Looking back, the formal dining room has traditionally been a place of lavish hosting, both visually and palatably, so to see this trend revitalised not only delights the interior aficionado within me, but the entertainer too. Who needs further excuse to host friends and family in a luxurious dining room & to indulge in that bottle you’ve been saving for a special occasion…
I mentioned in a Journal post last year, outlining the Interior Trends for 2016 and Beyond, that the formal dining room was set to make a comeback, and I’ve not yet been proved wrong. I’ve noted more and more clients of my Design Service clients requesting a dining room aesthetic reminiscent of the luxury and grandeur of an old-world high society that recent interior trends have seemingly disregarded.
That’s not to say that modern dining furniture should be shunned in favour of a traditional aesthetic though; a contemporary dining atmosphere can be achieved with no compromise on the opulence the classic formal dining room typically possesses. Opt for indulgent materialities, and regardless of furniture profiles, the curation of these deluxe materials & textures will not fail in the creation of an enviable formal dining space.
Velvets remain unrivalled for luxury, so it makes sense that dining chairs upholstered in the most regal of textures will undoubtedly provide that coveted luxe allure to any space, the formal dining room included. Look to my Marie Dining Chairs featuring gold-leaf frames and deep black velvet upholstery for the ultimate in French flair and élite styling panache. Similarly, my Eiffel Accent Chairs effortlessly combine stylistic elements with both contemporary and classic influences, the ghost legs allowing the seat to seemingly float, while at the same time, harnessing the on-trend aesthetic of Lucite.
Stylish formal hosting relies on the centrepiece to any dining room, the dining table. Metallics are my go-to, whether the selection focuses on graphite, soft gold, or a pearlised finish, metallics in interiors ooze opulence with a touch of glamour. My Dalton Extension Dining Table pairs curvaceous gold legs with a robust timber surface for unsurpassed mature sophistication, while my Carter Stainless Steel Dining Table captures the quintessential contemporary aesthetic of minimalistic clean lines and a chic, slender profile. Meanwhile, a highly polished timber dining table offers grand appeal unlike any other.
Might I add that stylish hosting doesn’t start & end with the dining table and chairs; the creation of an overall deluxe atmosphere requires a holistic approach, of course the dining furniture is paramount, however the influencers less considered also play major roles; think lighting, flooring and accent furniture pieces…
No formal dining room is complete without overhead lighting in the form of a pendant (contemplate a row for that matter) or chandelier. Use less wattage, and hang this interior statement low, very low, for an intimate and wholly well-appointed dining room aesthetic.
My next point is one of personal preference, however, I for one enjoy the chic opulence of a rug underfoot in a formal dining space, if not only for the aesthetics, for the acoustics also. An artsilk rug with a subtle sheen & lustre is one for the grown-up formal dining room (a red wine jus accident here could lead to tears), however a tufted wool rug, with a subtle print or pattern, offers only a fraction less luxury than artsilk, along with all the low-maintenance, easy-to-clean qualities wool provides.
If no formal dining room is complete without tasteful overhead lighting, the same can be said for the buffet or sideboard. One is spoilt for choice - no matter the style - in traditional and contemporary dining furniture alike, so it should come as no surprise that the buffet and sideboard have not been forgotten. My pick for the contemporary conscious dining room? My new Cooper Agate Accent Chest, featuring a sleek bronze casing and of-the-moment Agate printed doors, while the classic timber and custom hardware of my Seville Sideboard won’t fail to enhance the traditional formal dining room.
My penchant for hosting is rivalled only by my predilection toward design, and no other furniture piece embodies this more than the bar cart. Obliging and oh-so stylish, the bar cart exemplifies both etiquette and luxury, making the ideal accent piece to a formal dining room.
Case in point: my Antibes Beverage Cart features an antiqued mirror surface, soft pastel finish and metallic accents to ensure it remains an impeccable contender for best dressed at any dinner party. Add to that a courteous disposition, and the Antibes promises both a functional and luxurious addition to the modern formal dining room.
The epitome of the debonair interior, a revival of the formal dining room is long overdue in my books, wouldn’t you agree?