All the colors, patterns, textures, and lighting in the dining room should provide a flattering setting for the dining table. Think of this as the star, center stage, and everything else, including existing features such as a fireplace or window, as important but supporting role players. Position the table for maximum impact, for example under a central, eye-catching light fixture, or framed by a window treatment or a handsome fireplace. Alternatively, create your own foil – position a sideboard or serving table to balance the dining table, and use the top for a dramatic display as on a mantelpiece, with lights or candles to each side. Other foils could be an elaborate screen, theatrically ornate mirror, bold picture display, specimen topiaries, potted palms, or other large, leafy plants.
As befits the most important feature in the dining room, the table should take pride of place; not only with tableware, linen, and accessories to enhance your theme, but because of its own impact. If your dining table and chairs are unexceptional or not compatible with your chosen style, transform them using spectacular patterned and colored fabric. A fabulous floor-length cloth, tailored to flatter the table shape, and chair slipcovers, will alter the whole look of the room. If all your chairs require is a simple change of color, lavishly upholstered seat pads will instantly focus attention where you want it.
Window treatments reflect and enhance the look, so be generous here with shape, color, and texture. Use rich velvets and glowing silks – saris are relatively inexpensive – swaged and draped in lavish folds, and trimmed with rich braids, fringing, and tassels. Alternatively, choose a more restrained elegance. Minimalist blinds, tailored pelmets and lambrequins, and graphic prints such as those with classical motifs or calligraphy, all have a dramatic undertone, and a bold, almost stark approach can be just as relevant in the right setting as lavish furnishings in sumptuous, period-inspired schemes.
Because dramatic style is larger than life and an element of fantasy is the norm, you can really indulge a passion for extravagance when it comes to choosing accessories and style details. Make sure each element earns its place visually in the scheme of things; fussiness means a loss of impact. Let your theme dictate a signature color choice for tableware, fabric covers, table mats or color accent under plates, and match crockery and cutlery to stemware where possible, whether it is elegant crystal or extravagantly tinted, gilded, or beaded in style.
Be indulgent with table centerpieces – use fruit, vegetables, flowers, or natural forms. These offer lots of dramatic potential. Incorporate candles into the scheme – arrange them at different heights for effect. The containers you use should echo your theme. Architectural pedestal urns, oversized, sleek, and modern glass vases, carved ethnic bowls, and antique-style metal or rustic clay and wicker, all speak volumes about mood and ambience.
Copyright 2009 Rhonda Morin, MyInteriorDecorator.com. May not be reprinted.
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