Tricks to Sizing Your Dining Room

Dining room

Working for Bellacor made me realize how much there is to consider when buying furnishings for your dining room. Not only do you have to worry about budget, color, and personal taste, you also have to consider size.
Figuring out the best size table and the perfectly proportioned fixture for your needs can be confusing. Here are the tips I use to direct people to their best pieces.

Sizing Your Dining Table

The table is the heart of the dining room. Whether you use your dining room for every meal, or only special occasions, the following tips will help you choose the most functional table for any space.
1. Make sure you have a clearance of 42”- 48” around your table. This will allow enough room for seating as well as traffic flow.
• If you have a small dining room, consider using a round table. Not only does this
maximize your small space, but it also allows for a more intimate dining experience.
• Consider choosing a square table if you have a square room. This will give more
symmetry to your space and create a more put-together look.

2. Determine how many place settings you need. Each person will need about 24” of space.
• A rectangular table has as many place settings as it does feet. A 6’ table will sit 6 people, an 8’ table will sit 8 people, and so on.
• A round table’s place settings depend on what kind of base it has. A round table with a pedestal base has 1 more place setting than feet, and a table with legs has 1 less place setting than feet. For example, a 5’ pedestal table seats 6 while a 5’ table with legs seats 4.

3. Don’t forget about seat height! Look for chairs with a 16” seat height for a table that is 27” high. For tables between 28” and 30” high, use chairs with an 18” seat height.
• Don’t worry if you and your family are very tall or on the shorter side, these are just general tips. Play around with seat height until you find the one most comfortable for you!

Dining table size chart

Photo credit: Holiday Home Times

Sizing Your Light Fixture

Now that you’ve picked out your table, let’s move on to finding the perfect overhead lighting for you. While sizing your fixture might seem overwhelming at first, here are some tips you will find illuminating.

Kichler Hayman Bay Chandelier

1. The width of your chandelier should be three-quarters to one-half as wide as your dining table. Ideally, your fixture should be about twelve inches narrower than your table to prevent your more accident-prone guests from bumping their heads.
• If you have a long, rectangular table, consider using an island pendant instead of a traditional chandelier. A longer fixture will draw your eye down the length of the table.
• Try using pendants installed on an adjustable track if you have a dining table with a leaf. This lets your lighting expand as your table does.
• For those of you choosing lighting before your furniture, just add the length and width of your room together to determine the best width for your chandelier. A 10’x10’ room would have a chandelier 20” in width.

Maxim Lighting Pendants

2. Your lighting should hang between 30”- 32” above your table. If you have a ceiling more than 8’ high, add three inches for every additional foot. For example, if you have 12’ ceilings, hang your fixture between 42”- 44” from the table.
• Low hanging lighting over a table creates intimacy while high hanging lighting creates formality. Feel free to play around with your hanging height to best fit your style, but make sure to allow enough room to comfortably enjoy your food.
• Adding tall chandelier shades can help put your chandelier in proportion with high ceilings. Try using 12” chandelier shades for high ceilings.

3. Remember to consider the visual weight of your fixture. The shape and design of your chandelier has a big effect on your vertical space.
• Sleek, light fixtures look bigger and will help fill up dining rooms with high ceilings.
• Remember that traditional style chandeliers may look smaller in spaces because of their detailed design.
Now that you know how to size up when it comes to the dryer side of design, you can focus on the fun things like color and style!

About Jessica Olson

Jessica Olson is a Minnesota blogger who writes about home decor and interior design. She has a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.   She loves stories, pops of color, and a good joke.

Helpful home tips for when you’re away on vacation

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Summer isn’t over yet, and I’m sure many of you are still preparing for your family vacation. Before you take off and enjoy a week of relaxation and sightseeing, follow these tips to keep your home safe and ready for your return.

1. Suspend your mail and newspaper

Photo credit: Pinterest

Unless you’ve made a habit of not bringing in the mail everyday, a stuffed mailbox will tell others that you’re out of town and might not be back for a while. Put your mail and newspaper services on hold until you get back.

2. Invest in timers

Once again, you don’t want to make it obvious that you’re on vacation, and people might notice if your lights are off all week. Consider investing in a timer that you can program to turn the lights on and off during your absence.

