dining
HEART OF THE HOME
Whether it’s a standalone room or part of an open-plan zone, the dining room should be practical, functional and beautiful

A place for family dinners, dapper dinner parties, or even doing work in these times of telecommuting, your dining room has the potential to be one of the most frequented places in your home."The dining room has become the main area of the flat," comments Lily Wong, design director of Lusso Design. "Many clients prefer having a private space for their dinner gatherings, however, due to the limited living space in Hong Kong, there is always a combination of an open kitchen and dining area."To that, Sally Richardson, via.’s Head of FF&E agrees and suggests using versatile, dual-function furniture to maximise the shared surface area. "In Asia, where compact apartments are on the rise, designs that are multi-functional and portable have become more popular, for example, transformable furniture, or kitchen counters that can double as a small dining area or a work space."

INSPIRATION: BRING NATURE IN

While people naturally jump on the idea of filling their living rooms or bedrooms with indoor plants, using greenery in the dining area may not be the most intuitive choice. "Greenery is something most people tend to neglect when decorating the dining room. I like to incorporate fresh flowering plants and foliage to bring in that element of nature," adds Sally. Tiny herb planters on the dining table also work beautifully, and if you want to add more greenery, then maybe you can even switch to an exotic tropical style indoors with well-placed succulents or palm leaves.


(Left) Photography: Jose Manuel Alorda (Right) Image courtesy of Sansiri

COLOURS AND TEXTURES

There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing a colour palette for your dining room – it all depends on the style you gravitate towards, be it luxe, relaxed, or eclectic. However, good interior design at its foundation balances colour with a brilliant mix of patterns and texture. Advises interior designer Amrita Khanna, of Zip Code 888, "Invest in pieces that create a sense of timelessness while at the same time maintaining an element of surprise through the use of colour, texture and composition."


Photography: Tommaso Riva

You can keep things neutral but still have colour and texture, and the easiest way to do that is to introduce pops of colours in small parts, layering them slowly. "For colours, a good place to start is by thinking about enticing foods. Mustard, burnt orange or figs, for example, can brighten up the interior space," suggests Sally. "Use them as accent tones on accessories and fabrics to complement or juxtapose other key colours used for the room."


Photography: Karl Rogers

In terms of silhouette, Sally observes that sinuous lines and irregular contours are taking over. "I'm also seeing more organic shapes and free-form patterns being applied to interiors, which are replacing stripes and geometrics that have dominated dining spaces in the past. Look for inspiration from iconic artists like Matisse's Fauvism-style works that feature undulating lines and contrasting tones. I love the "Cyclades" collection by textiles supplier Elitis, which takes Fauvist approach to create its botanist-inspired wallpapers."

FIXTURES AND FURNISHINGS 

Aside from the dining table, an overlooked aspect of the dining room is the lighting. Unless you like eating in the dark, planning your dining room's lighting scheme can make a massive difference to the feel of the space, as well as its functionality.


Photography: Simone Furiosi

"While the essence of this dining room is the dining table and chairs, which should be comfortable and practical, there should be a right-sized chandelier or pendant lights on the ceiling and a piece of artwork displayed on the wall," advises Edward.


Photography: Daqi Zhang

Adding on to Edward's point, Sally also recommends investing in great lighting components such as pendants, walls sconces and floor lamps. "Depending on the layout and size of the room, I like to incorporate sculptural pendants as a statement piece to add a focal point," she specifies. "Giopato & Coombes offers a stunning range of fixtures with clean, contemporary designs and Italian craftsmanship. Many of their products can also be tailored to specific needs of an interior space."


Photography: Kenneth Chao

Accompanying the dining table, dining chairs also play an equally important role in defining the sense of the dining room. "Upholstered armchairs are the best for comfort and elegance, especially if you do a lot of entertaining," says Sally. "Traditional dining room materials like velvet upholstery and strong weaves are still featured prominently for their durability and timelessness."

(Cover image photography: Monika Kulon)

Tips
  • Adding a conversation piece to the dining room - whether it is a unique chandelier, an accent wall, or a special art piece - could dramatically elevate the room and create a personalised ambience.
  • Make full use of the walls and ceiling to store kitchen tools and utensils also helps to create an efficient kitchen.
Products
Expert Advice
SALLY RICHARDSON
VIA.
  • Striking patterns apply to smaller, open-planned homes as well, where unique wall coverings can become an artistic feature wall that anchors the entire interior space. I often look to brands like Dedar and Kvadrat for inspiration; they have an amazing catalogue of colours, patterns and textures to suit any interior style. 
  • Curate your tableware and decorative accessories. Include distinctive and one-off handcrafted pieces that say something about
    your personality, your experiences and travels.

UNIQUE WALL COVERINGS CAN BECOME AN ARTISTIC FEATURE WALLUNIQUE WALL COVERINGS CAN BECOME AN ARTISTIC FEATURE WALL

LILY WONG
LUSSO DESIGN LTD.

We aim at giving clients a relaxing and elegant feeling which can be combined with a decoration of natural plants/flowers, with candlelight in the middle of the dining table. For more luxurious decoration, we would put a decent tablecloth, runners, napkins, placemats and wine glasses on the dining table.

A DRAMATICALLY SET DINING TABLE WILL SET THE SCENE AND EXUDE A WELCOMING AMBIENCEA DRAMATICALLY SET DINING TABLE WILL SET THE SCENE AND EXUDE A WELCOMING AMBIENCE

AMRITA KHANNA
ZIP CODE 888

Furniture and fixtures should complement each other, and while you want the pieces in the sitting area to speak to the dining area, for example, they do not necessarily have to be from the same collection. They can be united by form or colour and balance each other out.

FURNITURE AND FIXTURES IN THE LIVING AND DINING ROOM SHOULD SPEAK TO EACH OTHERFURNITURE AND FIXTURES IN THE LIVING AND DINING ROOM SHOULD SPEAK TO EACH OTHER

FRANKIE KE
KES INTERIOR DESIGN
  • Generally people prefer a lively dining room space / environment instead of something too formal even if they want it to be luxurious.
  • Usually I would pick one or two iconic elements to focus on, such as a pendant light or contrasts of colour and texture. For the rest of the space, I’ll keep it harmonious as comfort is key.

PICK ONE OR TWO ICONIC ELEMENTS TO FOCUS ONPICK ONE OR TWO ICONIC ELEMENTS TO FOCUS ON


Room By Room Guide Filled With Expert Advice