Create Drama in Your Open Plan Dining Area

Image Credit: Pixabay

The modern dining room has undergone rapid change over the last few years. Going from large, dark and heavy furniture to light, bright and airy plastics, to a more eclectic taste with mix and match style. There has certainly been an upheaval in dining room design.

Part of the reason for this new fashion is that modern houses are much more likely to be open plan with large windows. This means that dining rooms are no longer separate, but are much more likely to have to fit in with the kitchen and living space, often acting as a bridge between the two.

However, defining such large spaces into 3 smaller areas is not just about creating similarities between each space, it is also about finding a way to differentiate between the zones. This is perhaps why an eclectic taste works so well in open plan living. With just a basic set of colors, you can introduce almost anything to a space without it looking out of place.

But, if eclecticism isn’t a style trend you go for, there are other ways to define your dining room area.

Add a Feature Wall

Feature walls were a big trend a few years ago and though they may be discussed less often now, they haven’t gone away. The difference is that a feature wall is now more likely to be about different textures than different colors, using different materials like wood paneling or brick tiles.

A feature wall should never be used in an already crowded space, which is why the dining area is so ideal. Unless you have a particularly bold taste in dining furniture, this area is unlikely to have any other focal point. This makes it ideal for something a bit more exciting in terms of design.

As large open plan spaces can make you feel like you’re in a barn, breaking up one long wall with a different texture in the middle will help the space to feel more compartmentalized without sacrificing the actual space or having to build walls. This defines each space more carefully. So, for example, a light brick wall in the middle of an otherwise white painted plaster will add texture, interest and definition to your dining area.

Use a Grand Table

If you have a large space, a small table is going to look a bit ridiculous unless you add in all sorts of other furniture around it. A large table is always going to be striking whether you choose a large glass surface or a heavy wooden table.

A long rectangular table will give this area a real sense of depth and really show off the space but a round table is lovely if your room is square. The shape and material are the most important factors when choosing a table but there’s no reason to go way over budget on it. There are some good deals on dining furniture online that will show you what you can get for your money.

Once you have chosen your table, choosing between chairs, benches or a mixture will also change the feel of the room. Colored plastic chairs will make the most of the light and cast jewel colors onto the walls when the sun is low. A bench is a great idea if you have a feature window, and as it will recede from view at eye level, it will complement the line of your table, leading the eye out.

Low Hanging Lights

Lighting is another area where our homes have undergone rapid change. In the last year or two, the fashion for industrial chic has permeated most rooms with clusters of lights accenting a particular area rather than main ceiling lights. The dining room is an ideal location for low hanging ceiling lights, hung at intervals along your dining table. This will create a dramatic space and will highlight what’s on the table in an almost theatrical style.

Low hanging lights are also brilliant in open plan spaces as they create a visual divide without being intrusive. They accent particular spaces and lead the eye down to what is below. Many of these lights are designed to look beautiful night and day, and as metallics remain in fashion, they are a good investment to make.

Bringing drama to an open plan space is all about creating defined accents and purposefully drawing the eye to a particular thing. You don’t need a lot of money to do this, just a good eye for detail and a thoughtful approach to arranging your furniture.

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  1. Love your style. I also like choosing different chairs/chair covers. Such as beautiful faux fur throw on one and a colourful pillow on the other. Brilliant work!

  2. I love you style and tips. Our apartment is very open on the floorplan. While I can't add much, I try to break it up a bit and make it flow better.

  3. I am fond of decorating open spaces of dining areas. Now got creative tips from your post. Will assimilate these in my pattern.

  4. Open spaces can be so hard to decorate. You’ve given some solid tips for people struggling with an expansive space. Great for the holidays.

  5. Your dining is fantastic our dining room is horrid, plain and just yuck. But seeing your feature wall, man that would be a dream to add to ours just give it a nice pop that not just paint.

  6. i like square dining tables as they offer more space and fit in well with the corners...round tables can look odd because of their shape..

  7. Great ideas! I don't have my own kitchen at the moment but I love the feature wall idea. I think it really creates character to a room and the kitchen is an important one in my opinion!

  8. Great idea! I like the harmony of light to color. The square table is very handy and tidy.

  9. loved what you did there! The room is so much more dynamic and alive! It just makes you want to spend time in there, and that's super important hen talking about home decor or interior design! Great job! :)

  10. I absolutely love it! Grand tables and low hanging lighting always look so chic and elegant. Fantastic job!

  11. i love your ideas! i've always dreamed of having a modern home, i would definitely keep these things in mind when I start designing!


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