- Dining rooms: A formal dining room or open plan?
- Living rooms: Family space and informal entertainment
- Drawing rooms: Seating for more formal occations
- Media rooms: To separate entertainment from spending time together
- Libraries: Separate or nicely incorporated with media or living
Nowadays, we often favour comfort over formality – so the dining room is often replaced with an open plan kitchen / living / dining area, or just replaced with a casual bigger kitchen. Many consider this solution to be more sociable as it brings the family together and enables a natural flow from one room to another.
The other view is to see the dining room as an important part of the home with its own separate function: an area where family and friends can dine and converse in seclusion, without the intrusion of noise, smells or clutter. The emphasis is on meaningful connection around the table without distractions such as the television or a messy kitchen.
It is important to consider certain aspects of the dining room, as dining is about the whole experience and not only the meals. The interior could stimulate topics of conversation as well as create a harmonic and well-balanced atmosphere. As a secluded area, the dining room can afford to show off: an elaborate floor, eye-catching chandeliers, unique patterns, panoramic wallpapers, displays of collections, art and vibrant colours can make for an exciting and memorable room!
LIVING / FAMILY ROOMS
These rooms are where we socialize, relax and spend time with family and friends. As this space is not formal, it should be comfortable, durable, practical and relaxed. But why not make it inspirational and stylish as well?
To use the space well is essential! Often these rooms have multi purposes, so flexibility is key. Maximising the light, using space smartly, considering the flow of the traffic and creating hidden storage, benefit these spaces greatly. Positioning furniture to enhance conversation and connectivity is as important as creating a focal point – often the most striking part of the room. A piece of art, a fireplace, or a collection could all set the tone of the room.
A drawing room provides a more formal space to entertain, should your lifestyle require that. The interior of the drawing room can be a unique expression of your life story, reflecting your interests and your values through different ways, and in a carefully chosen style that represents you.
A formal drawing room is often symmetric and structured, but can still be warm and cosy through choice of colours, the use of rich fabrics and rugs, textures and dimmed lighting. Touches such as some leather, elegant potted plants and books can create a vividness and help soften the room.
Considering how much technology impacts our everyday life – whether in communication, entertainment, traveling, information access, shopping or automated home solutions – we might need a break from it in some spaces of our home! Instead of having televisions and tablets everywhere, it might be a good idea to collect them all into one media room where members of the family can all come together and connect again through common experiences. The media room could also be a place of learning and of broadening one’s views.
It goes without saying that comfortable, flexible seating is a must. Given today’s high tech solutions, it is possible for the screen to alternate between being the focal point to being non-existent – should the family wish to engage in non-tech entertainment such as board- or card games.
Since the room might be used for different purposes, creating multiple layers of lighting is a must. For example, when watching a film, the selected light setting should reduce the amount of glare on the screen. But when playing board games, the light setting should provide sufficient light to see. Usually recessed light provides better flexibility, and table lamps and ceiling fittings should be avoided.
There is a belief that good, old fashioned books will remain valued and even experience a revival despite the tablet reading innovations. The more you read, the richer you become! In some properties there might be a lack of space for a separate library, but there are plenty of other ways to place and store books smartly. Displaying books provide additional warmth in any room. Built-in bookshelves or cupboards in a part of the living room, along the walls in a media room, in a study, in a large hallway, or in odd spaces not being utilized, all provide spaces for books without the need for a separate room.