Hello , everyone .
Welcome back to the channel .
I'm Julie .
And today you are joining me on a brand new episode of design hacks .
Five things .
Every dining room needs .
You loved the last episode of Five things .
Every living room needs .
I also have a design hack for the bedroom and a design hack for the whole house .
So of course , we're turning this into an entire series and today we are breaking down the dining room , I would say next to the kitchen , there is no other room in the home that as much usage than the dining room , the dining room is not only a gathering place for family meals , but you also could be using it as a makeshift work from home office .
The kids are probably doing their homework every evening or it's really just a gathering place for you to have family game nights and entertain .
I want to break down the fundamentals .
So you know exactly what needs to go into a dining room , all of the extras and the things that are absolutely unnecessary .
So let's jump right into it .
The first thing every dining room needs is clearly a dining table .
Now , you might be scratching your head , especially if you're starting with a blank slate .
What size to get , what material to get , what shape to get , I mean , what finishes are great .
So I really want to break that down for you .
The size of the dining table should be proportional to the size of the room .
And of course , your family's needs .
If you have a family of six members , you want to get a table with at least six seats if you only have two members in the family .
But you know that you entertain a larger dining table might be the best option for you if you don't understand scale and proportion .
Definitely check out my video on common design mistakes for the dining room .
I break down the size of the room , how to measure the room for the dining table .
But a good rule of thumb is to leave at least 36 to 42 inches away from all of the walls and all of the passages .
And that would be the maximum size dining table you can get .
Once you have that dining space measured and mapped out the shape of the dining table should mirror the shape of the room .
If you have a square shape room , the shape should either be a square or a round table .
If you have a longer room than you do wide , you ideally want to specify a rectangular dining table or an oval dining table .
Now , if you wanted to get in a regular size shape , like maybe it's an octagon or maybe it's an oblong or maybe it's a live edge wood table .
You want to pay attention to the length and the width .
So of course , if it's more squared , more round , more long , more wide , think about those things .
As you're specifying the shape of the table in relation to the shape of the room .
Let's break down the ideal material choice for you .
Wood is a very classic and solid option .
Of course , there are so many different types of woods out there .
There's solid wood , there's wood veneer , there's distress veneers , there's distressed wood , there's stained wood .
I mean , the list goes on and on .
Wood is a very obvious and easy choice because it comes in so many different stains and colors .
I've had glass tables which are very easy to maintain , bring a lot of light into the space , but of course , it's not that kid friendly since it's very fragile .
I love a natural stone top .
It's so easy to clean , but be careful about the maintenance , natural stone is porous .
So it does require that you maintain and seal it when you're trying to source and specify the correct dining table material for you .
Always think about your budget , your family needs and of course , the level of maintenance that you're willing to invest time and money in the next item on the list is dining chairs .
Now , how many dining chairs do you need in relation to the table that's going to be up to you and your family needs as well .
But obviously you want to measure the length of the table in relation to how many people are seated on each side , you typically need between 24 and 30 inches of seat space per person for everyone to be seated comfortably around the table .
So of course , you'll just kind of measure every 2 ft on the length of the table and plop in two head chairs .
If it's a rectangular or oval table , if you have a round table , the smallest size that you can get away with for four people is probably 36 to 42 inches .
Let's talk about arms versus no arms .
When should you specify a side chair , which is armless versus a chair that actually has arms .
For me personally , I love to have chairs with arm breasts on them .
It's just more comfortable , especially when you're seated at the dinner table all night .
I mean , you never know when a meal is going to turn into like after dinner , drinks and you're kind of just and out playing board games afterwards .
So I want my guest to be as comfortable as possible .
Another detail to really hone into is you want to make sure that the arms slide neatly underneath the thickness of the table top .
If it doesn't , then clearly it's going to take up so much room outside of the table that you need to be able to factor that in to the space that you have allotted .
Let's talk about the materials of the dining chair .
There's spills , there's stains , there's all sorts of things that can happen during dinner .
So of course , you want something that's super easy to clean .
I love performance fabrics myself .
I'm actually sitting on one of my dining chairs now and I've reupholstered it in a designer velvet .
The velvet is a poly velvet cotton blend .
So if there are spills , there's stains , it's so easy to wipe off with a wet wipe or a wet cloth .
And I can just simply vacuum it right up .
But if you're not committed to that level of maintenance , then you want to opt for something with a solid surface .
It could be wood , it could be metal , it could be acrylic .
Just think comfort and function .
The next item on the list is a fabulous lighting .
Now , where does this light fixture go ?
Of course , this is very conditional and it really does depend on the height of your ceilings .
But even with my super low , like 7.5 ft ceilings , I still manage to put a semi flush mount over the dining table .
You want to look for overhead lighting , whether or not it's task general or a fabulous statement chandelier to lay right over the dining table center .
If you have a longer table , you can offer two pendant lights to flush mounts to semi flush mount .
So you distribute the amount of light evenly across the table .
The goal is to look for something that makes a really huge statement in the dining room because there's only so many components .
If you want more tips on how to specify the perfect light fixture for your dining room .