3. Keep your plants watered

You’ve worked hard to keep your plants alive and thriving. Don’t let them start wilting now! Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to stop by your house and water your plants throughout the week.

4. Unplug appliances

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

You’re not going to be home all week, so you might as well save some energy. Unplug all of your appliances before you take off. This will also ensure that you don’t leave anything on while you’re away.

5. Clean the house before you go

Vacations are relaxing, but they can also be exhausting. When you get back, you’re not going to want to come home to a messy house. Take some time to ensure everything is in order and cleaned before you go. There’s nothing better than coming home to a clean house after a fun-filled, but tiring week!

By Wendy Weinert

10 ways to hide the eyesores in your home

No matter how hard we try to make our homes stylish and beautiful, there are many little details, like cords or scratched wood, that diminish its visual appeal. Try hiding those eyesores in the home with these 10 creative strategies and it’ll make your interior design shine.

1. Seek out stylish storage solutions, like a decorative box or vintage suitcases that can also be used as decor. After all, who says you have to use ugly plastic tubs to keep your home organized?

Photo credit: 17 Apart

Photo credit: 17 Apart

 

2. Cover up clutter or lackluster space with a beautiful screen. It will instantly lend your room a more elegant look.

screen

3. Cut holes in a decorative box to hide your cords and outlet strip. Or, place your furniture strategically so that cords fall behind it.

Photo credit: Sweet Sanity

Photo credit: Sweet Sanity

 

4. Freshen up your weathered wooden furniture with a fresh coat of paint in a bold color. Paint can also be used to cover up unattractive flooring and walls.

Photo Credit: My Cotton Creations

Photo Credit: My Cotton Creations

 

5. Install a pull-out trash and recycling bin in your kitchen. This will also help to reduce bad odors!

Photo credit: DO or DIY

Photo credit: DO or DIY

 

6. Use a stylish bed skirt to hide your box spring, as well as storage underneath the bed.bed skirt

 

7. Build pull-out drawers for your pet’s food and water dishes. When guests come over, you can simply close the drawer.

Photo credit: The San Francisco Glose

Photo credit: The San Francisco Globe

 

8. Cover up an unattractive view with beautiful curtains. If you still want to let in natural light, opt for a more sheer fabric.

curtains

9. Design an attractive bathroom by filling stylish, reusable bottles with your soaps and lotions.

Soap Dispenser

10. Hide a dirty spot on the carpet by placing a colorful rug on top. Rugs aren’t just for covering hardwood floors, after all!

colorful rug
By Wendy Weinert

11 Problems with Lighting

Photo By: chris.corwin (Flickr)

Photo By: chris.corwin (Flickr)

When it comes to interior design, lighting is an element that often gets overlooked. I have walked into a room many times and felt that something was a little off; the couches look good, the fabric of the curtains hangs nicely against the wall, and the rug is the perfect size, but something is missing. A quick scope of the lights, and there is my answer. Lighting ties a room together. It is the beginning and final touches of a room. When designing a room, problems with lighting can arise. Sometimes you can’t get it to electrically work, and often it simply does not work in a room. Here are 11 problems that are often found in a room.

Lighting in all the Wrong Places

I could have twenty different lights in the same room, but if they aren’t placed correctly, it might end up dark in the place I need the light the most. This is often a struggle when a room is wired electrically wrong.

Unsightly Lighting

If a light is ugly it doesn’t matter how bright it shines or where it hangs; it will be continue to be an eyesore. Read about these awful light-fixtures and why they should never have been hung in these rooms.

No Task Light in the Kitchen

The kitchen is where I cook, and it is so frustrating when the upper cabinets block the light from my working space. Learn about how installing lighting under your cabinets adds function with a touch of style.

No Dimmers

My mood changes throughout the day and a dimmer makes it easy to adjust the feel of a room. I have to have a dimmer in the family room. Being able to lower the lights while watching a movie is important. Adding a dimmer, along with these other lighting tips, will get your house glowing in the right way.

Too Many Recessed Lights

I love using can lights in a room, but when they are the only thing lighting a room it can feel dark. Recessed lights make it difficult for the light to escape and stretch out in the room. Read more about using too many recessed lights along with five other lighting mistakes in a home.

