In the morning it is a way point, in the afternoon it is a reunion and in the evening it is the site of unfurling.
It is always 'who' is around the table and not 'what' that makes the evening. But at Parrot & Lily, we feel a well considered dining room can foster togetherness at every meal.
Dining rooms are traditionally a separate chamber but most people these days live in more open plan flats. In any case, it is important to create a separation between the dining space and the drawing room, specially for formal or intimate dinners. Some thoughtful furniture arrangement or even lighting can be used to achieve this.
Here is our checklist of essentials for any dining space.
The Dining Table
For anyone who loves to host, a dining table should be able to seat, at the very least, six people in a formal order. Classic furniture is rife with ingenious tricks. Extendable dining tables with leaves that can easily be tucked away come to the rescue of those at a lack of space. This allows you to enjoy an open space in your day-to-day life while still being able to extend your table and host your loved ones whenever you wish.
If you are like us, you adore every curvy leg you see but you also admire a turned tapering one and are curious to explore beast feet. You love a dignified English set but are equally infatuated by a flirtatious French one. We are talking about furniture legs of course. Seating is where you can follow your heart in every direction. We love to see dining tables with a mismatched set of seating, specially in the homes of young people. The high tea at the Ritz in London is surrounded by a mix of Louis XVI sofas and fauteuils, but we feel you could even mix styles and periods around the table.
A Credenza or commode for storage
Cutlery deserves custom velvet-lined storage. This is where you would keep your table linens. You may wish to store some of your decorative objects here, along with extra candles and seasonal table decor.
This is also a good place to store your host and hostess stationery. Place cards should always be handwritten, no matter the size of the guest list. The more traditional hosts and hostesses would also be familiar with the handwritten menu cards that announce the beginning of any proper elegant evening.
While you can have a single credenza lining a wall, you could also place several small pieces around the room, making buffet meals much more interesting.
Display Cabinet or Vitrine
Porcelain need no longer be hidden away in the butler's realm. Displaying objets d'art and porcelain pieces encourages a conversation around them. Your guests will want to return for the possibility of trying your displayed sets next time.
Port & Cigar
While you may wish to place your main bar elsewhere, a small bar cart to house the pre-dinner aperitif and the post-dinner digestif may come in handy in the dining space. It would also give the host or hostess some much needed relief from round trips to the kitchen. A butler's tray is a fun option.
Pictured is a butler's tray in the making
Moving on to what is on the table, we will leave the food to you. But we can have our say when it comes to decorative objects.
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