Some of my best memories with family and friends have been around the table with a good meal. A lot of people looking for houses will put so much emphasis on areas like the foyer, or the bathroom. And while I mean those places of the house no ill repute, I always wondered why they aren’t as concerned with the dining room! I mean, if some of your most cherished memories are made in the bathroom, you are weird. Sorry.
That being said, I love nothing more than to go home to Michigan and have Sunday lunch, made by the best mother I know, Jan. She is always whipping up new recipes, and makes any dinner a wonderful experience, with coordinating table linens, centerpieces and the coup de grâce, a variety of deserts that she lovingly calls, ‘The Tour’. The best part of it all is that none of it is rushed, we all love sitting around talking, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. This European style of dining is what I try to emulate in my own home. People these days are so hurried, wanting to wolf down a meal mindlessly in front of the TV. Don’t get me wrong, this happens from time to time in our house, but especially when we have friends over, I like to sit down and savor the entire mealtime . After I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, and had to cook most-to-all of my food at home, (instead of my habitual restaurant-hopping and take out), I have had lots more experience in the kitchen, and consequentially the dining room! I figure, if I am going to spend all that time in the kitchen making a meal, I at least want to sit down and enjoy it! Maybe this is where my focus comes from…
Recently, we got a great deal on a little settee for our dining room. Our dining room isn’t very big, so it was a practical way to add more seating, and it also added a comfortable, relaxed element to it. The little sofa is definitely any guest’s favorite place to sit during dinner, and more often than not, I find myself there curled up there with my book or iPad, and some snacks laid out on the table. It’s the perfect way to seamlessly blend the functionality of a place to eat, with the long-lasting comfort of lounging on the couch. Making mealtime an event to look forward to is definitely a great trend that is starting to catch on. Take a look and see what I mean…
I love the rustic, colorful, collected feeling of this first picture! Somehow those velvet chairs work!
This next picture, found on the Design Files Daily, is from the Australian home of Melly Beilby. Even though it is technically an eat in kitchen, I love the woven chairs, and all the brightly colored serve ware-stocked with all of that glorious fresh produce!
Her formal dining room is pretty amazing as well. I love that tropical painting!
The next photo of the West Elm Elton Settee is perfect for a long, loungy dinner party.
The green Eames chairs in this dining room are so inventive! And the contrast of the yellow cabinet=perfect pops of bright color.
I love the cozy pillow arrangement and photo collage of this breakfast nook:
This dining room from Commune Design has an eclectic, airy, bohemian vibe that is perfection!
Thom Filicia designed this next dining room. Everything seems over-sized and dramatic.
Reese Witherspoon’s Ojai ranch dining room is exactly what I’m talking about! Lots of comfy seating, and that fiddle leaf ficus in the background is my favorite!
(I am currently trying to work up to keeping an indoor plant that large alive…)
These next two photos are from one of my favorite designers, Peter Dunham.
The first is from a home he did in the Hollywood Hills. Did I mention how passionately I feel about grass-cloth??? I am dying to put it up on at least one of our walls…
I love this second photo, from another project he did in the Hollywood Hills. That has got to be the biggest, comfiest banquet I have ever seen!
If these photos don’t inspire more people to eat at home, I don’t know what will!!!