Apr 22nd

Does your dining space need a makeover?

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My friend Angela, a part-time design guru, recently helped me redecorate my entire home.  Because sharing meals is an important activity and priority in my lifestyle, it was especially important to me to redesign the dining space.

Here is the dining table and chairs I had been using. Nothing wrong with this table at all, really. I liked this table because it was round, white and classic. It extended to fit about 6 people comfortably. I liked the chairs because I found them at a flea market and painted them a very pale lavender, and re-covered them with different pattern/materials, so that was fun to do.  I had many wonderful shared meals here with friends and family, but this dining space and decor was feeling kind of ‘tired’ to me. It didn’t reflect the vibrancy and passion I feel about sharing meals, and the space was very awkward to use because it was narrow:

oldtableandchairs

So my good friend Angela and I set out to bring my shared-meal space back to a renewed energy.  We had to come up with a different plan to use the existing carpet, paint, and space (long and narrow) to create a fabulous space. She led the way with some great ideas on how to use the space (I must give her the majority of the credit, because she deserves it!)  We worked with what I wanted the space to be: bright, cheerful, happy, inviting, welcoming, loving, modern, and a little bit of shine….

Here are some pictures of my new space!

dining space

NOTE: what you see pictured here is modestly-priced items (many IKEA) and DIY projects.

We decided to use a long extended black table and to put it against the wall to create more room for people/chairs (the table can be pulled into the center of the space with seats for people on all sides of the table for larger parties).

table

chairWe matched with white leather chairs (sturdy, comfortable, very reasonably priced! convenient – slide in/out easily). I just love these chairs and you can sit and enjoy dinner conversation for an extended period of time because they are so supportive for the back.  The carpet was not something I would typically have selected, but my friend Angela convinced me that it would add vibrancy and energy to the room, and it surely did!

We put some fabric over canvas, and created some color with the silk flowers in the corner:

artwork

Angela created this framed art – it was simple:  mosaic, round mirror glued on a square mirror, painted matting, and framed in white:

mirrors

 

We added a little more color (and some nature) with these great terrarium bowls and filled them with lemons:

lemons

 

 

 

 

 

 

groupancestors

Next came a little artwork:

This colorful one symbolizes people working together (a must for a successful shared-meal ritual) and the beauty of coming into the ‘light’.  It’s joyful to me (which is what I was looking for in my dining space.)

This other image (right)  is a newly framed picture I have of my mother as a young woman (she’s top row,  on left) and my maternal grandparents from Italy.  I find it’s sweet to include pictures of people you once shared meals with into your dining space.

As I write in my book, The Shared-Meal Revolution, the quality of the environment where you share meals can make a huge difference in the experience, whether you are eating in your own home, someone else’s, outside, or at a restaurant.

You can create your home dining space to look any way you like it (casual, formal, colorful, neutral, exciting, relaxed, etc.) The most important detail is to ask yourself….”Does it reflect the personalities of the people who gather here?” 

I feel SO blessed to have my dining space updated, refreshed and renewed!  My kids love the new space too and we are making some wonderful shared-meal memories in this space.  I think we linger a little longer than usual because it feels so bright and welcoming and we love to share our time together here.

What about your dining space?

Are you happy with the way your dining space currently is?  Does it reflect the love and the people who share meals together here?  If not, what could you do to create a refreshed look for your dining space? Please share your thoughts, ideas, and feel free to ask any questions!

If you’d like to learn more about the importance of sharing meals, and The Shared-Meal Revolution, please click here for more information about my book project: The Shared-Meal Revolution
P.S. In a future blog, I’ll be sharing tips to help create a positive dining environment for your shared meals!

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