Airy Dining Room Airy Dining Room

Here's a new interior design tip that's just in time for summer. In this Room of the Month we take a look at a dining room with a view, one which lets in plenty of light and greenery, holding the promise of long summer days ahead. This room really lets the sun shine in, and yet there's enough foliage to keep it from becoming a sauna. Let's take a look at the home decorating ideas that are in use here.

Looking at this room using the Sheffield Guidelines to Interior Design - function, mood, and harmony - we see first that its primary function, of course, is to provide a place for family and guests to enjoy a meal together. The room suits this function with a table that's long enough to seat eight guests; of course, if fewer people are eating together, they'll cluster in the center or at one end of the table.

The room is also arranged so that if just two people are dining, they can sit side-by-side, bar-style, so both can enjoy the view out of the floor-to-ceiling windows.

The photo doesn't show that behind the table, the room opens into an open kitchen, allowing the person cooking to chat with the guests as well as making serving to the table convenient.

Of course, eating isn't the only function of a good dining room; the best such rooms also allow for plenty of relaxing after the meal. Here, the chairs are cushioned, and have arms, making it easy to push back from the table and indulge in after-dinner conversation.

Let's look now at another important element of home decorating, the mood of the room. As decorated, it's certainly casual, with the bamboo chairs, wrong-iron candelabra, and patterned tablecloth. But this casual look could easily be converted into something more formal, by simply exchanging the chairs for more elegant ones, Parsons' chairs perhaps, using a white lace tablecloth, and lighting the candles.

Finally, one reason this room is so pleasing is that it harmonizes. Even though the pattern of the tablecloth is different from that of the chair cushions, they're both African-based patterns, which go well with the decorative African art on the far wall. The room almost has the feeling of a lodge on the Serengeti, complete with the bamboo chairs and the abundant foliage.

Rather than keeping the indoors out, sometimes a room can create a feeling of the outdoors coming in, as this one does with harmony and spirit. Try some of these interior designing tips from the Sheffield School of Interior Design and see if you can make a summertime decorating change to your own dining room.

Reprinted with permission from the Sheffield School of Interior Design.

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