With holiday dinner parties right around the corner, we asked Jay Eiler of Niche Home Furnishings to give us his step-by-step guide to a quick and easy dining room redesign.
Step 1: The Table
The table is where all the action happens, so this is your starting point. Analyze your space and your number of guests, and choose a table that will seat everyone comfortably with plenty of room for serving dishes to be beautifully presented. "The food is the guest of honor," Eiler says. "Don't overlook its place at the table."
Step 2: The Chairs
Eiler creates visual interest by contrasting the contemporary, stone-top table with traditional-style chairs, which are given a modern feel when covered with orange leather. "I'm also a big fan of mixing and matching different styles of chairs in one setting," he says. "It's fun to choose some elaborate ‘his and hers' chairs and pair them with simple guest chairs. It creates a subtle sense of formality without being too serious."
Step 3: Lighting
No chandelier? No problem. Eiler creates eclectic lighting by pairing low-wattage accent lamps with a simple and sophisticated candle display. The varying heights of the candles lend visual interest to the tabletop, while clear holders avoid blocking the view of guests during conversation. When it comes to choosing candles (as well as flowers), Eiler suggests unscented versions that won't interfere with the flavors and aromas of dinner.
Step 4: The Buffet
The similar tone and dissimilar texture of the shell-top buffet help it to complement the dining table while allowing it to maintain a unique presence in the room's design. "Buffets are a great way to continue the colors and textures from the table throughout the room, while at the same time creating a place for excessive serving dishes and wine bottles," Eiler says. "They help keep the dining table free of clutter."
Step 5: Tabletop Design
Eiler recommends starting with classic white dinnerware for its versatility and superior food presentation. "From there, it's all about layering," he says. In this display, Eiler has layered varying textures and neutral tones on top of each other to build a rich display, adding color through simple, sparse florals. "Everything doesn't have to match," he says. "You can take a stroll through your home and find vases, candleholders and other accents that will mix and match nicely. Simply pair them based on color or texture, and you can't go wrong."