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From floor to ceiling, dining rooms are breaking traditions

August 11, 2014

hardwood floorsPeople often expect dining rooms to be traditional and understated. But introducing a unique lighting fixture overhead, a round table instead of the expected rectangle or contemporary flooring like Anderson's Vintage Coastal Art hardwood floor collection will turn a dining area from staid to spectacular.

With these hardwood floors, the sand dollar finish may be the element that gives a modern twist to the room design. The wide planks and seashore-inspired, variegated color fits decor ranging from rustic to modern country. Today's dining room can be all these styles with an eye for something different and a little imagination, according to Elle Decor.

The magazine featured a series of dining rooms with casual seating that may have once been reserved for breakfast nooks and tables with sleek, simple lines. Walls went beyond bold colors to instances of drapes being hung to divide dining areas from living rooms, but that can be drawn back to re-open the space at will.

However, a neutral color palette remains as popular in a modern dining room as it is in traditional ones. That's particularly true for homeowners who have a single large artwork that want to draw attention to as the room's focal point. Off-white or light gray is an excellent backdrop to brightly colored accessories or wall art in metallic frames.

Simple and contemporary
From sideboards to the dining room table and all its chairs, contemporary dining spaces often feature furniture that has clean lines rather than ornamentation or adornments, as shown in room layouts featured by HGTV. Contemporary spaces derive their beauty from this simplicity, and the furnishings are no exception.

If there's one area in which modernity has really taken a step forward in dining rooms it's the lighting fixtures. Dining areas have always been known for having one overhead light, usually a chandelier. But now the chandelier has given way to large, sculptural pieces that are both artworks and illumination. In a room with high ceilings, large installations like these can fill the overhead space.

In smaller dining rooms, homeowners who feel hemmed in by the walls can get some relief by installing a skylight that brings in natural light during the day and a view of the night sky after dark. With the absence of a single fixture centered on the ceiling, additional evening light can be supplied by lamps placed on a sideboard, a wide windowsill or a floating shelf.