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Create a Comfy Dining Room Your Guests Won’t Want to Leave

The dining room may play second fiddle to the kitchen table for much of the year, but from Thanksgiving through the new year, it’s the place to be. Think of your dining room as the backdrop that makes all of your most memorable holiday meals possible. From rich wall colors to soft lighting and conversation-sparking details, here’s how to get your dining room in tip-top shape in time for the holidays.

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Paint colors: If you’re thinking of repainting your dining room, consider going bold with rich red, sophisticated smoky gray, or a bitter chocolate. These fully-saturated hues have a jewel box feeling that is just right for creating a convivial dinner-party atmosphere.

Art: Including some conversation-sparking artwork in the dining room is a wonderful way to get mingling guests chatting. Hang a unique painting, create a salon-style gallery wall of quirky photographs and small prints, or set an interesting sculpture or artistic object on the credenza.

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Warmth: Whether you use a crackling fire in the fireplace, sheepskins draped over the chairs, a cozy rug, or an abundance of twinkling candlelight (or all of the above!), creating a feeling of warmth and comfort is the best way to encourage guests to linger at the table.

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Table settings: The final details to attend to are how you choose to set the table, from linens to place settings to flowers or foliage. I love setting the table the day before a big holiday gathering, as this relieves so much last-moment stress on the big day…plus you get to enjoy the beauty of your handiwork just a bit longer! If you are just beginning to collect items for your table, I’ve found a classic linen tablecloth to be the most versatile. Dress up your everyday white dinnerware with a special set of colorful salad or dessert plates, and go for something low and organic as a centerpiece, like a piece of driftwood draped in tiny twinkle lights and berry branches, or a display of fall gourds and fruit. As a finishing touch, include something special at each place: a tiny jar of homemade jam, a delicate sprig of herbs tied with twine.

Choosing a rug: The dining room is a tricky place for a rug, because it is quite likely it will get more than its fair share of crumbs and spills! The key is to look for a flat weave (deep pile is incredibly hard to keep clean) in a deep color. You can skip the rug, but there’s nothing like having a cozy rug to warm up the dining room in the depths of winter! If you want to save wear-and-tear (and cut down on cleaning), consider leaving the rug out for fall and winter, and rolling it up and storing it for the spring and summer months.

Dining Room Rugs

Rugs Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Safavieh Tunisia rug in dark brown; Nourison 2000 rug in lavender; Loloi Rugs Anastasia rug in slate; Loloi Rugs Anastasia rug in granite.

Photo Credits: Domino

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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Gold in the Kitchen

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When you think of metallics in the kitchen you probably gravitate towards stainless steel or brushed nickel, maybe a little copper or bronze if you’re getting creative. But what about gold? While the warm yellow metal is a favorite in nearly every other aspect of life, it seems to get overlooked when it comes to this particular room.

You can use as much or as little as you’d like, but there are plenty of ways to bring this warm material into play. I love the way the floating gold shelves above look against that clean white wall, and they’re definitely unexpected.

Fiona Lynch

At the more extreme end of the spectrum lies these stunning gold upper cabinets. I mean, wow. The key here is how underplayed the rest of the materials are – a few shades of wood, a simple marble countertop, and black sink fixtures allow the those cabinets to really be the star of the space.

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On the list of easy-to-install gold touches are fixtures and pulls. Of course put anything against white and it’s sure to pop like no other, but these chunky pulls have such a nice weight to them that their presence definitely doesn’t go unnoticed. The sink fixtures lend an elegant, polished look to this kitchen.

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If you’d like to go a more traditional route consider a gold light fixture. Pairing a few together feels more unexpected, and a modern shape can add another level of interest.

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For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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A Dining Room Rug And Food. Can It Be Done?

After we bought our new home, my husband and I debated about the dining room. To have or not to have. I think it’s a discussion many people have now days. China and fancy dinner parties are not part of our everyday lifestyle. In fact, the vintage china my mother gifted to me 14 years ago is still in the original gift wrap. Shhhhh, please don’t tell her. But in this home we needed a better place to sit and enjoy dinner as a family.

