Dining Rooms: Designing Your Perfect Space

I read an interior design book last night. Since I can’t recommend it to you, I won’t reveal the name. What I saw was a group of photographs asking the reader to choose her favorite dining room. After studying the rooms carefully, I decided that not one room presented good design for eating and conversing!

Several of the dining rooms used wallpaper in bold patterns that compete with nonexistent diners. Most of these rooms offered uncomfortable seating, either too big for intimate conversation or too little for personal comfort. The “cozy” dining rooms were cluttered with too many accessories; the “formal” and “elegant” rooms were too stiff and cold. This is how I labeled the dining rooms:

1. Cluttered Country

2. Bleak Stiff Modern

3. Wallpaper Madness Traditional

4. Cold Contemporary

5. Stark Shaker

6. Bland Eclectic

7. Pretty for Parties with Misguided Colors

8. Governor’s Mansion for Once a Year

If you want to makeover your dining room for good conversations and dining pleasure, here are a few new interior design tips from Design Psychology strategies:

1. Focus on how you and your dining partners will look in the space. Don’t overdo the accessories.

2. Use colors to enhance the appearance of people and fabrics to soften the space.

3. Choose wallpaper with patterns smaller than your palm so the pattern doesn’t compete with faces.

4. Add flowers and soft — not spiky — houseplants to bring nature indoors.

5. Provide cushioned chairs for relaxed and extended conversations.

6. Establish a theme or style that reinforces your personal design statement.

7. Color your walls to complement food and enhance taste.

8. Relax formal dining rooms with rough textures and houseplants.

Make your guests and family feel honored with a dining room designed to support conversations and enjoy eating your shared dinners.