Christmas Workout

“This is the basketball player workout Aunt Ruth”, my niece said as she ran from side to side. “You do it too! Follow me”, she ran beside me and gave me a beckoning wave. All I could think about was twisting my arthritic knee and an instant flash of pain shot up my leg. I do wish I could work out and run around with such childlike enthusiasm but not if I want to walk the next day. I watched Regan demonstrate many basketball techniques her team has been using to defeat their rival teams this year and my mind wondered to workouts and decorating. The one room of the house that gets a workout twice a year is the dining room. It already had a good workout at Thanksgiving and it is preparing for Christmas. Let’s take a peek into several dining rooms that are ready for the wrapping station duty, Christmas cookie decorating, Christmas Eve prime rib dinner, and Christmas day brunch buffet station somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Small dining room Banquet-and-the-teal-plates-added-to-the-china-hutch
If you have a small dining room, consider a banquet that is placed against the wall. An upholstered banquet is a very comfortable bench that people can slide in to the bench so that leaving room for pulling out a chair is not necessary. This allows for placement of four to six chairs to be placed out around the table. Many restaurants have utilized this idea as a way to increase tables and sales.

• Colorful Plates
China hutches are great but if your china does not complement the colors in the room they are not so great. We added teal colored plates to the back of the china hutch along the plate groove so that the hutch will have a visual relationship to the rest of the space. Also, placing color at the back of the hutch allows other items to stand out in contrast. The plates can be inexpensive as long as they are a color and free of pattern.

• Wainscot makes it pop
If you have dark furniture that you love, then keep it. One way to make it pop and add light to the space is to add white wainscoting. From the top of the chair rail to the bottom of the baseboard and everything else in between is painted white. All the surrounding white will stand in sharp contrast to the dark furniture and make the furniture stand out like it is shiny and new! The large pop of white at the bottom of the wall is highly complemented by a color, (in this case a blue grey), on the top of the wall.

• Large colorful wall hanging
I usually use pictures and mirrors of some type to accessorize a dining room but in this case we used this handmade wall hanging the owner picked up in her travels. The colors are amazing and it was big enough to make a statement on the focal wall. Also, notice that in the china hutch we installed bright royal blue plates along the back. This color was pulled from the wall hanging. We tried teal but there was no visual punch with teal but the royal blue worked with the wall hanging and the Port Meirion dinner collection in the china hutch. Tip: If you are a quilter, this is a great spot to display different quilts in a rotation.

• Use a bench and side tables
This is a kitchenette dining space but it is reflective of many small dining rooms as well. We used a bench with and un-upholstered back that was purchased at a second hand store and placed large European pillows along the back for comfort.
This room gets a lot of activity so we decided to use side tables and lamps. The tables come in handy for electronics and the lamps create cozy task lighting. This space will easily seat six comfortably and eight cozily.

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.