Sometimes it seems like we are in a new era for the dining room. The furniture market at High Point offered oodles of options which confirm our need to make the room enjoyable, functional and inviting. In my dining room research, I came across something interesting written by the Queen of Decorating, Dorothy Draper in 1939. Hmmm, this new era may not be so new.These same words ring true today, almost 75 years later! We want our dining rooms to be fun and enjoyable, not stuffy and uptight. Less furniture is still the right move for a modern dining room. And though Mrs. Draper suggests candles in favor of a over lighting with a big chandelier, we now have the benefit of dimmers.
TablesA dining table for 6-8 is the way to go unless you are a big entertainer, then if you’ve got the room go bigger. Tables can be wood, metal or glass. The traditional dark cherry or mahogany wood finishes have been pushed aside for more casual and user friendly options. Shape is up to you but keep in mind, round tables can seat more people however they demand bigger rooms. Even in Dorothy’s day she suggested one forgo the set of matching table and chairs. Today we welcome mixing and matching for a more personal and comfortable look.
ChairsIf there is any one item which will thrust your dining room into today, it is a modern dining chair. Add zippy patterns or colors and comfy upholstery for instant oomph. Go ahead keep the old table just get new chairs or reupholster the old ones. Hard chairs are uncomfortable chairs, even if one doesn’t have a bony rear.
Start with a suitably sized table, add some comfortable chairs to dazzle your guests and keep storage furniture to minimum but make it interesting. Toss in some lively fabrics and you’ve got one cool dining room. Dorothy’s advice still holds up. As you can see furnishing the dining room for today can be fun.
Photos: Tables – Bungalow 5, Noir, and Nuevo; Worlds Away; Chairs – Massoud, C.R. Laine and Bungalow 5; Storage – Worlds Away, Noir and Alan Copley Designs.