Multi-tasking rooms are becoming the norm in a home, with a dining table being easily adapted to a desk, coffee hub or play area. We speak to the acclaimed interior designer Carole King, the woman behind Dear Designer and one half of Heart Home, and find out how you can make a dining room into more than just a place to eat, as well as get to know the woman behind the brand.
Why do you think having a multi-functioning dining room is so important in a modern home?
Modern homes increasingly tend to be open-plan with the kitchen, living and dining rooms all working as one space, so it naturally follows that the 'dining room' serves many functions. It's often a place to work, a place for the kids to do homework, a place to sit with a coffee, as well as a place to eat dinner.
What kind of colour scheme would you recommend for a multi-tasking dining space, for a family with two teenagers or older kids?
This is really a matter of taste. I would never dictate a colour scheme on a client and it really depends on the space itself. Some rooms benefit from a bright colour scheme, but lots of people find that too stimulating visually and would rather have a calming white scheme or a dramatic dark-painted room.
How can you add personality to a living and dining space, without scaring off potential buyers or lowering your home’s value?
Adding interest to the walls usually works. Art and mirrors will add personality to a room but potential buyers can rest easy in the knowledge that you will take them with you when you move out.
If you don’t have a dining room or have a smaller space, what would be your solution to adding unique décor when limited for space?
Dressing the table is a good way of adding décor wherever the table may be or however big the space. It doesn't have to be elaborate. A jar of spring flowers, some coloured napkins and a candle or two is really all you need.
What do you think is an important rule when decorating to help to make dinner time a less distracting experience and get a family to sit together at the table?
It helps if the TV isn't positioned near the table. Failing that, I would insist it's turned off. No amount of clever décor can compete with a flashing TV screen.
What’s your top tip to add some personality to your dining space without breaking the bank?
What do you tend to use your dining room for?
I don't actually have a dining room so the table is in the kitchen. It's the brightest room in the house opening on to the garden so in the summer I tend to work there too.
What’s your favourite interior accessory in your dining space?
Candles. They change the atmosphere of a room completely.
What’s your favourite memory from your dining room? Why?
It would have to be the day we moved in. We had packing cases all around us but the kitchen was the one room that looked sorted and we celebrated with a takeaway and champagne.
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