There is something rather wonderful about having a more formal dining room. It is not about quick meals, rushed and forgotten. It is made for languishing in an intimate atmosphere with sparkling conversation, savouring each bite lovingly prepared and allowing ourselves the time to simply enjoy those we wish to surround ourselves with. For those of us who love to cook or entertain, a formal dining room sets your guests apart from the rest of the more ‘lived-in’ parts of the house. It is allowed to be a little more elegant, not having to contend with the usual wear-and-tear of a busy household as you may have in a living room or kitchen.
As Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, you may be wishing to enjoy a meal with friends or just a loved one. A chance for your dining room to shine and be enjoyed. However, if you fear your dining room is really not up to scratch, there are some simple ways to ensure it’s looking its elegant best. Today, I’m sharing some of my top tips for creating an opulent and intimate dining room.
There’s nothing worse than sitting for long periods of time on a chair that’s uncomfortable. Opt for high-back, good quality seating that will give lumbar support with soft padding for the seat. When everyone around the dining room table is comfortable, it means relaxing and enjoying long after dessert has been served. Consider our full range of dining chairs here for a host of different stylishly comfortable options.
The Right Table
You will be hard-pressed to entertain for any large crowd with a table that’s inadequate to hold more than just a few people. Ensure there’s plenty of room for a more formal table setting as well as the food you’re serving. For the best of both worlds, opt for a table that incorporates extra leaves like our Manorhouse dining table seen above, which extends to accommodate additional guests only when required. Spending a little more for exceptional quality on the seating and dining table will mean your pieces will last for many years and many dinner parties to come.
It seems lighting is often an afterthought when decorating a space but it can be crucial to setting the right atmosphere. If you only have one main light source in your dining room, ensure it’s on a dimmer switch so that you can turn it down to create a much more intimate environment. Even better, supplement your ambient light with additional smaller table lamps on sideboards or wall lamps to create small pools of light which create a warmer, cosier atmosphere.
Speaking of lighting, no intimate dinner is complete without the addition of candlelight. It’s universally flattering, making everyone more comfortable and creates a warm twinkling light similar to those of any quality restaurant. Choose dinner candles dotted along the centre of the table and mix and match candle holders for a more relaxed and stylish look.
Layer Your Textiles
When setting any table, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a high-end look. The secret is in the layering. Opt for a linen tablecloth for an opulent look as well as chargers to create texture or pattern on your table and then layer with your dinner plate, side plate and a linen napkin.
Add Greenery or Flowers
And finally, no table is complete without the addition of some life. Steer clear of large arrangements that will mean guests across from one another will not be able to see each other. Choose small bunches of flowers, cut short in smaller vessels and dot these down the centre of the table instead for a pop of colour and style.
Be sure to check out our full range of high-quality solid oak dining room furniture to create your perfect opulent look today.
Image Credits: Oak Furnitureland, Blackband Design via HomeBunch, The Glitter Guide / Christina Zilber / Photography by Monica Wang, Adore Magazine / Photography: Nikki To / Styling: Alice Stephenson / Interior: Sally Rhys-Jones