The Anatomy of a Family-Friendly Formal Dining Room

I have two criteria I try to remember when selecting the room to feature each week:

  1. It should look designed.  You should see traces of a designers touch through the use of the principles and elements of design.
  2. The design has to be approachable, which means that it isn’t too over-the-top or look like it costs millions of dollars to replicate. I write this blog for the average homeowner interested in thoughtfully improving their home, but who doesn’t have the means to hire an interior designer.

I think the Room of the Week by Wendy Resin fits both of these criteria perfectly.  This dining room is both approachable and thoughtfully designed.  The great thing about this dining room is that it is both family-friendly and formal.  Hopefully this post can help you see that family-friendly and formal can be used in the same room!the-anatomy-of-a-formal-dining-room copyHARMONY
You can’t miss the chandelier front and center in this dining room, but it doesn’t stand on it’s own.  The color and style of the black metal frame is echoed through the space in the curtain rod and mirror finishes, and even on the vases on the table.  In a room without very many “things” it’s nice that what is present matches to keep the space simple and streamlined.

SHAPE
If you have strong architectural lines already present in a room it’s best to work with them and not against them.  So you can bet when the designer found that dining table she knew instantly it’s x-shaped legs were perfect for this room.  Replicating the x-shape created by the beams in the ceiling such a simple way to reference the existing architecture and create rhythm.

LIGHT
Filtering light is one of the most important aspects of designing a room that is used all day long.  This dining room offers multiple options (roman shades and drapery) for controlling the amount of light this room receives during the day.  And, don’t forget to address your door…it’s often the biggest window in the room.

VARIETY
Not many pieces of furniture in this room (not very many are necessary).  But, just the simple little change of using a different version of the chair at the ends of the table adds just enough variety to keep things interesting without adding additional furnishings.

PROPORTION
We can’t see the other side of this room to be 100% sure, but from what we can see it looks like rug leaves the same amount of bare wood around all the edges of the room.  And, the table fits perfectly in the center, with enough room on the sides for the chairs to be pulled out without falling off the rug.  The table is proportionate to the rug and the rug is proportionate to the room.   Mess with the proportions and you lose the balance they create.

TEXTURE
At the top of my list of features for dining room furniture is “cleanability,” probably because I have three young children. All of the textures in the room are very cleanable…perfect for a room you where food is served and eaten.  The leather chairs are easily wiped clean and their dark wood frames hide fingerprints.  The patterned wool rug easily hides stains and spills.  The wood flooring around the edges is also easily maintained.  And let’s hope those curtains are linen and washable!

What is your favorite dining room feature?

500-daisy-upholstery-nails-brass-furniture-studs-tacks-[2]-436-p copy

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