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"Entertain in style with a comprehensive dining room interior design plan."

Dining room interior design begins with an assessment of your space. When you understand the elements as they currently exist, you will then be in a position to master that reality or revise it to suit your needs.

Dining Room Interior Design

You can create a dining room that brings friends and family together in an elegant and inviting atmosphere by taking into account some important concepts as you develop a plan.

Decide on the style of room you want to create. The style you choose should be complementary to adjoining rooms in your home so there is a sense of continuity in your home’s overall interior style. To help develop your sense of design style it can be helpful to look at various approaches. I have illustrated a variety of approaches on my interior styles page. It may help you get on track if you are unsure of your style direction.

Every dining room needs a table, of course. It is the most basic element. After all, it wouldn’t be called a dining room if that was not its primary purpose. In addition to getting a table you love, choosing the correct size and shape should be a priority.

For a smaller, square space consider a round table of a scale that allows for passage around it even when the chairs are in use. There should be relatively easy access to and from the table, and it should not overwhelm the room.

If on the other hand you have a larger rectangular space, an oblong or rectangular table will likely be the wiser choice. Again, choose a table that fits proportionally in your space and allows for ease of movement within the room.

Dining Room Interior

Dining is usually a social event, so appropriate lighting is very important. Lights that are set to dimmer switches are vital to creating a level of illumination that fits the mood of your entertainment.

Most dining room interior design plans include a dramatic light directly over the table. This is a great opportunity for visual impact. Choose a light fixture that coordinates with the style of your room.

The big question many people have is how high to install the light above the table. The answer is the subject of some debate. The light should be relatively low in most cases but not low enough to block the view of one person conversing with another on opposite sides of the table. Nor should it be in a position in which you are looking into a light bulb while sitting at the table.

Elegant Dining Room

Though there is no perfect answer, many people seem to agree that in general, the bottom of a pendant style light or chandelier should be about 30” (0,76m) above the top of the table. However, you may want to go a bit higher depending on the proportions of your room. Experiment with this to find what looks and works best in your dining room interior design situation.

Additional lighting options to consider are recessed lighting installed in the ceiling and wall sconces or wall washers focused on an accent wall. Candles on the table during dinner can provide an inexpensive touch of light that adds just the right aura to your room. Consider all of these options as elements in a well rounded lighting scheme.

Do you have an architectural element such as a fireplace in your dining room? If so, you have a potential focal point of which to take advantage. Even if you don't have this desirable feature, you can create a focal point in your dining room interior design scheme with favorite artwork (arranged as a gallery perhaps) or a display cabinet (stocked with a crystal dish collection), for example. Depending on the size of your dining room you might have more than one focal point.

One very functional furniture element to include in your dining room interior design plan is a credenza (buffet) or side table. This handy element can serve as a beautiful piece of furniture and also as a place to set serving dishes and trays. This keeps the dining table itself free from clutter, yet the delicious food is close at hand. You won’t have to run back to the kitchen as often.

Mediterranean Dining Room

When it comes to flooring consider a wood, ceramic or stone type of product. These materials look the nicest, and they are easier to keep clean in the event of food spills.

You might consider an area rug to visually anchor the dining table zone. If so, consider a patterned design. It will be more likely to conceal any small stains that may develop over time. I think using an area rug makes everything looks more pulled together. However, not using an area rug on a wood floor, for example, allows a dining chair to slide in and out more easily. Evaluate what is most important to you.

You can create a dining room interior design plan that accommodates your life and style sensibilities. The final thing to do is show it off! Get those dinner invitations sent. It’s going to be a great party!

Other tips:

• Create sparkle in your dining room by including mirrored or glass elements.

• Plan your table place settings as a finishing touch to your room’s overall effect.

• Use a coordinated but different style of dining chair at the ends of your dining table for a designer look.

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