Share with some flair!

Elegant Home: Making an Elegant Home Series

Part 2: The Dining Room

This is the second part of my series An Elegant Home. We will look at the Dining Room and see how we can make it a more elegant space. When you are entertaining at home this is a very important room that is used quite often. This is the room where people are sitting and usually spending a lot of time. If you have an extra dining room where you only eat a couple times a year, I ask you to reconsider eating there more often, maybe only once a week. It should be enjoyed more, because eating together is an occasion in and of itself. Make an effort to enjoy each other in that room. We should celebrate the fact that your family is together, healthy and happy. [bctt tweet=”Eating together is an occasion in and of itself! Celebrate by making your #diningroom elegant #ElegantLivEveryday” username=”Elegant_Living_”]

WHAT IS A DINING ROOM REALLY…

  • It sparks long conversations. 
  • There are heated debates
  • Loving gazes
  • Moments both good and bad
  • This is where we traditionally break bread even with our enemies (which as a teen, was my sister!) and nurture our souls and ourselves.
  • A dining room isn’t only where we eat but where we influence our families. 
  • Memories are constantly being made. Getting home from school and starting your homework on the table. 
  • Where we got in trouble and sent to our rooms before dessert, or where our parents pressured and drilled our boyfriends with all sorts of irrelevant questions (like “Are you planning on getting any tattoos?”)… because it matters…
  • This room is where we would sneak the food we didn’t like to the dog under the table
  • Played monopoly as kids until 2 in the morning and practically falling asleep sitting up, but “we aren’t tired.”
  • “Elbows off the table “ was a frequent saying every night
  • There was always a handy towel to sop up any spilled milk that happened too often. 
  • This was where we tasted our first sip of wine and felt all grown up
  • Or when you just moved in with your new husband and you accidentally burn the pork chops to the point of almost inedible and your hubby lovingly ate all of it with a smile.  
All this magic happened in the dining room. We might overlook the importance it has in our life… but frankly, it’s huge. We should treat it as that and give it the love it deserves. Let’s make it elegant and a place that inspires more than just feeding ourselves.     Unfortunately, we are eating as a family less and less. Even when the odd time that we are eating all together, we are sometimes in the living room surrounding the television. I feel like if we try our hardest to make an effort in making our home elegant, this could mean more meals together. I feel like if we make an effort, our families will notice and possibly do the same.   So to bring back this lost and necessary tradition, we should make the room as comfortable as possible and why not add a touch of elegance.

LET’S WALK IN WITH WIDE EYES

What do you see? What is the condition of the table and chairs? Are they clean or dusty? If you don’t spend much time eating in your dining room then you will actually be quite surprised at how dusty the chairs and the feet of the table can get. What does the fabric look like? Is it time to be reupholstered? Maybe it just needs a good cleaning. See what you can do. I have this wonderful little electrical carpet cleaner and honestly, it is amazing. It takes stains out with extreme ease. (I personally recommend purchasing one, it’s great for little rugs and stains, even the car.) Sometimes it just needs a serious cleaning. A bit of bleach diluted with some water and elbow grease can really bring new life into your table. It’s shocking at how much grime can accumulate after time. After the good scrubbing, polish the wood with a good conditioner and let out the shine of the wood. Spend time on this, love them. This set of furniture is the most important part in your dining room and it needs all of your full attention. Unfortunately, if it’s time to buy a new set, be prepared to spend quite a bit because it is very expensive! If you buy classic, you will be very happy you did so because if taken care of properly, it can last a life time.

LITTLE DETAILS

Change the air vents, this can be done cheaply by going to a home renovation store. We bought ones that have a design in them, so they are not classic or timeless at all. However, because they are not that expensive, we can afford to do so. These will last a few years, and when they go out of style, by spending an extra fifty dollars can change the room. These are the little details that someone might not notice directly, but that it is a little something in the room. A little tip, that we found out the hard way, there are many different sizes these grates come in. Some even differ by only an inch. Be prepared by measuring the inside of the hole and that way you can ensure a proper fitting vent. There are so many to choose from, enjoy the process of seeing what ones add that little touch to your room.    

LIGHT SWITCHES

If you haven’t yet and wanted to, change the light switches. This honestly what a belt is to pants. It just gives such a great updated look. Start in one room and follow through with the rest of your home as we go through it. A few touches like that really can bring a room into the modern day without spending too much. It really isn’t difficult either and the finished look is clean and neat. Plus there are so many different styles now!

