Cooking, eating, entertaining - it’s all done in one room nowadays, but how can you make your kitchen-diner really perfect for parties and dinners? We show you how.
Transforming Your Kitchen-Diner
Celebrity baker Mary Berry may have championed the kitchen diner but many of us lamented the passing of the formal dining room. Kept pristine for ‘special occasions’, the busy family home can no longer afford the luxury of a room shut away until the next dinner party or family gathering. Thus, the ever-practical kitchen-diner is a common and loved feature in many homes.
But, when the need arises, how can you ‘dress it up’ so that it transforms into a beautiful entertaining space?
1. Table settings
Think of the table as the shoe of the outfit. You wouldn’t wear a sparkling, off the shoulder dress or tux and black tie to a formal dinner party with comfy slippers on your feet – no matter how much you want to!
Shoes are what people really notice, their quality and the upkeep, just as when they attend a dinner party, they notice the dinner table: the table cover, the cutlery, the plates and so on.
If it looks tired and jaded, it will show. They will notice the small chips out of cups and the dishwasher-faded gold edging on the dinner plates. They will notice the scratches on the glass tumblers from heavy use and they will notice the mismatching items too.
To transform the kitchen-diner space, you need to transform the dinner table. And that means a clean pristine table cover, beautiful cutlery and crockery all arranged in a way that screams classy, not clashy.
2. Change the lighting
In the busy kitchen-diner, it makes sense to have functional lighting. You need illumination at a busy family meal, and when the space is the hub of activity from homework to boisterous play.
And so, you have probably opted for LED lighting that really does illuminate every inch of the room. And it makes sense but for a dinner party, it is too stark, too bright, too much.
If you have LED lighting, you could have a dimmer switch fitted by a qualified electrician that allows you to dial down the kitchen-diner landing lights to create a softer ambience to the room.
Or, you can go one step further and opt for a pendant light (or lights) that float above the dining table. This display can act as a focal point too, a marvellous piece of on-trend lighting that becomes part of the more ‘formal’ entertaining and dining setting you are opting for.
3. Clear the clutter
Do you know what the best investment is for a kitchen-diner, other than a fantastic dining table? A sideboard.
You may think that a sideboard is a throwback to the 1970s but frankly, with so many modern designs from the minimal to the traditional, there is an almost never-ending choice of dining room sideboards.
They are versatile in so many ways. For example, keep your ‘best’ dinner service or pretty accessories in there for the next time you entertain. And when you do, simply load the clutter in the cabinet and drawers whilst bringing out your candelabra and napkins.
4. Add seating
Entertaining, of course, is not just about formal dinner parties. They can be informal gatherings where guests drop by, enjoy great food and interesting conversation, whilst making memories with plenty of laughter too.
When it comes to having guests in your home, seating is usually an issue and when it comes to the kitchen diner, you need to pack in versatile seating that see your guests more comfortable than standing for hours and hours.
- Dining benches?
There is nothing better for any dining room than a dining bench. An expanse on which you can squeeze several children or a few adults, you can no better investment in our eyes. When not in use, it tucks neatly under the dining table or for ad hoc seating, place it down the length of a wall and pull out when needed.
But if you are still thinking hardwood benches with no back, take a fresh look because there are some amazing designer pieces (but without the price tag) with a high back, upholstery and exquisite button or stud detailing.
- Informal seating such as tub chairs?
Tub chairs are low backed chairs that bring a sense of fun into play in any room. They cocoon the person seated, enveloped in a semi-circle curve of the seat that forms the arm and the back of the chair too.
As well as leather tub chairs for sale – great for wiping up any spills after a party – there is a growing range of upholstered tub chairs too. Opt for fun florals, demure checks or inject a zing of colour into the kitchen diner with bright coloured tub chairs.
4. There is NO set entertaining formula
The kitchen diner is a great space. It can be a large room, a great place to invite family and friends to dine, as well as to party.
Many hosts worry about their party not being fun enough, people not enjoying themselves or running out of food and drinks. Some of us become so entrenched in ‘making the party happen’ that we forget to be part of it and enjoy it too.
In effect, transforming your kitchen diner into a fantastic entertaining space is about:
- Atmosphere – this is created by the people you invite mingling, laughing, chatting and enjoying themselves
- Ambience – is created by the backdrop, so thin lighting as well as how the room looks, accessories and details that add sparkle to the space
- Food and drink – from a formal dinner party to a party, delicious food and a choice of drinks help people to relax and enjoy themselves
- You – from meeting and greeting, to mingling and attending to your guests, the real star of any party is you!
From formal dinner parties to informal gatherings, your kitchen diner is the ideal space. Switch it up with these ideas and relax!