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

Posts Tagged ‘Dining Table’

Furniture Ideas for a Small Dining Room

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

You might think that just because you have a small dining area that you will have to compromise on style. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you have a plan. And the place to start is with your dining room furniture. Make sure to include one or two pieces that are multifunctional. When decorating small spaces, the trick is to select dining room furniture that is smaller in scale, which will help you maximize all available floor space.

Making the Dining Room Look Larger

Because the one thing a small dining room needs is the one thing it can’t have, there are ways to making it look larger:

  • Arrange your dining set as far from the side walls as possible; this will prevent your dining furniture from appearing cramped in the space
  • Try to keep the area into your dining room clutter and obstacle free; by blending the room’s “boundary” line, it gives the impression that the room is bigger than it really is
  • Add a mirror to the décor; preferably place it across from the doorway or a window – this will make the room look larger because the mirror “moves” light around the space
  • Let as much light into the room as possible; keep window treatments streamlined and choose lighter fabrics
  • Select a dining set that includes seating that fits perfectly underneath the table

Choosing the “Right” Dining Table

Ideally, if you have enough room to work with, the dining table should “echo” the shape of the room. For example, when you’re decorating a dining room that is long and narrow, select a rectangular dining table; where the walls are all the same width, pick a square table. However, these two can take up a lot of room. For a space-challenged room, choose a round pedestal table. Because the table doesn’t have legs so to speak, you will be able to easily fit one or two additional chairs when hosting a holiday dinner.

Choosing the “Right” Dining Chairs

When buying dining furniture for a smaller sized room, give some thought to the dining chairs you choose to accompany your dining table. Best case scenario – you should go armless. While dining chairs with arms are indeed a little more comfortable, they do tend to take up more space than side chairs without arms. Another thing to keep in mind, is to pick a chair design that has straight legs as opposed to tapered or sabre. This will free up a little more floor space between the wall and your dining table.

Thrifty Décor Ideas for your Dining Room

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Have all of the chair legs of your dining table been used as scratching posts? Are the same drapes covering the windows – the ones you intended on replacing many moons ago? Is one of the upholstered dining chairs still proudly sporting that stubborn grape juice stain that just won’t come out? You’d like to write it off as just everyday wear-and-tear, but each day it’s becoming more evident that sooner rather than later your dining room is going to need some kind of makeover. You might need to save up for new dining furniture, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with tired dining room décor. There are many thrifty ways you can redecorate your dining room that will not cost a lot but end up making a big impact.

Paint Yourself a New Room

In terms of redecorating, painting is still one of the cheapest ways to freshen up a room. Especially if you look for paint bargains, often you can find good deals on mixing mishaps (the color is perfectly good; it’s just not the color the person wanted); discontinued colors; etc. You can choose to paint all of the walls the same color or just paint one accent wall a shade that complements or is brighter than the current wall color in the dining room.

Replace the Fabrics

If you can’t replace the furniture in the room, replace the fabrics instead. You can re-upholster the dining chairs for a fraction of the cost of new dining furniture. Another option is to give your dining set an entirely new look with slipcovers. A new window treatment is like a can of paint – it can really impact the overall look of your dining room and it won’t cost much if you go bargain hunting for a deal. And don’t underestimate the power of a new table runner or new table linens. A matching placemat and napkin set will not only spruce up your dining table, it will make your family feel special.

Buy New but be Selective

Maybe it’s not in the budget for an entirely new dining set, but how about some new dining chairs? Or if the chairs are still serviceable maybe it’s more of a priority to get a new dining table. Another simple way to improve the look of your dining room is to add a piece of accent furniture such as a buffet or a bakers rack that will be an additional focal point.

Mosaic Table Tops: How to Make Your Own

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

I’m the first to admit that when it comes to DIY projects, I’m not the handiest person on the planet. But when I told a girlfriend of mine about this collectible dinner set that my family had hung on to for some reason, and was now worthless because almost every single piece had been broken and glued back together, she suggested we break the plates again and make a mosaic table. As long as I had DIY guide, I was willing to attempt something crafty. Besides, it sounded fun and it actually did turn rather well (if we may so say ourselves).

Start with an old table in need of a transformation. We chose a round one but any shape or size will do. Collect a variety of broken or found objects such as tiles, plates, colored glass, mirrors, beads, seashells, stones, etc. To create as smooth and flat a tabletop as possible, the more level the pieces, the better.

