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Your dining space is likely to play a central role at the heart of your family home. It’s where you all gather to enjoy meals, from lazy weekend brunches to that all-important Christmas dinner.

For many, mealtimes are the only time of day that the whole family gets together, so creating a welcoming space that everybody enjoys being in is a vital. It’s a tall order though, especially when you have two or three generations with varying tastes to account for.

The perfect dining space is both stylish and practical. Whether it’s a large room or a corner of your lounge or kitchen, your dining space should invite the whole family to get together and exchange stories about their day.

Ask yourself a few key questions

Before beginning any interior design project, it’s important to ask yourself a few key questions that will give you a steer on exactly what you need for the space. The questions are likely to vary depending on the size of the room, but a few key ones when designing the perfect dining space will include:

• What is the purpose of the room? Is it solely for dining, or are there other uses that need to be considered?
• What don’t you like about your existing dining space? What do you like and how will you incorporate this into the new design?
• How much storage will you need within your dining space?
• How often do you plan to use the space? If daily, have you considered how to make the area as practical as possible?
• How does the space fit into the wider picture of your home? Are there any style features that need to be considered for consistency?

 Seek out inspiration and define your style

From the traditional to the contemporary, there are an endless choice of themes and styles to choose from. Decisions made during this early planning stage will set the whole mood of the room, so take the time to do your research and find a style that you really do love.

Pinterest is an excellent resource for this, while creating mood boards and collages is an enjoyable exercise that will help to bring your ideas to life. Finding furniture should only come after this process, as defining the intended style and feel of the room will prevent you from making rushed purchases that you may come to regret.

Choose the perfect seating

It’s more than likely that a table and chairs will be the focal point of your dining space, so choosing the right set it crucial. This will largely depend on your individual style, of course, but there are a few things to bear in mind across the board.

Small children are always going to have an impact on the furniture that you choose. In this case, plush fabrics should be avoided in favour of plastics and wood, which are wipe-clean and ultimately a lot more durable. Ensure that chairs are tall enough for little ones to reach the table and consider whether there’s enough space to host the extended family – even if they only come once or twice a year.

The final touches

Finishing touches are vital when making sure that your dining space feels warm and welcoming. Style is of course a factor, yet it’s also nice to include a few bits and pieces that are of meaning to your family and say something about you all as a group. Family photographs are particularly effective at giving spaces like this a personal touch.

Added extras like flowers and candles can be bought in at this stage and really help to bring the space together. Consider your colour scheme and fill the space with accessories to match, including plenty of lighting to ensure that the area remains functional all year round.

What are your top tips for creating the perfect dining space for all the family?

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