Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beautiful dining spaces to share...

The fact that so many families don't eat together for at least one meal a day I find very sad. The French have got it right...they always have sit down meals and it is just part of what they do and I love it. I thought some inspirational eating areas would ignite every ones desire to eat like the French, at a set table with their families. Here are some favourites of mine and what you can do to draw everyone in for the elusive family dinner... raphael designs via abt
As you all know, from yesterdays post, I am a fan of flowers. Just filling a jug of blooms from the garden can bring a little cheer to the table. You don't have to go all out to lay the table either, a simple table runner, like this photo, looks stylish...and so, so simple. Even a length of fabric with both edges tucked under can suffice. You don't even have to sew!

traditional home
I am a fan for themes. It can be as easy as a colour theme. Here, blue and white is the star of this setting and I love the fact that they have chosen the blue and white covers and upholstery to tie in with their china. Even the flowers match beautifully. Couldn't you imagine a gorgeous lazy Sunday Summer lunch here?

country living
Do you have an old set of dining chairs that you may be trying to stay clear of at mealtimes? Well, dig out some old pillow cases, fabric, curtains etc that have something interesting on them. It could be the pattern, texture, colour, sentiments or it could be some vintage linen, like here. Take a deep breath, and start cutting. You will be amazed how lovely mismatched chairs can look with some 'new' covers on them.
coastal living
If your still not convinced, and the thought of cutting up Grannies antique French linen sheet set from her Wedding for your chairs makes you cringe...maybe get some paint out instead. These chairs look wonderful in blue against the white table. It can be as easy as getting some sample pots and a weekend...and they don't all have to match in colour either.
coastal living
...or you could just cover the tops! This can be done with pillow cases, so you don't have to sew again!! Just slip them over the tops of the chairs. Here they have been accessorised with colourful buttons and pick up other colours in the rooms.
Maybe you don't even have a dining area. Any small area can be made as an eating space and here it is outside on a porch. Two chairs and a small patio table is all you need (obviously if there are more of you, you'll have to improvise). I love the French poster and jug of daisies to make it more dining room could you not want to share your day over dinner with loved ones here?
via mels rose place
But for me, the ultimate family meal setting is a fully laid table, blooms, candles and a little bit of heartfelt thought to show these people how special they are to you (oh and good food is always a winner!!!).
I hope you all have a wonderful meal this evening with your loved a special table, where ever it may be.
Ness xx


  1. What beautiful, beautiful settings for a meal of any kind. All of the ones overlooking the sea are my favourites and my dream. There is nothing nicer than sitting at a beautifully laid table with family or friends...or both. One of my favourite things in life. XXXX

  2. I agree with you Ness about the importance of having the family get together at least once a day. Everybody rushes around so much that it's good to sit down, enjoy a meal together and talk about what each one has been doing. Those pictures are lovely! So bright and summery and inviting. Thanks.

  3. thanks for this post, ness. this is one part of family life i hold dear and we do everything we can to eat together - even though the boys are very little...and it's not always a calm experience!!
    i love the way the french stop serving people at markets etc, put tablecloths over their wares, whip out the wine and the baguette and sit down for lunch. it's beautiful!

  4. The rooms are utterly lovely. I could happily eat with the whole family (or even friends) in any of them. I agree with you; it is sad that it is the norm anymore for families not to eat together. The sign of the times. But, thank you for the gorgeous photos.

  5. The details on those monogramed slip covers are incredible. All of these dining spaces would be great places to enjoy a relaxing meal.


  6. Ooh, I love all of them! That dog painting is so quirky, yet beautiful, I almost want it! :)

  7. Very very very beautiful! I love the colors white+light blue...

  8. I think it is very sad that very few families eat together anymore. I was raised in an era when families always ate together. I raised my kids that way and my husband and I almost always sit down together to eat. I hope that it will come back in North America, people do not know what they are missing. My step kids were raised in front of the TV, no chance for conversation there! When they came to live with us they treated meals together as sacred times, they would not even answer their cell phones while we ate!
    I love all of the dining room photos, they are all lovely and serene looking.
    I just found your blog today and I love it!
    Hugs, Cindy S.

  9. pretty! I especially like the Coastal Living corner nook with the blue chairs around the white table...and the single pleated chair cover...and...ohh..the windows! I miss having windows like that!

    Thank you for inspiring me today!

    : )

    Julie M.

  10. Such a wonderful post Ness!
    I love the image of that chair with the pillow case. And that table with that view!!!!


  11. All these dining areas look so inviting with their fresh colors. We always ate our meals together at the table when my kids were growing up. We still do when all the grandkids, etc. come. Lovely photos.

  12. Cobalt blue in the first photo is exquisite. fresh fresh fresh.

  13. These are just perfect inspiration for me right now because I am in the process of painting my kitchen table and chairs! Rafael Designs is an absolute favorite of mine, but all of these pictures are just gorgeous!!!

    :) T

  14. Love all the great ideas. Slip cover dining chairs are a favorite.

  15. I totally agree...we need to sit down and enjoy meals together as a family and friends. I try to do a fun autumn dinner with tons of friends and have it a sit down affair outside on my patio and it is always a hit and everyone just loves to linger and sit and talk. All the photos on your blog are so beautiful and so inspiring.

  16. Hi Ness,

    Can't imagine not having a sit down meal as a family!!! I love the third dining room - would make you want to sit all day and I love love love the chair in the fourth picture!

    Take Care

    N.W. Coast

  17. If you are looking for Small Dining Room log on to

  18. LOVE IT!

    We always eat our evening meal as a family and I have even made Grace cards which we take it in turns to use before each meal.
    I know our kids think we're old-fashioned because every now and then we get
    "None of my friends sit down to eat dinner, they're watching that great show right now."

    This is fairly rare I admit and I do believe they all enjoy the discussion that we have around the table especially when said friends come for a sleepover and are laughing and chatting and telling great stories around the table.

    One of our favourite things to do after eating on Saturday nights is to play Jenga at this same table - now that's fun!

    xx Felicity

    PS: Adoring the round table with the blue chairs, I would dearly love to have something like this for a breakfast table just off the kitchen


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