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Posts Tagged ‘dining room’

From Coast to Coast – Coastal Dining Room

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Coastal style is a growing trend in interior design for many reasons. Neutrals are paired with punches of color; more formal or traditional furniture pieces blend happily with items crafted from organic materials; and a mix of fabrics that are both casual and dressy typically balance each other to create the atmosphere of a seaside resort. East coast living is different from the west coast lifestyle and for those living along tropical or Mediterranean coastlines, it’s different yet again. In other words, coastal style can be anything from totally casual to informal sophistication. If you want the feeling of the casual formality found homes with an ocean view, here are some ideas for decorating a coastal dining room that will be a place to relax with family and friends.

Since coastal style can be relaxed and casual, reminiscent of spending a day at the beach or a reflection of living by a lake or an ocean, choose a paint color for the walls that will bring water, sun, sand or sky into the room. Whether the palette leans more toward neutral tones or is brighter, will depend on the specific coast you have picked for your dining room’s focus. For example, vibrant hues such as coral, marine blue and primary yellow are reminiscent of the west coast, while sandy creams and softer grays say east coast.

A coastal dining room should have a cohesive and tranquil feel, even if you mix and match different furniture styles and/or coastal motifs. Wood is good; a wood dining table with a medium to dark wood finish or a white one with a washed or distressed finish is an excellent place to start. To create a relaxed dining environment, select furniture pieces with painted finishes such as white, lemon and cream that bring a sunny day spent by the ocean into your home. For a more exotic feel, pick a dining table like the Tommy Bahama Home Island Estate Cayman Pedestal Dining Table with matching chairs that has a richer finish and includes organic elements such as a cane inlay apron.

A coastal dining room is inspired by the diverse lifestyles, themes and activities associated with living by the sea or another type of body of water. Many interior designers feel that it’s those little touches that “make or break” a room: when accessorizing a coastal style dining area, choose items made of bamboo, rattan, cane or shells. Popular motifs for coastal style accessories are nautical stripes, anchors, coastal birds, seahorses and starfish. Tropical flowers and palm leaves are common patterns for upholstered dining chair fabric. Common decorative detailing for coastal accent pieces like a sideboard or a china cabinet include shutters, louvers or beadboard panels.

A coastal dining room is truly eclectic, utilizing a number of furniture styles such as country, traditional or even contemporary. It also incorporates natural elements like woven sea grass area rugs or objects like lamps, candlesticks and pictures made from shells. This style of dining room will make you feel as though every day is a holiday by the sea.

Dining Room in the Kitchen

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Kitchen Island Table

Today, many condominiums, apartments and lofts have an open concept design where the kitchen flows into the dining area and the dining area merges into the living room. Even when building or designing their own homes, some people prefer to skip the formal dining room that they might only use, at the most, twice a year. Putting the dining room in the kitchen really makes the kitchen the heart of the home, transforming cooking, serving and eating a meal into a connected and more interactive process.

Cream & Boylston Brown

It makes sense in contemporary homes to dispense with room that will be under-utilized and often the dining room is an extension of the living room, the family room or the kitchen. It relates to the ever-growing trend of building homes with as many multi-purpose rooms as possible. However, to be practical, functional and esthetic, a successful kitchen dining room design requires a little extra planning and ingenuity.

To visually ground the dining area and blend it seamlessly into the kitchen environment, select a tabletop for your dining table that matches or complements the kitchen counters.

When working with a limited amount of space:

  • Select furnishings that are compact or smaller in scale
  • Choose a dining set that is not “solid”; a dining table and dining chairs that have an openwork design will open up the area
  • Adding mirrors will “throw” light around the room, giving it a more spacious appearance

Because this is a dual-purpose room used for both preparing and eating meals, especially if it’s smaller-sized, lighter colors like white and pastels paired with light-colored furniture will make the appear larger.

Dining Breakfast Nook by Linon

Choose casual furnishings such as a table with benches instead of dining chairs. For a casual yet somewhat sophisticated look select a table with a glass top and pair it with leather chairs. Or buy the table separately from the chairs; deliberately opting for a dining set that doesn’t match will also help to create a less formal feel.

Since you will be cooking, pick window treatments for your dining area that will be easy to clean.

Should you desire a formal dining atmosphere, there are ways to create a separate and intimate atmosphere even in an open concept area.

  • Paint one wall a bright, bold accent color, one that has not been used in the kitchen. You can use the same trick on the dining chairs, by selecting a fabric for the seats in a color to match or complement the accent wall.
  • If it’s an option, use different flooring materials; this will clearly differentiate the dining area from the kitchen.
  • Choose furniture in darker colors. A wood table and wood dining side chairs have a tendency to appear more formal than lighter colored furnishings.

A Breakfast Nook without the Built-In

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Oval Glass Top Table

Over the years, breakfast nooks have become more and more popular in the design of contemporary homes for several reasons. They have an informal, cozy air about them; they are typically off the kitchen or dining room, providing an alternative to the formal dining room; and they are compact and convenient. Another great thing about a dining nook is that it can be a multipurpose space, because, when they are not used for eating breakfast, it is a great place to spread out the newspaper or keep the kids close by as they are doing homework. A breakfast nook is usually built into a corner or niche located near the kitchen. But if you want to skip the carpenter and the disruption associated with a renovation, you can design a breakfast nook without the built-in that will be a warm and attractive place you and your family will want to spend time.

