Design Ideas

Skip Navigation LinksDesign Ideas > Design Articles > Hardwood Flooring
All news

When dining area gets a new room design, the family has more reason to gather

September 06, 2013

Area RugWith a renewed focus on the importance of families having dinner together, there's good reason to create a room design for the dining area that makes people want to use it every day instead of on special occasions only. Sprucing up the dining room by adding such items as a new area rug like those in Shaw Floors' Stonegate collection is one move toward making it a destination every day.

One step at a time, homeowners can watch a space evolve that's welcoming for everyday activities and still special enough for social gatherings.

"Doing that does not have to break the bank. It can be something you do over time," Family Circle magazine columnist Stephen Saint-Onge wrote in his "Designer Dad" column. "You can de-clutter, paint walls, get a new table, then get new chairs later on, add some lighting details and new artwork."

Starting out
When the magazine assigned Saint-Onge to undertake such a project, he began with a simple home design that could be accomplished with a minimum of fuss and a small budget. He broke it down to essentials first and accessorizing as the budget allowed.

The starting point, as in most makeover projects, is to choose a color scheme that will have staying power throughout different seasons and be neutral enough to coordinate with a host of solids and patterns.

Lighting is both essential and decorative. For a lighting fixture, Saint-Onge upgraded the homeowners's existing chandelier by spray painting it a new color and adding small lampshades to individual bulbs.

Homeowners can also add some architectural interest by installing cornices and valances. Either by themselves or coupled with a blind or shade, wood cornices can be painted to coordinate with the room's color plan or stained to match wood floors.

Variable furniture arrangement
A simple farmhouse table was used because it goes well with contemporary and traditional decorating styles. If there's enough space, the room can get a new look by placing the table in a different position rather than the usual vertical placement.

The arrangement of seating around the dining table can be diversified as well. For instance, a dining bench can expand seating by gathering all the chairs on the other sides of the table when more people are expected. At other times, it can be placed against a wall and accessorized with pillows or moved to another room if it's not needed.