Dining Rooms

  • Enhance Your Dining Room Chairs

You can do this with slipcovers. Try this home decorating tip to help take attention away from that worn dining room furniture and elevate it with a stylish, new look. Regardless of whether your taste is contemporary or traditional, there is a style to complement that. Dining chair slipcovers can be purchased from many department stores, or you could choose specific fabric and make them yourself if you have the sewing skills.

  • Update Your Accessories

By replacing some dated accessories with some fresh, new items it can add a reviving touch to a tired room. How about some new wall art? Black and white framed photos can add a distinguishing look to any room style. Of course, fresh, cut flowers always add a nice accessory touch. Don’t overlook this simple interior decorating tip.

When family and friends gather over a routine meal or a special occasion, the dining room becomes the center of attention. Read about dining room decor, furniture, lighting, and table decor.

  • A Guide to Serving Pieces Used in a Traditional Tea Party
  • How to Make a Round Tablecloth

A Guide to Traditional Tea Serving Pieces

  • Entertain using heirloom serving pieces
  • A tea party is the perfect occasion to bring out grandmother’s china and fancy serving pieces. Here’s a sample of some traditional items used for tea.

Teapot, Creamer, Sugar

What’s a tea party without a beautiful teapot? This Viler & Boch version looks wonderful with matching creamer and sugar, but a crystal or silver cream and sugar set could also be used. If using loose tea rather than teabags, be sure to have a tea strainer on hand.

 Cookie Plates

Tiered cookie plates are a time-honored tradition. Some are attached with metal spacers (as these are), while others feature loose plates that sit on a tiered metal framework. Fill with cookies, scones, tiny sandwiches, or pastries.

 Cake plate

Cake plates are available in glass, china, and silver. A footed plate like this swirled one will add height and interest to a buffet table. Use the plate to hold a cake or tart, scones, pastries, sandwiches, or pies.

Silver

Use some silver pieces to add shine and elegance. Trays can be covered with a doily before adding food. (Remember to avoid placing salted food in silver as this will cause additional tarnish.) Get more handy tips on polishing silver.

 Linens

Here a variety of colored and white linens are available to make any party special. Find some DIY table linen projects here.

 Crystal

Using a few crystal serving pieces brings another texture to the table. Fill bowls with small candies, nuts, or fruits. Browse sources for china and crystal here.

 Flowers

Roses may be the traditional favorite for tea parties. Find out how to make a beautiful rose centerpiece. It’s easy and fun!

Make a Round Tablecloth

A round table of any size or height is an inexpensive piece of furniture that fits in many rooms and serves many purposes. Use one as a side table next to a bed, at the side of a chair, or for a party dining table. Cover the top with a decorative custom-made cover, and you have an accent piece for any room.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Varies, depending on sewing skill

Here’s How:

  1. Determine how much fabric you’ll need.

Measure the diameter of the top of the table. To that number, add 2 times the amount you want the tablecloth to hang from the top all the way around. If you want a floor length tablecloth, measure from the top of the table to the floor. Double that number and add the result to the diameter. Add 1 1/2 inches (3/4″ all the way around) for the diameter of the piece of fabric you’ll need.

  1. Prepare the fabric.

Sew panels of fabric together to create a square whose width is the diameter of the circle you’ve planned to make. Use the full width of the fabric panel for the center section and add the needed widths on each side.

  1. Sew the fabric.

Sew the side panel or panels to the center panel, keeping the seams straight. Finish the seam allowance on the underside by zigzagging or overstitching.

Carefully press the seams flat, pressing the seam allowance to one side of the panel.

If your fabric has a pattern or plaid, be sure to match the pattern or lines of the plaid so that the top of the tablecloth is perfect.

  1. Measure for the round.

Fold the panel in half, corner to corner.

Fold the panel again along the folded edge from corner to corner. You now have a square of fabric, four layers thick, with all the folded edges along one side.

  1. Get ready to trace the outline.

Tie a pencil or piece of fabric-marking chalk onto the end of a piece of string. Cut the string to a length 1/2 the diameter of the desired finished tablecloth plus the hem allowance. Tie a knot in the free end.

Secure the knot of the sting into the folded corner of the fabric panel with a pin.

  1. Mark the pattern.

Starting at one side edge, trace the length of the string onto the fabric, marking an arc onto the fabric.

  1. Cut the round.

Remove the string and cut through all four layers of fabric along the marked outside edge. You’ll now have a circle of fabric the desired diameter for your tablecloth, plus the hem allowance.

  1. Prepare the hem.

Place the fabric circle right-side-down on an ironing board. Fold up the 3/4 inch hem and press up all the way around.

With pins, fold under the raw cut edge of the fabric and pin the hem in place.

  1. Sew the hem.

Carefully either hand-sew or machine-sew the hem around the outer edge, taking care to keep the stitches an even distance from the edge.

  1. Finishing touches.

 

 

Press the finished panel, carefully keeping the hem flat and even.

Tips:

  1. Be sure to purchase enough fabric. A round tablecloth takes much more fabric than you’d think.
  2. Consider using a decorative king-size sheet for your fabric. You’ll get a lot of coverage for the money and might not have to piece the panels together.
  3. Be sure your scissors are sharp and strong. It might be difficult to cut through four layers of fabric.
  4. Have a large, clear surface to work on. A dining room table or clean floor is the best place so that you can spread things out.
  5. For a decorative touch, add fringe, beading, or cording around the bottom edge.

What You Need

  • Your round table to be covered
  • Enough fabric to make the tablecloth
  • A marking pen or chalk
  • String
  • Sharp scissors
  • A sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Trim or tassels if desired

 

Dining Room Design Tips from Urban Grace

The dining room will forever hold a special place in my heart. It’s where families gather for Sunday dinner, stories are shared and wine is guzzled sipped until the wee hours. Though any old’ dining room will typically do, these events are made infinitely sweeter when surrounded by pretty. And the sweet girls at Urban Grace  are no stranger to pretty.

Your favorite dining room you’ve ever designed?

UG: I have always loved this one from a local project I did a couple of years ago. I love how the neutral palette really allows the views of the gulf to remain the focal point. The portrait above the fireplace is an old family heirloom of the clients’ and I think it pulls everything together perfectly.

Any tips for designing a dining room on a small budget?

UG: Don’t be afraid of antique and thrift stores. If you’re working with a small budget you can find a piece of high quality at antique or even thrift stores for a fraction of the price. Don’t let a bad paint job or unattractive hardware hide the potential of a great piece.

SMP: How do you choose art for a dining room?

UG: Once you decide on the size you need it’s really whatever feels right to you. Art is so personal and it’s different for everyone – I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to choose art.

The biggest design mistake people make in their dining room?

UG: I may be repeating myself, but overcrowding. I think a lot of people have the idea that a dining room has to have all of these big pieces and they try and force it all into a room that wasn’t made to accommodate it all. Dining table and chairs, buffet, china cabinets, etc. I think you should let the space you have dictate what you need rather than vice versa.

  1. Don’t crowd it with a lot of big furniture.
  2. Make sure you allow for circulation around the table. Take into consideration how much room you will need when there are people sitting in the chairs – not just when there are pushed under the table.
  3. A dining room doesn’t have to be formal, keep it consistent with the rest of your house.
  4. The dining room is a great place to experiment with fabrics. Since it’s a room you usually don’t spend too much time in you won’t tire of them as quickly as you might if they were in your living room. Don’t be afraid of patterned draperies!
  5. Don’t upholster dining chairs in fabrics that aren’t easily cleaned or laundered. It is a dining room after all.