Holding a dinner event at your own home is something I have always enjoyed and presents a great opportunity to show off your culinary skills and house design to your guests.  The eating place is a room of entertainment, and a such is important to make it a showcase room for visitors and yourself to enjoy.

Thanks to a career working in hospitality I have been privileged to see some of the most unique private dining rooms in top restaurants across the UK. That link will take you to the first UK private dining room directory, which has doubled up as a great source of inspiration for my personal designs! I’ve also found this collection of dining room imagesa great source of inspiration when needing new ideas.

In modern homes, kitchen-diners have become increasingly popular with open plan designs. You’ll often find a kitchen island, or a chef’s table in bigger kitchens, where food can be served, allowing for great interaction between guests, and you, the chef.

More traditionally, a separate dining room is still commonplace, and brings a more formal feel to a dinner event.

Whether your dining space is part of the Kitchen, or has its own room in the house, there are a number of elements to get right which can transform your dining experience.

Dining room styles at most houses in the UK can be broken down into three categories; Traditional,  Modern and  Country. In the city, modern design is more common, in the country, naturally the Country style, but Traditional can be found in both urban and suburban areas. The design elements below are important to all styles.

Lighting is one of the most crucial elements to get right. You need to consider whether your dining space will be used more in light hours or dark, and plan accordingly. Often we anticipate and ‘taste’ food with our eyes before eating, so good visibility is key to a multi-sense dining experience. Having said that, the option to increase and decrease lighting through dimmers, or sidelights, is important for mood setting. Low level lighting is more common in traditional style dining rooms, while modern design will focus on bringing more light to the space.

Naturally when considering a dining space the first thing most people consider is a dining table and chairs. While it may seem nice to have a matching set of table and chairs this is by no means a prerequisite. In fact even the chairs themselves don’t have to match. I have seen some fantastic modern dining rooms using 3 or more styles of chair for one table!

Chairs can always been added, but it’s harder to extend a table so consider purchasing a drop/extension leaf table that allows you to increase or decrease size according to guest numbers. When taking space measurements make sure you consider elbow and serving space.

Be bold and add your own style to your dining space and make it individual. This doesn’t have to be a drastic change and can be something as simple as the cutlery or the place mats. One of the smallest but most memorable features from a recent dining experience of mine, was chalk place mats which had the menu written on!

Hopefully this has given you a good starting point, but it’s important now for you to get creative and have fun with your own designs!