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May 24, 2016

Divine dining room design!

When it comes to dining rooms, I think there are 2 types of homeowners: those that love having a formal dining room for hosting family gatherings and large parties, and those who will maybe use the dining room table once or twice a year and spend the remainder of the year wondering what to do with that space so that it gets used more often. No matter how you use your dining room, I can bet you that it's due for a design update!

For those of you wishing to keep your dining room a space to break bread with loved ones, but who are looking to give your space a bit of an update, you may be wondering where to begin. Because purchasing new dining room furniture is quite an investment (or because you may be hanging on to a family heirloom), I suggest you start with the lighting. Often times if find that dining rooms have old, outdated chandeliers that are often too small for the space. How do you know what size you should buy? Here are some handy tips I like to refer to:

If you are sizing your chandelier to your room, follow this simple formula: add the length + width of the dining room. Convert that number into inches and that will tell you the size chandelier you need.  For example, for a 10' x 12' room you add 10 + 12 = 22 feet. Simply change that number to inches and you will discover that a 22 inch chandelier will suit your room perfectly.

You can also size your chandelier to your dining table. The rule of thumb here is that your chandelier should be between 1/2 to 2/3 the length of the table and no greater than 12'" narrower than the width. Hang your lighting so that there is plenty of space to ensure that no one hits their head! A good rule to follow is for every foot of ceiling height, the chandelier should be 3” in height. Rooms with ceilings 9’ tall or more can handle larger chandeliers with two tiers to fill the space.

I often like to match the shape of the chandelier to the shape of the table. Hang a round drum shade above a round table or a long rectangular chandelier above a long, narrow dining table. And I absolutely love to hang two chandeliers above a nice big table. In the case of two chandeliers, choose a style that is 1/3 the width of the table and then hang them in the center of each half of the table.

When it comes to chandeliers, I think that it's better to be bigger. An oversized light fixture looks far better than one that is too small.

Now that you've got your lighting figured out, where's everyone going to sit? Ahhh, the seating! Do your best not to cram too much into this room, otherwise we're afraid it'll look like a furniture warehouse! If you can, allow for 24-28 inches of table length for each person (add a bit more for those sitting near the corner). So a 72 inch table should comfortably seat six people and a 96 inch table can accommodate 8. If you like the idea of a round table (great for conversation), a 54-60 inch table can seat 6 people and a 72 inch round table can seat 8. Be sure that there is 12 inches of space between the table and the seat cushion of the chair.

You should also plan for at least 32-36 inches of space between the back of your chair and the wall or furniture. If there's a traffic zone, plan for 42-48 inches (if it's at all possible!).

Rugs are a fun and inexpensive way to update your dining room. There are so many options available today, your choices are endless! There is everything from traditional oriental rugs to modern graphic patterns and everything in between!  All of them are suitable for a dining room update! Choose a rug fabric that is easy to clean and will resist (or at least hide) stains! I often recommend indoor/outdoor rugs for eating areas because they are so easy to care for! As for the size of your rug, we recommend that it's at least 24-30 inches wider than the table so that your guests can push their chairs away from the table and still be situated on the rug.

Add pops of color with slip covered seating. You can choose to do all of the chairs or just the 2 chairs at the head of the table. You can even pick a pair of comfy wingback chairs for those lucky guests who get to sit at the end of the table. Or, get creative and pair an upholstered bench with your dining set.

I love the idea of designing a dining room so that it's multifunctional and so that the space isn't collecting dust while waiting for guests to arrive! With so many of my clients working from home these days, I find that they are often looking for a nook in their home where they can set up a home office. Why not use the space you have in the dining room? Just be sure to have lots of pretty and functional storage  to contain the clutter!

Give your kids some extra space to be creative or do homework. Design your dining room to do double duty! Kid friendly by day, ready to dine by night!

I love books. Like, I mean I really love books. And I am still a bit, "old-school", as some may call it, because I haven't entirely converted to a digital reader. Mostly because I love the feel of the pages in my hand and the smell of an old book. The challenge is, where do I store all of these books? I like to keep them nearby for quick reference, which is why I love the idea of adding shelving to a dining room. Not only does it look great, but surely those books will prove to be a great conversation starter!

Don't let that precious square footage in your home go unused! Give your dining room the love and attention it deserves!

Transformations Worth Sharing

Clients who have experienced the transformative power of healthy interior design

Renee possesses a rare combination of artistic creativity and intuitive design. Her warmth and compassion extended beyond working with us to understanding the style and feel of our home and how we live in it. We felt fortunate to work with and get to know Renee and absolutely love the updates she made to our home- from windows and walls to artwork and furniture!

Jim P.

Renee is an absolutely wonderful designer. Very talented and easy to work with! She will transform your room or outdoor space into exactly what you want, only better!

Karen S.

Talented, creative, dedicated, great communicator. Renee is such a special person.

Marla W.

We have worked with Renee Carman at this company for almost 2 years. Renee is professional, personable, and a pleasure to know. She is very helpful and will go the extra mile to please her clients. Renee has excellent expertise and knowledge of interior design. We have a beautiful home and highly recommend her.

Lisa W.

Renee possesses a rare combination of artistic creativity and intuitive design.  Her warmth and compassion extended beyond working with us to understanding the style and feel of our home and how we live in it.  We felt fortunate to work with and get to know Renee and absolutely love the updates she made to our home- from windows and walls to artwork and furniture!

Kate S.

Renee was a pleasure to work with and has great vision. We were doing a total rehab of a recently purchased property and she was able to look at a gutted out '50s cottage and turn it into a beautiful mid-century modern home. She understood our budget and timeline and was good about narrowing all our options down to just a few choices. This expedited the process, made it less difficult and more enjoyable. Once the rehab is done, we look forward to working with her again and finish the rest of the rooms.

Bill H.

Renee at Mandeville Canyon Interior Design was simply wonderful to work with. She was able to understand what we were looking for in terms of color, function and design from the moment we first spoke. She's easy to work with, goes above and beyond and delivers an outstanding design.

I highly recommend Renee and Mandeville Canyon Interior Design. I don't think I will attempt to decorate another room in my house without the help of Renee!

Pam O.

Love working with Renee and Mandeville Canyon Interior Design ! I had the opportunity to collaborate on a large scale design project recently and the results were fantastic! Creative, resourceful and one of kind design ideas made this design opportunity with Renee "one of a kind" Have a large or small project? You won't be disappointed!!

Mary S.

Renee not only has an amazingly creative eye, she also directed a massive renovation for us this past year that included the challenges of operating during the pandemic. She put together a team that had an incredible work ethic and brought the project in on-time and on-budget. She's a great listener. When we threw ideas at her, she was never dismissive; quite the contrary, she made them better. Her patience, attention to detail combined with her whacky sense of humor meant we were all able to smile while producing a home that we love. A great talent and a great lady.

Ann R.

Rene is amazing!  Great customer care and wonderful attention to detail.

Holly M.