Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home

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ceiling lighting light pendant
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
French style scalloped edge metal light pendant

From Lightingstyles.co.uk from €43

pendant light lighting dining room furniture
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Schreiber evelyn etched pendant light

From Homebase.co.uk for €17

ceiling light copper vintage geometric dining room furniture
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Eglo wired vintage ceiling light copper

From Houzz.ie €61

chairs dining room furniture
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Dining table

Home inspiration from Euphrozine.com

chair dining room furniture orange chrome
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Vilmar orange chrome plated chair

Ikea €29

dining room table furniture
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Flea market square dining table

Table from Caseys.ie was €915 now €715

lamp pink wool arnotts home decor furnishings
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Tripod lamp pink wool

The funky woolshed by Rachel McCann available at Arnotts.ie €239.20

dining room furniture table and chairs black metal
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Modern dining room furniture set

Dining room decor inspiration

wine glasses nest metallic set of 4
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Metallic wine glass

Set of four wine glasses from Nextdirect.com €31

casserole dish scandi black cast iron saucepan harvey norman
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Scandi casserole dish

Scandi casserole dish from Harveynorman.ie €55

copper spotlight dining room lighting ceiling
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Light copper spotlight

Copper spotlight from Brightlights.ie €158

wine glasses brown thomas
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
4 piece polka wine glasses

Wine glasses €40 from Brownthomas.com

bench wooden dining roon furnitue table next
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Moda II bench

Bench from Nextdirect.com €216

dunnes stores candle carolyn donnelly
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Eclectic soy three wick candle

Carolyn Donnelly from Dunnesstores.com €25

oil cloth bo concept
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Oil cloth

Oil cloth from Boconcept.com €32

dining room lighting colours wood furniture black metal
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Dining table

Wooden dining table design inspiration

candle holder silver zara home
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Silver candle holder

Geometric candle holder Zarahome.com €11.99

light pendant kitchen all modern
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Marimba light pendant

€659 from Allmodern.com

dunnes stores wine glass carolyn donnelly
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Carolyn Donnelly eclectic wine flute

€10 from Dunnesstores.com

jacquard linen table runner cloth zara home
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Jacquard linen table runner

Linen table runner from Zarahome.com €35.99

glass beaker brown thomas
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Jerpoint glass

Festival cylinder beaker from Brownthomas.com €30

chair armchair lemon kian furniture
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Louis silverleaf lemon

Chair €335 from Kian.ie

reindeer silver napkin ring dunnes stores
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Reindeer silver napkin ring

€8 from Dunnesstores.com

lazy susan slated dining table decoration brown thomas
Ask The Expert; How To Create The Ultimate Dining Experience In Your Home
Slated lazy Susan

From Brownthomas.com €85

At GAFF we believe that dining is not just about the food. It is also about the atmosphere, the colours, lighting and furnishings. The places that we eat out at inspire us to want to create a better dining experience in our own homes. Aoife Rhattigan from Restless Design gives us some hints and tips on how to take this inspiration and bring it home so you can always be dinner party ready.

dining room furniture table and chairs black metal

What places have you been too recently that have inspired you?

I live in Grand Canal Dock and my new local is Charlotte Quay. It’s very cool new restaurant by the Bereen brothers. Conor Bereen studied fine art in St. Martins; he was responsible for the interior vision for the restaurant. I love the fresh and original take they have for the space. They even created their own moulds for bespoke 3 dimensional concrete wall tiles which are really swoon worthy for me.

 

How important are the colours and lighting in a dining area? 

Earthy tones are usually a popular choice for dining areas, they feel warm and calm. If we are scientific about it reds and oranges are supposed to be stimulating and increase the appetite.

 

 

pendant light lighting dining room furniture
Glass light pendant from Homebase.co.uk for €17
ceiling lighting light pendant
From Lightingstyles.co.uk from €43
ceiling light copper vintage geometric dining room furniture
From Houzz.ie €61

We use Dulux a lot as they have great varied range. It is also a very accessible product so you know there will be no issues with procuring a particular colour.

 

What advice can you give us about making the best out of our dining area?

Choose the right size furniture for your room, be realistic about what you can accommodate. Consider the lighting carefully, nobody wants to sit in their own shadow when eating dinner. Have fun with your chairs, this is a great opportunity to bring some of your personality in to the dining area.

chairs dining room furniture

chair dining room furniture orange chrome
Orange chrome chair from Ikea €29

Can you tell us what the current trends are in kitchen and dining room design?

Black metals are a definitely a trend on the up. We are seeing a move away from stainless steel kitchen appliances. Harvey Norman has a selection of products in this colour range. Made offer have a very cool dining table with bench style seating. The base is black metal with timber tops. Bench style seating is not for everyone but it is definitely very edgy & urban.

 

dining room table furniture
Table from Caseys.ie was €915 now €715
casserole dish scandi black cast iron saucepan harvey norman
Scandi casserole dish from Harveynorman.ie €55

Minimalism with a twist is also a trend I’m loving right now. It’s basically taking a very low key, understated interior and adding one quirky, controversial piece to give it a twist. This could be artwork, lighting or a cool chair.

 

lamp pink wool arnotts home decor furnishings
Available at Arnotts.ie €239.20

 

 

wine glasses nest metallic set of 4
Set of 4 wine glasses from Nextdirect.com €31

Do you have any advice on layout and design if you had your dining area in the same room as your kitchen?

The same rules apply really, the size of your furniture is important and correct lighting is essential. Possibly move to bench seating for at least one side of your dining table if space is tight. This will keep your furniture orientated to the wall and out of the way as much as possible. It’s always nice to have a window seat; this could be your bench seat. See below a window bench seat we installed in a recently completed project in the Armada Hotel in County Clare.

At the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point, Co. Clare. Photograph by John Kelly.

bench wooden dining roon furnitue table next
Bench from Nextdirect.com €216
copper spotlight dining room lighting ceiling
Copper spotlight from Brightlights.ie €158

In your opinion what would make the ultimate dining experience for a dinner party?

The ultimate dining experience really is good company and great food, than come your interiors as the backdrop to all of that. When decorating your table it’s nice to think outside the box a little.  Zara Home is great for tableware accessories. Next and Bo Concept are also favorites of mine to shop in.

 

oil cloth bo concept
Oil cloth from Boconcept.com €32
candle holder silver zara home
Geometric candle holder Zarahome.com €11.99

What are your top tips and must haves for dining table décor at Christmas?

Nice glasses & jugs always lift a table setting and have fun playful napkins. Top table décor at Christmas has to include Christmas crackers. It’s not Christmas unless you’re wearing terrible paper crowns & reading each other awful Christmas cracker jokes. The last few years I have picked up some great decorations from Dunnes Stores. The Paul Costello Living Collection is lovely if you prefer a more sophisticated aesthetic. The Carolynn Donnelly Eclectic Collection in Dunnes Stores is great for the more quirky individuals.

 

dunnes stores candle carolyn donnelly
Carolyn Donnelly from Dunnesstores.com €25
wine glasses brown thomas
Wine glasses €40 from Brownthomas.com

So you don’t have to be a good cook to have a great dinner party (phew).

Massive thank you to Aoife Rhattigan who is the Creative Director of design house Restless Design, which works to create inspired interiors for businesses, for all of her advice. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook for gorgeous pics and interior inspiration.

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