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5 Dining Rooms that will inspire you to elevate your dining space

These stylish dining rooms offer a master class in considered entertaining spaces

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By House & Garden South Africa | January 20, 2022 | Trends

Text by Marnus Nieuwoudt

Equal Share

When square meterage is tight, the dining room is often the first room to be cut. But, instead of doing away with it entirely, incorporate it into the general living area for a more dynamic living experience. In this project in Greece – dubbed Akri House – designed by K-Studio, the main living and entertaining area is shared, but each is still afforded a degree of independence. A single space, zoned for different uses, offers ease of transition and allows interaction to flow between areas or be contained within one or the other.

Design by K-Studio

Material Gains

The humble dining room table often finds itself playing second fiddle to the kitchen island when it comes to conversations about ‘bringing people together’ – and while islands do make for convenient spots for informal gathering, there is something to be said for the joy of hours spent around a dining room table. Make yours a show-stopping,conversation-starting centrepiece, such as the ‘Ashby’ table by Lemon; an elegant silhouette backed by superb craftsmanship available in both Bianco Carrara marble and travertine.

Design by Lemon. Photo by Inge Prins.

Natural High

Plants are so much more than decorative: they infuse a space with vitality – and, when incorporated into the dining room, the effect is no different. Here, in the Cape Town home of actress Rolanda Marais, a Houtlander dining table and spindle back chairs are cocooned in foliage (opting for plants with unusual leaf shapes and patterning makes the experience all the more interesting). Cleverly, Rolanda’s choice of furniture is all timber, enhancing the conservatory-like effect established by the space’s glass wall.

Photo by Greg Cox

Lighting Company

The dining room is no place for task lighting, as function takes a backseat to mood. Soft, ambient lighting is the path of least resistance – think lamps – or, if we are talking overhead illumination, eschew those passé exposed Edison bulbs for something more subtle, such as these frosted matte-glass ‘Fluid’ pendant lights by Muuto, available locally through Créma Design, which were inspired by water droplets.

Design by Créma Design

Tip the Scale

Playing with scale is an ingenious way to make small spaces feel much larger (the trick is to go for more robust shapes) or, conversely, make cosy, comfortable nooks of capacious areas. Beneath these overscaled lights, the table and leather-and-timber ‘Elizabeth’ dining chairs are dwarfed, making what is, in reality, a generous dining area feels intimate. Designed by La Grange Interiors.

Design by La Grange Interiors. Photo by Elsa Young