As dining room spaces continue to be re-imagined, there are also the decorative elements that add the personality to the space. Lighting isn’t optional, and as the formal dining furniture has evolved, so have light fixtures above the table. That’s not to say a beautiful crystal chandelier may not still be appreciated, but consumers who are creating these multi-functional dining rooms are also focusing on the light their fixtures deliver for varied tasks as well as the style.
“We’ve seen our customers moving away from the ornate Elizabethan multi-crystal chandelier in the dining room in favor of more modern, simplified shapes,” says Robin Gordon, Vice President of Marketing at Elk Home.
Merida notes that an overhead fixture may not be enough with all the extra activity taking place in the dining room, suggesting recessed lighting or other task lighting that also helps when the dining room is a classroom or workspace. “Through the joy of dimmer switches, it can look beautiful all the time,” he adds.
Other decorative elements such as curtains, artwork or accessories also work to elevate design. According to Penfield, feathering in personality is key to a livable space. “What do we want to look at?” she suggests. Bold wallpaper, beautiful drapery, dressing up a sideboard with fun handles…these types of details can all bring life and interest to the room. In open floor plan situations, too, decorative elements can differentiate the dining space.
Merida agrees that there’s room for personality in dining spaces. It’s a space where you can possibly add a piece of contemporary art to an otherwise traditional setting, for example. With decorative centerpieces and accents, he adds, you want to be practical too. “You want something that’s not fragile and easy to move,” he says.
As we power through this pandemic, we can expect to see dining room furnishings evolve, but it’s likely this more informal approach will continue to drive consumer preferences.
In Penfield’s design business, creating spaces for her clients is all about telling the family’s story. “We’re here to bring their story to life through the finishes and selections in their homes,” she says. What does that mean for the future of dining spaces? It’s likely we’ll continue to see that mix of styles and configurations as we move forward.