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Come Dine With Me: Designing Your Dining Space


Last week, we shared our tips for creating a vibrant and well-designed kitchen. It got us thinking, and this week we’ve been exploring dining spaces and how to create a beautifully put together room where friends and family can gather. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or it’s a small weekday supper, a dining space should always sing and bring joy to any mealtime occasion. Here are our tips and tricks for putting together a dining space.

THINK ABOUT THE LAYOUT

When considering the layout for your dining space, there are lots of components to bring together. The first is of course the dining table. We often use a gorgeous French fruitwood table, or if it’s a more formal space we’ll opt for something grander like a 18th Century rosewood or walnut piece.

We like to play with the chair shapes and styles to create drama, often using a different chair shape at the head of the table.

It’s important to take time to consider the surrounding space of your dining area when developing the layout.

Sideboards and consoles aren’t just a key element for a usable and efficient space, they also create a layered and textured look. On one hand, they might be an essential serving space, and on other evenings they may be adorned with flowers and candles.

Accent chairs beyond the table set up are also an important element of the layout, allowing for some to ‘sit soft’ as the night progresses, without breaking up the flow of an evening.

CRAFTING THE SPACE

When the layout is put together, it is now time to decorate your dining space. Choosing impactful artwork which frames the dining table is a must. We like to introduce talking points, little visual moments that might spark a conversation as you share a meal with friends. In this suite, we hung a pair of vibrant and powerful Joe Tilson prints at the head of the table. To give depth and create a more spacious feeling in the room, we hung a large horizontal mirror to elongate the table beneath and to reflect the twinkle of the candles. Using mirrors is a tried and tested way to make a space feel larger.

A good punchy artwork, a sculptural pendant or ceiling light and a gorgeous flower arrangement are the key components that make your dining space feel put together.

A GRAND AFFAIR

When dining in a slightly grander space with high walls and a spacious seating arrangement, it is important to be brave with patterns and striking lighting schemes to create a moody and inviting atmosphere.

If you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings to work with, designs like my ‘Mythical Lands’ mural with Andrew Martin are a wonderful way to draw the eye up and appreciate the height of the space.

When you’re working with lower ceilings, a broad and expansive lighting fixture will help to broaden the space – paired with a vertical stripe we are able to visually raise the ceilings.

SMALL BUT MIGHTY

When there isn’t an opportunity to create a grand dining space, carving out room in your home for a shared living room and dining room, or even a small two seater dining table is just as special.

When considering a room that has two ‘zones’ – we use simple styling tricks to ensure they are differentiated effectively. A clever way to create separate zones is using different rugs to map out an invisible partition in a room or hanging lower pendant lights over the table.  

If your space doesn’t allow for a larger dining table, don’t shy away from a gorgeous two seater that gives gravitas to a breakfast or dinner. Here at Haymarket Hotel, we played with scale and surrounded this beautiful marquetry table with a monumental mirror and a tall vibrant framed textile.

However big or small, we think a beautifully designed dining space is an opportunity to have lots of fun and create some real magic. We hope our tips and tricks ignite some inspiration for your spaces!

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