According to traditionalists, a dining room must have a formal matching dining room set, preferably wooden. In a traditional home, these rooms are used only for special occasions or the occasional gathering, much like the good china and silverware. To complete the traditional setting, add lace doilies, a crystal chandelier, and an oversized Oriental rug. Keep the children out, wrap it all up in plastic, and you get the picture: it’s a room that’s rarely used.
Modern homeowners, however, want to use the dining room for everyday use. Fortunately, furniture and decorating trends have moved in the same direction, bringing the once little-used room back into the mainstream of daily living.
The first change is one that has been happening for years. Trends continue to make the dining room less formal and more livable. Take off the plastic wrap and break out the everyday dishes. Here are some other trends.
Dining Room Tables
The recycling craze has influenced the design of newest dining room tables. Furniture made of recycled wood has become commonplace. Chopping blocks, no longer relegated to the kitchen, have begun appearing in dining room furniture.
Moreover, an industrial look is replacing the shabby chic trends of yesterday. Thick, recycled, roughhewn wood paired with a silver or gunmetal base and legs have become accepted into the mainstream.
The industrial look is inviting for a number of reasons. Homeowners at Rug & Home love the sturdiness of the wood and metal furniture. Not only is it trendy, but it’s practical. These dining tables ably set the stage for a meal and then serve as the worktable for the kids’ homework or latest school project.
Plus, these tables will last. They often weigh more than a small car.
Dining Room Chairs
Traditionally, a dining room set requires a matching set of six or eight chairs, whether the dining table is used daily or just for special occasions. The latest trend, though, encourages mismatched chairs, creating a much more informal appearance that decorators and homeowners alike love.
Have you ever gone shopping for dining rooms chairs and found a half dozen that you loved, but felt driven to choose one and order seven more to match? Now you can buy one of each. You can mix colors, fabrics, and styles. Place a traditional Queen Ann chair beside an industrial gunmetal seat. Set a few chairs around the table with seat cushions beside plain wooden seats.
If you want something really different, good news: the bench is back. Benches have become an integral part of the communal dining spirit that’s transforming eating areas around the country. Benches can be made of recycled wood and matched with similar chairs, or they can stand on their own, covered in leather in complete contrast to your ladder-back chairs. Alternatively, go with two benches and two side chairs.
Regardless what you choose, remember that dining rooms are now considered informal places to eat every day. Make your dining room a comfortable extension of the rest of your home.