When Bobby and I bought our house nearly eight years ago, we were over the moon to have a space that was officially our own. We had some decision-making power as it was built, such as flooring and countertop options, but the overall layout was less flexible. While we ended up loving our home (and still do!), there were some wish-list items that were just not possible; a formal dining room was one of them. Our home has an open concept for the downstairs, therefore our dining room, living space and kitchen all share the same space in one great room. I had dreamed of having a formal dining room to serve and entertain friends and family, but that just wasn’t going to happen in this home. Yet, instead of feeling disappointed or frustrated with my lack of a formal dining space, I decided to shift my mindset and work with what I had. The results? A defined and elegant dining space that I’m excited and proud to share with loved ones. Are you wondering how to upgrade your informal dining room to a defined and polished space in your home? Great news – you’re only 4 steps away!
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4 Easy Steps to a Defined Informal Dining Room
Defining an Informal Dining Room: Ground the Space with an Area Rug
Choosing an area rug for your informal dining room will define your space. Bobby often jokes that I love collecting rugs because I have so many in my home, but it’s simply because this is the number one way to quickly formalize any open-concept space! My dining room currently has an 8×10 rug, but your ideal size might vary depending on the space you have.
Worried About Spills?
We used to be! It makes sense to worry about messes when you’re placing an area rug (especially a light-colored one, like mine!) in a space where you share meals together. Messes and spills are going to happen, especially when you have little ones in your home.
However, we don’t have those worries anymore since we’ve made the switch to a Tumble rug in our dining room. Tumble offers stunning area rugs that are spill-proof and machine-washable. They’re heavy enough to lay flat, while being light enough to wash in a standard washing machine. It’s style and peace of mind in an affordable, gorgeous rug.
Want the style and stress-free peace of mind Tumble rugs offer?
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Defining an Informal Dining Room: Hang a Chandelier or Formal Lighting Fixture
When defining your dining space, we recommend finding a chandelier or formal lighting fixture that will further designate this area of your home. Chandeliers are naturally elegant and instantly create a polished look and feel to your room. When choosing the finish of your lighting, consider the colors in the rest of your room. We tend to opt for lighter hues, such as brushed gold or brass to keep the space light and airy.
Defining an Informal Dining Room: Consider the Table and Seating
To make an informal dining room look more formal, choose a table and seating that creates a polished look. For my dining room, I have a natural wood transitional table (that was actually a Facebook Marketplace find!) that I paired with cream-colored leather dining chairs. These chairs offer a layer of luxury to the space while also offering comfort to guests. Furthermore, I chose accentual end chairs to lend more visual interest and a more elegant aesthetic.
Defining an Informal Dining Room: Remember the Windows
If your informal dining room has a window in it, window treatments can be showstoppers when it comes to styling this space. To make your dining room look sophisticated and elegant, consider long, floor-length curtains in a neutral color. Allowing the curtains to gently brush the floor makes the space look larger while the neutral color blends with any existing or future decor.
The Buzz-Worthy Takeaway
Informal or not, any dining room serves as a conduit for connection. In a perfect world, I would have a formal dining room, a place set off from the rest of the house, to share a warm meal with loved ones, but it’s simply not what I have now. Instead of letting this deter me from inviting people in, it’s best to employ a mindset shift and appreciate the space I currently have.
An informal dining room is still a place to share a special meal with others. It’s still a place to gather around a table. And it’s still an area made for deep conversations and connection. Walls around this space simply don’t change any of this. So, embrace what you have with these simple steps to transform your informal dining room into a defined space and get to hosting those who matter most.
Hap-Bee Hosting, friend!
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