How To Choose The Right Dining Table

How To Choose The Right Dining Table

Maybe you haven’t given too much consideration to choosing the right dining table. After all, a table is a fairly standard piece of furniture, right? Flat top, several legs, what’s to choose?

There is a lot to choose, as it happens. Not simply for eating, the right dining table is an important element in the interior design of your home. Whether you have a formal dining room, an open plan kitchen hub or a small dining nook, choosing the right table is a good investment.

The Right Dining Table Should Have The Style You Want

Before you start looking, have a good idea of the style of dining table you want. For example, are you after something traditional and formal or something industrial and edgy. As a guide;

Traditional: dark timber with turned or carved legs

Industrial: utilitarian feel with a combination of metal and weathered wood

Contemporary: sleek and simple in a modern timber with a glass top of metal base

Transitional: traditional materials but with a casual or relaxed feel

Farmhouse: solid in time-worn timber or with hand-carved details or antique patterns

The Shape Is More Important Than You May Think

Whilst rectangular dining tables are very popular they are not always the right solution for a space. When choosing a dining table think about how you entertain. Are large platters placed in the middle of the table? Are dishes passed over the table? Can items be easily reached?

The right dining table must be right for your needs, not simply a design statement (unless you never eat at your dining table).

With round and oval tables no-one is sitting at the end and conversations can be more inclusive, especially with six people or fewer. These table bases also take up less room and can fit more easily into a small or awkward space.

Square tables can offer the best of both worlds but do require a generous space to move around the table and chairs.

Test out how far in you can push the chairs and how much leg or thigh room is between the chair and the table.

What About The Right Dining Table Size?

The size of your right dining table will be very much based on the size of your dining area. Keep in mind the balance and proportion of the room with adequate space for chairs to be pushed out and for people to circulate.

Consider a drop-leaf or extendable table for more flexibility and bear in mind that table heights can be different between styles and age. Most modern tables are about 76cm high so consider this when you are choosing chairs.

Timber or…?

Hardwoods such as gum, blackbutt, oak, walnut and mahogany will always be stronger and more durable than engineered timbers and MDF. Salvaged wood is great to hide marks, scuffs and spills. Concrete is a popular table top surface that is very durable and glass is a good choice for small spaces.

I use and recommend Reality Furniture at Newton who can design and build a bespoke dining table – interior or exterior – that will be amazing!

Cohesion

Don’t just think about the right dining table. Think also about the lighting above the table and the rug underneath. Look at your room in its entirety, not just the individual elements.

Need More Help?

I will spend the day with you, planning your interior or outdoor living, visiting shops, looking at options and buying items with savings off RRP. Yes, you can hire a Designer for A Day. Please see my ‘Services‘ area for more information or contact me on 0421 043 505 or penelope@plushdesigninteriors.com.au

Functional Kitchen Design Tips You’ll Love

Functional Kitchen Design Tips You’ll Love

A functional kitchen is much better than a stylish one, BELIEVE ME. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have both. Meld style AND function for your best kitchen yet.

Kitchens are one area that must be incredibly functional. If you can’t work easily in a space, find everything you need and be cool under cooking pressure then you may not have a functional kitchen.

When re-designing your kitchen floor plan and/or renovating, always keep in mind how YOU use your kitchen. When I discuss with my clients their new kitchen, I ask them to disregard what they think about kitchens in general and focus on their use of the kitchen.

A Functional Kitchen Depends on How YOU Use It

Families will use a kitchen differently from singles, for example. People who love to cook will have different needs from people who virtually only use the microwave.

Positioning of appliances can be a highly personal area depending on preference and usage. Some people like the cook top in the centre island, some like a sink and others prefer neither.

If you want a kitchen merely for show and using the microwave, then your use of the space will be different from someone who loves to cook and entertain for family and guests. It’s important to have a space that functions well rather than simply a good-looking kitchen.

What Special Needs Do You Have?

In an open plan space, do you want to hide dirty dishes in a Butler’s Pantry? Will you have people eating at the counter or do you prefer sitting at a table? Do you need a drawer for your vast collection of spices close to the cooktop, or can they be relegated to the pantry?

top view of an open kitcne drawer with utensils

What special storage or cooking equipment will you need? Do you bake and roll pastry so often you need a marble counter top? Your functional kitchen is specific to you.

How Many People Will Use The Kitchen?

There are as many ways to create a functional kitchen as there are people. So when renovating, consider how many people will use the space at one time. Think about the traffic flow and easy access to the pantry, fridge and appliances.

group of freidns chatting at a kitchen counter

Natural light is  usually a bonus, however think about whether you have too much or too little. Can you make design changes to accommodate this?

Are you someone who likes to have things on display? Or do you prefer seamless cupboards with all appliances integrated and hidden?

Get The Floor Plan Right First

There are generally no right or wrong answers if you’re honest about how YOU use your kitchen. However, get the floor plan right FIRST and then turn your attention to colours and surfaces.

