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One of our favorite rooms of the home to design is the dining room. This is the “heart of the home”, where families gather to spend time together, share meals and celebrate life’s milestones.

Whether you use your dining room every day for each meal, or only on special occasions when hosting for large groups, it should be an inviting room where you and your family & guests are comfortable. It is important to create a space that allows both children to be comfortable and playful yet the adults to be able to relax and indulge.

Because we are an Italian brand, it is also important to guide our clients on dining in the Italian fashion. The slow food movement in Italy is quite popular – this is the dining experience that is meant to be savored and enjoyed. Meals can last up to 2 or 3 hours, depending on the menu and number of courses. We encourage our clients to bring this Italian style dining experience to their own homes – and to do so you must have a beautiful and comfortable space!

When beginning the design process for your dining room, we have some key points to focus on that will ensure your end result is true to your style and will be loved and used for many years – and meals – to come.


Deciding on your Style

Take time to do research to discover your signature style. Think of designs you absolutely love, whether it’s a complete “look” or an eclectic mix of various trends and styles. Notice color palettes, materials, textures and shapes when conducting your design research. While the best resource available is our inspiring showroom and knowledgeable Design Consultants, we also love to use Pinterest and Houzz for this type of work – it is an easy and convenient way to keep your ideas organized and share them with your interior designer or Design Consultant at Calligaris OC.

Interplay of both warm and cold materials can be the perfect combination for creating a modern yet inviting space. Days of matching everything is a thing of the past. We love the use of mixed styles and materials when assembling the perfect dining room.

Injecting color by adding bold art can really help set the mood and take the space to the next level. It’s all about telling your story through visual layering. 

Choosing your Table
The dining table is the centerpiece of the room and will set the tone for everything around it. When selecting your table, take note of materials and design, but also note the size of the room and the number of people who will regularly be gathered there. A solid wood table is a great choice, or you can go more contemporary by opting for a non-traditional base, like a glass-based Volo table.

If you have a smaller family, but host larger parties around the holidays, perhaps an extending table will do. Just be mindful of its full size in relation to doorways and walkways in and around the room. Your table should be large enough to fit everyone comfortably, while leaving ample room to move around it. The Orbital table by Calligaris is truly unique – it expands to fit 8 people and comes in a durable ceramic finish. This finish is a great choice if you have children, or would like a table that you don’t have be too careful using. The ceramic surface will withstand the daily deluge of water marks, scratches, or oils.  

If your space is a small and you want a lighter feel and look, then opt for a clear glass top like the Tower table by Calligaris. The translucent glass will give that lighter effect, and also is extendable to better accommodate different sized gatherings.

Choosing your chairs

At Calligaris, we do not sell dining “sets”.  We believe every customer is unique and should be able to select exactly what mixture of items they desire to suit their taste and style. Plus, we are huge fans of mixing and matching materials.

Opposites attract! A ceramic table would go great with leather chairs but also looks chic and modern with light, clear acrylic or polycarbonate chairs, like the Parisienne dining chairs by Calligaris.

Your guests will not want to linger in a stiff, uncomfortable chair. Our Design Consultants can help you when considering the distance between the seat height and table surface.  This should be one of your key considerations, since a space too small will be uncomfortably tight, while a gap too large will have your guests sitting low. If space around the table is tight, mixing designs – try using simpler designs on the sides of the table and add larger, statement chairs on either end.

Choosing your lighting

While the table is the centerpiece of the dining room, the light fixture that hangs above it is just as important. We are partial to the bold statement that a beautiful, modern pendant light makes above a dining table. Another great look is a “cluster” of hanging lights. Regardless of the fixture you choose, it is a MUST to ensure it is installed with a dimmer! Adjustable lighting is the simplest way to set the mood and create a focal point in the room. When placing the light, we recommend that you leave about 30-40″ of space between the fixture and the table surface. This will allow enough space to place your table decor.

Additional Furniture

Depending on the size of your dining room, you may wish to incorporate additional pieces of furniture, such as a bar or sideboard for storing serve ware or fine china. The Sipario sideboard by Calligaris offers sleek design and ample storage space. It can be customized to suit your needs for drawers vs. cabinets, along with many options for wood finishes.


Finishing Touches

Once you’ve successfully designed the furniture for your dream dining room, all that’s left is to decorate! Here is where you can go bold with contrasting details in your artwork and tabletop accessories. Or go minimal and keep it simple. Consider a large mirror if your space is smaller, or an extra wall unit for storage if you have a larger space. The possibilities and combinations are endless. Plus, the fun thing with accessories is that you can change things up seasonally. Try different candles, seasonal flowers or glass objects.