I've always loved the idea of lazy Mediterranean-style lunches with family and friends. I'm a foodie, but I prefer a relaxed vibe when I'm eating at home, and I try to recreate that ambiance when I style my properties.
For most families or couples seeking their dream home, the kitchen/dining area is its hub. Let's be honest, in Australia we spend most of our time in and around the space, especially when it extends into a family room with comfortable seating and media. Which is why it's so important to style the area to reflect the lifestyle you want to emulate for your buyers.
In the early days of property styling, we used to set up a full dinner service to show off the dining area, however, in recent years lifestyles have changed. For most families, the traditional dinner party has given way to more informal get-togethers, hence our use of less fussy, more natural and sustainableresources for decorating.
I still tend to dress the dining tables in older style properties more formally - using tall candles, flowers etc - but in modern homes, my emphasis is on bringing the outside in with a liberal use of greenery and a carefully curated selection of smaller decorator pieces.
Below are some tips to ensure that you get your dining table exactly right:
1. Use natural materials - Bring the outside inside to provide a sense of tranquility and relaxation. You won't go too far wrong with a tray as your centrepiece, showcasing a selection of any of the following: fresh flowers, earthenware pots, plants, fruit, coastal bric a brac, a bowl of forest pods, or the current trend for a string of mud clay beads.
2. Don't overdress your table - This is not the time for the sort of floral extravaganza you see on the top table at a wedding. Clean lines will show off your space and one large vase of fresh flowers may be all you need. If you're unsure about color, stick with white. Lillies, Hydrangeas, or a handful of Gum leaves provide a more contemporary vibe.
3. The size of your centre piece should correlate with the size of your dining table - In the same way that people often choose too small table lamps for their space, they are often afraid of using large pieces of deco. Trust me, those pieces are what will give your property the Wow Factor!
4. Grouping - A small group of decorator items of different heights and texture works really well (see photo 5).
5. Go potty for pots! - These are on trend at the moment and two pots - a large one with its smaller version by its side - may be all you need on your dining table. Similarly, a couple of lanterns work really well on an outdoor table.
6. It's a BIG NO to runners and table cloths - Unless you are covering up some damage or an ugly, outdated dining table, please resist the temptation to cover your it.
Images: 1. From Decorpad.com on Pinterest. 2. From Lookslikewhite.com on Pinterest. 3 and 4. From The Stables