Tools and Materials You Will Need

- Tile Adhesive

- Tiling tool

- Grout

- 1” paint brush

- Super strong glue (WeldBond works well)

- Enough square tiles to surround the outside of the table. (Tile size is determined by this calculation: tabletop +  thickest mosaic piece + 1/16” polymer = total thickness)*

- Thin cardboard, cut the same height as the tiles for the perimeter of the table, enough to go around the outside  (Cardboard from cereal boxes works well)

- A level

- A polymer compound such as EnviroTex Lite (Amount will vary depending on how big your table top is and how thick you want the top coat)

- Spray paint or stain for the base (optional)

- Tile cutter (optional)

Prep Work

- Wash the table

- Paint the table in a well ventilated area

- Level the table (If the table is wobbly, you can buy levelers at a hardware store)

- When breaking plates, glass, tiles, etc. make sure you protect your hands and eyes with gloves and goggles

- Make a sketch of your pattern or practice on the floor first

Creating the Mosaic Tabletop

- Cover the table top with tile adhesive

- Arrange broken/cut tiles in desired pattern

- Let dry

- Measure the tabletop width and the biggest piece on your mosaic, decide how thick you want your top coat and add these 3 numbers together. (i.e. tabletop 1” thick + 1/4” mosaic piece + 1/16” polymer = total thickness of 1 5/16”)*

- Cut cardboard into total thickness measurement

- Fill in the gaps between mosaic pieces with grout

- Leave to dry as per grout instructions

- Clean the tabletop with a damp cloth or sponge

- Glue cardboard to the perimeter with super strong glue, creating a level mould to pour Polymer compound in, be sure there are no gaps or holes for polymer to leak out of*

- Mix polymer as per manufacturer directions and pour into card board ring or paint onto surface (Save about 1 cup for the last step)

- Check for any leaks.

- Remove bubbles and let dry as per instructions

- Remove cardboard

*NOTE: This step can be skipped if level tiles are used OR if the table top is not meant to be level. In these cases only a thin layer of Polymer is painted onto the table top surface.

Finishing Touches

Paint the sides with tile adhesive. Then glue the tiles to the sides of the table. Let it dry thoroughly. Fill in with grout. Then let this dry. Paint polymer compound all around the new tiles to seal the tiles on the side (or sides) of the table.

Dining Room Transitional Style

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Transitional style dining room furniture is that pleasant mix of traditional and contemporary. While decorative detail might display the occasional flourish or two, transitional dining tables are less formal in appearance, tempered by contemporary design principles. Therefore, lines are rounded or tapered rather than ornately curvy. Transitional style dining tables and dining chairs typically use texture and shape to create visually interesting furniture. It doesn’t matter whether you use your dining room every day or if you only gather around the dining table when it’s a holiday, a special occasion or you have company. The dining room should be a place where you can linger for a little while in comfort and in style.

Transitional Palette

Start with neutrals such as pearl grays, soft ivories, gentle taupes and lighter shades of earth tones that are quiet and understated. Nothing sets the right mood as wall color (shown here from Benjamin Moore) that is pleasantly soothing. Use it to its full advantage by adding pictures that emphasize or highlight other objects in the room such as the window treatments, the area rug, a favorite vase or a floor lamp.

The dining table is the room’s natural focal point. This essentially means that you will want to choose a dining table that expresses your personality and lifestyle. The Canterbury Home Furnishing Plantation 7 Piece Dining Set has a classy appearance without being too traditional. The dining chairs have a lovely lyre back design that give this dining set true distinction.

A buffet increases a dining room’s entertainment savvy quotient. It also makes the space more functional, allowing you to conveniently store tableware and table linens in the room in which they will be needed. The Hillsdale Frankfort Slate Top Buffet has a simple style that borders on contemporary, but the beautiful slate inlay top lends this otherwise “simple” furniture piece texture, creating visual interest.

Lighting for a transitional style dining room reflects both traditional and contemporary design elements. With its combination of the metalwork and the soft amber blown glass shades, the ELK Lighting Phoenix Five Light Chandelier has a warm, casually elegant appearance.

For something more neutral yet just as warm, choose the Quoizel Lancaster Two Tier Chandelier With 9 Uplights. The traditional flavor of the metalwork is gracefully restrained, giving this beautiful chandelier a transitional style that is both versatile and unique.

An area rug pulls the dining room together. The flowing lines of the oversized pattern of the Nourison Tropics TS09 Brown Area Rug Collection dresses up the room.

Should you prefer a smaller patterned design, the Abbyson Oceans of Time Himalayan Area Rug Pattern 0012 has a transitional style that reflects the ideal balance between new and old.

Since it is a mix of other styles, typically traditional and contemporary, transitional style is easily adapted to the dining room, when you might want a dining set that has classic lines but also possesses a stylish contemporary look.