Energy Wasters

The biggest thing I look at when remodeling or designing any room is creating a room that is stunning and functional. Too many people jump on a design they love without thinking about the comfort or cost in the long run. Selecting energy-efficient lights can save energy and money while still giving the desired look.

Electrical Problems

If you are changing light-bulbs constantly or watching the bulb flicker, you are probably experiencing electrical problems. Read about the most common electrical problems and whether your little problem is actually a big one.

Lacking Variety

Don’t get too excited and start hanging all your favorite lights in the same room. Having variety is important, but this applies to the entire house. The kitchen, bathroom, and family room all serve a very different purpose. Lights should play a role in helping that room be functional.

Misuse of Natural Light

Natural light can play a huge part in lighting a room during the day. Embracing it can make a room completely bright without turning on any switches.

No Accent Lighting

I absolutely love accent lights in interior design. Using it around artwork, along stairs, and under cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms are a few of my favorite places to see the little lights glowing.

Too Many Lights

I have talked about how less is more, and it applies to lighting as well. Having too many different lights can be overwhelming and distracting. Position a couple of lights appropriately can give the same effect and provide an equal amount of brightness as hanging several lights; it also can save money on your electric bill.

by Wendy Weinert

Bar Stools: Styles Galore!

Let’s face it — the kitchen can be a hard room to decorate. Unlike the living room or the bedroom, you can’t just hang up photos and decorative items everywhere. You need space to eat and prepare food! Luckily for you, bar stools have become commonplace in the kitchen, and they come in a variety of styles, materials and colors. Take advantage of this opportunity to bring excitement to your kitchen’s design!

elk lighting picture

Photo Credit: Elk Lighting

You’re probably used to matching chairs with the tables they sit with. After all, many chairs come with the table and are designed to look similar. With bar stools, however, you can have some fun and make the stools stand out!

Untitled

Modern

If your kitchen is modern, take the design one step further with bar stools. In modern designs, monochromatic colors are typical, but they are paired with bold colors to keep the look interesting. You can instantly make the room pop with a bright red or orange bar stool. Or, if you already have enough color, select a stool with an unusual design like the Viva Brown Bar Stool. The bar stools will instantly become the main attraction in your kitchen.

                                        Photo Credit: Woodinville Architects & Designers eric gedney | ARCHITECT

Rustic

Give your country kitchen some more of that rustic charm with wooden bar stools. If you feel that wooden chairs are too uncomfortable, get one that has an upholstered print. You can also avoid having wooden stools altogether and choose materials like wicker or leather, which are much more comfortable. Just be sure that the leather is more of a burnt red or brown, not black or white.

Photo Credit: Houzz

Photo Credit: Yvonne McFadden LLC, Interior Design, Houzz

Industrial

An industrial kitchen is an easy look to pull off, because it is a room already filled with appliances! Too add more style to your industrialized kitchen, choose stools that are made of metal, gray or black in color and are designed with stark, straight lines. Grays and blacks might sound boring, but they’ll give your kitchen a very sharp look.

 What style of kitchen do you have? No matter what the style, there’s a bar stool to match!

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Find the right rug type for you in 3 easy steps!

Rugs can be made in many ways so when it comes time to purchase the decision can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to selecting a rug that will work best for you home and space.

Tip 1: Make sure the rug you choose is functional for you. If you have pets you do not want a looped product as dogs and cats nails tend to pull the tufted loops out. Shag rugs or cutpile rugs are best with pets. Here is an example of rugs that will wear excellent with pets. Strata rugTip 2:  If you are placing the rug in a high traffic area woven rugs will perform best and stand up to the challenge. These rugs have fibers that are woven through the backing providing stability to the face fibers. You may also need a rug pad to keep the rug in place. If the area gets a particular amount of traffic or if its in an area where you pivot. The rug may need something heavy duty to keep it in place. In this case our Mohawk Home Rug tape works very well.

Here are some examples of woven runners for hallway spaces. Mohawk Bellingham

Mohawk_Pembroke

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip 3: Print off images of multiple rug choices and lay them in the room you are thinking of placing it. This helps you envision the rug with the furniture and paint all together. Make sure you view the rug and room with all types of lighting that could be used including natural light. Different light sources can dramatically change the colors you see in a room.

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