As any sophisticated gent knows, a stylish dining area is essential to a functional pad.
Whether used purely for eating, or as a multi-purpose area that does double time as a desk when a dedicated home office is lacking, we’ve got all the tips and hints you need to create a cool dining area.
So, say ‘seeya later’ to microwave dinners on the couch and ‘hello’ to suave mastication in a setting fit for a boss and his entourage, or a hot date.
Top Of The Tables
Like any good male model or Zoolander aspirant will attest, proportion is the key here, so kit out your dining space with a table and chairs that fit comfortably in the available floor space.
Don’t be one of those guys whose pants hang around his ankles, or at the other extreme, the guy who bulges out of his wifebeater, and furnish your dining area according to the size and dimensions of the space. Ideally, you and your guests should be able to move around the table and get in and out of the chairs without spilling their vino.
Take care when picking a finish for your tabletop. Whether clear glass, coloured glass, wood or metal, choose a finish sympathetic with the interior style of your home and the surrounding furnishings.
For dudes with puny dining areas, or none at all, select a glass tabletop for the illusion of space. The transparency created will make the table look smaller than it is.
If the reverse is true, and you have a large dining room, follow the ‘go big or go home’ mantra and fill the space.
A word of warning though: be mindful of the access to your home in the case of delivery. For example, you might think a 3-metre table would look awesome in your palatial dining room, but getting it through the front door might be an issue, so measure, and measure again, to avoid dining room disasters.
Sensationalise Your Seating
With so many options available, in every possible aesthetic, dining chairs allow you to have fun and inject some personality into the room.
Choose from chairs with a variety of seat shapes, back heights, arms, no arms and base options (4-leg, pedestal, cantilever, upholstered, steel, powder-coated, wood).
Like backyard cricket, the rules are a little loose when it comes to chair selection; just because you have a wooden dining table, doesn’t mean you have to stick with wooden chair options.
The most important thing is to avoid the ‘Fantastic Furniture-looking matched set’. This mean looking beyond the sterile store-staged setting and experiment with alternatives until you find a combination that is right for you.
Lighting The Dining Room
Dining rooms or eating nooks need a thoughtful lighting scheme, which should include dimmable lights. This is especially true when you entertain guests or woo dates. The ability to set the mood and create a relaxed ambience ensures successful dining every single meal, and makes for a much nicer experience than stark and harsh downlights.
Pendant light that hangs from the ceiling are a popular choice, as are masculine adjustable wall lights. Whatever combination you end up with, a successful set up will make the difference between a bleak breakfast bar and a decadent dining room.
Remember: it’s these details that will take your man space to a whole new level.
Tantalising Final Touches
Think of the bare walls surrounding your dining table as a blank canvas for you to personalise.
The ‘sterile’ look is out, and personal style is in. That isn’t to say a minimalist look isn’t fine, just stay clear of the ‘sterile’ line, and never cross it unless you wan to feel like you live in a hospital. Consider painting (if you own your own home) or hanging some local art.
If space allows, introduce storage like bookshelves or a floating console that will provide the space with extra storage.
If grapes are your gods, add wine storage for ultimate dining happiness.
Expert Dining Room Decor Tips
Tip #1: Size up your dining space to decide whether a round, rectangular, oval or square table is right for you.
Whatever shape you ultimately go with, always buy the table before the chairs. It’s considerably easier to find chairs to go with a table than it is to shop for a table that suits the chairs. Plus, the shape of your table will determine how many chairs you’ll need to fit around it.
Don’t forget to take note of where the legs of the table are positioned, as this too will effect how many chairs you’ll need.
Tip #2: Invest the time to consider all your dining chair options before laying down any dosh.
Trawling eBay won’t cut it here. No amount of internet shopping can compare to testing the seats for yourself. Sit on them to make sure you’re comfortable; while many chairs look awesome, they can also be so uncomfortable you’ll be rushing through every meal.
Leather- or fabric-upholstered chairs are good choices, particularly when hard surfaces dominate the rest of your home.
Tip #3: Never underestimate the power of the pendant. As well as adding instant ambience, they also define your dining space within the home’s interior. This is doubly effective when your dining table is in an open plan setting.
Become the dimmer man and alter the light intensity to suit the intended mood.