Speaking with a French Accent – The French Country Dining Room

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

A French country dining room is warm, inviting and intimate. This is where you close the door on a micro-waved meal; where glasses are raised in a toast to good fortune or in celebration of a happy event; where friends and family take their time over a good meal to share their stories. Since French country tends to mix old with new; painted furniture with washes and wood furniture with low-sheen finishes; and wood furnishings with ones fashioned from metal, stone, terra-cotta or cane, this style is perfect for anyone on a budget. The timeless feel of French country style is created by layering all of the main elements in the room – the color scheme, the furnishings and window and floor treatments – in such way that is elegant and sophisticated but contains a rustic touch that keeps it “honest.”

French Dining Palette

Typical colors used in decorating a French country dining room have their roots in nature. Wall shades are sunflower yellows, soft autumn leaf golds, rust reds and oranges, forest greens and lighter shades of leaf and sky. In French country interior design, terra-cotta, marble, slate and ceramic tiles are popular materials for tabletops and decorative accents for case goods such as buffets and china cabinets so it makes perfect sense that the color scheme reflects these natural elements used in the making of dining room furniture.

To give the space an authentic French country look, use faux painting techniques or choose a textured paint product to make the walls look like stucco or weathered plaster.

Another way to create a casual, French country look for your dining room is to use half paint (top half) and half bead board (bottom half). If bead board doesn’t appeal to you, use wallpaper instead, separated from the painted section with a chair rail (a type of molding). You could also opt for painting three walls and using wallpaper on the fourth wall. Choose wallpaper with smaller patterns, especially floral ones.

Think curves; even straight lines have rounded corners or are softened in some way. Wood is a good place to start. However, as mentioned above, other materials like stone, wrought iron, ceramics and cane or wicker are integrated into the designs of furniture pieces, revealing their rustic nature while imbuing them with an inherent sophistication. The trick to creating a room that will have an ageless, old world charm and appeal is to mix oversized furnishings like an armoire or a china cabinet with a whimsical cast iron tea cart.

The Hillsdale Wilshire 5 Piece Dining Table Set in Rubbed Black displays classic woodworking elements like a pedestal table with scrolled feet and barley twist posts. The dining chairs have a wheat sheaf splat that gives the dining table set a studied elegance, but the motif is pure country living.

For something that is still essentially elegant, but with a carefree casualness and air of a French country antique, choose the Stanley Furniture Portofino Ivory 7 Piece Dining Table Set. The dining table is typical of this style, with its antiqued metal base, scrolled metalwork legs and wood tabletop with a distressed finish. Ladder-back chairs are a popular choice when decorating a French country dining area.

The Stanley Furniture Portofino Ivory Buffet paired with the Stanley Furniture Portofino Ivory Tasting Server perfectly qualifies as an oversized piece. The server has a bead board panel, fluted finials and metalwork accents.

While the Ultimate Accents Italian Wine Center doesn’t have curves it displays plenty of other French country attributes such hand painted decoration and harvest-related themes like grapes.

Because of its beautiful hand painted designs, antiqued metal door and drawer pulls, floral motif, fluid lines and framed door fronts, the Pulaski Accents Credenza in Sedona has the appearance of a much-prized heirloom.

Think that just because you live in an apartment or condominium that you can’t have a French country dining room? Try substituting a standard dining table for a gathering table (also known as a counter-height dining table. Because it stands approximately six inches higher than regular height dining tables, it allows you to utilize space vertically rather than horizontally. With its clotted cream color, lattice back chairs, and vine motif, the Standard Valencia Garden Counter Height Table Set has an enchanting French country flair.

When there is not enough room for an oversized buffet with hutch, choose a smaller furniture piece such as a sideboard or serving table. The Hillsdale Wilshire Sideboard Table has a paint washed appearance that is typical of French country dining room furniture.

A French country dining room is ideal for someone with more eclectic tastes. French country décor can be as laid-back, inviting and comfortable as you want. It’s also true for the flipside; French country can be beautifully formal when it needs to be. By following the three basic French country decorating principles – mix and match second-hand store finds with antiques (or reproductions for those of us on a budget); use colors taken from the French countryside; and include classic motifs like the rooster, orchard fruits, wildflowers, etc. – you’ll have dining room that you’ll be proud to share with family and friends.

A Forest of Trees in the Living Room – a Holiday Memory

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Crosley Radio Music Box Christmas Tree

One Saturday afternoon in the first week of December when I appeared for my lesson at the usual time, I entered Mrs. Flood’s living room only to find a forest of Christmas trees growing on the lid of her grand piano. There was also a small stand of smaller sized Christmas trees artfully arranged on her coffee table. The hand-crafted trees were gifts for her students and friends. Although I didn’t find that out until after one hour later when my lesson was done and I become a proud owner of one of the shorter trees that had moments before graced her piano. 

