Essential Dining Room Decor And Accessories

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Nearly every home has a dining room, or a designated dining area. While the basic table and chairs are an obvious choice, make sure your home has the essential pieces of furniture and accessories no dining room should be without. Designed to make eating and entertaining easier, this list of the best dining décor describes what you need before your next dinner party, and why you can't entertain without it.

Extendable Table

Even the most beautiful dining room tables still need to be functional. For large parties, guests should have enough room to move, without the fear of bumping a neighbor's fork or knife. At smaller family dinners, there shouldn't be several feet of space between each person. Thankfully, there's an easy way to ensure your largest parties and most intimate dinners both have the appropriate amount of space at the table. Extendable tables are a life-saver for dining space requirements. By simply unlatching several hinges beneath the table, it can extend, sometimes up to several feet. Just place the center insert in the exposed middle, and even the quaintest of dining room tables becomes ready for a full sized night of entertaining.

Extra Chairs

If you have an extendable dining room table, you're prepared to set a plate for extra guests, but can you offer them a seat? Preparing for large parties requires having enough chairs for all your guests, whether you knew they were coming or not. Buying multiple spares of your regular dining chairs can get expensive and take up a fair amount of storage space, but is a great way to always look and feel prepared. For a less expensive and easily stored option, purchase foldable chairs to use in the event you require more seating. Using matching covers on all your chairs will make the extra folding chairs appear to blend almost perfectly with your regular dining room set.

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Cabinets For Storage

If you have a separate dining room, storing regular dining plates and formal china in the room you plan to use them is a great way to save time and effort. Rather than running to and from the kitchen carrying stacks of plates, glasses and silverware, place a cabinet in your dining room. Find a wood color, finish and style that closely resemble that of your dining table, if an exact collection match is not available. Should you need an extra plate, wine glass or fork during dinner, the cabinet allows for immediate access, with no need to leave conversations or your meal behind in the dining room.

Drink Carts Or Bar Areas

This item will come in handy for large parties, and can save you and your guests a lot of time otherwise spent away from the party, alone in the kitchen. Having a portable drink cart or bar area in your dining room allows for both the host and guests to conveniently help themselves to ice, a drink and glasses, all from the comfort of the dining room. Rather than trying to remember guests' drink preferences while running into another room, having a fully stocked cart or bar area provides instant access to a selection of beverages.

Buffet Table Or Hutch

Like several of the other pieces of décor on this list, installing a buffet table or hutch in your dining room will prevent many inconvenient trips to the kitchen for you and your guests. Instead of carrying food from the kitchen, through your home and into the dining room, set up platters of food for guests and family to peruse right in the dining room. Buffet tables offer the space and length of a kitchen countertop for setting up entrees, deserts or other items on the menu, and can provide extra storage space to stash plates, linens and glasses. Going back for seconds can be done quickly and easily, while the risk of spills and accidents is dramatically reduced when plates are only carried several feet between the buffet and dining table. Select a table or hutch in a material closely resembling the dining table and any other furniture pieces you already have in your dining room.

Condiment Basket

This item will prove most beneficial to the host, and is a great way to cut down on trips between the dining room and kitchen. Similar to old fashion milk bottle baskets, condiment baskets can be filled with napkins, salt and pepper shakers, condiment bottles and just about anything else you want in the dining room, but keep in the kitchen. Make setting up for dinner parties quicker and more efficient with the help of this handy tool, then simply stash it away in a kitchen cabinet, or dining room storage area.

Temporary Tables

Like spare folding chairs, a folding table or two can come in handy for extra dining space, but also offers decorative purposes. For very large dining parties or unexpected guests, just unfold and cover with a tablecloth to instantly provide space for everyone to eat. If you have a large dining room, fill an empty corner with a spare table displaying photos, seasonal decorations, or extra food and drinks for guests.

If you're just starting to design a dining room, or simply looking to place the final touches on an already completed room, run through this list to make sure you're getting the most out of your dining experience. From full sized furniture pieces like cabinets, tables and hutches to light and portable accessories like condiment baskets, adding key pieces to your dining room will benefit both you and your guests.

Last Updated: January 18, 2012
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About Alexandra Kerr Through Ideal Home Garden, Alexandra covers topics ranging from interior design to home improvement, gardening and cuisine. Having a passion for cooking and entertaining in her own life, she hopes to communicate her love of home design and decorating with her readers. 

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