Definitely check out my video design mistakes for the dining room and I have two really great lighting videos , one in which I talk about scale proportion , finish shape , size and the other one links over 100 of my favorite light fixtures for under $500 .
I know you're sure to find something that you absolutely love for the dining room .
I also dive into detail , the correct placement of the light and how far to hang it above the dining table .
A good rule of thumb is to always start at 36 inches above the dining table's surface top .
And of course , depending on what the fixture looks like , you can kind of go up from there too low and you're infringing on the surface table top and you'll always be bumping your head too high and you're not lighting up the surface table top properly .
So there is a sweet spot for where to hang that dining table fixture .
And all of these videos will surely guide you .
The fourth item on the list is statement art or really grand mirror .
If you follow my Feng Shui series , you'll know that Feng Shui loves a really huge mirror in the dining room because the mirror doubles everything that it reflects in the dining table .
It's all about an abundance of richness for you and your family .
A common question I get asked is how large should that mirror be in the dining room ?
And my answer is always the same , the bigger , the better really should span at least two thirds the size of the dining table .
If you can't find a mirror that large , you can always opt for statement artwork and the proportions are really the same .
If your room is wide , you want to go for a really wide piece of artwork .
If the room is tall , you want to go for a really tall vertical piece .
If the room is really small and petite , you just want to add a wow factor with some color , some pattern , just something that really inspires you and speaks to your aesthetic and style .
The last item on the list and one that should never be forgotten is a really simple centerpiece .
I'm not talking about a fully decked out table with china glassware , utensils , linens , a huge centerpiece with flowers or branches .
I just don't think that the dining table needs all that clutter .
The goal here is to choose something very simple and very chic .
You don't want to compete with all of the other components that are happening in the dining space , think about one simple vessel or you can apply the rule of thirds in this case , which means it's a small cluster of three different items , varying heights , varying textures .
We want to go for something very simple and refined .
So it doesn't compete with the rest of the space .
Now that you know the design hacks of five things every dining room needs .
Let's talk about all of those extras .
Now , these extras are going to be very conditional and based on the space that you have in your home , if you have the space for it , I feel like a buffet , a sideboard , a console or an extra storage unit is very essential to the dining room .
I actually have two shelves linking the sides of my dining space now and they're used to house everything from barware to liquor to extra serving platters , especially in my home .
I lack storage .
So every single piece of furniture in the space needs to make up for that .
If you have windows in your dining room or maybe a sliding door that leads to the patio or the backyard .
Of course , window treatments are super essential .
You want to think about the amount of privacy and light that you need in the space .
I love shades as the first line of defense .
It's a very simple , modern and effective way to let light in to control the amount of privacy you want in the space and of course , at least the outer walls for you to layer on softer drapery panels .
If that's the look that you're going for , my favorite type of treatments for sliding doors are sliding curtains or drapery panels , curtains and panels are so easy to maneuver , especially when they're on a traverse rod or if they're installed with drapery rings , you can draw the curtains all the way back and move freely in and out of the space .
Another item that's an extra and not an absolute essential in the dining room is an area rug .
Now , when should you specify an area rug ?
And when should you not ?
You have to play the designer in this case .
And I would only specify an area rug .
If you could fit the largest area rug , you can in that space to be able to pull your chair back away from the table and still land on the rug .
So the rule of thumb is 36 inches to 42 inches away from the edge of the table .
The material should ideally be something that's really easy to clean and a low pile .
You want to be able to vacuum it with ease or at least use a broom to sweep it .
The last item on my extras list is ambient lighting .
What could be considered ambient lighting in the dining room ?
Ambient lighting is anything that really just casts a secondary glow to the space .
It could be wall sconces that you install symmetrically outside of the mirror , the statement artwork or even on the wall that's adjacent to the main dining space .
Ambient lighting could also be considered a floor lamp or a table lamp , especially if you have a buffet , a console , a hutch , it just provides that extra glow and everyone looks great in ambient lighting .
And lastly , let's talk about all of those unnecessary extras that I feel don't need to live in the dining room .
We're talking table cloths , table settings , glassware , china , huge candelabras , place mats utensils , napkin rings .
Anything that you would set out for a formal dinner does not need to live on your dining table day to day .
Of course , if you love that little more power to you , I'm just not at the camp that needs to , you know , kind of take all that time to dust and clean all of those extras and paraphernalia that's on the dining table .
I like a really clean table .
I want to see the finish of my table and I really want to hone in on all of the other aspects of the dining room that really make it come alive .
That's it for this video .
I hope you got some really great inspiration on design hacks .
Five things every single dining room needs .
What did you think of my list ?
Do you agree ?
Do you disagree ?
Are there any items that didn't make it to my essentials list that you find is super important for the dining room .
I would love you to weigh in and leave a comment .
Letting me know .
Also let me know if you need some sourcing tips on where to find the best dining tables , the best dining chairs , you know that I love to mix and match .
We're not about a matchy matchy dining set .
So of course , if you want a sourcing video , please let me know in the comments below .
This will be the absolute last video that I film before I pop next week .
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Thank you so much for watching everyone .
I'll see you in the next one .