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Dining Oomph

Do you find it hard to make your dining room work? Is your dining suite in its own room or part of an open plan space? Is it missing something, feels out of date and you want to give it a new lease of life? This post is for you as well as my own little inspiration through my dining room challenge (all will be revealed soon!).

We don't spend as much time as we would like in our dining room at the moment. we have recently moved our antique Swedish dining table into the shed (another makeover coming soon!) and brought grandma's rosewood table in, in a bid to add some more character to the bland space. But when you have to work with existing furniture it is so tough!

So, very soon, there will be wallpapering and painting and comfortable new chairs and with a little luck even fancy new wall sconces. Let's see. But in the meantime...

1/ Chairs


Mix n match is all the rage at the moment so don't feel that you have to go out of pocket to get a great look in your dining room. If you have an existing shabby chic dining set, paint it with different colours. Or if you have odd chairs about, just mix them with similar style/era and the look will still look uniform.

Left to right: Pauchard style chair in rose gold, Eames style DAW chair in blue, £59 both Cult Furniture, HESTER stackable dining chair in various colours and shown here in red, £95 from Habitat, MACADAM red folding chair £10 Habitat, Wegner style Wishbone Chair - Black / Black Seat £129 and pink Eames style dining chair again Cult Furniture.

2/ Rugs


Rugs can definitely help you define the space in both size and style. I love how the monochrome style has continued on the floor in the room below, with a gorgeous black and white speckled cowhide rug. You can find similar cowhides on These cost around £250-350 according to size. Similarly, you can go for geometrics (especially where your walls are not papered.

Left to right: Ted Baker Mosaic Rug, from £368; Harlequin Lulu Pebble Rug, £432; Scion Navajo Rug from £279; Lindsey Lang Bantam Rug, Grey Multi from £220; John Lewis Tala Berber Rug, Multi from £250; Designers Guild Tulipani Rug, Granite from £1,495

3/ Lighting


Never forget the lighting! I am fighting my own battle at the moment as my dining room only has wall lights (3 of them) and there is no hard wiring in the ceiling. This makes it extremely difficult to add a dramatic pendant or cluster above our dining table, but there are alternatives! In the meantime, here's some inspiration for your dining room. You don't have to get something very expensive to add some definite oomph in your space! A golden rule however is to follow the theme. Don't add an industrial pendant light if your kitchen is shabby chic in look. And don't add a chandelier if your have Tolix stools and exposed brick walls...

Check out these brass beauties here

4/ Table top


Ok, so you set the table and it's well.. boring?

Clockwise: Colour Hippy Plates - Set of 4, Pols Potten, £36; Folk Stripe Placemat in Green, £12; Willow Love Story Salad Plates - Set of 4 - 21cm by Loveramics; Royal Pip Dinner Plate, £16 all via

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