Laughing hopelessly about your unbelievably hellish day at dinner, extended Sunday lunches with the family, planning your week over a morning cuppa… Food brings people together. And every good meal deserves the perfect setting. Whether sprawled across an individual room or tucked into the kitchen, dining spaces are increasingly being designed as lounge areas of sorts. Here we give you five design cues to create a laid-back dining space.
1. Capitalise on location
Make the most of the architecture of your home. Large windows and skylights are ideal to effect a breezy, outdoorsy ambience. Alternatively use a niche within a tight space to create a diner-like ambience with booth seating or a high counter with barstools.
2. It’s all in the finish
Natural materials or ones with organic textures add warmth and character to a room. Think salvaged wood tabletops, rattan furniture, bamboo table linen, stone-finish floor tiles, upholstery in classic prints, etc.
3. Mix and match
When it comes to choosing furniture, don’t shy away from playing with different styles. Pair a classic roundtable with timeworn cafe chairs or an industrial style dining table with a combination of comfy upholstered chairs and hardwood/wrought iron chairs.
4. All aglow
Outsized pendent lanterns have replaced ornate chandeliers and contribute to an old-school, casual vibe. If you don’t have the luxury of high ceilings, try wall-mounted tea-light holders or a string of DIY lanterns. The soft glow of candlelight will instantly put guests at ease.
5. Say it with colour wallpapers
Nothing says informal fun like a splash of colour. Try a trompe l'oeil wallpaper design with open skies on the ceiling or a forested area along the largest wall. Highlight an architectural detail (a column, niche, etc) with a pop of paint; embellish it with heirloom ceramics or vintage food-related ad posters. For the hue shy, try introducing colour through accents like table runners, crockery, art, etc.