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Photo by Amber Interiors via MyDomaine

The formal dining room in our old home was the kids playroom, but now that the children are a bit older, I don’t feel the need to hover over them like a nervous nelly. Discussions were had. A decision was made. The toys would move to the basement, and the formal dining room makeover was a go. Bring on the fancy…let’s go shopping!

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Photo by Ball and Claw Vintage via Design Sponge

If you read my post about how the foundation of any room design should start with a rug, I’m sure you can guess what I started to shop for first. But then a little voice in my head started nagging at me. Kyla, you’re investing money into a rug your kids will be eating spaghetti and chocolate over…was that really the smartest idea? I mean, they aren’t savages, but they are 3 and 6…ok, yes, yes, they’re savages. They spill and drop crumbs all the time. And who am I kidding, I’m a savage too. I spill all the time.

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Photo by DesignLoveFest via Design Milk

As a busy family, we needed a rug that would work with us, not against us. White shag was definitely a hard no. But by adding a busy pattern and a darker color, I felt more confident that my children would not destroy it in two point five seconds. Honestly, it was one of those unicorns are real moments. Here are my 5 top tips for buying a rug for your dining room:

  1. Find a rug with a busier pattern. Come Thanksgiving, you’re not crying over spilled gravy.

  2. Go for a darker color to hide stains.

  3. Be sure the rug is large enough. You want the entire table and chairs set to sit on the rug. Always err on the side of large. Too small of a rug and it looks awkward.

  4. Spills will happen so steer away from shag and go with a flat weave or low pile rug.

  5. Search for rugs that are easy clean/stain resistant. 

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Photo via La Dolce Vita

Here are a few rugs that I think would be genius for any formal dining room.

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1/ Courtistan – Rainforest

2/ Karastan – Euphoria

3/ Loloi Rugs – Giselle

4/ Dalyn – Modern Greys

5/ Jaipur Rugs – Tabor

6/ Rugs America – Talbot

For more inspiration from Kyla, follow along with her at House Of Hipsters!

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How to Style a Kitchen You’ll Love to Spend Time In

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We use our kitchens for so much – cooking quick weeknight dinners, sure, but also hanging out with our little ones, catching up with friends, surfing the internet, and perhaps even working from home. Why not add a few special details that will make hanging out in the kitchen more fun? In fact, with a few styling tricks, you can quickly transform your kitchen into a super comfy hangout zone you and your guests will love spending time in.

An easy styling formula for the kitchen includes 3 things: color, texture, and life. As in, colorful rugs and tea towels, texture from handmade pottery and smooth wooden boards, and life from fresh flowers and potted plants. These simple additions will bring lots of personality to your space!

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If you own your home, adding a splash of color in the form of patterned tile on the floors, or a vibrant trim color (as shown here) can bring a white kitchen to life. If you rent, you can get the look by focusing on the details: a colorful blue espresso pot and kitchen towels, textural woven baskets, and fresh greenery in the form of potted rosemary plants lining the window.

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Also think about how your kitchen basics are organized – I love the clean, natural look of simple glass jars for storage. They are easy to use, and look chic lined up on open shelving. Mix in a few little house plants or pots of herbs in with the objects on your open shelves, letting the foliage trail over the edge of the shelves for a relaxed, bohemian vibe.

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Photo Credits: Domino Magazine, Practising Simplicity, Amber Interiors

A happy jumble of layered textiles, comfy seating, well-used pots and pans, and fresh linens makes for a welcoming space you will be happy to come home to.

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Rug Shopping Guide: 1. Surya Zahra rug in hot pink and burnt orange 2. Rugs Direct Gallery Kashkoli Kilim rug in camel 3. Jaipur Rugs Urban Bungalow rug in white & butter.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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