Casual Dining: How to Make Your Dining Space Stand Out
Let’s face it: most people have scarfed down a meal while standing at the kitchen counter or in front of the TV. And we’ve probably all piled up papers or mail on the dining room table as well. What is it about a large table that makes us think it would take extra work to eat there?
Let us start by saying: we love a beautifully designed formal dining room. When hosting a dinner party or celebrating a special occasion, there is something comforting in sitting down with all your loved ones at the same table. But looking back on our home remodels, we realized we don’t often put in a separate dining room. Why? Open floor plans are widely sought after, making it difficult to have a separate room for dining. In addition, homes don’t always have the extra square footage, and in homes that do, people don’t utilize formal dining rooms as often as they thought they would.
This doesn’t mean you should be eating off the coffee table every night. With endless design options and some creativity, casual dining areas have evolved into functional areas with a whole lot of style. We discuss features that make informal dining areas stand out, no matter how much space you have.
Mix and Match
Not all chairs have to be alike. Mixing and matching your seating options gives guests a choice in seating, and can help you add in color or design to a dining space. We love mixing bench seating with more traditional dining chairs.
Modern Light Fixtures
Old light fixtures feel drab and outdated. Swapping out an old chandelier for a modern fixture is an easy and cost-effective way to remodel any dining area. Directly off the kitchen, we opted for simplicity in this smaller space. The natural light streaming in through the door brightens up the area, while the light fixture adds the right amount of style.
Utilize Counter Space
If you are going to eat at the kitchen counter, you may as well pull up a seat. Stools at the kitchen island are popular because they help turn the kitchen into the central hub of the home. Family members can sit and chat while you cook, and it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a meal, even when you are short on time. Make sure your counter has enough overhang for people to sit comfortably with a meal in front of them.
Natural light makes everything better. Oversized windows next to your dining area make the entire space feel bigger, perfect for small dining spaces. If you can’t incorporate oversized windows, you can still utilize the natural light that is available with sheer curtains and keeping furniture clear of windows.
Stools at an island are great, but you can also turn an island into banquet seating. By expanding the island into an L-shape, you get extra counter and cabinet space. With a bold lighting fixture paired with comfy chairs, this is one table you’ll never want to leave.
Whether you cook like a seasoned chef or prefer take-out, live alone or have a full house, you need a place to eat. Just because you don’t have a formal dining room doesn’t mean your dining experience shouldn’t be exceptional.