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 the hub. In Australia, families spend more time in the kitchen than any other area around the space, especially if it extends into a family room wit comfortable seating and media. That's 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 lay a full dinner service to show off the dining area, but in recent years lifestyles have changed and the formal dining room has been replaced by more functional areas spaces such as home offices or rumpus rooms. Traditional dinner party have given way to more informal get-togethers, hence our use of less fussy, more natural and sustainable resources for decorating.
I continue to dress the dining tables in more classic properties more formally - using a group of 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.
Here are some of my tips to ensure you get your dining table just right:
1. Use natural materials - Bring the outside inside in. Nature provides an wonderful sense of tranquility and relaxation and its economical too. Use a tray as your centrepiece to showcase a selection of fresh flowers, pots, plants, fruit, coastal bric a brac, a bowl of forest pods, or the current trend, a string of mud clay beads.
2. Don't overdress your table - Styling your property to sell is not the time for the sort of floral extravaganza you see on the top table of a wedding. Clean lines show off your space and you might even find that one large vase of fresh flowers is enough. If you're unsure about color, stick with white flowers. 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 choose table lamps that are too small for their bedside tables, they are often afraid to use 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 to decorate your dining table. Similarly, a couple of lanterns work really well on an outdoor table.
6. It's a 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 it up!
Images: 1. From Decorpad.com on Pinterest. 2. From Lookslikewhite.com on Pinterest. 3 and 4. From The Stables