Michelle Carangi

Guest Blogger

Michelle Carangi

Michelle Carangi is a Montreal-based designer who blogs about interior design at Holley & Gill and is the Style Director at Pure Green magazine. 

Top 5 Friday: Five Ways to Dress Up Your Dining Room

Posted by Michelle Carangi Friday, November 4, 2011 10:51 AM EDT


When entertaining, much time and effort goes into curating an elaborate menu. But what about the room? With entertaining season just around the corner, there's no better reason to finally get to all those extra finishing touches you've been envisioning for your dining room. Do it now, and you can enjoy the fruits of your labour for many seasons to come!

Whether you're planning an intimate cocktail party or a large family gathering, the following five design statements can add the drama and sophistication to your dining room that you've been looking for. But beware: successful parties will only get you seconds! Your guests may leave in anticipation of an invite to your next big event...

Feature Ceiling

Erin ever after

Feature walls have a mixed rap in the design world, but feature ceilings are a great fit for the dining room. There are two steps to mindfully executing a feature ceiling: 1) draw the eye; 2) give the eye something to look at. Draw the eye with a dark or bold colour, and hold it there with either a statement light fixture or architectural detail. If there's no detail to be found, and a statement light fixture is not in your future, there are many plaster ceiling medallions available at home improvement stores that are much easier on the wallet than a chandelier. These medallions look particularly great with simple pendant fixtures, so that plain drum shade of yours may be just the ticket! 

Musical Chairs

Everything Fab

Add spice to your dining room by reupholstering your existing chairs in a variety of fabrics. Choose an overall colour scheme and play around with patterns, solid tones and textures that fall within this scheme. Don’t be afraid to choose playful colour palettes and bold motifs -- that's what this look is all about! Your friends will be fighting for their favorite seats come dinner time. (See help on how to mix fabrics!)

Carve Out a Nook

Bill Barr

No dining room? No problem! Many of us don't reside in spaces that afford an entire room solely for entertaining, in which case, you'll have to get creative. Banquettes are a great way to carve out a dining nook from even the most generic of four walls. I especially love the idea of banquette seating for an intimate gathering between close friends and family  -- if space is an issue, make it work for you by by creating a warm, inviting setup.



A large focal point creates instant drama! Hang an oversized piece of art on the most prominent wall in the room or replace your lighting fixture with a large drum like the one pictured above, and you can save yourself the hassle of balancing several fussy pieces as wall decor. And hey, it's a great conversation piece!  

Boldness Under Foot

6th Street Design School

No need to build, paint or replace anything here. For those who would like a more straightforward, not to mention quicker approach to transforming your dining room, add an area rug with a flashy pattern. Going big and bold is always better if the rest of your dining room is neutral. Even if you're no stranger to bold patterns, a rug of any kind can dramatically alter the look of a room. Just make sure your rug of choice extends beyond the table, to remain visible even when the chairs are pulled out. 

Can you see yourself making use of any of these dining room suggestions? Need help making a decision? Let us know by leaving your comments below!

Topics: Design, Inspiration, Painted Ceiling, Black, Ceiling Medallion, Lighting, Black&White,


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