“The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table.”
This quote is an important reminder for the culture we live in today. There's a reason why, in the days before technology, the dining room was a much frequented, important part of any home. Every meal time was spent there, and regular dinner parties would bring it to life. Nowadays, distractions away from the dining room are everywhere. It's all too easy to swap family teatime for TV dinners after a stressful day, or to eat a quick bowl of something at your desk whilst finishing that final bit of work. Dining space is now so easily neglected and its potential lost. But what makes a dining room so important? And how can you breathe some life back into your mealtime moments? We break down exactly how to turn your dining room into the true heart of your home.
Use your dining table to connect
It’s time to revive the lost art of the mealtime, away from the distractions of the outside world. Why? As the quote says, the table is where the fondest memories are made. These memories are made through sharing about our day, laughing about mutual experiences - the simplicity of daily interaction. After a busy day at work and school, the mealtime around a table provides a vital point of connection.
It’s not just your family who can benefit from connection in this space. Invite your friends over and instead of heading straight for the sofa, make use of your dining table. Use the opportunity to crack open a bottle of wine, share some food and play games. A dining table is the perfect way to encourage conversation that might not have happened with the TV turned on or the music playing.
Not just for eating
Of course, the dining table is not always a place to share food. This might be the place where your children do their homework, where family affairs are organised, or where you come together for games as a family. The possibilities, and potential for connection, are endless! It may be firstly a place of nourishment, but it is a place of learning, growth and enjoyment too.
A good dining space will have people staying at your table for longer, without the need to break up conversation to move into a more encompassing space. Being around a table ensures that everyone is included, equal and everyone can enjoy the company. So what can you physically do to transform your dining room into this heart of connection, and how do you make sure that people will want to remain there?
Push your table away from any walls so that it's as accessible as possible for adults and kids alike. And then make it a true feature of the room! Candles, flowers and placemats can transform a table so that it's inviting and stylish. Encourage your family members to start sitting at the dining table more regularly - whether it's whilst you read the paper with your morning coffee, or some sketching time with the little ones.
If you've got an entire dining room that is currently a little underused, invest in the space. Adding a radio or music system might be all you need to lift the mood of a room. Invest in comfortable chairs, or add cushions so that you don’t always make a beeline for the sofa - you want this to be an inviting space that people will want to stay in.
Create the perfect space
Every home is different, and each has varying amounts of space. It might be that your home does not have a dedicated room specifically for dining. If this is the case, you can often still find an area of your home where you can place even the smallest of tables. When used to its potential, you will find that this is not a waste of your space, but actually a valued part of it.
If you have a more open-plan home with many rooms in one, try to create a ‘room within a room’ for your dining area. Having this separation will ensure the space is appreciated and not neglected through hectic daily life. You might do this with a display unit or a sideboard to section off the area, or a pendant light that hangs over the table, creating a clear zone for coming together.
Choose furniture that will invite people in. A classic, traditional style will give your dining space a regal and sophisticated feel, or you may choose a statement table, or chairs that are not quite the same - whatever your style, you can always make it your own. It is important that this space is well lit, comfortable and inviting. Your family and friends should actually want to stay at the table, after the food has been eaten or coffee has been drunk, to continue connecting and continue making memories.
If you do have a dedicated room for your dining area, this can be an ideal space to hang up that artwork you have had stored away, waiting for a location where it can be fully appreciated. Have your family treasures and memories on display. A wonderful way to create new memories is to use your old ones as a talking point! Not only can these trinkets on display bring joy to your family, but they are sure to become a point of interest for any guests that see them too.
Make it your own
If you’ve been inspired to revive your dining room and make your dining table the heart of your home, here at NCF Living, we have a fantastic range of designs and styles for your dining room furniture. For a classic, rustic look, our Kelbrook Round Dining Table is a great option that will bring character to the room. If your home has more of a modern style, you might want to invest in our Florence Extending Dining Table for a smooth and contemporary look that is sure to impress. Many of our dining tables have matching chairs available, so you can complete the room with style.
Our hope is that you are able to create a space that is unique to your home. A space where breakfast and dinner are hubs of conversation, and game nights come alive. So bring back the art of the mealtime and discover what time spent at the dining table can do for your family and your home.