Why formal dining rooms are making a comeback

In recent years there has been a growing trend for dining rooms to have been knocked through into larger open plan living spaces or turned into offices or media rooms, but there is also a strong contingency who are going all out to retain their formal dining rooms.

Those who love entertaining love having a separate room to show off their food and hosting capabilities, and there is no need for this space to be dull and boring, far from it!  The great thing about having a formal dining room is that it can really demonstrate your personality in a way that you can’t get away with in other areas in the house.

Because there has been a return to socialising within the home, with dinner parties and entertainments, people are keen to decorate and furnish their formal dining areas in a modern way, with popular features such as dramatic fireplaces, wall coverings and window dressings where applicable, lighting effects and very ornate furniture.

Dining rooms are not only simply for eating, they allow family and friends to gather to drink wine, play board games and generally catch up, so although they are multifunctional, they are a space that lends itself well to having a strong theme.

Some would argue that the dining room should carry on an interior design theme from the rest of the house whereas others like to make a complete contrast.  Some simple ideas to encourage the formal dining room feel are:

  • Centring the dining table which instantly makes a space feel grand, especially when it is fully dressed for the occasion.
  • Focal art pieces on the wall/s to draw the eyeline to where you want it to go. Ornate mirrors or furniture do this well too.
  • Dimmable lighting, or zoned lighting for mood, with a standout chandelier or set of pendant lamps over the dining area.
  • Integrated sound systems allow music to complement the occasion and utilising digital controls on smartphones.
  • One or two impact pieces, rather than going will and filling the space with as many opulent items as possible.
  • Changing the flooring can have a huge spatial and visual impact. You don’t have to just stick to carpets….even changing to floorboards with a different direction can enhance your dining room considerably.
  • Balancing the space available symmetrically can help make your room feel more finished.
  • If you have a plainer room, add some brighter patterns or bolder designs for interest and a few pops of a favourite colour.
  • Ensure that you have catered for your storage space, there is no point having a stunning design if you have to hide clutter each time you invite your guests in.
  • A bigger rug can change the dimensions of your room visually. Be bold with your floor covering.