Dining room, dinner party, home decor, lighting, dining room table
The dining room of the Chez Georges hotel in Rio. Courtesy of Chez Georges.



When square meterage is tight, the dining room is often the first room to be cut. But, instead of doing away with it entirely, incorporate it into the general living area for a more dynamic living experience. In this project in Greece – dubbed Akri House – designed by K-Studio, the main living and entertaining area is shared, but each is still afforded a degree of independence. A single space, zoned for different uses, offers ease of transition and allows interaction to flow between areas or be contained within one or the other.

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A single space, zoned for different uses, offers ease of transition. Design by K-Studio. Image: Supplied.


The humble dining room table often finds itself playing second fiddle to the kitchen island when it comes to conversations about ‘bringing people together’ – and while islands do make for convenient spots for informal gathering, there is something to be said for the joy of hours spent around a dining room table. Make yours a show-stopping,conversation-starting centrepiece, such as the ‘Ashby’ table by Lemon; an elegant silhouette backed by superb craftsmanship available in both Bianco Carrara marble and travertine.

Different shades of white do anything but clash in this all-white dining area designed by Lemon. Photography by Inge Prins.

Get a Natural High from Indoor Plants

Plants are so much more than decorative: they infuse a space with vitality – and, when incorporated into the dining room, the effect is no different. Here, in the Cape Town home of actress Rolanda Marais, a Houtlander dining table and spindle back chairs are cocooned in foliage (opting for plants with unusual leaf shapes and patterning makes the experience all the more interesting). Cleverly, Rolanda’s choice of furniture is all timber, enhancing the conservatory-like effect established by the space’s glass wall.

The artwork in Rolanada Marais’s dining room is by her father and the dining room chairs and table are by Houtlander. Photography by Greg Cox


The dining room is no place for task lighting, as function takes a backseat to mood. Soft, ambient lighting is the path of least resistance – think lamps – or, if we are talking overhead illumination, eschew those passé exposed Edison bulbs for something more subtle, such as these frosted matte-glass ‘Fluid’ pendant lights by Muuto, available locally through Créma Design, which were inspired by water droplets.

‘Fluid’ pendant lights by Muuto, available locally through Créma Design, which are inspired by water droplets. Design by Créma Design.


Playing with scale is an ingenious way to make small spaces feel much larger (the trick is to go for more robust shapes) or, conversely, make cosy, comfortable nooks of capacious areas. Beneath these overscaled lights, the table and leather-and-timber ‘Elizabeth’ dining chairs are dwarfed, making what is, in reality, a generous dining area feels intimate. Designed by La Grange Interiors.

Playing with scale is an ingenious way to make small spaces feel much larger, as seen in this dining room designed by La Grange Interiors. Photography by Elsa Young.