The little tree was actually a Styrofoam cone, the kind typically used for crafts, and instead of pine needles, it sported shiny foil-wrapped candies. I was so taken with the candy Christmas tree that I asked my piano teacher to show me how to make them. The following year, I made them for my teachers at school, friends from my dance class and some of the other adults in my life, including a couple of my friends’ mothers. 

Earlier this month, I walked by a display window for an independent bookstore here in the city where I live. There was a gingerbread house, a Santa’s sleigh pulled by the notorious team of reindeer and a small forest of candy bar Christmas trees of different heights. No ruler-knuckle-rapper-if-you-made-a-mistake type of piano teacher, fond memories of Mrs. Flood, her beautiful black grand piano, and the his and hers chairs where we sat in front of the fireplace for a chat after my lesson came rushing back.

 I was curious to see if I could remember how to make them. I made a list of what I thought I needed and off I went to a mall with a crafts store. I bought three Styrofoam cone forms in different heights: 6”, 8” and 10.” The ones I remember from long ago were white but these ones that I found at the store were green already, which saved the first step of covering them in green construction paper. 

To decorate the trees, I chose a selection of bulk candy with gold and silver wrappers for one; red and white wrappers for the second tree; and silver, red and green ones for the tallest tree. Beginning at the, I used large colored straight pins to attach the “ornaments” to each Styrofoam form. (Staggering each row will help eliminate any occurring blank spots.) I added four streamers of different colored ribbons, curled first with the edge of a scissor blade, to the trees for a festive look. They were fastened with more Christmas lights (colored pins). 

The stars were created by cutting out two star shapes for each tree out of pantyhose cardboard, and then coloring them with a yellow glitter crayon. I then glued two stars together with a toothpick in between the pieces of cardboard so that part of it was left sticking out. To place the star on top of the tree, I gently pushed the toothpick into the top of the cone, and voilá, a little forest of Christmas trees. 

They turned out rather well, if I may say so myself. Just like the ones I made all those years ago, I had planned to give them away as gifts. Currently, they are sitting in the middle of my dining table as a centerpiece, until I purchase some fresh holly for the usual annual centerpiece I make for the Christmas dinner table. They look like such a happy trio! Hmm…perhaps we’ll just skip buying holly this year.

Fine Dining

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Epic Cherry Leg Table with 18 Leaf

It’s official; the festive season has begun! I attended my first company Christmas party this past weekend. The menu was amazing; it was a buffet and the dishes included braised meatballs in red wine jus, madeira pan jus lamb shank (the meat literally fell off the bone) and carbonnera fettuccini with andouille sausage. At first, I skipped the bread basket and mashed potatoes in a dismal attempt at caloric intake damage control. But when several people at my table raved about the potatoes, I had to taste them for myself. And yes, the mashed potatoes were worth the trip back to the buffet table. And before you wonder if I had a good time, yes I did. But I’m a thinker, and what occurred to me as I was enjoying and taking part in the festivities, was that no matter how good the food is (and it was indeed excellent), whether we are conscious of it or not, the surroundings, including the furniture, all play a part in contributing to our ultimate dining experience. 

Arm Chairs Dining Set

Especially around about this time of year as we’re heading into the holiday season, we want our homes to look their best. When entertaining for the holidays, the living room, kitchen and dining room see a lot of the holiday action. And particularly the dining room where it’s the designated stage for the big reveal – the Christmas bird decked out in all its stuffed glory. It’s most likely because the furniture in the home I grew up in was furnished in the traditional style and so too were the homes of my relatives and the friends of my parents we visited during the holidays. To me nothing says Christmas more than a traditional dining table elegantly set to celebrate the occasion. 

When preparing for Christmas, you want your dining room to look warm and welcoming, but you don’t want to have to do a major renovation to get it to look guest ready. For a traditional style dining room, start with a dining table that has a rich dark finish with a satin or semi-polished surface. If you tend to entertain a large number of people only occasionally, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, select a table that has a leaf. This will allow you to seat more people when needed, but for everyday meals with just the family, the table can be used without the leaf, providing a more intimate setting.

Mirabella China Cabinet

Dining chairs should match the dining table in color and style. To be truly traditional, they have flowing lines, carved decorative detail, and have a thickly padded seating area designed to go the distance of a festive, many-course meal. Legs are typically curved and ornate, either turned or carved. Traditional style dining chairs without upholstered backrests often include intricate splat backs and with classic motifs such as acanthus leaves, shells and rose medallions. 

