Hungry For Home Improvement

By Sharon Naylor

August 20, 2014 5 min read

During the fall and winter holiday season, your dining room will be an important gathering place for dinners, brunches and cocktail parties. The dining room has experienced an evolution in remodeling popularity lately, thanks to breathtaking design projects shown on popular home decorating website Houzz, as well as Pinterest. No matter how large your dining room, you can give it a makeover. Here are the top trends in dining room remodeling projects:

1) Add interesting lighting. Julia Buckingham Edelmann of Buckingham Interiors + Design says, "A chic dining room is no longer defined by an opulent crystal chandelier; instead make a statement with a one-of-a-kind piece." Examples include a trio of pendant lamps, a rustic wood round holding frosted glass lights or a rainfall-like effect of crystals surrounding lights. "Unique lighting allows you to put your thinking-outside-the-box skills to work and serve as a conversation-starting focal point. Guests will appreciate your use of the unexpected to light their meal." Add your new choice of lighting fixture above the dining room table. With portrait lights on the walls, and perhaps uplighting placed behind potted trees, the easy task of installing a dimmer switch will give you the option of different light intensity whenever you wish.

2) Choose a new paint palette. Jeanine Hays, an AphroChic design blogger says, "Move over white walls; in 2014 we'll be seeing rooms with a lot more drama and glamour." Dining room walls might finally get a makeover from their boring beige hue to stand out in deep navy blue, which style blogger Mark D. Sikes says is a big trend for 2014. "I'm seeing a lot of the shade on the runways, on the streets, in chic interiors." While navy blue can sometimes look a bit country, gleaming metal fixtures and accessories (also a big trend) create more of a formal, modern and stylish look. Other popular shades for dining rooms include cranberry and eggplant for warmer tones, and, if you'd still prefer a neutral shade, slate gray and chocolate brown are topping the trends.

3) Chair rails and molding. Adding new chair rails and molding to the dining room adds an upscale finishing touch to the room, and may hide those less-than-perfect paint lines where the ceiling meets the wall. A chair rail also invites the trend of having one paint color above the rail and another color or wide paint color stripes below for creative flair. If you're doing the project yourself, buy extra lengths of wood to allow for some inevitable miscuts and wood splits. It's better to have extra than to have to go back to the lumber store.

4) Knock out a wall. According to Realtor Magazine's recent Cost vs. Value Report, the average return on investment for home remodel projects is 66.1 percent, and creating an open floor plan is one of the most requested features by new homebuyers. Even if you won't put your house on the market any time soon, you may still want that open, airy arrangement.

5) Refresh with trendy furniture and accessories. Dining rooms have gotten more eclectic, which means you're not limited to the all-matching dining room chairs. Now a trend is to mix up chairs and benches or alternate chair fabrics and print patterns, place grander chairs at the heads of the table, and more creative pairings. A big trend is the rustic look, placing a rough-hewn wood table at the center of the room for a relaxed vibe in an otherwise formal dining room, creating an inviting gathering place. Alternatively, to add some glam styling to your dining room, think mirrors. Not just mirrors hung on the walls -- although an oversize, ornate mirror instantly adds opulence to your dining room -- but mirrored buffets or sideboards add drama to the room, especially when you place silver accessories such as candelabras and art pieces minimally on your dining room furniture. Supersize artwork is also a trend, and home stylists say that large artwork may be hung on the walls or even leaned against a wall.

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