A kitchen table will see a lot in its life, from wine-filled dinner parties to toddlers waging war against broccoli to a fair few solitary evenings in. It’s a pretty demanding role for a piece of furniture and one that draws a lot of attention from guests, so it’s important to feel that the table and the area surrounding it reflect your personality, complementing the room's style rather than cramping it. If your table is more utilitarian than unique, try injecting some character with one of these five simple fixes.
In the case of some tables, it would be a downright insult to their craftsmanship to conceal the detailing with paint. But for a basic piece that’s lacking a certain charm, painting it and its chairs in contrasting shades can result in an inventive focal point for your kitchen. Almost any colour options can work here, but as an example this dark table paired with chairs in different pastel shades looks very striking indeed.
A well-chosen rug will add a hint of domestic comfort to even the most basic of spaces. If your table looks a bit like it was plonked down randomly in the room, placing a rug beneath it anchors it in the context of the rest of the decor, while also preventing wood floors from being scraped by chairs. Your choice of rug can merely be a complement to the rest of the room, or, in the case of the one pictured here, act as the focus. This lovely piece would be sure to warm up even the chilliest eating area.
Lighting really is the key to getting the feel of the room just right. Candles are conventionally the go-to choice for mood lighting, but you may like to forgo them in favour of something less obvious, such as a vintage library lamp and a simple vase of flowers, or a quirky collection of small Turkish lamps. If you're willing to put in some extra money, work and time, installing low-hanging pendant lights over your kitchen table will set the scene for many a relaxed evening at home. The lights shown here are beautiful design pieces in themselves, and would be radiant even without their bulbs.
What you put on your table makes all the difference. Exercise your imagination and you can come up with a striking centrepiece that will influence the feel of the whole room (tip:
centrepiece here just means a decorative focal point for your table. You don't need to put it in the centre; wonky can be beautiful). Try filling a fishbowl
with lemons, limes or dried peppers for a splash of colour, or displaying
artichokes in a vase as if they were flowers. Or, as shown here, simply pick a vase with a big personality and then create a contrast with clashing fruit and flowers. A banana can go a long way.
It's hard to find a cool tablecloth (i.e. one that doesn't resemble a giant doily or have a novelty festive print), so when you do, don't let it get away. The one shown here has so much freshness and joy it could carry an otherwise understated room all by itself; however, it would also be great fun to use in creating some deliberate pattern clashes. If you’re lucky enough to have a well-made table and don't want to totally hide it, a statement table runner is a good alternative to a full tablecloth as the quality you've splashed out on will still be on display.