WELCOME TO THE TABLE

December 24, 2017
This stained pine dining set invites family and friends to gather around, and has lasting appeal.

Dear Debbie,
We have graduated from our first tiny apartment to a house that has a dining room. What should we look for in a table? Is this what you would call a splurge item? Thanks for all your help.
Marianne

Dear Marianne,
Dining rooms are very special places. Sharing meals with family and friends is one of life’s enduring pleasures. You will be making memories, having both frivolous and serious chats, making future plans, and filling the room with lots of laughter. When you are decorating your dining room, think of it as setting a stage. Central to your plan is the table. There are many styles from which to choose, from ultra-modern glass and steel to finely turned heritage pieces. If you anticipate setting up regularly for more than six people, then choose an expandable oval or rectangular top. Otherwise, dining in the round is a friendly way to go; you are facing everyone, and conversation is not confined to your neighbor.

I chose a dining vignette from Urban Barn as a lovely example of a modern formal setting. The round table from their Churchill Collection mimics the features of classic architecture. Carved trestle legs with rounded scrolls give weight and substance to the piece. Upholstered chairs provide comfort and elegance, very inviting for a leisurely meal. Upholstered style dining chairs suit a living room or den and can be swapped in and out as needed. Think about a few armless chairs to mix at the table. The Zain pendant lamp, inspired by hammered metalwork, casts a contemporary glow to the festivities.

Investigate different avenues for table shopping. You will find amazing deals at estate sales and secondhand stores. No need to invest in a complete set of dining furniture right now. Combine your stylish table and chairs with inexpensive cabinetry or shelves for storage and a funky bar tray on wheels for serving.

Dear Debbie,
In my college days I remember painting my boarding house bedroom all black. All I had was a mattress on the floor and a rickety desk and chair. I loved it. Years later with family in tow I am still thinking about those black walls. Am I regressing? No one else wants this.
Kenneth

Dear Kenneth,
I think you are very brave. It is a fact that we are all more adventurous when we are young. This goes for decorating as well as other life events and activities we jumped into without thinking about what people would think, or if it was the smart thing to do. Black is bold and dramatic, theatrical and domineering. But these can be wonderful qualities. It’s all about how you treat the room as a whole. Matte black walls will give your room visual depth, but it will also feel heavy if there is not enough natural or artificial light to offer respite. Pair it with white trim. Vividly coloured furniture and accessories, such as a raspberry pink sofa, a luminous yellow/green painted table, or bright blue cushions balance the effect of the black walls. You don’t say which room, but consider the dining area for your first foray. Art work will stand out, gold frames and silver details introduce a luxurious aura. Or how about the den or family room? Your kids should love it, and it’s a perfect place to add whimsical, colourful furniture.

Written by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email decorating questions to house2home@debbietravis.com. Follow Debbie at Instagram: @debbie_travis, Facebook: @thedebbietravis, www.debbietravis.com, www.tuscangetaway.com.