If you get caught up deciding on colours and surfaces you’ll miss important decisions for your most functional kitchen. get the floor plan and flow right FIRST because you’re other decisions will flow from that.

It’s your home, so love where you live.

Functional Kitchen Elements To Consider

  • Island or peninsula counters
  • New or cabinet upgrades             
  • Updated appliances
  • New tapware
  • Attractive bar stools                    
  • Potted plants
  • Chopping block                         
  • Task lighting
  • Open shelving                            
  • Colourful cookbooks
  • Patterned splashback                   
  • Decorative kitchen mat
  • Recycling bins                            –
  • Window treatments

Plush Design Interiors use + recommends;

Harvey Norman Commercial for a full range of well-priced and superior quality kitchen appliances

Reece for kitchen sinks and tapware

Beacon Lighting for kitchen pendants + dining lighting

We work with many high-quality Australian brands and suppliers for a full range of everything you need for your kitchen renovation. Please ask us how we can save you time + money.

Renovation Advice You Won’t Have Considered

Renovation Advice You Won’t Have Considered

Renovation advice is always best taken from people who have ACTUALLY renovated. As an interior designer, I help home lovers renovate all the time. So you can imagine I’ve learnt a few things along the way.

If you have read my earlier blog post on ‘Pre-Renovation Planning‘ you’ll know the important elements to consider when planning your renovation. So this renovation advice follows on from that post.

Once the pre-renovation basics are taken care of, you can plan the interior design. It is important to plan the interior design before you start renovating because it’s not all throw cushions and bed linens.

Why Take Renovation Advice From An Interior Designer?

Working with an interior designer isn’t just about choosing fabrics and positioning the sofa. Far from it, in fact.

At the time of planning to renovate, you’ll be dealing with Council approvals, contractors and suppliers. This is the ideal time to get an interior designer on board who can help you with floor plans, lighting, surfaces, flooring, colours and selections. These are all things you shouldn’t change once the re-building has begun.

sketch of a new kitchen with staircase

Select all the finishes, fixtures and materials before getting quotes. In this way, it will be easier for contractors to quote more accurately saving you money down the track. This is renovation advice you need to know.

Did you know that most interior designers can recommend builders and other tradies with whom they work regularly? Plush Design Interiors does not take kick-backs or commissions from the trades we use. Therefore, we can work with your tradies or recommend our own.

An interior designer will help you select everything you require to get accurate quotes from other trades. Further, they can also negotiate discounts from retailers or gain better wholesale pricing for you.

Look to Your Home’s Architecture for Clues

There is so much inspiration for interior design that some people become paralysed with indecision. Consider the style of your home and decide on a theme before you start.

modern spanish style bedroom with large oversize windows

Is there a stunning stone fireplace, fabulous wooden floors or surprising windows? Which architectural features can you enhance? Again, an interior designer will help to clarify the design direction for your home. Their renovation advice will give you a result that reflects YOU not them.

See some of the ‘Testimonials‘ for Plush Design Interiors to see what other people have said about this.

Consider Your Lifestyle

How you live your life is a very important part of interior design. If you have small children or a dog that runs amok you’ll probably want to reconsider those white linen sofas. Be honest about how you live your life so your home can be functional as well as stylish. Choose surfaces, fabrics and flooring that reflect your lifestyle.

Family spending time together at home. Father and Son looking at laptop

Plush Design Interiors LOVES The Textile and Design Company for super cool outdoor fabrics and knock-out sun umbrellas that are straight out of Hollywood. Divine!

Don’t be afraid to use outdoor fabrics and patio paint indoors if you need tougher solutions. Modern fabrics and paints can be tough but beautiful. Outdoor fabrics include soft and resilient velvets that are virtually child-proof and weather resistant.

In looking at the floor plan, locate power points wherever you think you’ll need a plug and away from water sources. A lighting plan prior to your build will be of great benefit to your electrician. So follow this renovation advice to save you money and heartache.

Choose the Right Lighting

Often overlooked when renovating, lighting is a very important aspect. How much natural light does your home enjoy? Should you install skylights? Lighting also influences the way walls and ceilings are finished because lights cast shadows or enhance areas.

3d rendering interior of a modern bathroom

Colours will look different under different lighting conditions – pendant lights versus wall scones, for example. Given you are renovating, get renovation advice on how to integrate lighting into the architecture.

Flexible track lighting is also increasingly popular. These moveable fittings have a come along way since ‘back in the day’ and are now beautifully designed as well as highly functional.

Remember the Landscaping

Make landscaping part of your plan. This will help with budgeting but may also relate to the colour and material choices you make.

outdoor contemporary garden seating in a townhouse courtyard

For example, when considering the flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. For a seamless look, choose the same or very similar flooring options that flow between spaces. This may become a landscape issue when creating entertaining spaces adjacent to the home.

Further, when it comes to choosing plants and shrubs, ensure nothing is planted that will block natural light from entering a room.