What do you think of when you hear the word ‘dining room?’ An unexplored, shadowy place you only air out for Thanksgiving? The good china you only dust off for company? There is just something about dark wood and stylized, throne-like chairs that can make a dining room awkward to use. Luckily, trends have developed and formal no longer has to mean austere or vintage. Investing in a contemporary dining table is a chic, fresh way to update your style.
No One Hit Wonders
Tell me seriously: when was the last time you used your dining table? When I was a kid, ours was a big Gothic confection of carved chairs and solid legs. Fun for an eight-year-old to build a fort under, for sure, but a huge pain to move and clean. To the modern mind, certain styles are just irrevocably tied up with formality and special occasions. There’s no real reason that we shouldn’t make a habit of using our dining rooms on the regular– whether it is for Sunday brunch, family dinners, or just a change in scenery. Contemporary styles lighten up the decor, which can lighten up the mood.
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The contemporary influences of art deco, bauhaus and formalism have imbued modern decor with a love of clean lines, sleek surfaces, and unusual shapes. A table with solid, neutral colors fits right into a modern theme. Contemporary tables tend to be narrower and lighter (in terms of weight) than their more vintage counterparts, making them a more practical choice in regards to maneuverability as well.
Keeping It Clear
Remember what I said about unusual shapes? Once you throw away the idea that a table has to be made of wood and stand on four legs, all bets are off. The contemporary dining room has embraced modern material–metal, plastic, glass. Just check out these strange and surprising table by Zuo Modern. Glass surfaces can be especially great if the table has an interesting shape. Keep in mind, though, that a glass table means you’ll be staring at your knees while you eat, and smudgy fingerprints will be hard to hide!
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Nights at the Round Table
Not just for King Arthur and his knights. Round tables are a slick and trendy way to save space and set an informal tone in your dining room. Round tables are more compact than their rectangular counterparts, and they can be a great choice if your dining room is small or oddly-shaped. According to myth, King Arthur chose a round table for his knights so no one would be sitting in a higher place of honor than anyone else. This worry is probably not foremost in your mind, but a round table does make conversation easier.
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Hidden in Plain View
Not ready to go full modern and give up the carved chairs and cabriole legs? You don’t have to! Awesome things can happen when you take a style that is usually associated with a certain period or trend, but change an element of it just enough to make it fit your theme. Like in the above photo–the solid, matte-black finish takes a gaudy, baroque dining table and changes it up. Austere becomes funky and unusual. Polart has a habit of updating traditional pieces in some fresh and creative ways.
By toning down the formality of your dining room, you can motivate yourself to make the most of it. These are just a couple examples to get you thinking newer, trendier, and less complicated.
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