Dining in style

 98R0563 EditedThe new year is the perfect time to get your dining room in tip-top shape for family gatherings, incorporating on-trend elements that will freshen up the space and make it more inviting. Anton Odendaal, from leading furniture retailer Rochester, offers some inspiration with the latest dining room trends and advises on how make this space look so good you’ll want to use it as often as possible.


Mix n match

“You can completely transform a dining suite with a new set of chairs,” says Anton, adding that they needn’t even necessarily all be the same type of chairs. “An assortment of chairs in different styles is a huge trend at the moment. It creates a more personalised look and adds an informal touch to the traditional dining room, which has always been a bit predictable and stiff,” notes Anton. Try a combination of seating arrangements such as high-back chairs, stools, or even a bench. Even opt for different finishes such as linen slipcovers, leather or fabric upholstery. Just be sure to keep one element, such as the colour, the same on each chair, so that they all harmonise with one another.

For a more dramatic look go for high contrast with light coloured chairs and a dark wood table. “Working with contrast is a decorator’s secret weapon, as it’s an easy way of creating visually stimulating contrast, without overwhelming the space,” notes Anton.  He says: “Not everybody fits the same mould, which is why Rochester allows their customers to mix and match its wide selection of dining tables and chairs for a bespoke end result that work for your particular space and style. The choice is yours”

Light the way

“Transform your dining space with a variety of light sources,” says Anton. Floor-to-ceiling windows or skylights are a great way to bring in natural light, making the space feel more open, and incorporating the indoor outdoor trend we’re seeing everywhere at the moment. Whilst an eye catching light fixture hung low above the dining table makes the space feel more magnetic, creates a focal point in the room, and provides light exactly where you need it. “Just be sure to choose a light fitting that suits the size and style of the room. And don’t forget soft candlelight – it instantly changes the mood,” advises Anton.

Store all

 98R0667Storage is essential for a streamlined clutter-free dining space, and there are ample ways of incorporating storage solutions that not only serve a practical purpose but look good too. A sideboard is a great starting point in any dining room, as they are purpose-made for storing all your dinnerware, cutlery, placemats, tablecloths and napkins behind closed doors, allowing you to display your beautiful objects and artwork on top of it to create a focal point in your dining room. A built in bench with hidden storage underneath is also a great option for small spaces, whilst a plate rail allows you to take advantage of vertical space.
If your dining room does double duty as a home office or library, then clever storage solutions are even more important. “Dining rooms that are only used on special occasions can be put to work on a daily basis by turning them into a multiuse space. Incorporate shelves or a grand bookcase where books can be displayed, acting as a beautiful backdrop for your dining room. And include a cabinet or an armoire where office equipment such as your printer can be hidden and all your paperwork and laptop can be stashed away when guests come over for dinner,” says Anton, pointing out an Augusta Display Cabinet which feature both open display shelves and storage behind closed doors. Anton also advises that you opt for hard wearing upholstery in darker colours for you dining chairs so that they can hold up to the extra traffic.

Take your cue from nature

“An all neutral colour palette and natural materials lend themselves wonderfully to a dining area. The trick is to mix a variety of textures and layer,” says Anton. Start with a timeless dining table with plenty character, such as the genuine plantation-grown hardwood pieces in the Bexley range for example, to add warmth to the space. Linen or microfiber chairs set upon a traditional area rug in muted tones adds another layer to the look. Then top off the look with green accents such as a striking floral arrangement, dinnerware or napkins. “If done right, a neutral dining room is anything but boring, yet it will offer you longevity of style,” nods Anton. And with bespoke services offered you can even bring in your own fabric to further customise your look to suit your needs and style.

Contributed by Rochester