Design tips: 5 Ways to Successful Seasonal Dining

Even though Thanksgiving is behind us, the holiday season of warm foods and gathering with family and friends for long meals continues throughout the winter.  You want to ensure your guests are comfortable and feel invited to stay awhile for a cozy evening in.  These five seasonal dining tips will not only help to make your dining room look good, but feel good too! 

5 Seasonal Dining Tips
photo: The Kitchn

» Address Seating: Comfortable seating is one of the most important elements in achieving a successful dining experience.   Upholstered chairs are the most inviting, but they do take up a lot of space and are not always practical for a messy bunch!  If you have wood chairs, try bringing in a seat cushion or small lumbar pillows to add comfort, as well as some color.

5 Seasonal Dining Tips | Seating
photo: Cottage Home

» Linens: Dress up your table with linens to add a personal touch for your guests.  Remember to layer for a visually interesting display by alternating between patterns and solids.  For example, a patterned runner that runs the length of the table, topped with complimenting solid placements and accenting patterned napkins, is a practical and pretty equation.   The patterns of the runner and napkins will hide the inevitable dinner mess, while the solid placements carve out individual dining spaces.  This is where you can have fun with color, pattern, and texture to make it your own!

5 Seasonal Dining Tips | Table Linens
photo: HGTV

» Decorative Focal Points: Creating a successful table-scape is a mix of function and flair.  The accent pieces you choose for your table should either be tall and slender, or wide and low, to ensure you are not interrupting the primary reason for gathering:  conversation.  This time of year is perfect for accenting your table with natural items like pinecones, tree branches, or greenery.  When using hurricanes, make sure the vessel is appropriate for the items’ natural size and scale.

Design Tips: 5 Ways to Successful Seasonal Dining
photo: Inspirational Letters by Millie 

» Lighting: The level of lighting directly affects the ambiance of your dining experience.  You want to ensure your guests can see who is sitting across from them at the table without causing a fluorescent lighting effect.  Having a low slung chandelier is the perfect solution for an aesthetically pleasing and efficient lighting source.  The bulbs are usually 35-60 watts, creating a warm glowing environment.  Candles are also a nice touch to set the tone for a cozy night around the dinner table.

5 Seasonal Dining Tips | Lighting
photo: Sophisticated Edge

» Dining Room Rugs: An essential design element in any dining room is the rug, which anchors the table and chairs, while adding color and comfort.  Choosing the right type of rug is not always easy, but low-pile, tight weave rugs are best.  This allows for easy maintenance, like spot cleaning and vacuuming, while also making it easy for chairs to move.  The size of the rug is also important. You want to allow enough space for the chairs to stay on the rug, even when pulled away from the table.  Choose a rug that will be cozy on the feet, and sized correctly for your guests’ ease of use.

5 Seasonal Dining Tips | Rugs
photo: Houzz

Brought to you by Cottage Home– specializing in cottage furniture & farmhouse tables

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