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Eating In: Creating the Perfect Dining Space in the Home

Whether you consider yourself a bit of a chef or simply love a good old-fashioned barbecue or roast on the weekends, you’ll want to enjoy your latest culinary delights in comfort. From entertaining to enjoying a meal with just the family, the dining experience is something everyone shares and something we should consider when decorating and furnishing our home. To help you achieve the right space for your dining experience, here are some tips.

In the Kitchen
Only live with your partner or a couple of roommates and don’t require proper dining areas? There are still some things you can do to spruce up your living space and make it more practical. Island benches are great as they can serve a dual purpose: they help with the prep and, with the quick addition of some stylish stools, can act as an eating area.

Prefer to eat in front of the television? Make sure you consider a coffee table with that extra bit of height, perfect for dragging in front of the couch come snack time.

In the Dining Room
Like partaking in some family time while sharing a meal? Then you’ll need to furnish your dining area accordingly.

The table is the most important piece of furniture you select for your dining space, so you’ll want to give it a bit of thought. Have a think about how many seats you will need and add one or two on top of that number so you are prepared for visitors. If you are a little tight on space, extendable tables are a great option.

As you’re making an investment that you’ll want to last, pick pieces that will be timeless and suit your home no matter how many times you change the décor or colour scheme. Remember, you can always accessorise it to add more personality.

No one likes to be uncomfortable at the dinner table, so choose chairs you will be willing to sit in for a few hours. Selecting chairs with a bit of padding is a great idea and you’ll want to check how wide the legs are to ensure enough chairs will fit around the table.

Alfresco Style Dining
Unlike the kitchen and dining room where placement of eating areas is pretty much already assigned, with alfresco you have more options in terms of position. You’ll want to place it in an area that is easily accessible and not too far from the kitchen or barbecue so it is easy to serve. However, that doesn’t mean you need to set up right near the back doors. You might like to have an extended deck or set up a sheltered area further out in the yard.

While alfresco gives you more options, it also brings with it more considerations to make. You’ll want to get the most out of your outdoor dining, so ensuring it is functional all year round should be priority. This will require some extra thought and planning on your part in terms of protecting the space from the outdoor elements such as wind, rain and sun.

Alfresco dining is more of a relaxed affair, so it won’t require a setup that is as formal as the indoor dining room. The type of table you choose should be easy to maintain, large enough to cater to groups and should give a relaxed vibe synonymous with the outdoor living environment. Glass, timber and wicker are quite popular for outdoor areas and handle well in the elements.

Remember, the outdoor area is still an extension of your home and, while you are going for a more toned down or relaxed atmosphere, you should still consider the design and try to incorporate complementary elements to the rest of your home. You can do this with colours or the type of furniture you select – whether it is more modern, repurposed or antique-style furniture.

Not everyone will have enough space to create a dining area as well as a separate space designed for relaxation. So, you may want to find chairs that can be great for both. Seats with cushions are not only comfortable, but allow you to play around with colours and create a fun, vibrant atmosphere that is especially inviting in the warmer months.

Sometimes direct overhead lighting can be a little harsh. Instead think about opting for lighting on the walls. You may also want to incorporate pathway lighting leading up to the dining area from the yard. As a creative element, add some lanterns and candles! There are some that can serve a dual purpose by also keeping pests like mosquitoes away.


The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Fairhaven Homes recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances and that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.