HOME AND GARDEN: Make a dining room more stylish for entertaining |

The kitchen may be the heart of a home, but when it comes to entertaining, a dining room – if there is one in a home – tends to be the main gathering place for meals.

Dining rooms may not be high on the list of spaces to renovate because they tend to get little use. But a dining room makeover can still be a worthwhile undertaking. Here are some easy ways to make the dining room more stylish and functional.

  • Clean up the mess. The first step towards improving a dining room is to remove all foreign elements from the space. If the dining room table isn’t used very often, it’s probably become a catch-all for other items, like bills, newspapers, or the kids’ homework. Rather than using the dining room as a makeshift desk or homework station, invest in a rolling cart to store those papers and other items. Simply roll it up in a closet or other room when it’s time to throw a party.
  • Hang a statement lamp. Few decorative elements add as much drama and ambiance to a dining room as a new ceiling light. People hear a chandelier and think of a design adorned with jewels or crystal. But different styles of chandeliers can fit a home’s aesthetic. The light will be a focal point and instantly make the dining room more elegant. Install the light on a dimmer to adjust the lighting as needed to set the mood.
  • Invest in new sheets. Buy coordinating table linens that will be used for special occasions. A decorative tablecloth or table runner coupled with cloth napkins and placemats help set the scene for the dinner.
  • Add a work of art. Many modern homeowners have shunned the Chinese furniture that was once the norm in dining rooms. Rather than a bulky piece of furniture, a large piece of art or framed photos on a more minimalist buffet table or small serving bar is preferable. Choose artwork that complements the colors of the space.
  • Include a centerpiece. Centerpieces add sophistication to the table and tie in with the event. Flower arrangements, a bowl or basket of fruit, pine cones or greens from the outdoors, or collectibles like seashells in a large box can serve as centerpieces.

There are many easy ways to dress up dining rooms and make them more stylish.

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