Shonali Mahajan, founder of Studio Wodehouse, spills the beans on the must-haves for the dining room
The dining room is a great place for some quality family time, where everyone can bond over shared love of food. Styling this space well allows it to be functional and aesthetically pleasing as well.
Consider the size of the room before buying a dining set. “My favourite materials to use on table-tops are stone, marble or beautiful raw wood with an open grain,” says Shonali Mahajan. “Comfortable chairs with the right back and arm support are very important. Look for streamlined designs with minimal upholstery.” Hang pendant lamps about three-four ft above the dining table. “The lights shouldn’t be too bright, but encourage a warm, cosy environment,” she suggests. If you have a central ceiling fan, place soft lights on the walls.
Crystal glassware, ceramic or porcelain crockery and linen napkins with napkin-holders are a charm. She suggests adding a nice runner and well-designed place mats that can be cleaned daily. Enhance the look with a centrepiece like a candle stand, fruit basket, small green plant or fresh flowers. “Adding a mirror can double up the space and break the monotony of dead walls,” avers Shonali.
According to Shonali you need a gap of atleast three ft between your dining table and surrounding walls, doors or passages. “The table should be four ft in length and at least 30 inches in width.” There should be enough place for the flow of traffic, make sure that part of the table or a chair isn’t blocking the entrance. “Sideboards can run parallel to the dining table. If you don’t have a wall to place your sideboard against, an island sideboard with a screen behind could serve as a nice way to segregate dining and living spaces,” she adds.
Shonali cautions against buying benches. “They look beautiful but are most uncomfortable for long meals and deep conversations.” She also suggests considering elliptical and oval shapes for the dining table.
An eye-catching runner topped with plants and an elaborate chandelier are all the props you need to set up a fancy dining area.
To make a small dining space look bigger, use mirrors. These not only add a décor element to the space but also enliven dead walls.
You can use a sideboard to store crockery, cutlery and glassware. Make sure that there is a minimum space of three ft between the table and sideboard to allow people to pass through.
If you have a central ceiling fan over the dining table, utilise the walls to mount your lights. Make sure they have a soft glow to create a warm, intimate ambience.
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