Part of the fine dining experience is atmosphere. Shed some romantic light on your dining table with a chandelier. Showoff your china and crystal to its best advantage with a traditional style buffet or china cabinet. Fine dining is essentially paying attention to the details, such as silver candelabra, gold trimmed chinaware and vintage flatware. A traditional style dining room will provide you, your family and your guests an elegant and refined setting, not just for the holiday season, but year-round.

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.

Victorian Interior Design for Apartment Living – The Dining Room

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Pulaski Royale Pedestal Table Dining Set

During Queen Victoria’s reign of 63 years, Victorian style went through a number of very distinctive changes. The fact that furniture legs were covered up to maintain the parlor’s sense of modesty is well-known, but did you know that this Victorian decorating trend lasted less than ten years? A lot can happen in 63 years, and during the time Queen Victoria ruled, a lot did. The Industrial Revolution changed the way many household items were made, especially furniture. Now, instead of a sofa or dining table taking a carpenter months of painstaking craftsmanship, a piece of furniture could be made from start to finish in about a week.

 Pulaski Accents Credenza in Scarlet

Due to the breadth of the British Empire, which spanned several continents, the architecture, interior design and furniture of Victorian Britain were greatly influenced by Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. Because furniture was being mass produced, it allowed furniture designers and makers to be as opulent and lavish with decorative detail as they wanted. No longer having to wait for months for a piece of furniture to be completed by traditional woodworking techniques, designers could easily reproduce the lush look and feel of exotic cultures worlds away from their own island.

 Homelegance Golden Leaf Cherry Arm Chair

Since everything about the Victorian home was lavish, opulent, heavy, imposing and oversized, it might seem to an unlikely style to choose for apartment living. But this is what is so appealing to me – while lavish, opulent and imposing, Victorian style is also elegant, luxurious and dramatic yet romantic. Because manufacturers today are producing furniture in all styles from traditional to contemporary with smaller living spaces in mind, if this style appeals to you as much as it does to me, you will be able to create an inviting living space using Victorian interior design principles.

 Walls and Windows

 Pulaski Timber Heights Pedestal Table Dining Set

No television, radio or computer games, the Victorians had to entertain themselves somehow. Since the average length of an evening meal was three or more hours, the heart of entertaining was the dining room, where family and guests were treated to the best of everything, from food to flowers to wines and brandies.

To recreate a Victorian dining room, one that will be authentic but suitable for apartment living, let’s start with a classic chair rail to divide the walls into two; the top part will be papered while the bottom section will be painted. Colors are bold, deeper in shade rather than brighter, such as rich burgundies, darker shades of pink and royal and emerald greens. Wallpaper can be as simply elegant as gold outlined diamonds on a solid background to intricately embossed patterns.

While window treatments involved heavy materials like brocades and velvets, you can pare down the Victorian penchant for opulence by using a decorative valance and a combination of curtains in a solid color with sheers. Or go blind! The English Venetian blind originally made from the finest hardwoods, gained popularity in Great Britain during the 1890s. Select an updated version, pairing it with a valance and sheers.

Furniture Victorian Apartment Style

Powell Wellington Dining Buffet Hutch 

The pieces you choose for your Victorian dining room should be smaller in scale to fit the space you have to work with. But to keep to the spirit of Victorian style interior design, there is one essential furniture piece, aside from the dining table and chairs, you will need to include. Since entertaining was such a big part of the Victorian home, it makes perfect sense that the sideboard played an important role. Place a mirror over the sideboard: this will accomplish two major purposes. The Victorians were lavish in their use of mirrors and a mirror in a smaller sized room will make your dining area appear larger and more spacious.

  American Drew Marbella Round Table

The dining table and dining chairs should be made of wood in medium to darker stains such as ebony, mahogany, walnut and rosewood. While Victorian furniture, even in the dining room, was typically heavy with a chiseled appearance and much ornamentation, we can select a round or square table to take up less space and match it with chairs that have flowing, curving lines and profiles.

 Lighting

 AF Lighting Serena Six Light Chandelier

Of course, when it comes to lighting, nothing captures the Victorian era more than a chandelier. Select a perfect confection of glass, crystals and beads for an elegant look that will make any meal, whether you’re entertaining guests or not, a celebration. Wall-sconces and oversized, silver candle holders or candelabra were also popular ways to light the Victorian dining room.

 Come back and visit next Wednesday when we will tackle a Victorian styled living room suited for apartment life.

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