Dining in style

Stylish dining room ideas from an award-winning designer – UDesign

Jason Harris, Creative Director, UDesign:

When it comes to a beautiful dining room, “It’s all about setting the right mood”, says Jason Harris. “Your guests must feel comfortable enough in stylish surroundings to converse without ever checking their watches. A common mistake is to have chairs that look great but are uncomfortable to sit in for hours at a stretch. This is especially important in a Mediterranean culture where meals can last many hours. Choose armchairs rather than chairs, best made of natural materials in earthy colours.  

“The table should be simply and elegantly designed and made of wood, marble or stone. Steer clear of bright white and high gloss. The lighting should be intimate and hang low enough that a beautifully set table, and the food on it, can be admired as the work of art it often is. 

“If lacking an outside view, there should be something of special visual interest on the walls, perhaps dramatic wallpaper, and if a terrace forms part of the view, it should be suitably illuminated to add to the ambience. There should also be a cabinet close to the table where items that would otherwise occupy too much table space can be kept, such as dishes, bottles and the like.  

“Good food, while essential to the success of a dinner party, comes second to overall ambience. And the right mood is achieved, not by waiting for it to happen, but by creating it from the outset.” 

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