white, distressed and washed. It’s not uncommon for cottage style case goods such as sideboards, buffets, dresses, china cabinets or hutches to have beadboard panels or louvered doors.

Consider adding a large dresser to your dining room – it will perfectly emphasize the comfortable and versatile nature of cottage style while giving you an ideal place for storing tableware and displaying items like jugs, baskets and decorative plates. It is also an ideal way to re-purpose a now unused dresser from a redecorated bedroom.

A cottage style dining room is ideal for a home with children because it is an eclectic style, allowing you the freedom to be a laid-back or as formal as you want it to be. It’s easy to get that certain look that will make your dining room the place to entertain (with or without the kids around). Just remember to mix and match collectibles with more traditional reproduction pieces; when dressing windows use at least two different patterned fabrics like pairing gingham with floral; and finally, when accessorizing, don’t forget to include some natural, organic elements such as ceramic bowls, pottery jugs, heavy iron or stone candlesticks.

Japanese Style for a Relaxing Dining Experience

Friday, May 28th, 2010

A Japanese style dining room takes the best of east-meets-west by combining the minimalist principles of traditional Japanese design with contemporary western lifestyles. The result is simple lines paired with warm earth tones; rich wood finishes married to lighter organic elements and dining furniture artfully arranged to create balance and harmony. Shape also plays an important role in Japanese dining room design: it’s important for each piece of furniture to work in concert to create a calming and tranquil space that is appealing to the senses.

To create a Japanese style dining room that is soothing and harmonious, start with a color palette that reflects natural elements. Choose soft grays and greens for rocks and leaves; earth-toned yellows for sand and sun; washed-out neutrals for waterfalls, mists and clouds. In a traditional Japanese style room, the walls are typically free of decoration, but one featured print or a choice grouping of smaller sized photographs would be acceptable in a contemporary Japanese dining room design.

When selecting furniture for a Japanese designed dining room, choose furnishings that have a definitive purpose. While esthetics certainly play a role in Japanese interior design, practicality is equally important. No furniture piece should be picked solely for its esthetic or decorative value. In fact, Japanese style dining furniture generally has no or very little decoration. The furniture should stand low to the ground, be made of wood and arranged in such a way that “empty space” is featured in room’s décor as much as the furniture is. It is this “push-pull” effect between empty and occupied that creates contrast and visual interest.

In Japanese interior design the proper lighting is important. Any available natural light should be made the most of and used to its best advantage. Lighting can be softened by rice paper, silk or white glass shades. When accessorizing a Japanese style dining room, adhere closely to the essentials or things that have a specific purpose, such a glass vase, candles or shoji screen-like window treatments or room dividers. The overall effect should be not too bare and definitely not cluttered or cramped. You might have to experiment to get the right balance, but it will be worth it in the long when your dining room is a tranquil and elegant example of Japanese interior design.

Japanese Design Dining Room

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Japanese style is characterized by minimalism: dining room furniture virtually has no architectural or decorative detail. The emphasis of Japanese interior design, whether it’s a dining room, living room or bedroom, is on space. Whereas Western design practices focus on artistically filling the space, Japanese interiors incorporate open spaces into the décor. Typically, the furniture is centered in the room and the space around each piece of furniture as well as the furniture grouping as a whole is the point of the interior design.

japanese dining

Japanese style décor is soothing, unassuming and restful. Therefore color palettes (from Benjamin Moore) will project these qualities while reflecting nature. Earth tones like deep browns and muted reds are popular choices as are neutrals like beige, taupe and gray.

A Japanese dining table commonly has short legs and stands closer to the ground than Western style dining tables. But you can still capture the flavor of a traditional Japanese dining table by selecting a standard height table with lines that are calming minimalist in approach. The Somerton Enchantment 7 Piece Dining Set is beautifully appointed; lines are simple yet visual interest is created by the angled legs of the dining table and the unique slatted design of the backs of the dining chairs.

In a Japanese style dining room each piece of furniture has a specific function and purpose; no piece should be chosen solely for its esthetic value. The Sitcom Hida Collection Buffet has both style and purpose. Buffets or sideboards increase a dining room’s functionality by providing a place to conveniently store tableware and table linens in the room in which they will be needed and used.

A Japanese interior design dining room brings the outside in through natural elements like floor lamps and table lamps with rice paper shades; furniture pieces with bamboo and stone accents; and accessories like bonsai and water fountains. The Bluworld Innovations Tabletop Water Fountain in Dark Copper – Mini Moonshado would be the ideal accent piece to place on the buffet.

Light, especially natural light is an essential part of a Japanese interior design dining room. Another way to incorporate natural materials into the room’s design is through the shade of the Adesso Wright Tall Floor Lamp, which is made of silk. And because this floor lamp is also a shelving unit, it makes it an ultra-functional addition to a Japanese style dining room.

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