Everyone loves spacious rooms, but there are times when a room can actually be too big and the result is that the space feels cold and impersonal. If a dining room is very large, gathering around the table can feel more like a conference than an inviting dining experience. Finding ways to bring a large dining room down to a more intimate scale is therefore desirable in some cases, but it is actually more challenging to make a room look smaller than it is to make it look larger. However, there are a few designer tips that can help and we’ll discuss them here.
If you were trying to make a room feel larger, you would be advised to use lighter colors and reduce contrast. So, just the opposite is true if you want to make a big room seem smaller. Embrace deep rich colors like burgundy for the walls; wall paper with larger patterns and contrast also make a room feel smaller. You can also paint the ceiling in a darker color, as opposed to white, and add a lower tray ceiling to add drama and make the room feel more intimate.
Using Furniture, Placement and Other Design Tricks
Large furniture pieces are the way to go in a large dining room. Celebrate the fact that you can add a long table that seats eight or more. And choose a stylish buffet and server; instead of placing them against the wall, bring them a few feet into the room to make the space feel smaller. The goal is to bring the focus of the room to the furniture instead of big open spaces. A beautiful wall screen can be used to hide corner space and a large piece of wall art can work as a focal point, diverting attention from room size once again.
You can also use furniture to define spaces within the space; this makes the room feel cozier. This also reduces the feeling of wasted or dead space, which only makes a room feel more impersonal. A great trick is to start with a gorgeous piece of furniture that is large enough in scale for the room; for example, you could use a beautiful china cabinet. Make it a focal point by adding spotlights to highlight it or choose a cabinet with built-in lighting. This directs your attention to that portion of the room and makes it appear like a room within a room.
A large dining room is also an ideal candidate for a built-in wet bar. It can be styled in contemporary or traditional style to suite the room’s decor and will add a great deal of convenience when entertaining. Built-in shelves are also a great feature in a large dining room; utilize open shelving above for display space but design some cabinet space on the lower portion of the built-in for hidden storage.
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