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After what seems like the longest winter in Colorado history, it is finally warming up and feeling like spring. When we think of the spring season, the word nurture comes to mind - nurturing our bodies with sunshine and fresh air; nurturing our family and friends with gatherings and celebrations. Most of our clients love to entertain at home, so a dining room that is both beautiful and comfortable is one of our top design requests.

Just like every other room in your home, the first step in designing a dining room is to consider how you plan to use your space …. how do you imagine yourself using the room? Some of the questions we ask when we begin with our clients include, “Is your dining room for special events only? Or will you be eating all of your family meals around this table? Will you be entertaining every weekend or hosting occasional events like holidays and celebrations? Do you need to accommodate large gatherings with both adults and children? Or do you prefer intimate adult only dinner parties on the more formal side? What is the feel you are hoping to achieve in this space? All of these answers will heavily influence the overall design direction of the room. We take everything into consideration so our clients will be able to host with comfort and ease.


Once we have an idea of our client’s desired aesthetic, the next step is to evaluate the size and layout of the room. As with all of our designs, our goal is to maximize the space both visually and functionally. It goes without saying, the larger the room, the larger the dining table. A rectangular room will work best with a rectangle or long, oval-shaped dining table and possibly a series of two or three chandeliers. A large, square-shaped room may call for a round dining table with a dramatic chandelier over the center of the table. For more specific tips on optimal furniture dimensions and dining room layouts, see our blog post “ENTERTAINING RULES”.


Once we determine the floor plan of the room, we turn our attention to the shell - the walls and ceilings in the dining room. We always look for opportunities to elevate the space by adding architectural details like millwork and molding to the walls and ceilings.


Since the layout of the room often dictates the size and shape of the table, the chair selection is important to set the tone of the design. We carefully consider the silhouette, fabric and finishes to add style and personality. Fabric selection depends on the use of the room - we often choose leather or indoor/outdoor fabrics for rooms with heavy use. If we are trying to create a visual separation with more of a formal feel, we use tall backed chairs, if our clients are looking for more of a casual, open and airy space, we use chairs with a lower back in a muted tone so the surrounding rooms can flow together. We love how beautiful, comfortable chairs can make a big design statement while inviting your guests to relax, linger and truly enjoy the space.


Besides the chairs, lighting is another opportunity to inspire the design of a room. A chandelier can be a sculptural work of art on it’s own, so this is often a great place to splurge. We love the impact of lighting in a space, sometimes it’s the starting point for the entire design. The presence and visual weight of the chandelier is extremely important - a spacious room with a large table may require a series of two or three chandeliers.


We always recommend a rug to soften and balance all of the hard surfaces and to serve as an anchor for the room. We love to use textured rugs to warm things up and complement the other fabrics and finishes in the space.


The final layer in all of the rooms we design is called the lifestyle layer, which includes art, plants and accessories. Our favorite finishing touches in the dining room are large scale artwork, potted trees, and a simple centerpiece on the table such as an oversized, low-profile bowl with fresh, living moss. We think your guests and food should take center stage at all of your gatherings so we tend to keep accessories and styling to a minimum.

Our goal for every home is a seamless flow from room to room, but we love creating dining rooms that feel a little extra special to nurture your family and friends.

Kristen Thomas