So now you are ready to paint your dining room, but are totally clueless as to what color to choose. Don’t worry, Doc can and will help. Using the basic principles of color set forth in this article, you now have some basic knowledge of what colors to choose and what brands of paint are best. But let’s delve a bit deeper since color selection is more crucial in your dining room then in any other room of the house. Why? Because color can interpret how well you eat, how much you eat and even whether you want to eat at all.
First let’s look at your wall colors. In a dining room red and orange selections are best as they stimulate the appetite. Perfect for large Italian or Jewish households where eating is an obsession rather than a necessity! However, if you are concerned about eating too much and prefer a space that stimulates conversation, go for a yellow. Yellows are invigorating and stimulating by nature. A sure fire guarantee to wake up any boring dinner party. Prefer something that says, “Hey I’m rich and opulent and not afraid to flaunt it!”? Then shades of purple are the thing for you. In Victorian homes lean towards a deep, rich mauve shade of purple as this was a traditional color in Victorian homes.
Now that you have a color for the walls that will reflect your lifestyle and alter your very way of thinking it is time to look into other color choices for your plates. Here you will want to find a color that accents and plays off of your main color choice while still keeping the feeling you are going for alive and well. Just keep in mind that the main objective in the dining room is to make a guest feel welcomed and feel that they want to eat your food. For orange color schemes try deep mahogany browns, luscious creams and sparks of gold. For red color schemes try bold blacks accented with touches of gold. For yellow color schemes try soothing but deep shades of green and small touches of tarnished gold. For purple color schemes try rich creams and opulent gold. No matter your choice, just make sure that your plates’ color pops your food. What I mean by this is that the food, when placed on the plate, should become vibrant and appetizing looking. For instance, a red apple or some orange squash pops right off of a mahogany brown or deep black plate. If the color of a plate is too pastel it will dull the color of the food or blend with the color of the food leaving the food unappealing. So be bold in your plate selection.
Now let’s pull all of this together with a tablecloth and/or rug. These choices should tie all of your other choices together. Let me give you an example from my own dining room. Here I have wainscoting in mahogany up to four feet above the floor. I have this topped with a burnt orange faux paint treatment. The ceiling is cream with faux mahogany beams. On the table is a burnt orange table cloth that helps break up the mahogany of the wainscoting and helps to bring some more orange into the room. At mealtime the table is topped with gold silverware, brown and cream Staffordshire Ironstone in the Royal Mail pattern and cut crystal glasses. The furniture in the room is mahogany and the chandelier is finished in an antique gold that matches the silverware. The light switches are an antique reproduction finished in a cream color. Notice how my main color, mahogany, is prevalent in the room followed by my secondary color, orange, then my third color, cream. This is paired with just a small smattering of gold and crystal to add a bit of glimmer. By doing this I have kept the room cohesive while still shaking things up a bit. This keeps the eye moving around the room while still maintaining balance. Since the colors are rich and warm my guests automatically feel welcomed and right at home. Had I changed even one small thing about this room the feeling would be altered for the worse. For example, had I used a stark white on the ceiling, light switches and dishes the room would take on a disjointed, cold feel. Had I chosen stark white over mahogany, the orange would become glaring and too in your face. Not to mention that the white would contrast in a negative way with the cream of the ceiling, light switches and plates. For a rug make sure you choose one that matches the architecture of your room and contains all of the colors within the room. In a contemporary home purchase a contemporary rug and in a Victorian home purchase an Oriental style rug is ideal. Just remember, rugs are not necessary. I have none in my dining room and the feeling is still very inviting. I personally would recommend that a family with small children and pets avoid the rug idea at all costs anyhow. They are extremely hard to maintain when messy eaters are around.
As usual, if you have any questions or find yourself in a decorating pickle, feel free to contact Doc for advice. I am always happy to lend a hand.