For a long time, my dining room was functional – and nothing else.
As a family, we dined, but that was everything. It was by no means any sort of feature in my home – which is what I crucially desired.
Unfortunately, I don’t (and probably never will) possess the budget to splash thousands on a large, dining room table – complete with bells and whistles.
It means that I have to think outside the box, and this is where today’s article should hopefully help you. I’ve described some of my ideas as hacks below; they’re not extravagant, but they can make a monumental difference to how your dining room is perceived.
Let’s get started…
I’m going to dive straight into some of the suggestions and start with flowers. Put simply, this was the easiest win on my list. One of the big problems I had with my dining table was that it lacked character. As I mentioned at the start of today’s article, it was functional; it was used for dining and that was it.
I wanted to change this and therefore turned to flowers. Initially, I considered ornaments, but I opted for flowers as I wanted to breathe some life into the space. It worked like a charm and while I have to change the flowers every few weeks, I would describe this as the most impactful ‘hack’ that I have turned to during my dining room makeover.
Of course, there was more, and another small change came via the cutlery. While I hadn’t stooped as low as using plastic cutlery, it would be fair to say that my previous set had seen better days. This was one area where I was prepared to invest, at least a little, in.
I turned to a silver set with an extra shine. The shine-factor here was crucial; it adds an element of prestige (even though the set is by no means hugely expensive). The shine rebounds from the light and as such, makes a huge difference to how my dining area is perceived.
Next, I’m going to talk about my rugs. This was a really eye-opening moment for me; up until this point, I had never known that rugs could have right and wrong configurations.
As such, I researched the size of my rug first and concluded that I needed one that stretched beyond the perimeter of the table. Choosing the material itself was fine; I’m a huge fan of stripes, so found one quite quickly. The size was the game changer though, and suddenly my dining table is much more of a focal point of the room.
Finally, I am going to talk about lighting. In truth, I could pen a dissertation on my thinking process behind this subject – there is so much information out there online.
As you may have gathered by now, this was another one of those situations that I was restrained by my budget. It’s possible to spend thousands on lighting, but I found that I didn’t have to.
There is no right answer here, but in my case I found that a cluster of pendant lights was the best solution for my room and size of dining table. Again, this was a case of bringing plenty of focus to the dining area, rather than just making it an “add on” of the room.
The Spruce: This was a really good resource for sizing my rug (I loved the tip they used about planning with tape).Ideal Home: This was one of my go-to sources for dining room lighting ideas. There are loads of options there, and it also tackles some of the dilemmas that I found during my journey.