DINE IN STYLE
Homes & Gardens|December 2021
WE SHOW YOU HOW TO SET A WELCOMING SCENE FOR EVERY OCCASION, FROM INFORMAL FAMILY MEALS TO LAVISH ENTERTAINING
ARABELLA YOUENS

LAYERED NEUTRALS

A restrained colour palette can have a calming and elegant effect. For a room that works through the seasons opt for natural simplicity, leaving bold patterns and brighter hues in favour of muted tones, clear glass and natural materials. Here, the wall panelling has been painted in a soft, stone-like neutral that is comfortingly familiar. A traditional wooden dining table (this one is an antique from Maison Artefact) and rush-seat chairs continue the rustic feel, while candlelight provides an atmospheric glow. Decoration has been kept to a minimum, with woven placemats, linen napkins and foraged greenery, while the theme is followed to the windows with large paper stars. The scheme is cosy and convivial.

ON DISPLAY

When not in use, dining tables make for the most wonderful display surfaces. With a little effort they can be transformed into a mini exhibition space for gathered collectibles, which can then be whisked away when the table is called into action for entertaining. Ben Pentreath demonstrates how to best dress a ‘resting’ table in this scheme that he designed for a flat in Chelsea. The bottle green French velvet that covers the white gesso framed Louis XVI chairs is picked up by the collection of glass candlesticks and resin lamp bases on the table and the dresser behind. Also important to this room is the display of artwork on the walls; the symmetrical arrangement brings order and structure.

SMART SEATING

Banquettes not only provide ample seating, but also take up less space than chairs. ‘When designing banquettes we like to maximise space by adding storage,’ says interior designer Rebecca Hughes. ‘It’s also an opportunity to add pattern through scatter cushions.’

THE VIEW FROM HERE

In this dining room, the view was obscured by a tree and overlooked by the neighbouring house. Mike Fisher of Studio Indigo’s solution was to make a more inward-looking room using a mural, which creates an interesting backdrop for people gathered around the table.

FLEXIBLE SOLUTION

Circular tables are space-saving and ideal for corners or in smaller open-plan rooms, as demonstrated in this design by Sophie Ashby of Studio Ashby and architect Giles Quarme. ‘This is somewhere you can entertain, work or just read the paper and relax,’ says Sophie.

“WHEN IT COMES TO PREPARING THE CHRISTMAS TABLE, THERE’S A REAL JOY IN DOING THINGS WELL BUT NOT TO EXCESS. THE KEY IS TO PUT THE ENERGY INTO THE ELEMENTS WHERE IT’LL BE NOTICED AND FORGET ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE”

NINA CAMPBELL, founder, Nina Campbell

“I LIKE TO USE OVERSCALED FLORAL DESIGNS TO ANCHOR A DINING TABLE THAT ISN’T IN USE – PARTICULARLY IN AN OPEN-PLAN SETTING WHERE A LARGE EMPTY SURFACE CAN CREATE A HOLLOW IN THE ROOM”

NATALIA MIYAR, founder, Natalia Miyar Atelier

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM HOMES & GARDENSView All

AHEAD OF THE CURVE

Interior design practice Salvesen Graham and Flower Michelin Architects worked together to elevate this home into something rather special

6 mins read
Homes & Gardens
January 2022

A Feast For The Senses

Tis the season for an abundance of foliage and fragrance indoors – these experts do it with panache

4 mins read
Homes & Gardens
December 2021

MAKING A MARK

Henriette von Stockhausen was brought in to infuse this 18th-century former rectory with a look that is both classic and charmingly carefree

6 mins read
Homes & Gardens
January 2022

BOLD MOVES

BE BRAVE WITH FLOORING CHOICES FOR A BATHROOM THAT’S EYE-CATCHING AND UNFORGETTABLE

3 mins read
Homes & Gardens
January 2022

DECORATIVE HALLWAYS

COLOUR, PATTERN, FURNITURE, LIGHTING AND ART... THE FOLLOWING SENSATIONAL SPACES USE ALL OF THESE TOOLS TO CREATE PERSONALITY AND DEPTH

7 mins read
Homes & Gardens
January 2022

Great British brunching

Indulge in a glorious breakfast with chef Sally Clarke, whose latest book First Put On Your Apron is the perfect kitchen go-to

6 mins read
Homes & Gardens
January 2022

STEEPED IN HISTORY

Some of our very favourite shops are also in buildings with great stories. Here, with the help of writer Emma J Page, we share some of the top tales

3 mins read
Homes & Gardens
January 2022

PURE & SIMPLE

BEAUTIFUL MATERIALS, NATURAL FINISHES AND PARED-BACK DESIGN – WE CONSIDER WHAT HAPPENS WHEN STYLE TAKES A CLEAN AND CALM TURN

5 mins read
Homes & Gardens
January 2022

WHAT'S NEW IN GARDEN DESIGN?

DRAWING ON THIS YEAR’S WINNERS OF THE SOCIETY OF GARDEN DESIGNERS AWARDS, WE SHOWCASE OUR PREDICTIONS FOR OUTDOOR SPACES IN 2022

4 mins read
Homes & Gardens
January 2022

CREATE YOUR OWN MARBLED WRAPPING PAPER AND GIFT TAGS

Compton Marbling has been making hand-marbled paper and related products since the 1970s. Marbling supplies such as carrageenan powder and alum are also available.

2 mins read
Homes & Gardens
December 2021