dining room ideas two



Make a Small Space Feel Big

Here's a great way to make a cramped space feel big. Paint a large-scale checkerboard on the wall, or some other simple graphic that says "Big is beautiful."

Double-Duty Dining Room

If your dining room is reserved for formal meals, it's probably not getting much use. Toss aside the room label and make your dining space live the way you want it to. By trading in a formal dining set for a small table and love seat duet, this dining room pulls double duty as a happy gathering spot. An oversize ottoman adds comfort and a place to serve casual edibles in front of a TV tucked into the side-by-side armoires.

Mix and Match China

Like a varied guest list, this china consists of a personal blend of mismatched teacups and saucers, all unified by similarly delicate, small-scale designs in blue and white. Collect your own homey potpourri of cups and saucers at garage sales and at flea markets. And fear not; it's perfectly okay to mix pieces of different materials (stoneware and china, for example) and quality.

Enlarge a Window Area

By focusing in on a too-small window area, you can make the window appear larger that its actual size. In this breakfast room, for example, plates team with a balloon shade to lend focal-point status to a tiny window on a big wall.

Birthday Blowout

A landmark birthday calls for a real celebration. Ask each guest to bring one or more glass candleholders and white candles--one for every birthday year. As guests arrive, place the candles on a round glass-topped table and light them. Leave the candles burning until the end of the evening, then let everyone help blow them out.