The dining room isn't just a room for dining
What "look" do you want your dining room to have? Well, here are four "types," and the things to consider with regards to your preference.
Informal dining room. Most of today's dining rooms are today's dining rooms are informally situated. This is in keeping with today's limited home space and home design. As such, whereas kitchen's have a dining nook, today's home has this nook as the dining room itself. Studio-type apartments have even more informality foisted on this room, as the dining room may even be visible from the occupant's bed. If the room is informal, then the furnishings that should be used should be in harmony with other visible furniture (e.g. bed, wardrobe etc.). In terms of lighting and color, nothing much could be done to differentiate the dining area with the rest of the interiors as they share the same space. Anyway, if there are no walls separating these spaces, be sure to keep the table clean and clutter-free.
Adaptable dining areas. Remember that the dining room isn't only for dining today. Not unless you really have a cavernous manse called a home, your dining room should easily adapt to the needs of modern living or otherwise it would just be a waste of space. As such, it should be able to double as work room, as a study area, or even play area. For the dining room to be such, it should be painted in bright and sunny colors. Moreover, the furnishing that should be placed in it should be less formal and sturdier than most. After all, you well be using it more often.
In terms of lighting, an adaptable dining room should be provided with more natural light sources. Big windows and sliding doors paired with light, even see-through curtains should be considered.
Formal dining room. But what if the dining room is reserved only for dining? If such is the case, then your dining room should use more somber colors and should have furnishings that would fit it's overall atmosphere of formality. Understandably, some homes--especially the bigger ones--have really separate rooms for dining that should be closed when not in use. Nonetheless, such rooms today are the exception as most homes are smaller and more space-challenged.
One more thing about the formal dining room is the emphasis on artificial and elegant sources of lighting. As such, chandeliers, sconces and/or even full-length floor lamps are some of the features of a formal dining room. Heavy and dramatic drapery may also be considered.
A party room. With today's emphasis on cocooning and entertainment limited to cozy get-togethers in one's home, the dining room is understandably a candidate for the homes party room. Like the informal dining room, it should be painted in light colors and should have sturdy, but nonetheless comfortable furnishings. Collapsible tables and chairs - that are easily folded and stored-should be considered in this sense to provide more space for parties. Clean, crisp linen and fabrics--for an organized look may be considered.