The holidays are upon us and that means family gatherings all season long. If you’ve lived in a home without adequate space for a house full of guests, you know the challenges of creating a comfortable space for all guests to your home. When planning your custom home, you’ve likely built in enough space for your family and all guests to enjoy. One part of a custom home that serves groups of people for family gatherings is a formal dining room. Possibly not as common today as years ago, the formal dining room is still an important part of any home. When planning an extravagant family get-together to enjoy great food and a home full of your closest loved ones, you need a room where everyone can sit together to dine. Family functions just aren’t the same if the family has to be divided between rooms to fit everyone comfortably.
Not all events need a formal setting, but when you plan for months for a remarkable holiday dinner, it is nice to bring out the finest china in a beautiful room fit for the occasion. So, how do you design a formal dining room to mix design with comfort? Follow these tips to design the perfect room to enjoy all formal occasions and still be useful all year long.
Celebrate In Style
Just because a dining room is formal, doesn’t mean it can’t reflect your style! Think about the overall aesthetic of your home and design a room to fit your style and tastes. If you have family heirloom china that you love bringing out around the holidays, think about bringing in touches of the design of your table set into the design of the room. Don’t be afraid of color when designing your room. The holidays are times for celebration and often the home is full of color and life. Think about how you would like to decorate the table for various holidays and be sure to choose a palette that can work well with whatever table settings or centerpieces you choose year after year. Carefully consider what type of celebrations this room will host and create a room that is warm, comfortable and inviting with color, texture, and design.
Plan for Growth
Depending on the size of your family, holiday meals can get crowded. Even if you have a small family now, think about your forever home as your family grows. Someday the kids will grow older and find people to spend their lives with. Eventually, there will be grandkids around the table and an extended family to enjoy a meal with. Be sure to allocate plenty of space in your dining area to fit plenty of people as your family grows. Love the drama and elegance of a long, beautiful table as the centerpiece of your formal dining room? Consider finding the perfect table first, and designing the room to be long enough to fit the table. Don’t forget the difficulty of serving dishes with people seated around the table or needing to get up and grab something from the kitchen during the meal. Add plenty of space around where the table will sit to give you and guests plenty of comfortable space to get up, move around, and navigate safely and comfortably around the table.
Last the Test of Time
One thing we often see that scares people away from a formal dining room is the difficulty of keeping the room clean. When you have many people over for a meal and drinks, something is bound to get spilled. One easy way to combat the wear on a dining room is to carefully choose the material in the dining room. Hardwood floors are easy to clean spills or dropped food. If you want something more comfortable, consider adding a beautiful rug under the table to add design accents. Rugs are often easier to clean than carpet and can be replaced if need be. Scuff resistant paint is a good idea for this space. With chairs pulled in and out and dishes carried from the kitchen in, scuffs are unavoidable. Use materials you can easily clean and keep looking beautiful.
Lighten Things Up
When you think of a dining room, images of a dark, walled in room might come to mind. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Imagine enjoying Christmas dinner with the entire family with a view out the window of falling snow and a yard blanketed by a fresh white layer of snow. Allowing light to flood in adds more drama to the room and also helps the room look larger. If you do decide to go with windows, add curtains to block out especially bright days in case you need them. Another way to open up formal dining rooms is with a more open concept than traditional dining rooms. Keep one wall open to the rest of the home, or add sophisticated french doors into the kitchen to make bringing food in easy and clean up a snap.
This holiday season, take a look around the room and, while enjoying great food and loved ones, take a few mental notes on how your dining space could improve in your new custom home. You want your house to be the place your children and family members come back to year after year, so keep your design in mind to make sure everyone has a comfortable seat at the table. Need help getting started on your dream home? Our design consultants are standing by to help you get every detail just right. Give us a call and let us help you take your ideas and inspiration into the perfect home perfectly suited to you!