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How to re-vamp your dining room area

How to

Re-vamp your dining area

Dining table

The dining area is often an under appreciated and misused space, which in turn can turn become a place for stacking things and sorting washing. If this is the case for you, we have just the tips to getting you on your way  to reclaiming your dining room.

 

Clutter 

Declutter

Start with eliminating clutter

Clutter is too easily accumulated and seems to build up way too quickly! Clutter is the best way to create the illusion of a smaller/ messier space. Those stacks of paperwork, kids school art and random bits that really have no place are a real problem when creating a space that “wow’s”.  

Why is clutter bad 

Clutter isn’t just the random bits and bobs we collect and stack up, it’s the over-filled bookshelves and table tops. Sometimes in our best efforts to decorate our homes with beautiful décor, we end up with an overwhelming amount of “stuff” that seems to do the opposite of what we are trying to achieve. As a result, this leaves us with a space that seems too busy and almost messy.

 

1. 

When eliminating clutter, always take it one step at a time. Trying to do it all in one sweep can leave you feeling overwhelmed and disheartened.

I always like to take it one space at a time, starting at the top and working my way down. I start by taking away all of the smaller décor and trying to only leave my favourite larger items of décor. 

Research shows that the human brain likes order and having an excessive amount of objects overstimulate the brain. This can lead to anxiety, as well as giving us a sense of disorganisation. 

2.

Once you’ve taken care of the bookshelves and the table/ buffet tops, it’s time to take care of the insides of the cupboards. Even though you can’t see inside the cupboards, it seems to set off a great sense of achievement when you're organised from the inside out. 

3.

The biggest thing I struggle with, is getting rid of things. This is either because they were a gift and I feel terribly rude and ungrateful just thinking about getting rid of it. Or because it cost me hard earned money and I can’t seem to let go of it. 

The best ways I found to deal with these two problems were one; thinking about it as if it was a gift I brought for someone and they were no longer needing/wanting it. It really wouldn’t be a big deal if they got rid of it. Two; I donated them to either someone I knew that would appreciate it or to Salvos. That way you can look at it as more you gifting it, instead of simply chucking it in the bin.  

 

 

Natural Lighting

Dining room natural light

Why natural lighting

Natural lighting enhances the fresh, bright and clean feeling that gives us the homely feeling we all crave. But that’s the least of the benefits that natural lighting has to offer.

 

1.

Natural light filtered through a window has amazing health benefits starting from increasing vitamins B and D, increasing circulation which stimulates red bloods cell growth. It also increases endorphins and serotonin which in turn lessens the side effects and/or the chance of depression. 

Further to this natural light also helps improve sleep by stimulating your natural body clock. Sun exposure also assist in  reducing blood pressure and in turn may improve heart health. Not only does it have all of these health benefits, it is also known as a natural disinfectant. This is due to the UV rays from the sun, killing bacteria. that’s an easy way to get some cleaning done. These are just a few beautiful benefits that natural sunlight can bring to your home.

2.

Now how do we get it in our homes? Not everyone has the luxury of beautiful big windows. If that’s the case for you, you could try some of these little hacks before pulling out your wallet and knocking walls down. 

Firstly, cleaning what windows you do have can let surprising amount of light through. If you’ve already ticked that box, you could try adding mirrors or shiny objects across from a window. This will not only let more light in, it will also create the illusion of a much bigger space. 

Mirror dining room

Choosing to paint the house in lighter colours will also brighten the house up. Darker shades absorb the light, whereas lighter colours reflect the light, helping enhance the effects of the sun light. 

3.

If you are lucky enough to have big windows, then here are some great tips for you. Again, cleaning them can really have a big impact on how much light gets in. Changing your curtains can also make the world of difference. A popular option is sheer curtains. They allow the perfect amount of light in by filtering out the blinding brightness, creating a refreshing tone throughout the home.

 

Placement of Furniture

Is placement really that important

dining room placement

The placement of furniture can have a crazy amount of impact on whether or not you enjoy spending time in your dining room. If your dining room is set out correctly with good functionality, it will make the difference in the rooms usability.

1.

When possible, it is ideal to have the dining table close to the kitchen. The rule of thumb is to keep a distance of 92cm between the walls and the table on all sides, allowing space to walk around and to comfortably pull chairs in and out. If the space is big enough, having a sofa alongside the dining table can create a nice casual post dinner seating area for guests. 

2.

When choosing your dining table settings and buffets, always make sure to buy furniture that is in scale with the size of your dining room. Choosing too big of furniture items can make the room feel smaller and crowded, whilst picking furniture that is too small can make the room feel empty and bare. So, always keep in mind the proportion sizing when choosing the perfect furniture.

