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The Dining Table: 5 Tips To Beautifying The Heart & Soul Of Your Home

Hostessing + Entertaining Tips Life's a Party Party Style

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LIZA UTTER

www.lizaamericashost.com

If my dining room table could talk, oh the stories it would tell.  Stories of lively celebrations, raucous nights, laughing attacks, fist-pounding-nose-snorting hilarity.  Story telling, joke telling, food fights, dinner games. Sharing the news of the day, heated discussions, heavy discussion, serious debates. Exchanges of ideas, opinions, perspectives, one’s truth. Sad news, bad news, life lessons, loss, grief, tears, longing. Stories of forgiveness, remorse, reconciliation, peace, seduction, flirtation and love, love, love.  Oh how these stories live on in the grains of my table, each one adding another layer upon layer to the character and depth of its’ weathered soul.  If life experiences create soulfulness, then this table is an old soul.

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My dining table is not precious, it’s treasured.  The stains of the countless family meals and gatherings; spilled wine, food, olive oil, buttered french toast, Spring-time garlicky pasta, avocado sandwiches, fresh Summer fruit – all patina and nourish the beauty of the rough-cut, oatmeal blonde, wood.  A long sturdy, rectangular, plank table with metal belted ends supported by curvy beefy legs – it resembles a prep table used in the converted farmhouse kitchens in France.  The craftsmanship is superb – this hearty table isn’t going anywhere.  It signifies strength and durability.  With a long bench on one side and wicker chairs around the other, the table sizes down beautifully to seat two or four without feeling overwhelming and easily converts to accommodate larger gatherings of twelve.

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If you were to come to my house for dinner you would walk in and see the table set, wine open, candles lit. The music would be playing – something that matched the mood of the occasion. It wouldn’t be fussy, but it would be thoughtful and beautiful.  The dining room and table would feel open and welcoming. The table setting, dining room ambiance, decor, lighting – these are all part of the story telling.  The settings set the stage for what’s to come, how you feel about your guests, your family, friends, loved ones, self and is the foundation for the story that is about to unfold.  In this way it is a reflection of how you value the time you spend at your table and the people you’re spending your time with. Which is why, even if I’m dining alone, I take the time to set the table in a way that honors myself, my family and my guests. I want my table to tell stories with heart, soul and beautiful beginnings…the rest will be written by the seat holders. What story would your table tell?

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5 Tips for bringing beauty and soul to your table:

 

1. Choose a Table that Fits your Space

Round tables work best in square rooms, oval or rectangles in rectangular rooms. Organic materials such as wood, metal, marble, stone add warmth, texture and are the perfect canvas for the simplest of table settings.

2. Make your Table the Focal Point

Clear the table {and the dining room} of mail, electronics, knick knacks and create space so your table takes center stage. Move any furniture out that may be blocking the table.  Hang lighting over the table to highlight and emphasize the table.

3. Mirrors 

Hang a mirror on the wall beside the table to open up the space and reflect the table, doubling the ‘wow’ effect when you walk in the room. 

4. Comfortable Seating

Use seat cushions and pillows for the backs of the chairs for added comfort.  This encourages you and your guests to linger and relax allowing everyone to spend quality time at the table without feeling fidgety or uncomfortable.

5. Lighting

Good lighting is key! Track lighting allows you to choose what you want to stand out. A pendant above the table creates a soft indirect lighting. I have both in my dining room. Whatever you choose, Dimmer switches are a must and will provide instant mood lighting. Also plenty of candles to make everyone look beautiful.

6. Decorative Accents at Staggered Heights

Interesting and beautiful objects; vases, hurricane candles, garden table-boxes, sea shells, artifacts – these are the accents that help tell a story.  Pick a theme and create clusters of 3 or 5 {always use an odd number} of similar objects i.e. candle sticks, bird cages, terra-cotta pots or center pieces.  Position them at staggered heights {think high-med-low} for a sophisticated {not stuffy} design savvy look . This gives your table dimension and character.

 


I hope this inspires you to create a space, set the table and make your meal time a beautiful experience filled with heart and soul.

XO ~ Liza  

For more entertaining ideas, tips and inspiration check out LizaAmericasHost.com   

A Big Thank You to Porch.com for featuring this post in the ‘Love Your Home’ bloggers event! 

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