THE PERFECT LIGHTING

Another little detail is the light fixture. This is a lot more expensive then I would have ever thought. But when I went to the local store to see some ideas, I couldn’t believe the ones I like a lot were a few hundred dollars. My husband just said I have expensive taste, but when I looked at other ones, they were all roughly the same amount. If you’re ready to dish out a bit then I say, go ahead! If not, there are many stores that sell used ones and they are much cheaper. I love pinteresting new ideas for light fixtures, there are so many creative people out there with great ideas. Do take in mind that it depends on how much lighting you want in the room. I usually find a simple chandelier does wonders for lighting and for the ambiance of the room. Now there are different lighting methods, such as LED which are a bit pricier but can really help on the electrical bill. I can attest to that because we changed all our bulbs when we got LEDs on sale and it was a dramatic difference. So don’t be too scared away from the initial investment. An always good choice is to purchase one that is simple, classic and will last through all the time. It is one time expense and when you have it for years, it end up being cheaper than just buying into the trends.

TO TABLECLOTH OR NOT TO TABLECLOTH

When there is a holiday where it is more formal, I love my crisp white table cloth. It just fits the occasion nicely. For almost all other times, use place mats. There much easier to clean and they are very versatile. Since they are cheaper, you can buy a few for different days or seasons of the year. I also like to add a table runner. Be creative and check out awesome ideas on Pinterest. I have some really amazing pins under Elegant Table Runners. Let the character of the table speak for itself when not clothed with a table cloth.

AREA CARPET….MAYBE

I am a bit on the edge when it comes to a rug in the dining room. Where it does add a touch of coziness it also attracts crumbs and mess. Do you want to be vacuuming constantly? If not, then I would stay away from an area rug. Maybe if you don’t have young children, I would ask you to consider it. But do realize, as it does look nice, it is not necessary and that money can go somewhere else. 

ACCENT WALL

These are all the rage right now, and rightfully so. They are awesome! I adore accent walls. Seeing as my husband and I love neutrals, the accent wall just gives it that extra pop that is needed. I get genuinely excited over accent walls because since they are smaller, you can change the frequently and it not cost that much. After doing so, it changes the room in a huge way! Do consider adding an accent wall, preferably one that doesn’t have any windows and is the smaller of all the walls.

HUTCH OR BUFFET?

This is one I have been seeing in many pictures and watching home decorating shows (yes I know, I am pretty boring), I have seen many formal dining rooms without a china cabinet. But, I like it! We have a china cabinet and I find it to be bulky and kind of a dust collector. Sure they are useful because we store many things in there like our chargers, china, and fragile figurines, but I am sure we could find another spot for all of it. I see the buffet table much more. It is nice because it acts as another space to put dishes or other plates. It still can store china or other important pieces. However, the drawback is that it doesn’t display them. I say, if you already have a hutch, love it, clean it, and display all your beautiful and unique belongings. If you’re looking into buying a dining room set, steer clear and purchase a buffet.

A FEW RULES TO KEEP FOR AN ELEGANT DINING ROOM

1)    Stick to only a few colors. No more than four (including the accent wall) 2)    Have at least 1 white, cotton table cloth 3)    Have a few different sets of place mats for the different times of the year 4)    Cloth napkins are a must, preferably in white and if you’re feeling festive, get the better quality festive disposable napkins 5)    A unique and timeless centerpiece. This can be as simple or as extravagant as you would like   6)    Have different lighting options (candles are included) 7)    Sit down and  ask yourself, “how do you feel?” if the answer consists of relaxed, invigorated, excited, calm, then you are on the right path. If it makes you feel anxious something needs to be fixed   And the most important! 8)    When you eat, only food and dishes allowed! When you’re eating, all the family’s focus should be eating together.
  • No paperwork
  • No electronics 
  • No toys 
  • No television
  • No hurrying through the meal just to get back to social media
Having an elegant dining room doesn’t take much inspiration. Everyone loves to have a meeting place where the family can sit and discuss. Make this room the best you can with everything you can. You deserve it, your family deserves it, and you will reap many benefits from sitting down as a family for dinners.     Until next time,   Unleash your elegance!  Check out the first installment of Elegant Home Series This is not a sponsored post.    

Let's Keep it Elegant!

I would love to keep in touch with you! Connect with all my social media accounts and let’s keep the conversation going!