The dining room is usually a very special place in any home, as this is where all family members come together after a long day to share hot and tasty meals and share their thoughts and feelings. Though traditionally, a dining room was a separate room, usually close to the kitchen or living, today, it is often merged with the kitchen or living or both, to make way for an open and airy layout. Such a layout ensures easy communication and makes it simple for the chef to carry hot dishes to the table and chat with guests at the same time.

How you plan your dining room will depend on the size of your house, space available, number of family members, your taste, as well as your budget. How you furnish or decorate it will also depend on these factors.

Things to remember

Location: The dining room should ideally be close to the kitchen, so that preparing and serving dishes is easy. Or, it can be close to the living room, so that entertaining guests is easy without compromising the kitchen’s privacy. Also, the dining room should be on the same floor as the kitchen, so that you don’t have to carry dishes up and down.

Direction: A dining room in the east will receive the morning sunlight and look cheerful when the family gathers for breakfast. South facing or west facing dining rooms will receive ample natural ventilation. Avoid planning the dining room in the north, as it will be cold during winters.

Privacy: Plan the dining room in such a way so that it doesn’t directly face the entrance. Also, if your dining is merged with the living space and you need privacy, installing a wooden partition, or a big shelf that acts as a partition, or a beautiful screen can do the trick.

Doors and windows: Large windows will keep your dining room bright and airy. Doors should be easy to access and not blocked by any furniture piece. Use curtains or blinds for your windows so that you can control the amount of light coming in.

Furniture: Choose the dining table and chairs based on the size of the room. Extra large furniture can dwarf a small room, while average sized furniture can look tiny in a large space. Make sure that the height of the chairs complement the table’s height, or pick them as a set. Go for a round table if you have a small family and a rectangular one for a large family. If you wish to place a carpet under the furniture, make sure all the legs of the table and the chairs rest on the carpet at all times. So, choose a large one! If you wish to install a TV, avoid the wall opposite a window, to avoid glare.

Decor theme: A dining room can be furnished with vintage, modern, eclectic or colonial style furniture, as long as they go well with the rest of the house. The furniture should go well with the wall color and flooring too. Any painting or sculpture you choose for your dining space, should match the overall theme. Table mats, runners and drapes should complement the furniture. For instance, floral table linen is great for a vintage theme dining room, while solids or geometric prints are better for a modern room.

Lighting: The bigger the dining room, the more light you will need. Decide whether you need practical lighting or suffused lighting. You can choose from accent lights, pendant lights, wall sconces and chandeliers, depending on the size, location and theme of the dining room. A chandelier is perfect for colonial style dining, while trendy pendant lights are ideal for modern dining.

So, now, you are all set to plan and design the dining room of your dreams. Consult a reputed builder or architect who can help you implement your ideas or guide you in the best direction.