Size of the room
– Obvious, but it needs to be thought out. Are you using this space for daily dining and multiple meal times, or just for special occasions. A small room can happily accommodate all meals. If you’re planning to use your dining room for special occasions, make certain you have a firm idea of how many the room can comfortably accommodate, including any pieces needed for serving and for holding extra food.
Shape of the room – Square rooms have more room to work with both in volume and wall space.
Shape of the table – Unless you have a large dining room, I prefer a table to be approximately the same shape. This way, you can purchase an expandable table without bumping into walls when it’s fully extended.
Breakfront – If you have room for a large piece, it’s great for storage and display of art and fine pieces
Buffet or Console – Works as a server or as a buffet. They look great with ‘buffet lamps’ on each end to add interest and add to the room’s layered lighting.
Lighting – You want your lighting to be flattering to your guests. Layered lighting all on dimmers gives you the ultimate in light control. The downlight from a chandelier can be most unflattering, showing all the nooks and crannies of your guests, faces. Keep chandelier lighting soft and with a pinkish tone. Illuminate hanging artwork, provide uplighting for plants and sculptures. Cove lighting around the perimeter of the room has astonishingly beautifult effects for guests and for the food.
Chandelier – should measure 30-36” from table top to the bottom of the fixture. Think about the comparative scale of the chandelier with the table open and closed. Neither should overpower the other.
Wood will eventually scratch with the back and forth movement of chairs. Many place an area rug under the table to avoid floor damage. Make certain the rug is large enough so that when the chair is pulled out, its back legs remain on the carpet. This way, chairs don’t get caught, and ruin the edges of your rug. Pick a multi-color rug that will hide the inevitable stains. I don’t prefer stone flooring; it’s cold underfoot and cold in atmosphere.
A large piece or a collection of art on the wall adds interest to the room. Illuminate the art with ceiling spots or lights that attach directly to the frame.
Window treatments should not overpower the room. Keep them simple, in the design scheme of the room, using a couple of layers for a graceful appearance and total light control. Be aware of how the windows appear to your guests arriving as they walk up the path past the dining room.
These timely hints, not costly upgrades, can assist you in dining without reservations.