Dining in style sets the mood

THE dining room has many functions. For the family it is a vital space for dining, chatting and special family times. For friends the dining room transforms into a space for socialising, dining and entertainment.

THE dining room has many functions. For the family it is a vital space for dining, chatting and special family times. For friends the dining room transforms into a space for socialising, dining and entertainment.

Whether you are grabbing a midnight snack, attending to late-night supper with guests or simply catching up with the children on the way to the office, it is important to have a dining area that is stylish and convenient.

Interior decorator John Wright says there is more to a dining room than just furniture. It is more than a mere arrangement of table and chairs.

"Ideally, you should consider the colour palette, the lighting, layout, table linen and so on to create a warm and inviting ambience in your dining room.

Where do you begin? According to Heidi Iori, marketing executive at Geen & Richards, the way you decorate your dining room reflects how you live and how you feel about your home. She says the accessories you use portray your taste and style.

Where do you begin?

Iori says you can wow guests by beginning with a colour scheme that will set the mood you desire.

"Do not assume that because a colour is your favourite, it will also look good on the walls of the dining room or create a harmonious whole with the dining room furniture. Also, when choosing a colour palette, understand that what looks good in the day in natural light might not necessarily look as good or even look the same in artificial light," Iori says.

Colour tips:

l Pinks, gold and greens suggest sumptuous calm;

l Blues, whites and metallic colours lend an air of cool sophistication and class;

l Greens and whites give a fresh summery feel;

Add drama with a lavish centrepiece.

Iori says it is advisable to use flowers and leaves from your own garden.

"Arrange them in a lovely large vase or bowl. Let your imagination go wild and let your sense of showmanship and style take control," says Iori.

l Place delicious plates of food on stunning place settings. Gold is a warm and inviting colour; gold cutlery or place mats create a cosy and sumptuous atmosphere.

l Decorate your napkin on the side, use a gold napkin ring or tie it with a ribbon. Slip a leaf through the ring or ribbon and you can even glitz up the leaf by spray-painting it gold.

l Ribbons can be tied around candles and glasses for that sophisticated look.

l A hurricane lamp can be a lot of fun to decorate. Flowers or leaves can be added next to the candle according to the season or the mood you want to set.

l When decorating the dining room one shouldn't forget the rest of the room. The sideboards or dining room cabinets should also get attention by placing special ornaments or flower arrangements on them.

A large mirror can be hung up on the wall to make the space look larger than it is and to play with the reflections of light and colour.

Lighting

Light the room so that when you are seated around the table you can enjoy soft, warm lighting.

"A harsh light from above is not likely to create the mellow ambiance that you would like. Up lighters are a good way of varying the light level and ensuring it isn't too bright," says Iori.

Storage

If you want storage , cupboards can be extremely handy for storing cutlery and crockery. They also create additional surface for decoration or function.

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