My girlfriend recently decided to turn her large but mostly unused formal living room into a dining room to better accommodate family get togethers. Great idea, right? I thought so, too, but the process turned out to be more of a project than she thought it would be, mostly because the new room is so much bigger than her previous dining space.
In a small or average sized dining room, you’ll usually have space for a table with seating for six or eight and either a buffet OR a china cabinet, but not both. The space and shape of the room will normally dictate where you’ll place these items. Throw up a mirror and a couple of pieces of artwork and call it a job done.
But in a large or long dining room, there are more decisions to be made. Larger rooms need larger chandeliers. Maybe even two. A large room can often feel “flat” without decorative moldings or wallpaper to give it added dimension. A large room can easily handle a sideboard and a buffet. Large rooms also benefit from larger artwork and larger mirrors.
For inspiration as I help her tackle this space, I’ve gathered together some ideas for creating drama in a dining room that might be larger than average and therefore need more decorative elements to help it feel “finished.”
First, consider adding wallpaper or a mural to give the space visual interest and dimension.
Check out these incredible murals from Mural Sources! This one is of an “idyllic Virginia coastline.” This would be gorgeous along one long wall in a dining room.
Built-ins are always a great way to add practical storage as well as depth, dimension and a feeling of coziness.
A large room or long table can easily handle two chandeliers instead of one. Two lighting fixtures are practical, providing consistent lighting for large gatherings, and also add elegance and drama. Just remember to put those babies on dimmers!
Oversized artwork always works on a large expanse of wall. This room doesn’t have any mill work or crown molding to add interest, but the large print in the dark frame adds drama and contrast on the light walls.
The dark mirror in this otherwise light and bright room accomplishes the same task, reaching all the way to the ceiling and drawing the eye upward. Imagine if the mirror were only half the size?
Last, consider adding wainscoting, crown molding or mill work to add dimension to the walls.
You could argue that this room needs artwork or a mirror, but the mill work adds so much interest that the wall becomes a feature.
The dining room below, with it’s pale, neutral palette, would fall flat without the built-ins and wainscoting. With it, the room is full of architectural interest.
And here we have the ultimate in stunning mill work and lighting. I. Can’t. Even. with this dining room. See this entire INSANELY gorgeous 1920s colonial here.
Wanna take your dining room up a notch? Contact me to make an in-home appointment!