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A country-style dining room with Scandinavian influence is shown above.
A country-style dining room with Scandinavian influence is shown above.
A variety of European furnishings can create elegant dining room ambiance.
A variety of European furnishings can create elegant dining room ambiance.
“Cottage charm” can be created with simple choices similar to what is called shabby chic.

Creating a dining room that is traditional, contemporary, or country

Thursday, June 20th, 2013
Issue 25, Volume 17.
Laura Taylor
Special to the Village News
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It has been said that dining is a form of art; an atmosphere intended to encompass the presentation of food and drink, the skill of conversation, and evoke an ambiance of a certain style. Whether one desires a simple, family-friendly environment, or one with a more chic and refined tone, there are numerous ways and combinations to express creativity in this area.

Often associated with elegance, a traditional style includes classic colors, reflected in fabrics and wall hues, along with 18th and 19th century-inspired ornate wood pieces that often include curved legs and high-back chairs. If you choose to keep with a monochromatic color scheme, it can still be interesting by introducing soft patterns or textures with the use of various fabrics. A compromise to the one-color appearance is a multi-toned harmonious palette, by coordinating upholstery or window treatments of different tones to the surrounding wall color.

Contemporary décor can also be elegant, and usually reflects bold color, clean, simple lines and forms. This style often employs current fashionable materials, and has an understated sophistication.

A transitional style would relate to the mixture of both mentioned above.

Country style pertains to an informal yet comfortable ambiance, often including sturdy furniture which sometimes has a weathered look. Popular items include a whitewashed farmhouse table, chair cushions of woven, textured fabrics, or a rustic bench. The soft colors represent a casual feel.

Country French usually refers to hues from the yellow and blue palettes and resources fabric patterns such as toile (a canvas of a specific pastoral scene, depicted in a repeated pattern).

Regardless of what type of dining environment you want to create, form and function can co-exist, and these following tips apply to any choice:

An endless variety of centerpiece ideas will always be a focal point, and are easy to interchange depending on the season and event.

Candlelight can transform any room, so don’t be afraid to use a special candelabra or small collections of candles in key spots.

Colors can play a large part of the environment that you want to convey: darker colors can be more intimate, such as a rich chocolate wall paint mixed with a warm, medium-toned blue and cream combination elsewhere in the room. A white molding always helps "punch out" the contrasting color or colors

Double up on linens by using a base tablecloth with a rich color, overlaid with crisp white linen, alternating the drapery angle.

Rotating slipcovers give a fresh look throughout the seasons; and they are easier to clean than permanently fixed upholstery

Interesting textures and motifs can be expressed through area rugs, wall coverings, upholstery, window treatments, and table linens

If you have the wall space, it can be a great area to display special plates or other collections.

If replacing a light fixture, make sure the alternative offers task lighting for inevitable household, school or office projects, as well as a lower setting for a calm dining atmosphere.

Wall color always gives an updated and fresh look to any room, but if you are concerned about commitment to a color, start with a more conservative shade and introduce the more bold tones through a piece of artwork here or there. Another option is to paint one wall with that accent color or pattern, or maybe even just on a back wall of a built-in bookshelf.

If concerned about too much floral pattern having an overly feminine impression, introduce a plaid or a stripe with the associative color palette on alternating chair upholstery.

In conclusion, make sure that the space ultimately created will work with the family lifestyle, along with achieving satisfying artistic expression.



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