“I know that I heard thunder!” I said to my husband. “No. I checked the radar and nothing is coming.” He replied and then added, “So can you hurry up and get ready because I am hungry.” He finished and moved his hand around and around in a wrap it up and let’s go gesture. Finally, ready and walking out the door we heard the “Boom!” We walked down the stairs to see black rolling clouds to our left and hot tropical sunset skies on our right. The color was so bright and vibrant that all we could see was glowing color and outlines of back-lite trees and buildings. We moved onto the sidewalk of Simonton walking toward the light to a favorite local restaurant just a few blocks away. While just beating the rain we slipped into the comfortable embrace of a banquet bench in Abbondanza; a very inviting Italian restaurant where we would dine and wait out the storm. The bench or built in banquet ran the entire length of one side of the restaurant with individual chairs on the other side of the table. This is a great restaurant trick to maximize floor space so that you feel the comfort of a booth but with the versatility of chairs on one side. While we waited for our friends we appetized on warm bread dipped in olive oil and spices and I let my mind wonder to the world of decorating. I loved this comfortable bench and wondered how something like this could work in a residential home. Let’s take a peek at this space saving trick and the wonders that it can do for dining room somewhere beyond the heart of The Villages.
• Small space
The dining room in this home is small and very unusual. Since this is an open concept home there is no real definition for the dining room. A chandelier hung strangely far out into the room so we would have to fix that and the table that the homeowners had was too big and awkward for the space.
• Change the floor
The house was wall to wall carpet that needed to be replaced. We replaced it with engineered hardwood. The tendency when looking at new hardwood is to try to match other wood tones in the space but that is not my approach. I like spaces to stay light bright and airy so I choose floors that are on the medium to light side. In this case we chose tannish light oak flooring from Naturally Aged that worked well with the kitchen tile. The house stayed light and bright just as it was with the crème carpet but the better investment of hardwood looked amazing!
• Wall color
The house needed a fresh coat of paint and we chose a neutral tannish golden color with a touch of peach. These tones looked great with the wood floor and the furniture. The new color warmed and brightened the space.
• Make the china hutch pop
In order to make a china hutch pop it needs a backdrop of color. This particular china hutch had mirrors but it was not enough. We need to see the teal color in the case. We purchased inexpensive teal plates to place along the back plate groove. Once the color is in place, everything that is in front of the color will stand out and pop! This is so simple to do and so inexpensive.
This dining room was a difficult layout. The dining room had very little definition and the table that the homeowner owned was too big and outdated. We placed a 72inch upholstered bench along the back wall to act as a banquet. This allows people to slide in rather than make room for chairs to pull out. This bench is moveable and very comfortable.
• Pedestal table
The key to making the bench work comfortably is to purchase a pedestal table. This allows people to slide in with nothing in the way of their feet and knees.
We purchased four chairs to fill in the rest of the table. Seven people can sit at this table comfortably.
• Large Art
We hung one large piece of art on the largest wall over the bench. This is the focal point so we wanted it to pop! Larger items and less of them makes a big visual impression and provides a clean uncluttered look.
We removed the chandelier and installed LED Flex lighting. This type of lighting provided us with six lights that we could direct anywhere and they do not produce heat. Also, we did not have to worry about centering the table or fixing a hole in the ceiling!!
P.S. –Attention, club presidents! I give free decorating programs! It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today or call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056
P.P.S Be sure to visit our home decor store, "The Finishing Touch" for your home good needs.