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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.

Dining Room1

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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.

Cozy Dining Room

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.

Cozy Table Setting

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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