3.

Practicality is often overlooked when choosing where to position furniture. Remember to consider all uses for each particular piece. Think about things like high traffic areas and multiple use spaces. You also need to consider what items may be placed on top of the tables or buffets. For example, if you are a plant lover like me, making sure your buffet will be in a position that plants displayed on the tops will receive adequate lighting could be important. Or, if you have young kids that are still in high chairs, making sure there is space for these sorts of items could also be important.  

 

 

Light Fittings

dining room lighting

What is the best way to light up your dining room

As the dining room has many functions, making sure more than style comes into the equation is important. There are many different types and styles of light fittings  to choose from, so checking out these simple tips could help you avoid simple mistakes.

1.

We need to create adequate lighting that is bright enough for us to see the table, walls and people across from us, but we don’t want blinding glare! A great way to create the perfect lighting is to use a method that creates a layered effect of lighting. Having an individual pendant or chandelier may look beautiful, but it isn’t going to create the ideal lighting we need. The chandelier/ pendant can be adequate lighting for the dining table alone, but to finish the room as a whole, placing lighting such as led tape lighting will. You add this lighting under ledges or in coves and it works indirectly, highlighting the desired area which can really help create balance in the dining room.

2.

It is a must to have the main light fitting centred above the table. If it is not above the table, it’s highly recommended that you have it moved above the table if possible, or move your table to suit. Having the light fitting off centre can make the whole room seem off centre. Therefore, you should strongly consider the position of the light fitting when positioning your dining room table. 

3.

The tone of lighting used in your dining room does depend on the style and theme of your house, but a general recommendation is soft or neutral tones creating a calm inviting environment. 

4.

The size of the centrepiece lighting is  an another important element. Beacon Lighting recommend following the rule of, if the room is less than 3 metres wide, to keep the centrepiece lighting less than 60cm wide. They also state the importance of scale to size and how buying a pendant/ chandelier that is too big for the table, can create the table to look smaller than what it is. If the light is too small for the dining table, the table will appear even smaller. Here are some more great tips from Beacon Lighting

Plants 

Do I really need plants

YES, YES you DO! 

Ok, I’m an obvious plant lover, but let me tell you why…. I know what you're thinking, “plants mean another thing I have to look after” or “I’d love to have plants but I’m for sure going to kill them” or “I’ve tried before and failed”. 

If you have these fears, rest assure I have the perfect plants for you.

First, why you need them:

1. 

Plants are pretty amazing. Like the sun, not only do they look amazing and help improve the overall look of your home, they come with some impressive benefits. Plants act as a natural air purifier by filtering out a small amount of airborne particles and allergens, improving the air we breath. Helping improve asthma symptoms and slowing down the spread of air borne viruses. Research shows that working with plants can be therapeutic and reduce stress levels. Studies have also shown that plants improve creativity, concentration,  productivity and your overall mood. They can also act as privacy screens and can reduce noise levels. 

2.

If plants are something that you haven’t had much experience with and are concerned about keeping them alive a great starting plant is the Peace Lily. The reason the Peace Lily is so great and easy to take care of, is because it is a very dramatic plant. When it’s ready for water it completely flops, letting you know when it’s thirsty. How easy is that! All you have to do is position it in a place that you see regularly, with good sun light and you are good to go. 

Dining room plant

Here is a list of easy care plants that require minimal care and have a beautiful effect on the interior of your home. 

  1. ZZ plant has been voted #1 easy care plant by many.  

ZZ dining room

 

  1. Devils Ivy has a great rep for fast growing and easy care.

Devils ivy dining

  1. Swiss Cheese Monstera is a beautiful fast growing plant. My first Swiss  Cheese grew 3 metres in 8 months. It loves being right in front of the window where the sun hits.

Swiss cheese dining room

 

 

  1. Chain of Hearts is another beautiful hanging plant that is a stunning feature. My first chain of hearts didn’t grow well and I thought it was me, but turns out I had a dud. A point to note is that when you buy plants from Bunnings they come with a 12  month warranty, so keep that in mind, if they do die it’s not always your fault.

Chain of heart dining table

 

 

 

 

 

These are my favourites, that I am sure you will be able to keep alive! If I can do it, so can you. If you're really worried, start with the Peace Lily and it's built in reminder.

Time to get started

It may be very easy, you might only need to make some simple changes like letting more light in, removing clutter, or adding a mirror and some plants. 

Sometimes we may need to do a little more, like new light fittings or paint, but follow these easy steps and you'll be in love with your dining room before you know it! 

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