Design Lesson

Design lesson: In praise of the dining room

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Design Lesson

Design lesson: In praise of the dining room

The popularity of eat-in kitchens has all but triggered a death knell for the dedicated dining room. As our lifestyles become more casual, it's perhaps the only remaining bastion of formality, the one room left for "occasion." For some of us, happy childhood memories revolve around a dining table, and many heirlooms -- our mother's tea service, grandmother's china -- come from the room as well. With the holiday season approaching, it's the perfect time to reconsider the importance of the dining room in your own family's history -- both past and future.

Dos and don'ts
DO forget everything you think the dining room should be (dark, dramatic, off-limits, formal) and make it exactly what you want it to be. Create a room that reflects your personal Lighting the dining room is an exercise in layering and subtlety. By choosing a variety of light sources, you'll create a sophisticated and flexible backdrop for every occasion. Make sure you include the following.

Ambient lighting
Typically down (or spot) lights, which allow you to move through the space with easy visibility; do install dimmers.

Decorative lighting
Includes sconces, library lights, picture lights, and table lamps with opaque or coloured shades; this lighting creates drama, drawing attention to paintings, objects and floral arrangements.

Task lighting
A focused spot or table lamp is required at the buffet or sideboard to facilitate serving.

Candlelight Always adds a glimmering finish to any festivities, whether flickering on a sideboard or casting a glow over the table.


Image courtesy of Pottery Barn.



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Design Lesson

Design lesson: In praise of the dining room