A dining evolution

Published in SA Home Owner
October 2020 edition

Dining rooms are no longer fancy, seldom-used trophy rooms that we are overprotective of.

In this feature we look at how dining rooms have evolved from being about sharing a meal with close friends and family to being a multifunctional space, thanks to our new open-plan way of living. According to KARE’s marketing manager Johann de Waal, dining rooms have become more than just a place to enjoy meals. They’re now also an entertainment area for guests, workstations and homework and creative hubs. People want every inch of their homes to be lived in; they’re no longer just show pieces. According to Audi Snÿman of Audi Snÿman Interior Design: “Our lifestyles, ways of living and the desire for more interaction have seen a move from a separate, closed-off dining room to an open-plan area that flows from the kitchen.

Dining rooms are no longer fancy, seldom-used trophy rooms that we are overprotective of. Instead, our dining spaces have become more spacious, accommodating and inviting more guests to move freely and easily around the table. The social and shared aspect of food preparation has become important, and it’s no longer the host’s job to prepare food in solitude in the kitchen. In fact, often the meal preparation time is a highlight of the get-together and has become an interactive experience everyone can share in. Our gatherings have also grown larger, and often require the utilisation of the kitchen countertop or island as a serving area, or the breakfast nook as additional seating space for the kids.”

Must-have dining room accessories

An absolute must-have, according to Snÿman, is a sturdy tabletop that can take the hammering of some hearty socialising over a delicious meal, and of course comfortable dining chairs that invite folks to linger. “A large rug underneath your statement piece adds a softer and cosier appeal to the space. The distraction of cold feet or a sore back at a dinner table is an absolute no-no.” Beautiful serveware items that can be used for both everyday dining and for special occasions are what Gordon suggests. “We are living in an era where we have become a lot more health-conscious. Pieces become more and more multifunctional.

Salads are not just seen as a side, but a main meal, therefore bigger bowls are used for salads and pasta dishes. There is less of a demand for side plates,” she adds.

Dining room furniture trends

Snÿman’s must-have trend accessory is a tabletop with textured timber, an oak finish or glass top for a modern look, she says. “There is definitely a move away from dark colours, and my personal preference is to not use a stone top inside the house (although they are perfect for outside), where your dining table should be warm, cosy and inviting. These days, with comfort and the invitation to linger in mind, our dining chairs comprise softer upholstery and lower backs, which also have the benefit of offering an unobstructed view across the table, when it is unoccupied.”

Décor accessories and products

Snÿman says proper lighting is key. “Your dining room should be designed to allow good natural lighting in during the day. A light that can be dimmed (in the form of a pendant light, beautiful chandelier or a statement lighting fixture) will create a soft, even romantic atmosphere after the sun goes down. Windows can be dressed in a minimalist look, and softened with curtains and/or blinds. Some art that reflects your character or has a personal story can be displayed on the table or on the walls – you can even incorporate some feature wallpaper into one side of the room. A current trend is to move closer to nature by softening your spaces with environmental tones and textures. This can be complemented by a selection of natural and warm colours. However if you’re feeling bolder your chairs can be mismatched, colourful, or quirky in their comfort. And of course you can dress your table for the occasion – either with just placemats, or go the full nine yards with a crisp table cloth and serviettes, fine crockery, cutlery and candles.”

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Audi Snÿman Interior Design - A dining evolution

About Audi Snÿman

As a renowned interior designer, Audi’s clients describe her as creative, passionate and innovative. Her passion and ability to interpret personality into a living or functional space and the psychology behind interior design are what separates her from the mundane. Audi creates spaces that are uniquely tailored to the individual. It is not her design philosophy that counts – it is about honing a style down to its very essence creating the aspirations and dreams of the client.

Media Contact:

Bridget von Holdt
+27 82 610 0650