Homes Photo Credit: Janis Nicolay

How to Design Your Dining Room

Four smart tips from designers for making the most of your dining room design.

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(Photo: Janis Nicolay.)

Include storage in your seating.

With only 600 square feet of space to work with in this Nanoose Bay, B.C., vacation suite, incorporating built-in storage was a no-brainer for designer Angela Robinson. She installed a custom-upholstered dining bench against a hand-stained wood feature wall that lifts up to reveal a stash of cleaning supplies. “If we’d used four chairs, the space would’ve looked too busy and cluttered,” notes Robinson; instead, she added just two Ikea chairs across the table to round out the seating options in this Scandinavian-inspired space.

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(Photo: Paulina Ochoa.)

Update an antique set for a wow statement. 

When the homeowners brought Calgary designer Sylvie Croteau-Willard of Collage Interiors on board to bring a modern update to their condo, they also brought a vintage piece along with them: a Duncan Phyfe dining set belonging to her grandmother. The standard update might have been just an all-white lacquer, but Croteau-Willard gave the captain’s chairs at each end a fun twist: one blue, one yellow. The seats are recovered in a grey faux snakeskin—perfect for a family with young kids, and perfectly fun.

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(Photo: Janis Nicolay.)

Warm up a modern space with wood floors.

While concrete floors might have been the de facto choice in this ultra-modern space, homeowner Liana Fediuk flipped convention: concrete on the walls, wood on the floor. The finish of the wide oak planks—a custom oil treatment, with the wood grain shining through, gives a whitewash look—isn’t as easy to accomplish as it might appear. “It took about six months of samples,” says designer Tanya Schoenroth, who worked with Fediuk on the home.

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(Photo: Tracey Ayton.)

Let in the light with translucent materials. 

A gorgeous double skylight infuses this airy Burnaby living room with sunshine, even on the greyest of days. Designer Sarah Marie Lackey brought in a grey, white and cream palette to make the most of it, and had a creative solution for letting some of that natural light spread elsewhere in the home, too. “We installed a screen instead of a wall as a way to hide the entryway but still let the light be fluid,” she explains.

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