Gordon James

Gordon James
Designing a Functional and Stylish Dining Room

Whether you tend toward hosting intimate dinner-parties or going all-out for the holidays, a well-designed dining room is needed to help best entertain your guests while also serving as a daily communal space for your family. We at Gordon James have compiled a list of ideas to help you design a functional and stylish dining room that’s ready to fit the way your gather and entertain:

  Open-floor plan kitchen in custom home by Gordon James in Twin Cities, MN

Consider the Location and Aesthetic 

Your dining room is more than just a place to enjoy a meal: it serves an a representation of how your family serves others. For this reason, it is important to consider the location and aesthetic of your dining room when designing to account for space, functionality, and aesthetic as an extension of your home:

  1. Traditional Formal Dining Room: The traditional dining room typically has limited access, with only one entrance into an alcoved area off of the kitchen or living room. The closed access of the room creates a formal, yet cozy, feel to the room. This dining room location is wonderful for large families, groups of friends, or hosting for the holidays.
  2. Four-Season Dining Room: Consider building your dining room in a four-season room, with floor-to-ceiling windows. The extra-lighting of the room helps to make it more inviting and less stuffy than a traditional dining room. Because of this, the design is perfect for families with small children or who enjoy ‘vacation home’ dining with a view.
  3. Pass-Through Dining Room: A pass-through dining room with two entryways on either wall. Perfect for hosting luncheons, dinners, or cocktail parties, this set-up allows guests to easily pass from room to room, typically offering a great flow in transitioning guests from a living room happy hour, and allowing you as hosts to sneak away to the kitchen without disruption.
  4. Great Room Dining: Even if you have a separate area allotted for your dining room, a large great room can be an impressive and accessible multipurpose space dining space. Having a second dining table in your living room allows for convenient and casual dining. If you have small children you want to keep an eye on or want your dinner parties to allow people to mix their seating options, this location is ideal.


Create a Tone with Colors

Your dining room paint color sets the atmosphere for family gatherings and parties, so consider what tone you wish to strike. If you host evening parties and you’re going for drama, try a deep and dark shade, like Frédéric Malle’s black dining room in New York. If you hold family dinners frequently and you’re going for serene, try a pastel or neutral shade, such as these rooms. Adding choice color to your dining room makes every meal memorable.


Set the Ambiance with Lights

An eye-catching light fixture always elevates a room. The best dining room lighting plans are carefully designed with your meal patterns and aesthetic in mind. If you have a long, large table, install a chandelier above to balance the room proportionally; if you have a shorter table, try an arc floor lamp. Coordinate with your construction team to ensure that your lighting fixture is installed with a dimmer function; then, with a simple press of a lever or turning of a knob, you can adjust the light. This way, your chandelier or lamp can achieve that warm, dim glow that mimics candlelight and sets the perfect mood.


Entertain in Style

With these design tips, your dining room will make every meal a memorable one. Partner with the professionals at Gordon James in Minnesota to create your custom dining room in your dream home, and design every room to best serve your family, style, and function. For more information, contact us at info@gordon-james.com or call us at 763-479-3117 today.