Saturday, September 8, 2007


The dining room or area ,nowadays,it is more than just a room primarily dedicated to eating.These days,it serves beyond it's conventional use as a mere eating place.In urban Kuala Lumpur,combining functions in the dining room is not unusual,especially families with school children or young couples bringing laptop home from work.Here,around the table ; children do their homework's or friends gather for a game of cards.Hence,your dining room is a hub for doing things with your family,friends and guest around.Of course,when you have the luxury of a separate dining room ,this is will generally be the grandest and best room in the house.

At a first glance,the dining room seems to be the easiest of all to furnish.What's required is a table,some chairs,perhaps simple draperies and light that would go well with the rest of the furnishings.What more does one needs?The answers lies not in what you need but what suit your lifestyle!

  • Do you entertain often?

  • How many other multiple functions does it serve?

  • Your budget and space constraints

  • Any storage or display cabinets?

  • Number of seating?

  • Your color scheme preference.

  • The wall treatment and lighting requirements.

These factors have to be taken into consideration when planning and designing.Living in an apartment should not deprive you of dressing up the dining area;with ingenious planning,it can add to the character of the whole house.Constraints can be overcome with careful planning and with some creative efforts.

Here are some easy tips to guide you as you plan about furnishing your dining room.Keep in mind that if you want to have a knockout look for your dining room,a simple approach can be just as effective in creating a formal dining set-up.Just remember simplicity often gives the best results!


Rule of thumb,when you buying table or chairs,is to make sure it is suitable for the space you have-you need to be able to push our chairs back and move comfortably around.If you plan to have a side cabinet or display table,that space should be factored in as well.For smaller space,it is good idea to have extendable table or a table with folding flaps that can be used for those occasional big gatherings.The standard height of a dining table is 75cm (30")but the length and diameter varies according to designs.

There are other interesting shapes available in the market like oval,hexagonal and even octagonal if you are adventures!Do remember to have aside a 'lazy susie' if you have a large table to make access to the food easier.

Traditionally,dining tables are made of varnished wood,but in this modern era,we have glass,laminated or spray painted taps; combined with metal legs. The overall look is your choice and your style- modern or traditional.Do keep maintenance in mind,especially if you have a young children at home.

As for chairs, most popular types are also made of wood in various different shapes and designs with upholstered seats.Choose comfortable chairs with armrests and padded backs if you are the type who lounges wine or have after-meal activities with guests.Note; unless you have abundant space, chairs with armrests do not tuck all the way under the table, so it will take up additional width in the room or area.

You can also buy a dining suite to save you the hassle.Just pick the right style you wanted then set it up.Or some people opt to buy tables and chairs separately which can be very interesting and challenging. Mix and match is fun but the wrong choice choice can end up as a visual eyesore-so do exercise extreme care.


Your dining room wall surfaces do not have to be quite as robust as in other rooms of your home but it should be easy to clean.Do not have all the walls in the same color or textures; dress up the walls, as it completes the look of the dining area,and it helps creates the ambiance of coziness.Some designers use some mirror as a feature to help expand the illusion of space ,making the whole room look bigger.Wallpaper is also excellent for decoration.This would give your dining room personality and interest.If you want to project a richer textural look , fabric can be applied as wallpaper and can be changed seasonally-just ensure you treat them for easy maintenance.

Avoid choosing wall covering that is in independent from floor / rug choice. Take into consideration that textures and patters for dining room wall and floor should be coordinated very well.

Another good option is wood paneling,generally slightly costlier but it has good sound absorbing qualities.

Another common approach is to knock down a wall and use a well designed divider to separate the dining area.This is an effective and excellent choice when the layout is odd or room is small.Additional storage or display space can then be incorporated into part or whole of the divider.


As your dining area is generally adjacent to the living area, make it transition that is natural and easy by relating colors in both rooms.Wheel co-coordinated color scheme are pleasant to the eyes while an occasional spots or dash of colors gives vibrancy and adds freshness.This can be achieved through the colors of the chosen window fabrics; an interesting wall painting ; feature wall or even with coloured chairs! Sometimes, a large colourful flower arrangement as a center piece of the dining table can be just the final finishing touch.


If the dining rooms as dual-purpose dining areas have windows,you can dress it up with whatever curtains, shades and shutters that may take your fancy.

With curtains, you can summon up traditional feeling with deep gathers,simple cord ties and a decorative curtain rod in creating an outstanding visual elements.It should draw attention but won't overpower the table visually.Lights concealed behind a valance can enhance the effects of any soft windows dressings.Whereas if you opt for blinds,so add a dash of color or shades.

The important principle at work here is symmetry.The dramatic drapes,color,table,chairs,floor plans are balanced to the point of being synchronization.Even the accessories and fixtures in the room,should reflect the room's symmetry.


A dining room is often used at night , so proper lighting is essential.Chandeliers always give a touch of elegance,but one must extremely careful not to place a large ornate chandelier in a very small room.We should aim to achieve balance in looks and illumination using layers of lights.

Take note that dining room lighting should fulfill two functions: first and foremost ,the lighting must make the food appetizing by bringing out its varying color and textures.Secondly.the lighting's must set the mood for you to relax.

Dining room lighting should emphasize on the table .This means that the tables take the central role of illumination and it should be evenly lit.If the room is being designated for formal dining as well as doubling up for the purpose.It's good to make ensure that the lighting works for both purpose.It is important not to shortchange your vision in the dining room-particularly if you use them for multiple functions.

Let your imaginations runs.In today's more eclectic decor,even casual homes can have elegant dining rooms with classy lighting fixtures.Just remember to keep the artificial lighting level low,but bright enough for people to see what they are eating.Check the height of any hanging light fixtures to avoid glaring situations.

Besides the main light at the center of the table,you can add valance or cornice lights,up lights, table lamps on side or serving table or ceiling spots and down-light; this gives great flexibility to achieve the correct ambiance for whatever the occasions.

Lastly, one of the must have is dimmer switches which are inexpensive and extremely useful.You can turn the lights up when you need them,then down to a candlelight's glow at dinner time.It is ideal to have separate dimmers in ensuring that the main light are turned down once dinner are seated, while the other lighting fixtures are adjusted for gentle accent lighting for painting ,objects,window treatments, side table etc.It is make achieving layers of lights easy and possible to suit any occasions.


In decorating a dining area,consider both function and beauty in mind.Adding some accessories will make the room look complete.Do not clutter nor leave too many empty spaces or corners.Adding some indoor plants,a craving or statue can enhance the whole ambience of the place.If space allows, add a tall display cabinet to showcase some family treasures or a low cabinet for some ornaments to be placed on top.

Dining is a special events and should always be treated as such.Hence, no matter how small the room or informal is your home,you can always achieve gracious and charming atmosphere by blending harmonious and balancing elements.The right finishing touches should complement surrounding furnishings and accessories while achieving balance and completing the final look.


Setting a table well can create a relaxed ambience for us to enjoy your food.A well-laid out table will always help ensure a positive eating experience.Silver ware, matching china, embroidered table cloth, maths and napkins are the norm for a formal dining experience.For the casual parties or normal day to day dining,colour can still be introduced through smaller items like coloured coasters or special shapes table mats to live up the mood.

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