The New Year may be in its infancy, but already there are predictions for the design trends of 2014. When it comes to the dining room, the trend seems to be continuing to make it a room that gets used every day, rather than just once a week.
Open plan for these two once separate areas seems to be a trend that is here to stay. This recent trend towards open plan dining is due in many ways to the emphasis being put upon a family eating together. Studies have proven that family members that eat together have a healthier, more emotionally stable relationship with one another. Teenagers achieve better grades at school, appear less likely to use drink and drugs, and are less likely to develop eating disorders.
The kitchen, traditionally considered as the heart of the home, is being combined with the dining area, and instead of being separated by a wall; zones are now defining these two spaces. This means decorating the kitchen, for example, in one wall colour, with the dining area being painted in a different shade (in the same tonal range) to mark the transition.
Zoning is also achieved by lighting, and distinctive lighting is a definite design trend for 2014. With the recent fashion for upcycling, taking household items and re-purposing them, truly original and distinctive lights are being designed. For example, magnificent chandeliers are being created from upturned empty wine bottles, teacups and saucers, knives and forks. A chandelier of this type hung over a dining table will not only help to define the area but also creates a conversation piece for dinner guests.
When it comes to dining areas or dining rooms, rustic is in. The trend these days is to go for a natural look, and this is easily achieved with furniture. An oak dining table, for example, is a perfect choice. Oak is a wonderfully sturdy and durable natural material, and with its attractive grain, brings a little bit of the outdoors to the interior.
Another trend that began last year and looks set to continue in 2014 is the idea that nothing needs to match in a room. So a dining table need not have chairs that match, but the more eclectic the chairs, the better. A table need not only have chairs around it, but could employ chairs along one side and a bench along the other. A bench is not only a space saving option, but this type of communal seating also creates a more convivial atmosphere.
Understatement is dead. A design trend of 2014 involves big and bold statements, both in colour and in accessories. Vibrant colours such as turquoise, yellows and greens are in, and not just as accent colours.
There are also some surprising returns for materials. For example, metals, and particularly brass, are making a comeback, and not just in the kitchen where they might be expected. The soft, burnished reflective nature of brass instantly helps to add warmth to a room, whilst giving it an opulent feel.