The dining room will forever hold a special place in my heart. It’s where families gather for Sunday dinner, stories are shared and wine is guzzled sipped until the wee hours. Though any ol’ dining room will typically do, these events are made infinitely sweeter when surrounded by pretty. And the sweet girls at Urban Grace  are no stranger to pretty.

SMP: Your favourite dining room you’ve ever designed?

UG: I have always loved this one from a local project I did a couple of years ago. I love how the neutral palette really allows the views of the gulf to remain the focal point. The portrait above the fireplace is an old family heirloom of the clients’ and I think it pulls everything together perfectly.

SMP: Any tips for designing a dining room on a small budget?

UG: Don’t be afraid of antique and thrift stores. If you’re working with a small budget you can find a piece of high quality at antique or even thrift stores for a fraction of the price. Don’t let a bad paint job or unattractive hardware hide the potential of a great piece.

SMP: How do you choose art for a dining room?

UG: Once you decide on the size you need it’s really whatever feels right to you. Art is so personal and it’s different for everyone – I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to choose art.

SMP: The biggest design mistake people make in their dining room?

UG: I may be repeating myself, but overcrowding. I think a lot of people have the idea that a dining room has to have all of these big pieces and they try and force it all into a room that wasn’t made to accommodate it all. Dining table and chairs, buffet, china cabinets, etc. I think you should let the space you have dictate what you need rather than vice versa.

dining-room
1. Don’t crowd it with a lot of big furniture.

2. Make sure you allow for circulation around the table. Take into consideration how much room you will need when there are people sitting in the chairs – not just when there are pushed under the table.

3. A dining room doesn’t have to be formal, keep it consistent with the rest of your house.

4. The dining room is a great place to experiment with fabrics. Since it’s a room you usually don’t spend too much time in you won’t tire of them as quickly as you might if they were in your living room. Don’t be afraid of patterned draperies!

5. Don’t upholster dining chairs in fabrics that aren’t easily cleaned or laundered. It is a dining room after all.

Psst… Tips on decorating a master bedroom, a master bathroom & a kitchen

Photography: Urban Grace | Photography: Colleen Duffley | Interior Design: Urban Grace