It’s official - Staying In is the new Going Out as families, couples and individuals opt to dine at home. As more of us are choosing to cook from scratch and have friends round for dinner rather than going out to a pricey bar or restaurant, the kitchen and dining room are rapidly becoming the focus of home design projects.
The food industry has been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the past few years. From the horsemeat scandal to escalating costs of food production, shoppers are turning away from ready meals and taking on home baking and cooking with great enthusiasm. According to The Telegraph the trend is also fuelled by huge interest in the baking programs that currently proliferate in the television schedules.
In a similar vein, the Independent reports that households now spend more money on home dining and drinking than at pubs, clubs and restaurants. It’s clear that a new way of socialising and entertaining is upon us, so make sure you don’t get left behind as the new trend gathers momentum.
Fit for purpose
Kitchen makeovers have long been the subject of intense scrutiny, but the dining area has often been overlooked. Whether you have a separate dining room or a kitchen/diner, it’s possible to update the look and feel of your table quite simply and easily, and you don’t need to spend a fortune in the process.
Think first about how you use your dining table. A family with young children will have different requirements from one with teenagers or with no children for example. Where young children, or messy eaters, need to be catered for, a wipe-clean table covering is an absolute essential requirement. Rather than face an extra washload, simply wipe away any spills and fold it away once the kids have gone to bed.
Ring the changes with different tablecloths, saving the finest linens for visitors. Table linen comes in a vast array of sizes, patterns and colours, allowing you to change the look and feel of your dining area in seconds. Have a look at http://www.dunelm-mill.com/shop/dining/table-linen/tablecloths/ for inspiration.
Whether you have matching crockery sets or prefer a mix and match approach, don’t store your loveliest pieces away in a cupboard. A dresser is a great way of displaying your best china, or get creative with shelving situated above a sideboard for a quirky dresser effect without the accompanying price tag.
Make sure you have enough cupboard space to hide unwanted clutter, particularly if your dining area serves a double function as the kids’ playroom or as a study. Storage doesn’t have to be boring, and filing boxes can be sourced in all sorts of colours and patterns, or simply buy plain ones and decorate them yourself with offcuts of wallpaper or wrapping paper.
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of your dining room, so make sure that you have a variety of lamps and lights to provide functional task lighting and to create a warm and intimate mood for the evening meal. Then simply just add guests and watch them admire your handiwork!