Location! Location! Location!

Kitchen Dining Nook Set

The first thing you will need for your breakfast nook is a corner; a corner of the kitchen itself or somewhere nearby. Make sure that the location of your breakfast nook won’t disrupt the room’s traffic flow.

Measure the space. You will need to know the size of area you have to work with to make everything fit.

When taking measurements, don’t forget to factor in windows, heating vents, etc. Breakfast nook furniture generally consists of a table and benches or a combination of benches and casual dining chairs. You don’t want the height of the bench to block a window or obstruct the heating system.

The whole point of creating a dining nook is coziness and comfort. Select a table that will accommodate everyone. You will need approximately 24 to 30 inches (in width) of personal space for each person to be seated comfortably at the table while eating.

The Breakfast Nook Table

Dining Set in Carlsbad Cherry

Decide what type of table you would like for your breakfast nook.

A standard dining table is typically 28 to 30 inches high and used with chairs that have a seat height of approximately 18 inches.

A counter height table stands around 35 to 38 inches off the ground and is used with seating that has a seat height 24 to 26 inches, such as counter stools or counter height dining chairs. A counter height table is also known as a gathering table.

Especially if the breakfast nook is a part of the kitchen or an extension of the kitchen and it will be visible, you will want to choose a breakfast nook dining set that matches or blends with the existing décor.

Breakfast Nook Seating

Home Styles Furniture

Breakfast nooks or dining nooks typically have benches combination seating comprised of benches and dining chairs. For the look and feel of a traditional built-in breakfast nook, start with a corner bench unit. The type of seating you choose to go with your breakfast nook table will ultimately depend on the size and shape of the area you have to work with. But above all, whatever type of seating you select, it should be comfortable and well-padded.

Leaf Dining Table in White

If bench seating isn’t quite your style or you don’t have the room for a corner unit, you can also furnish a breakfast nook with an informal dining set. The whole point of the exercise is to create a dining area that is fun, cozy and casual.

Arts Crafts Style Dining Room Design

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

The Arts and Crafts movement emerged out of Great Britain as a reaction to the mass produced furniture of the Victorian era. Since many crafts people were put out of work due factories replacing the cottage industries, the emphasis of Arts Crafts furniture was on the use of natural materials and handcrafted furnishings. Other common elements were exposed joinery and the use of local or native woods.

Today, the Arts and Crafts interior design principles are still popular because of their clean lines and simple profiles. The Arts Crafts style can be especially effective in a dining room, where a tranquil atmosphere is conducive to enhancing the quality time spent with sharing a meal with family or friends.

Designing the Room

f2Quoizel Town Park One Tier Chandelier With 4 Downlights

Since natural materials and traditional woodworking techniques are stressed, to create an Arts and Crafts dining room, start with neutrals such as ivory, gray or taupe or natural shades like sage, forest green, sand, browns, golds, bronze and berry tones as paint or wallpaper color for the walls.

The same colors can be used for seat fabrics and window treatments. If you choose dining chairs that are upholstered, consider adding texture to the room by selecting leather or nubby fabrics like cotton and wool.

Lighting for an Arts and Crafts style dining will reflect the rectilinear forms so closely associated with this style of furniture. Lines will be uncomplicated. The glass of the light fixture is typically opaque and in a soft white or cream with iron or bronze accents and/or hardware.

As with the window treatments, area rugs should be made of natural materials, especially wool and cotton. Colors reflect those found in nature.

Selecting the Furniture

f3International Concepts Rockwood Slate Inlay Sideboard

As mentioned above, furnishing have simple profiles and rectilinear lines and with exposed joinery. They are also practical and functional, with minimal decorative detail. Furniture pieces are made from native woods like oak and pine and tend to be compact and can include space-saving features like concealed drawers or compartments. Finishes will be matte (very little sheen) or distressed.

The dining table with an Arts Crafts style will possess a distinctive, handcrafted look.

Hardware is typically “chunky” and oversized, but with simple lines. The back plates of door handles and drawer pulls tend to be rectangular rather than square. Plain iron rings or wood knobs are popular choices for door pulls.

Legs on chairs and case goods tend to be straight or angled.

Buffets, sideboards or dining tabletops sometimes include organic elements such as stone accents or ceramic tiles; again reflecting what is available locally.

Jofran Dining Set in Braeburn Rough Hewn Cherry

The overall look and appearance of Arts and Crafts dining room furniture and interior design is calming and esthetically pleasing. Decoration is kept to a minimum and each piece is crafted with a specific purpose in mind. Over a century after the Arts and Crafts movement first emerged, this style is experiencing a revival of sorts. Elements of Arts Crafts design are being reinterpreted into a contemporary context to produce furniture that is ultra-functional and beautiful, but which is also rooted in more traditional woodworking ethic that creates furniture that deserves to be passed from generation to generation.

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