Dining rooms have made a big comeback in the last year. The pandemic has perhaps brought back family style eating into play and entertaining at home has made the once ‘out dated’ dining room table a much sought after space. Probably the reason why the dining room fell out of favor was that in the past they were not always developed as places where you would want to spend much time. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you create an eating space where you will want to sit, unwind and share a meal with family and friends.
The formal dining room 
The formal dining room is a room that is dedicated solely to dining. The dining table is the focus of the whole room so it is worth choosing well to set the right tone. Glass and metal and concrete tables lend themselves to a more contemporary setting, where as wood can go either way from traditional farmhouse, through early Scandinavian such as Nathan to a more modern Scandi look provided by manufactures such as Ercol and Skovby. The traditional dining room would normally have an oval or rectangular table that seats six. Many people opt for an extendable table that when opened up can accommodate eight, and if the room and table is big enough twelve or more. If you are stuck with a table you don’t like, consider painting it with chalk paint or invest in stylish table cloths and runners to give the room a whole new look. A key element of a formal dining room is a sideboard or credenza in which, table linens, china and sliver ware can be stored, but be mindful to keep the space open and functional. Too much furniture can make the area cramped and reduce the enjoyment of mealtimes. Really test out the chairs you buy, comfortable padded of cantilevered chairs will keep your guests at the table longer. Consider mixing and matching the seating as this can remove the ‘boardroom’ feel and give a more casual eclectic look to the setting. Your chairs also offer an opportunity to bring some colour and excitement into the room and there are some really funky designs and vibrant velvet chairs around at the moment that are also very easy to clean with a damp sponge. Stressless make reclining dining chairs, which will surely help your guests sit back and relax. Be sparing with ornaments to keep the space feeling open, but do add candles and flowers for a little romance. A mix of fabrics and textures adds interest, especially if you have opted for a monochrome palette. Hanging a mirror or a collection of mirrors will to add beautiful light and make they room feel bigger too. Paintings, prints and metal wall art will add interest and can be used to bring the colours in the room together. Don’t be afraid to add colour to the walls or floors. Blues, grey and muted pinks and greens are on trend at the moment, with white wood work and moldings. Dimmable lighting sets the mood for a dinner party, alternatively use table and standard lamps to add to the ambiance. An area rug beneath the table adds colour, comfort and a feeling of luxury beneath your guests feet.
The walk through dining room
Round dining room tables lend themselves well to walk thorough dining space where two doorways on opposite sides of the room form a corridor from one part of the house to the other. A round table promotes circulation around the room and also makes conversation in larger groups easier. Consider a pedestal table which will allow for more legroom and can sit more people, more comfortably than a traditional table with four legs. Round tables usually sit four to six people and can be extended into an oval that will sit six to eight. If you are short on space make sure that the extension leaves for your table can be stored beneath the table top otherwise you will have to find somewhere to keep them and they can be quite big!  There is a very unique table produce by Skovby with a three leaf table top that can be rotated synchronously to a position that makes room for more for three extension leaves (stored inside the central pedestal base) to spring mechanically into place, forming a circular table with a much bigger radius. 
Living room and kitchen combos
When space is at a premium we cannot always have one room set aside solely for dining. When this happens we often end up with the dining table at one end of the living room or kitchen. In this situation again a round or oval table would be a good idea as they are more easy to navigate around than a square one. A bay window in either of these rooms makes for an excellent opportunity to create an eating nook. Maybe an even better choice for a living room would be to purchase a drop leaf table with gate legs. The flexibility of this option is a fantastic space saver. When folded it forms a console that can be placed against the back of a sofa or a wall on which to place a lamp or a few ornaments. For everyday meals one flap can be opened to form a small table for a causal meal for two or three people. When more guests come round the whole table can be pulled out to seat up to six people. What a wonderful space saver that is! In a kitchen setting a more robust farm house style or butcher block table can double up as a food prep area. In both situations the extra seating needed when you have more people over can be in the form of benches and chairs that can be used in other parts of the house. Another alternative is folding or stackable chairs that can be stored out of sight, the whole idea being to keep the space multi use and flexible. So there you have it, three dining solutions for three styles of living and a variety of budgets. 
Now, you have no excuses not to entertain once indoor dining restrictions are lifted! 
Bon appetit!